Declare independence from eating of meat
For this year’s 4th of July gatherings, here are some excellent reasons for barbecuing veggie burgers and soy hot dogs, rather than animal body parts:
• Not sweating nasty E. coli and salmonella bugs, if the food temperature is too low.
• Not sweating cancer-causing compounds, if the food temperature is too high.
• Focusing on fireworks safety rather than food safety.
• Giving your body a holiday from saturated fat, cholesterol and hormones.
• Avoiding the animal cruelty and environmental devastation guilt trips.
• Sharing a holiday with your strange but lovable veggie friends.
• Celebrating a day of independence from the meat industry.
Raising smoking age will save many lives
As a children’s book author, I visit schools and talk with kids. We discuss books, writing and life. Kids like to share what they want to be when they grow up. I’ve heard from aspiring doctors, politicians, rock stars, firefighters, and one spunky girl who dreams of being the next Mark Zuckerberg.
In all my time in schools, I have yet to hear from a kid who wants to be a smoker.
Albany County recently passed a local law raising the minimum age for tobacco, e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine sales to 21 (T-21). Schenectady County is now considering a similar law. There is a compelling reason to be made that T-21 is effective in reducing youth tobacco use.
It’s that simple. T-21 will save lives.
Visit www.Tobacco21.org. Learn why more than 25 national organizations endorse T-21, including the Institute of Medicine, the American Medical Association and the American Pediatric Association. Learn why e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine are an important part of this local law.
I urge Schenectady County to pass Local Law A-16 and raise the legal age for tobacco sales to 21.
Talking to kids in schools is one of my favorite parts of being an author. I see their little faces light up, imagining their future selves. I want them to live to accomplish their dreams — and not end up hooked on tobacco.
Failure to act on gun violence is treason
With heartfelt compassion and patriotism for the people of my country, I will use the word treason to describe the actions of the Republican-controlled House and Senate regarding their refusal to enact legislation on gun control.
It took a 15-hour filibuster by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) to shame Republicans to just schedule a vote on four proposals to enhance background checks and prevent suspected terrorists from buying guns, which current federal law does not do. All four proposals failed to receive enough votes.
Then, in the House of Representatives, the Democrats tried to bring bills to the floor to vote, but were denied by the Republican majority. Rep. John Lewis (D) had to resort to a “sit in” with his Democratic members to at least get a chance to vote.
Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan scheduled a vote on the Zika virus, turned off the cameras, and ordered a recess until July — calling the Democratic effort a “publicity stunt.” Failure to protect the American people from harm or death is treason.
In 1996 the National Rifle Association (NRA) accused the CDC (federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) of advocating gun control.
The Republicans stripped $2.6 million from its budget to study gun violence. Since 1996, funding has decreased 96 percent.
After the 2012 mass killing at the Sandy Hook school, President Obama ordered the CDC to resume studying gun violence.
But without funding, little has been done. The statistics that follow were gathered by NBC News and The Brady Campaign. One person dies every 17 minutes by gun violence, 87 every day, 609 every week.
Between 2000 and 2010, 335,609 people have died from gun violence. That’s more than the population of Newark, N.J. Since 1970, there have been over 130 mass killings.
Stop publishing so many political letters
In your June 23 newspaper, I noticed that one of your right-wing serial writers, Wallace Hughes, once again was featured on the Opinion page.
I realize that like Fox News, you claim to be impartial in your Opinion page. But, I’m convinced some member(s) of the editorial staff are closet right. Perhaps Mr. Hughes gets published so much because he is a buddy of someone on The Gazette or his letters fit the paper's profile. Before someone labels me a liberal, I am a registered Republican.
It would be nice to see letters from more diverse subjects that real people have concerns about, instead of rehash of our broken political system. Limit politics to one day a week.
Poor sound lessens Proctors experience
Proctors CEO Philip Morris deserves all the recognition and kudos he has received for the restoration of Proctors and the revitalization of downtown Schenectady.
Mr. Morris has brought many performances that have made Proctors a growing presence in the Capital Region.
It is, therefore, unfortunate that many of the performances have proven to be a disappointing experience to many of the patrons who purchased tickets.
It seems Proctors has extremely poor acoustics. Whether it is the theater’s sound equipment, the inexperience of the sound technicians of the traveling show, or lack of time to do a comprehensive sound system, the patrons have difficulty understanding what is being said on stage.
Many patrons feel that going to Proctors is a waste of time and money, since there is no direct way to correct this problem.
It is hoped that Philip Morris will make an attempt to solve the problem of poor sound quality so all the patrons will be able to have an enjoyable experience seeing the fine productions at Proctors.
Court manipulated language on abortion
Re June 27 article, “Supreme Court strikes down Texas abortion clinic restrictions”: Abortion rights advocates call the Texas law an unrelenting assault on women’s rights across the country. I am not surprised by the court’s decision to tolerate an injustice of laws. Medical experts testified that requirements were reasonable and effective measures intended to improve standard care and safety for women. Even fire safety rules are gone.
Seventy years ago, George Orwell wrote an essay on how language is misused and manipulated to defend the indefensible. Our society has failed women by providing false information about the unborn child. Science could not be more clear — unborn human beings are living; separate and unique. A real, living, irreplaceable child has been killed by abortion.
Some people believe that having an abortion and ending the child’s life will solve all their problems; it doesn’t. Women do not receive freedom from discarding their children. Women should know exactly what an abortion truly is. Abortion counselors have exacerbated that failure.
Many women are coerced into abortions by their boyfriends and/or parents. Some young girls are pregnant and scared and think abortion is the only way out. What would their children become if allowed to survive?
Society needs to stop lying to women. Abortions are not safe.