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Letters to the Editor for Thursday, Jan. 9

Letters to the Editor for Thursday, Jan. 9

Your Voice

Unwanted gifts can hurt environment

Did you know that many perfectly good returned online products are actually sent directly to landfills instead of being repackaged for sale?
Due to the ease of free online returns, we’re tempted to buy more than needed and then return the wrong sizes, etc.
The problem is the companies then need to inspect the item for potential damage, and it’s cheaper to just throw the item away than foot the bill for inspecting the product.
Did you spill on it? Did you wrinkle it? Is there hidden damage? It’s easier just to trash the item than to actually put it back on shelves.
Reports in France and Germany, for example, show new items, including diapers, toys, washing machines, smartphones and furniture, are simply being destroyed.
Some of the European countries are now working on banning the destruction of unsold goods.
So what can we do? Be a smart consumer. Look at the company you’re supporting. How do they handle returned merchandise? Talk to them. Companies listen to their customers. Encourage them to donate and recycle returns.
Some companies such as Best Buy, Dell, and REI actually sell refurbished and returned goods deeply discounted. Rethink how much you purchase. Do we need so much “stuff?” Donate or swap items instead of sending them back to the retailer. Items can find a way to a good home instead of a landfill this way.
Caroline Brooks

Love doesn’t justify assisting in murder

In response to Jill McGrath’s Dec. 26 letter (“Don’t discount love in assisted suicides”), my response is that her ex-husband would not qualify under the pending bill because he can no longer freely choose suicide. The legislation would have to be expanded to allow another person to request his suicide.
For any person to request death for another is akin to contract murder, and the bill title should first be changed from physician-assisted suicide to physician-assisted murder.
As a young child, I lived under a dictator who instigated the killing of millions of people in order to cure what he perceived to be societal ills. This must never, ever happen again. Yet, in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s lauded abortion expansion act does exactly the same: one person can decide the killing of another innocent human life.
Love of a terminally suffering person can never justify the act of killing him. The correct response is to provide care and pain-killing medicines to alleviate the pain.
For heaven’s sake, we are talking about a human being here, not an injured horse being put down at the Saratoga Race Course.
Wendell Neugebauer
Ballston Spa

Honesty needed in recalling of history

Karen Cookson’s Dec. 29 essay raises the question of what making America great should look like. But I am afraid her praise of a pre-Colombian world doesn’t quite work.
She describes a peaceful paradise where natives lived in harmony with nature. Nice, except any Comanche raider or warrior in the Aztec, Mayan or Inca empires would laugh at the idea of a peaceful world.
Cookson asserts “once our world was at peace, rich and clean and we could ahead to a good life.” Well, no. Until a century ago, we could look forward to short, impoverished disease-filled lives with high infant mortality, famines and no way to deal with natural disasters. Living “in harmony with nature” largely means being at the mercy of nature.
It helps to be honest about the past we want to recapture.
David Ochse
Porter Corners

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