Bystanders renew faith in humanity
A few days ago, my friend and I were going to the movies. We are old. As we started to walk down the Jay Street mall, my friend fell. In an instant, she was on the concrete, bleeding, bruised and disoriented. The EMTs and an ambulance came and they were caring and professional, as they should be. But it is what happened before their arrival that has buoyed my spirit.
Young people, (younger than I am, at least) came out of stores or apartments to offer help. One said, “I’m a nurse, let me help stop the bleeding.” Another came back with ice from a nearby store. One man knelt down behind my friend and said, “It must be hard for you to sit there unsupported: Lean back on me.” Another took off his jacket and put it over my friend’s legs. To all who said, “I will stay with you until help arrives,” I thank you.
Altruism is ingrained in the human being. It is this urge, this drive, to help the other that has enabled the human race to thrive, and it is this urge, this drive, that will save us in the future.
Out of tragedy, my hope and my optimism have been renewed.
Fight back against pro-violence rhetoric
In a letter to The Gazette published on September 29, 2016, I quoted these comments from candidate Donald Trump at a rally: “She [Hillary Clinton] wants to destroy your Second Amendment…. I think her bodyguards should drop all weapons. ... She doesn’t want guns. Let’s see what happens to her. It would be very dangerous.”
This past weekend from the White House, President Donald Trump spoke as follows: “I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump.
“I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough until they (presumably his opponents?) go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad. But the left plays it cuter and tougher.
“Like with all the nonsense that they do in Congress … with all this investigations). ...” (quoted in the Albany Times Union editorial , ‘Mr. Trump’s violent talk,’ dated March 19.)
There’s a name for this kind of talk. It’s called talk that engenders “stochastic (statistically random) violence,” talk that somehow gives the OK to unspecified violence at an unknown time and place.
But against whom? In this instance, the president names a specific group of people: “they (the left)…in Congress.”
I urge readers to do as I have: Request our elected representatives in Congress to rebuke the president for talk that presents an enabling vision of political violence in this country. We went this way once before, and now we observe Memorial Day in remembrance of the carnage.
Dems didn’t oppose new border security
In a recent letter to the editor, the writer expressed dismay that top Democrats Chuck Schumer, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama voted for a border wall in 2006, yet oppose funding for a similar project today.
He probably got that information from watching White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney say on “Fox News Sunday” with Chris Wallace that “We still don’t understand why the Democrats are so wholeheartedly against it. They voted for it in 2006. Then-Sen. Obama voted for it. Sen. Schumer voted for it. Sen. Clinton voted for it. So we don’t understand why Democrats are now playing politics just because Donald Trump is in office.”
Let’s get the facts straight.
The Secure Fence Act of 2006, which these Democrats supported, authorized about 700 miles of fencing along certain stretches of land between the border of the United States and Mexico. That’s a far cry from Trump’s ambitious plan to build a $10 billion-$12 billion 50-foot high cement wall, or the like, extending some 1,000 miles across the border.
The Act also authorized the use of more vehicle barriers, checkpoints and lighting to curb illegal immigration, and the use of advanced technology such as satellites and unmanned aerial vehicles.
That’s pretty much the same mix of measures the Democrats offered in their latest deal to end the government shutdown.
Fighting dirty is only way to defeat Trump
The 2020 election is soon upon us. Mercilessly, candidates are announcing early and in great number.
To date, none of them can win against Trump. Here’s the sickening truth: If the embarrassment we call a president today can keep his base, he will carry another electoral win.
Neither party has a candidate so far willing sink to the level it takes to compete for his devoted voters.
Michele Obama’s suggestion “When they go low we go high” is laughable. Republicans lack the courage to take on the president and Democrats are too concerned they may offend voters’ sensitivities to produce a winner.
Elizabeth Warren had an opportunity to be a front-runner in the race, but she squandered it when she failed to respond to his “Pocahontas” slur with two words: a verb and a pronoun.
Trump is clearly hoping to play the accusation that anyone opposing him is a socialist. The answer isn’t to point out his lies, but top them with their own. Outrageous unfounded claims are what his base feeds upon. The first candidate to accuse him of incest, the one who questions the first lady’s gender at birth or accuses her of being a Russian spy, that person will be the next president of this country. Sad, but still better than what we have now. There is always 2024.
Congress must pass Dream/Promise Act
We must not look the other way as Trump terrorizes our immigrant neighbors.
Whether somebody is protected under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Deferred Enforcement Departure (DED), they are integral parts of our community and we want and need them here. We cannot stand by as Trump tries to send them to a place that is no longer home. They belong here.
These long-time residents, as well as their families and communities, had their lives thrown into limbo when President Trump made the cruel decision to strip away their legal status. DACA, TPS and DED holders have built their lives in the United States.
The average TPS holder has been here for 22 years, and the average DACA recipient came at age 6. They have homes, businesses, schools and places of worship. They are integral parts of our communities.
Congress can address this urgent need by passing H.R. 6, The Dream and Promise Act of 2019.
This excellent legislation will protect beneficiaries of DACA, TPS, and DED and should be passed “clean” without amendments that fund further militarization of our southern border, separate immigrant families, or otherwise double-down on Trump’s heinous human rights violations at the border.
Congress must pass The Dream and Promise Act now.
Alexandra van den Heever
Journalists must express objectivity
The Merrimack-Webster dictionary defines “journalism” as “writing characterized by a direct presentation of events without an attempt at interpretation.”
By this definition, it is in my opinion that journalism is dead. It seems that the vast majority of the articles in the newspaper today have so much interpretation, untruths and agendas (Covington, Smollett, Trump, ISIS, Korea, China, illegal immigration) that it can be said that journalism is dead.
Where is the pride of the journalist?
Geraldine M. Havasy