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Letters to the Editor for Friday, Feb. 7

Letters to the Editor for Friday, Feb. 7

Your Voice

Acquittal opens up door to imperialism

There is no doubt that Donald Trump committed extortion in his dealings with Ukraine.
Mark Galli, editor in chief of the Evangelical publication, Christianity Today, said it well in a recent article: “The president of the United States attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president’s political opponents. That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral.”
Further, after voting to prevent impeachment witness testimony, Lamar Alexander, Republican senator of Tennessee, said: “There is no need for more evidence to prove something that has already been proven.”
However, Alexander claimed that, “Trump’s offense did not meet the Constitution’s high bar for impeachment.” It would be interesting to hear the Supreme Court weigh in on this issue.
With Trump’s acquittal, a disturbing precedent has been established regarding the reach of the executive.
The Founding Fathers clearly did not want the president to be a “king.” However, the GOP’s decision has given Trump imperial powers. What goes around eventually comes around. The GOP has surely paved the way for future imperial presidents, Democrat as well as Republican, an outcome we should all fear.
Don Steiner

DEC favors business over environment

Last year, state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos issued a news release saying the DEC would spend the year 2020 celebrating its 50th anniversary.  
Mr. Seggos wrote: “For 50 years, New York State has set the national standard for environmental excellence by advancing ambitious and proactive policies to protect the planet. Established on the first Earth Day in 1970, the Department of Environmental Conservation has played a leading role in nearly every environmental milestone in New York’s history. ...
“This year, while we reflect on five decades of victories, we will urgently direct our attention to the challenges of the next 50 years, particularly climate change, the greatest-ever threat to our air, land, and water.
“As Washington, D.C., abandons environmental protection and sides with polluters, DEC is committed to taking on the challenges ahead.”
Mr. Seggos must think we are all fools.
Like the Trump Administration, the DEC has also abandoned many responsibilities. The agency allows a large, noisy and often-smelly dump to operate next to a Rensselaer public school. It has granted Lafarge permission to annually burn tires in its cement kiln in Ravena, across from the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk middle and high schools. The DEC has not required preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement for the tire burning.
As we feared and noticed for decades, the DEC “is not committed to taking on the challenges ahead.” When it comes to protecting the public, and especially children, from deadly poisons, the DEC and Gov. Andrew Cuomo often defer to the demands and profits of gigantic corporations.
Tom Ellis

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