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Climate change is the enemy we must beat

President Trump’s drive to militarize space with Space Force and the recent remarks by Vice President Pence at the Pentagon have added a new level of vio-fear to the peaceful realm of the evening sky.

Pence is quoted as saying, “The time has come to write the next great chapter in the history of our armed forces, to prepare for the next battlefield where America’s best and bravest will be called to deter and defeat a new generation of threats to our people, to our nation.” 

Clearly the most immediate and largest threat to our nation, recently killing thousands of Americans, is climate change. Hurricane Maria’s devastation of Puerto Rico left nearly 3,000 dead, according to a study from the George Washington University.

As of Wednesday, the death toll from Hurricane Florence was at 37 and is likely to climb. California wildfires have yielded fatalities also, and the severity of the storms and fires are directly linked to climate change. 

The next battlefield is our homeland. The battle is raging now, and we are losing because of the arrogant disregard and denial by our government. All of our military might hasn’t stopped a single storm. Turning the peaceful frontier of space into a costly Space Force arms race will only divide and fracture the world community, which needs to unite to address our shared environmental concerns.  

It’s time our government starts protecting the American people with responsible environmental programs to stop the ever-worsening catastrophic climate changes we are now experiencing. 

John Amidon

Albany

 

Cobb has integrity, experience in 21st

Assassinating opponents with insults, name calling and disinformation is standard. That is happening now in the 21st Congressional District campaign. Elise Stefanik is using the Trump playbook (Lyin’ Ted, Little Marco) by unleashing negative ads against her opponent, Tedra Cobb, with misleading claims.

So as a counterpoint, I’d like to tell readers the positive reasons to vote forCobb: Tedra has led a life in service to her community for 30 years and lived her principles. She’s built her life and raised her family in the 21st District. She’s been a volunteer firefighter. She’s built her business here and knows and cares about the people in this district.

Tedra is an experienced legislator, serving two terms in the St. Lawrence County Legislature. Tedra is committed and has pledged to hold a town hall, in person, in every county in the district every year she is in office. She’s a credible, genuine person who will remain accessible and accountable.

Tedra will fight for us, not special interests like her opponent. Her experience, integrity and values will ensure progress is made in Congress on health care, jobs, education and the environment. The 21st District needs a real champion in Congress – Tedra Cobb.

Jill Nadolski

Salem 

 

Amedore, Strong must hold a debate

I’m a resident in New York’s Senate District 46 where Republican candidate George Amedore and Democratic Candidate Patricia Strong are vying for election on Nov. 6.

Because only one seat will determine whether the state Senate remains under Republican control or if Democrats will gain a majority, this race is one of the most crucial for our state.

I have researched Strong’s background and taken a careful look at Sen. Amedore’s voting record at votesmart.org. But we really need to hear their voices to gain a full understanding of their positions. So I’m appealing to both to agree to a public forum or debate.

The issues at stake are too important to the people of our state — health care, environmental protections, women’s reproductive rights, gun safety, ethics reform. The candidates owe us their time and voters have the right to be fully informed citizens. I understand that Strong has agreed to meet, but Sen. Amedore hasn’t responded to the League of Women Voters’ request. Sen. Amedore, we need to hear from you. Please.

Kristin Casey

Altamont 

 

Take steps to preserve Social Security

One of the common beliefs by many Americans is that they are “owed” both Social Security and Medicare payments. What they may not realize is that they take far more out of Social Security and Medicare than they contributed.

From an online source we learn, “According to the institute’s data, a two-earner couple receiving an average wage — $44,600 per spouse in 2012 dollars — and turning 65 in 2010 would have paid $722,000 into Social Security and Medicare and can be expected to take out $966,000 in benefits. So, this couple will be paid about one-third more in benefits than they paid in taxes.” This difference of $244,000 multiplied by tens of millions of Americans shows why we are running a vast shortfall in revenue of over $20 trillion.

“If a similar couple had retired in 1980, they would have gotten back almost three times what they put in. And if they had retired in 1960, they would have gotten back more than eight times what they paid in. The bigger discrepancies common decades ago can be traced in part to the fact that some of these individuals’ working lives came before Social Security taxes were collected beginning in 1937.”

To reflect our aging population, we should gradually push back retirement on Social Security until age 65, provide Medicare for everyone, but increase withholding by 3 percent per year over the next 30 years.

Richard Moody Jr.

Schoharie

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