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Letters to the Editor for Monday, Nov. 18

Letters to the Editor for Monday, Nov. 18

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Trump’s road could lead to resignation

Early removal of Trump requires alignment of the mathematics, physics and politics of impeachment. The Senate trial math is simple. Conviction will require votes of 67 jurors, two-thirds of 100 senators.
The physics simply involve resolution of two forces, yea versus nay. In 2020, 23 of 53 Republican senators’ terms will expire. The other 30 have two or four more years. With 47 Democrats, some 77 senators are beyond Trump jury tampering.
A pattern of impeachable high crimes and misdemeanors already is evident. Many Republicans, however, demand even higher crimes and misdemeanors. All 47 Democrats are likely to vote to convict. Conviction then would require just 20 of 53 Republicans who respect the Constitution.
As numerous permutations lead to removal; the politics are complicated. Some will overlook Trump’s indiscretions, spiraling instability and pursuit of his political interests over national interests. Some will overlook national security risks.
With increasing Independent support, however, 20 or more Republicans might prioritize nation over party. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will preside.
He is more likely to burnish than to tarnish the Roberts Court’s reputation in U.S. history.
Roberts should instruct senators to decide only on guilt or innocence, and not revisit the House’s (constitutional) impeachability judgment. He should allow anonymous voting to reduce improper defendant pressure on Republican jurors.
Trump cannot afford to risk conviction without a deal for (at least) a federal pardon. Opposing forces therefore seem likely to resolve toward resignation. Resignation would best serve Trump, our nation and our democracy.
Dr. Robert A. Michaels
Niskayuna


Grateful to students for support of vets

On Nov. 8 my wife and I and our good friends attended a Veterans Day ceremony at the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School.
And once again the senior class did a wonderful job. It started with some students presenting the colors. That was followed by the band playing patriotic songs. Next, the students gave very heartfelt speeches.
But the highlight was at the end of the ceremony when the entire senior class shook the hands of all the veterans and their families. Another highlight was the wonderful breakfast provided to the veterans and their families. I would like to once again thank the senior class and staff of the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School for a job well done. Go Spartans.
Chip Bowles
Rotterdam


Article on gold mines was filled with flaws

The New York Times Service article “Hidden cost of gold: Birth defects and brain damage” by Richard C. Paddock has many errors.
I compare to 2017 UN report ISSN 978-92-807-3665-6 on mercury through 2015, with specific references to Indonesia.
1: Miner Cece Rifa’I claims distilling a tonne (t) of mercury in a day in his backyard furnace. Hyperbole? Per the UN, a major legal Indonesian smelting operation estimated it generates 4-5 tonnes a week.
2: “Yuyun, the environmentalist” (Who?) estimates 10,000t a year illicit Indonesian mercury production, exporting two-thirds. Per the UN, world demand in 2015 was 4700t. Indonesia’s 6600t export is 140 percent of the world demand. Home use is another 3400t. Total- 210 percent of global demand without legal production. The UN estimates Indonesia’s 2015 exports at 285t.
3: It can take 5 to a high 20 grams of Hg per gram of gold when used in mining. For Paddock’s reported of $5 billion per year of illicit Indonesian gold, I calculate 513t to 2050t of mercury ($1500/oz gold). The UN estimated 2015 Indonesian mining used of 210t-620t.
Ending the terrible consequences of mercury pollution to those both near and far from the Indonesian sources is imperative. But haphazard use of questionable data undermines the veracity of the whole article. Please fact check and rewrite so we can fully support the story.
Kenneth Fisher
Schenectady


Make effort to keep pedestrians safe

During this season of increased darkness, each of us needs to think about safety.
If you’re walking your dog, walking or running, please make sure you are wearing reflective gear, headlamps and blinking lights on your back. Without these items, you are invisible to drivers.
In addition, stay on the left side of the road, and when cars approach, form a single file.
At the same time, we drivers need to obey traffic laws and slow down.
I run regularly in predawn darkness with my friends. In the last two weeks, two of our runners almost got hit by cars who blew through stop signs. Let’s each take a moment and think about how we can work toward keeping everyone safe. Hitting a pedestrian or runner is the last thing any of us wants to experience.
Tina Lee
Niskayuna


McConnell abused power on court pick

Hugh Hewitt is certainly entitled to his opinion, but it was shocking to me that a law professor would call Sen. Mitch McConnell’s decision to refuse to allow a vote on a Supreme Court nominee “a bold move on behalf of the Constitution.”
The U.S. Supreme Court is not elected by the people of the United States. The right, ethical and legal move should have been to have the lawfully elected president make the nomination and to have the U.S. Senate vote on the nomination. This was clearly an abuse of power on the part of McConnell.
Christine Root
Ballston Spa


Doesn’t president’s character matter?

From Mr. Trump we learn many things, not the least of which is that you cannot run our country like a business (as he suggests) and still call ourselves a democracy.
Democracy demands cooperation and the rule-of-law. Running a business does not. Our democracy is fragile and requires hard work from our president, not the betrayal of it that Trump delivers. We must choose one or the other. We cannot have both.
Like every president, Mr. Trump does some things right and some wrong. We must decide if his successes are worth the harm he causes.
Does it not matter the character of the man, the way he talks to people, his cruelty, his unconscionable behavior towards women that we’ve seen with our own eyes? What about his bizarre connection to Putin? That he didn’t dare appear, under oath, before the Mueller committee because he rarely speaks without lying. And it cannot be so, as he claims, that it’s all fake news, a hoax or a witch hunt.
How is it possible to excuse such bad behavior because of the few things he does right? Surely, we can do better.
The character of the man or woman matters. Jimmy Carter does it for me. No need to care for his politics. Just some of his integrity and honesty would be welcomed the next time around.
Livia Carroll
Schenectady


Democrats doing a poor job for country

Here we go again. First, it’s the wall. Now it’s a phone call. Who cares? Why should we be giving our money away to Ukraine anyway? The Democrats still can’t believe that they lost the election to a businessman. Get over it.
Now they’re televising the impeachment proceedings. Bloomberg wants in. Hillary might be coming back. Wake up America.
I really think it may be time to clean the House. They clearly are not doing the job they were elected to do. The Democrats can’t figure out who’s gonna go up against the president. It’s like an Abbott and Costello routine. Who’s on first.
Unemployment is still down. The stock market keeps setting record numbers, and the interest rates are down. The really sad part is the Speaker of the House hates seeing this, and so does her senior sidekick.
All I can say is thank God there’s an independent line.
Jim Pratt
Ballston Spa

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