Tax money all comes from the same source
I read with interest the Nov. 24 article about the reconstruction of the traffic circles to I-890 near the GE plants.
In it, a New York state Department of Transportation official was quoted as saying: “‘The funds for this major project will be a mix of federal funding and taxpayer money,’ [Steve[ Allocco [assistant to the regional director at DOT] explained Monday.” “We believe there will be federal participation in this.” I know the government prints money, but still, it’s all taxpayer money.
Encryption foes not giving us the facts
I wish to correct some of Froma Harrop’s understanding of the facts she used in which to base her Nov. 19 column, “What’s next for U.S. after Paris?”
The terrorist attacks in Paris were not aided by encryption technology. According to an article in Le Monde, the messages used to coordinate the attack were found in plain, unencrypted form in a phone found near the Bataclan site. No encryption was in use.
There has been a rising chorus of voices that have been crying for the limiting or even outlawing of encryption technology. This case has been held up as a prime example of why. These voices, and their attachment of this case to their cause, are not in alignment with reality.
This case has no tie to encryption. Encryption is not the boogeyman. Encryption played no part in the damage done to Paris. Please, just stop it.
Glenn C. Lasher, Jr.
Liberal positions will not ensure our safety
It’s funny that the current Democrat/liberal administration gives lip service that they are keeping the American people safe when its actions are the total opposite.
One example is Democrat Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid blocking “Kate’s Law,” effectively allowing multiple-felon illegal aliens to continue to be released and deported, where any U.S. citizen with multiple violent felonies would be in jail for a very long time.
The liberals in charge of San Francisco where Kate was murdered vow to keep their “sanctuary city” status. I wonder how they would feel if one of their own relatives was killed.
On the broader world stage, Obama once again shows his total naivete by really believing his strategy against ISIS is working when the rest of the world knows it isn’t. Allowing Syrian refugees in the United States is against the majority of public opinion, but he doesn’t care as he tut-tuts us with his “moral superiority.”
Lashing out at the Republicans and trying to deflect his own shortcomings shows his utter contempt for the millions of people in the country who are Republicans. To him, they are the real enemy, not the “radical Islamists.” He can’t even bring himself to utter those words.
Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton came right out and said in the first debate that Republicans were the enemy she was most proud to have — that and the National Rifle Association. Yeah, it seems they hate their own countrymen worse than the terrorists. But I guess it’s easy to let possible terrorists in when you have Secret Service protection, as it won’t be you that gets blown up.
Based on his Nov. 23 letter, James Clauson of Johnstown must agree with Obama and Hillary about the NRA. He’s worried about getting blown away on the street. I didn’t realize Johnstown was such a hotbed of gun violence.
Marc A. Smalkin
Thanksgiving made special by volunteers
On Thanksgiving, the residents and families of the Schenectady County Glendale Home were treated to an absolutely delicious turkey dinner with all the trimmings.
We would like to thank all the staff that gave up their own family time to make this a wonderful, festive occasion. We’d also like to thank the schoolchildren that decorated the turkey placemats.
Thanks again for making a day so special for so many people. The staff is to be commended for their excellent care and thoughtfulness. You’re the best.
Act to fight the rising cost of prescriptions
Recent increases in prescription drug prices are alarming and unjustifiable. Generic drugs, which usually cost less than name brands, have also come to be much more expensive. See for instance, “Generic Drug and Brand Name Drug Prices Increases — AARP” on the web.
These increases force the insurance companies like United Health Care to increase the price of co-pays and premiums. See the Nov. 23 article in The Daily Gazette (“Medicare drug plan premiums set to increase”). There are many examples of the effect that these increases have on the retired, elderly, sick and disabled citizens of our country who are a part of the drug companies’ captive market.
One quarter of the prescriptions are not filled because people cannot afford them. Experts call what is happening price gouging because prices are increasing at a rate eight times the general inflation rate. There are examples of collusion,where a drug manufacturer who has developed a new drug pays millions of dollars to another manufacturer who agrees not to develop a generic form so that the price of the new drug can be maintained at a high level. This sounds like a form of price fixing which is illegal.
Pfizer and Allergan are merging and moving to Ireland so they do not have to pay high corporate U.S. taxes. Thus the number of drug manufactures decreases thereby reducing competition. And the insurance companies are beginning to withdraw by reducing their market base. For instance, United Health Care wants to withdraw from the Obama Affordable Health Care Plan because it cannot afford it. All of these actions by the drug manufactures drive up the cost of Medicare paid for by your taxes and squeezes the insurance companies to such a degree that they are forced to raise the price of co-pays and premiums.
In 2014, you could get a shot of the shingles vaccine for $15. But in 2015, the co-pay is $80 or $95, depending on which pharmacy you go to. United Health Care informs that Ambien (sleeping pill) costs have quadrupled in the first four months of 2015. There are many more examples described by AARP and others on the Internet. Most in the health care industry, including your doctors, are alarmed.
There is at least one Senate subcommittee that is conducting an investigation, which so far seems to be limited to describing the problem and giving examples. (See for instance on the Internet, “Congress Investigations Why Generic Drug Prices Are Skyrocketing.”) And if you are concerned about what the drug manufacturers are doing to our wonderful country, write or call our senators:
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, 478 Russell Senate Office Bldg., Washington D.C. 20510 (phone 202-224-4451). Sen. Charles Schumer, 322 Hunt Senate Office Bldg., Washing D.C. 20510 (phone 202-224-6542) or 518-431-4070).
Dale M. Brown
Tougher action called for over education
Robert Caracciolo’s Nov. 15 column, [“State’s receivership law is political grandstanding”] was a very good piece — which should be repeated over and over by the “mayor.”
Yeah, you won, now act like a leader of all the people. Drum it into parents' heads. How, you ask? Start with mandatory fines. First time your kid skips school — $25; second time — $100, etc., up to four times, then jail. For students, it's foster care or reform school, with mandatory skills for a job and degree before release.
No more throwing money at education and blaming teachers like we have been. Society has changed drastically, and we must also.
Get tough and smart about saving our nation. Discipline is a must. Respect for law, authority. If not, make examples until they do — even beyond. Oh that’s harsh, not politically correct, not my kid, etc. Heard all that bunk. That’s what got us into the situation we’re in. Everyone knows it.
So let’s finally do something about it. To paraphrase a line from the movie “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” “If you’re going to talk, talk. If you're going to shoot, shoot.” The situation with education is ugly. Keep up the good writing, Robert. I hope more — all — people take notice and demand parents, guardians and students “smarten up.”