All domestic violence should be a felony
In response to the March 1 editorial, “Keep focus on domestic violence,” it should be kept in the spotlight. It’s an issue that affects many more than we realize. Your neighbor, best friend, sister or, in fact, your brother could be a victim.
Domestic violence should constitute a felony, not a “less violent misdemeanor.” Anyone who raises a hand to a loved one with the intent to harm or control should face felony charges. Then their right to bear arms could be withheld.
Shame on Justice Clarence Thomas for breaking his 10-year silence to speak against a ruling that could help protect countless numbers of women (and men). An issue that causes New York City police alone to have to make 70,000 precautionary visits a year to homes and that has such alarming statistics needs to be prevented with much more harsh measures than are currently in place.
Union hockey is not just about the coach
Mark McGuire’s ill-natured Feb. 23 piece, “Union College: Act like women’s hockey matters,” oversimplifies the causal relationship between coaching and winning with an ignorant, mean-spirited tone that does nothing to promote the importance or future of women’s hockey at Union College.
While Mr. McGuire presents Coach Claudia Asano Barcomb’s record, he digs no deeper to reveal the bigger picture that haunts much of women’s sports in universities across the country.
With no attention to the lack of scholarship funding and boosters club support, no appreciation for the short history of the club and no interest in looking beyond the role of coach to account for losing games, Mr. McGuire’s article presents an incomplete analysis that does not justify the ferocity of his calls for Coach Asano Barcomb’s termination.
Mr. McGuire teeters on making a solid point when he raises the question of women’s hockey taking a second tier to the men’s program. Indeed, his mention toward this vein of thought is touching considering his insulting opening pronouncement, “If you couldn’t care less about Union women’s hockey — and there is a good chance you don’t ...” He has decided to care now, without facts and figures, without doing his research and without speaking to any of the players who have skated under Coach Asano Barcomb.
Mr. McGuire’s claim that, “Players are left to suffer through careers of losing because the administration won’t be bothered to make a coaching change,” makes it clear he has never enjoyed playing a competitive team sport for himself. The thought that a college athlete’s experience is defined merely by wins and loss records is as ludicrous as his logic that Coach Asano Barcomb is solely responsible for said record.
As a Union College women’s hockey alumna, I am thankful for my four years as a Union College hockey player, for the education I received, the family we made, and the growing-up that happens when you battle through tough games.
While it is wonderful to see more coverage and interest in women’s hockey at Union, I was outraged and saddened to read this misdirected piece. I can respect Mr. McGuire’s passion for this issue that has suddenly piqued his interest. However, I cannot respect the ignorant, sloppy research put into this article that evaluates only 1 percent of a larger issue and declares to confidently understand the 100 percent.
Would the Union College hockey community, and the ECAC and NCAA for that matter, like to see a Union women’s hockey program with more wins? Incontrovertibly. Is a coaching change the direct correlation needed to make this possible? History suggests not. In the span of its Division 1 program, Union has seen three head coaches, all with losing records. Replacing the previous two had no magical effect on wins.
Mr. McGuire’s ominous closing line, “This is a hockey story. But it is much, much more” is accurate; changes need to be made to improve the Union College women’s hockey program. His assertion that a new coach will provide the omnipotent antidote is ill-informed, short-sighted and groundless.
Rethink how we use energy, treat planet
New York state Sen. James Seward and Rep. Chris Gibson both support the Constitution Pipeline, claiming it will bring cheap gas and jobs. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy disagrees, saying energy efficiency will obviate the need for more pipe. Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey disagrees, pointing out that much of the gas in pipelines like Constitution is not going to heat our homes, but is actually heading to Canada.
Gas fracked in Pennsylvania will stay cheap until it gets to Maritime LNG terminals this year or next. True, the easiest solution for institutions and businesses needing more gas is to choose another pipeline instead of insulating their buildings and finding energy efficiencies. When a pipeline, compressor station and gas-fired power plant go in, we citizens shoulder the environmental and health costs. We lose land to eminent domain; we lose farm and tourism jobs; we lose property value.
So we are subsidizing the Constitution Pipeline. Our local institutions and area businesses are subsidizing the Constitution Pipeline. Sen. Seward and Rep. Gibson think that our children, the state and the planet should pay for their lack of courage and imagination.
All the independent scientists and half the politicians agree we face an emergency with our energy and our climate. The same thinking that got us here won’t get us out. The practice of 'bury more pipe, burn more gas' is how we got the planet to the tipping point. We can continue to consume energy at ever-increasing rates until we’ve cooked the globe and used it all up. Or we can improve energy efficiency and move to renewables, endeavors that would create long-term jobs.
We will need courage and creative thinking, not cowardice and feet of clay, if we are to fix the planet our children will inherit. And they will look back and know what choice we made.
Limit mandates to rein in budget deficits
Congress has been historically inept producing enduring deficit-reduction legislation. The Constitution is a perfect model of clear and long-surviving legislation.
The Constitution is concise and easily understood. Return to legislation that mimics our forefathers’ brevity. Washington-speak lengthy unclear legal language is fodder for lawyer lobbyists and begs a review by the Supreme Court where opinions are swayed by changing partisan political bias. (Justice Scalia’s untimely death is a prime example).
Mandated funding is a major component of our out-of-control federal budget. Conservatives may soon get control of all three branches of government, an ideal opportunity to impose a minimum annual 1 percent funding reduction on all mandates. Piecemeal legislation is impractical.
An entire layman’s bill might read:
“Article I: Be it resolved that henceforth should the national deficit exceed 10 percent of GNP, funding of every federal mandate shall be reduced annually by 1 percent until a 10 percent national debt level is restored.
Article II: Be it resolved: All legislation modifying Article I shall sunset on first day of the succeeding Congress.”
What I envision is that any future Congress preferring not to pay down the debt will go on record soon after taking office while campaign promises are still fresh in the electorate’s mind.
Federal bureaucracies are infamous for annual waste of 10 percent or more. Minimum 1 percent funding cuts are unlikely to be at all destructive, but rather induce waste reductions. Congress can relieve hardships on a case-by-case basis. Remaining justified, each successive Congress may continue relief legislation.
Should constitutional mandate legislation be achieved, eventually applicability should be explored for some of the other 30 percent especially entitlements by promoting more realistic retirement ages. Borrowed entitlement funding (U.S. bonds) is coming due. Cut entitlement costs or face bankruptcy.
Deficits, present and future, are prime campaign issues.
Wallace J. Hughes
Trump comparison to Hitler is legitimate
The allure of Trump, amongst those not actively following politics, is his role as “America’s id,” unapologetically giving voice to racism and sexism that Americans once refused to openly acknowledge.
The permission of hearing Trump revert to such a dated attitude explains his political success among uninformed voters. However, it is a dangerous attitude that some have even compared to that of Adolf Hitler. It is important to resist one’s more base instincts and to not stop and stare at this train wreck.
Similarities that Holocaust survivors have pointed out between Trump and Hitler include: his use of racist rhetoric to appeal to the masses; his proposals of deportations; and his promises to return the country to its former glory.
When Hitler realized that mass deportations of Jewish people were not practical, he resorted to death camps. Trump has yet to have this realization. Let’s hope he’s not in power when he has to find an alternative.