October 20, 2021

Man Fine

The Fine Art Of Education

Letters to the Editor Saturday, Sep. 4

Consider vaccine a message from God

When I read Rev. Kaiser’s letter (“Unvaccinated not to blame for new cases”) in the Aug. 27 Gazette, I couldn’t help but remember a story I once heard years ago when I attended a sermon untitled, “The Lord sometimes works in strange ways.”
The minister told of a story where a very religious man went on a cruise and by accident fell off the ship and landed in the ocean.
Luckily someone saw him fall and quickly threw him a life jacket. The man in the water yelled “I trust in God to save me, so I don’t need this life jacket.”
Shortly thereafter the ship launched a lifeboat to rescue the man. However when they got close to him, he yelled the same phrase that he trusted in God to save him and therefore would not need the lifeboat.
After a while the man tired and drowned. When he got to heaven, he was very angry with God for not saving him and told God his disappointment in Him.
God turned to the man and said, “Why are you mad at Me? I heard your prayers and sent you a life jacket and lifeboat, but you chose not to be saved.”
Maybe the Lord has heard all the millions of prayers from folks all over the world for a cure to this pandemic and maybe, just maybe, God has sent the cure.
It’s called a vaccine. Remember the Lord sometimes works in strange ways. We just need to be paying attention.
David Iovinella
Rotterdam

Return integrity to Nisky government

I recently took advantage of the “Privilege of the Floor” segment of a Niskayuna Town Board meeting to discuss a report issued to the town from the Office of the State Comptroller.
A review of 20 municipalities across the state was ordered by Mr. DiNapoli to assess the impact of the pandemic on local budgets. Our town was included on the list. Specific to Niskayuna, the summary of the report was that while the town adequately assessed the situation, officials balanced the 2021 budget by including negative appropriations totaling $663,254.
Never identified were the specific areas where the cost savings would be realized. I was assured that those areas had been cited but no further information was provided. (Report Number: S-9-21-11) At the end of the meeting, after speaking with other residents, it became clear that in Niskayuna, we don’t defund the police; we decapitate them.
That a foolish picture taken years ago at a costume party is sufficient reason to discard an exemplary employee with 30 years of public service is agenda driven. Further, I’m amazed that the town residency requirement was waived in order to hire an employee that will do the bidding of one political party and specific members of the town administration.
This is not the Niskayuna my family became a part of 24 years ago. The demonstration of arrogance, entitlement and condescension by members of the Town Board was cringe-worthy.
Let’s be selfish and return integrity to local government.
Peter Struzzi
Niskayuna

 

 

Thanks to science for safe festival feeling

I’m not one of those who hold their phones aloft throughout a show, but recently at Dead &Company at SPAC, I did, once, to capture the moving experience of feeling safe in a festival environment during a pandemic. And so I thank the:
(1) scientists who developed the backbone of mRNA vaccines in 2003;
(2) researchers who swapped viral RNA into the backbone in early 2020;
(3) volunteers for the vaccine clinical trials;
(4) workers and volunteers who safely and swiftly administered vaccines to those who recognize and appreciate the life-saving gift;
(5) Dead & Company for requiring proof of vaccination or recent negative test result. James Taylor/Jackson Browne and Hall and Oates didn’t do this.
SPAC handled tens of thousands of us, as a semblance of someday-normalcy fleetingly returned. I felt relief and joy. Vaccines made that happen. I. Love. Science.
Ricki Lewis
Glenville

Black lives need everyone’s help now

Dear Barbara McBride: In answer to your issue with the Black Lives Matter sign you saw at a school as described in your Aug. 28 letter (“Black Lives Matter has racist undertone”):
Let’s be clear, Yes the sign says BlackLivesMatter. We never said ONLY BlackLivesMatter.
In truth, we know ALL Lives Matter, as we supported your lives throughout history.
Now we need your help with Black Lives Matter for Black lves are in danger.
Diane Sanders Hombach
Schenectady

Statehood for D.C.; term limits for gov’t

Taxation without representation — sound familiar? Such is the case with the District of Columbia. It has a higher population than Vermont and Wyoming and pays more federal taxes per capita than 21 other states. It should be granted statehood.
Donald Trump resembles a fungus, an unwanted growth that clings ad nauseum while he attempts to rally his way back to the presidency.
Ted Cruz very surprisingly mentioned recently that senators should be limited to two 6-year terms. I second the motion. The same should be true with the House members and the Supreme Court — a total of 12 years. The House members in particular have a problem. No sooner are they elected when they are obliged to start raising money for the next election. All congressional members should abide by the same rules.
Jane Reisenger
Schenectady

Time for Universal Basic Income in U.S.

Recent news headlines declared that 89% of Rental Assistant Funds had not yet been distributed. Tied up in an ineffective bureaucracy, people in need are left wanting.
Andrew Yang, recent presidential and New York City mayoral candidate, proposed Universal Basic Income (UBI) as a way to deliver government assistance to the populace. UBI provides every citizen with a regular payment, regardless of means, to use in any way they desire. There may be an age requirement, e.g. 18 or older, but fundamentally everyone receives government money to do with as they choose.
On the flip side, UBI would replace myriad government programs designed to support the public, including unemployment assistance, food and housing subsidy, health care and education aid, among others. UBI can eliminate a great deal of bureaucracy and, for the most part, the opportunity for corruption and theft. Further, it gives the government an easy, fast and efficient way to provide help during national emergencies such as the covid pandemic, and regional calamities such as hurricanes, fires and floods by temporally dialing-up the amount of money delivered to affected persons.
The concept of Universal Basic Income may have caught the country unaware when introduced by Yang, but time has come for it to be seriously considered.
Larry Jordan
Amsterdam

Covid vaccine is not Mark of the Beast

Thank you for publishing Nancy Jane Batten’s Aug. 22 letter (“Covid response not in keeping with Bible”) and Pastor Coombs’ Aug.24 letter (“Anti-vaxx religious objections run deep.”) Both letters mention the religious aspect of those who refuse to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
I think that the root motivation for at least some of those who refuse to get the vaccine is that they think that it is the Mark of the Beast, mentioned in Revelation chapters 13-16, 19, and 20.
I see three reasons why the vaccine is not the Mark of the Beast:
1. The Beast has not yet shown himself in public. The Beast is not here to declare that anything is the Mark of the Beast.
2. The Beast will be quite open in demanding that people get the mark to worship him. No one, let alone the Beast, has demanded that people get the vaccine to worship them.
3. The COVID-19 vaccine is not a mark. Just by looking at people, one cannot tell whether or not they got the vaccine.
It seems to me that convincing people that the vaccine is not the mark would result in them to stop refusing to get this vaccine. Let’s try doing that for a change.
Joel Nelson
Schenectady

Biden, Harris have been a major failure

Impeach Biden before it’s too late. It’s time for Biden to resign from office or be impeached. He and his so-called VP are out of touch with reality, from the open borders to the debacle in Afghanistan, to closing the Keystone pipeline, they have been a complete failure, and our country is in danger of attack by foreign enemies.
All of you hate-filled, left-wing Democrats keep bashing President Trump, but you fail to recognize the total failure of the current administration. Wake up America and realize that “Joke Biden” and “Laughing Hyena Harris” are destroying our great country and we are headed in the wrong direction and in peril of attack.
We were much safer when President Trump was in office and our enemies knew that he would retaliate if they came after us. We currently have the weakest president in history, and if he isn’t impeached or resigns from office, we are in grave danger. Where is Nancy Pelosi during all of this mess? She isn’t talking because she knows we are in trouble but won’t address the situation. The midterm election in 2022 is very important and we need to make changes for the better. Term limits must be implemented to halt the staleness of career politicians.
Jack Hunter
Ballston Spa

Hoping Cuomo will finally get his due

Adios, Andy. It has been a real pleasure to see you fall on your face.
Even at your last news conference on Aug. 23, you played up the political card that the state Attorney General Letitia James was after you, and that you were not guilty of anything and refused to accept any blame.
A few years ago, you spoke openly about Brett Kavanaugh and Donald Trump that they were guilty as sin. You went on to attack both of their credibilities. With Brett and Donald, you said we had to believe the woman. You on the other hand, have 11 women accusing you and you tried to discredit their allegations and slander them. I guess things have changed; we do not have to believe the women when it comes to you.
Maybe if we are lucky, Andy will be found guilty by a jury in a civil case by one or more of his women accusers or the federal probe of the nursing home deaths and be sent to prison. And if we are really lucky, he (Andy) could be Sheldon Silver’s cellmate. What a picture or book that would make. Two out of the three most powerful New York State politicians in a room (prison cell) in prison clothes.
Jay Janczak
Ballston Spa

Citizens have a duty to be responsible

Some of Donald Trump’s ardent fans booed at an Alabama rally when he urged them to get vaccinated. I presume their disapproval was motivated by the belief that they have a right to do with their bodies as they wish (Oddly, women are reviled when they raise that same argument in defense of their right to an abortion.), or they resent the government telling them what to do.
I hate to break it to these folks, but that’s what governments are for. As James Madison said, “If men were angels, government would not be necessary.” Governments have the right to infringe on private liberties when the public welfare requires it.
But so far, the federal government has exercised extraordinary restraint in dealing with covid. If people persist, however, in clinging to the idiotic ideology that personal freedom trumps collective safety, the federal government may be forced to make vaccinations mandatory, which the Supreme Court said in 1905 it has every right to do.
Evidence like the following indicates that necessity may be near at hand. In California one unmasked, unvaccinated elementary teacher infected half her class, and 95% of those who died from the Delta variant could have been saved if they had received the vaccine.
Liberty does not mean one has the freedom to do whatever one wants. As Pope John Paul II said, “Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in doing what we ought.” Doing the responsible thing in no way diminishes one’s personal freedom.
Fred Como
Burnt Hills

Paralympic athletes are heroes to us all

Olympics vs. Paralympics — I am sure many of you enjoyed the recent Olympics on television. I enjoyed them immensely and always marveled at the commitment and dedication that these athletes displayed.
Now the Para-Olympics are on television, and I must say that they are incredible to watch. Each and every athlete in these games have overcome significant issues and are able to inspire so many to be all they can be. These athletes all have a back story that led them to where they are today. Incredible, awesome, and inspirational can only begin to describe these heroes as they compete in their respective events.
Watch them and you will see a group that is uninhibited as well as powerful beyond belief. Every competitor in these games are champions in their own way. Everyone is a hero to someone, but these competitors are heroes to so many.
Eddie Brush
Schenectady

Ron Kim can help build back Spa City

The challenges our community has endured as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic offers us an opportunity to build back better.
In Saratoga Springs, there are numerous infrastructure concerns that have long been on the back burner. Now that it is likely that we will have access to additional federal and state infrastructure funding, it would be smart to address these essential needs, including, building an eastside public safety station and meeting the pent-up demand for workers and workforce housing.
Our well-being and sustainability as a community depends on a healthy local economy, which requires experienced and accessible human resources. This means that a wide range of individuals who work in Saratoga Springs can afford to live here. If only well-off retirees can navigate our housing market, the quality of our workforce will be diminished. Affordable housing helps recruit and maintain a diverse and capable local workforce.
Democratic mayoral candidate Ron Kim understands this fact. He favors reviewing the city’s housing development policies to ensure reasonably priced housing. With new infrastructure funding, we can build back better, providing that city leaders have the will and vision to invest resources where they are needed most. Ron Kim has both.
Heather Reynolds
Saratoga Springs

Democrats are better targets for criticism

OK. Let me get this straight. In his Aug. 22 column (“Republicans not credible on Cuomo sex abuse”) John Figliozzi says that the same would be true of Donald Trump if his name was substituted for Andrew Cuomo’s in quotes from Republicans recently in The Gazette concerning their mistreatment of women. I say but with one big difference, conveniently set aside by Mr. Figliozzi: Whatever Trump did or didn’t do was as a private citizen, when he was not on the public dole. As it is with most Democrats Mr. Figliozzi doesn’t think that anyone can remember anything further than two weeks ago.
To wit: the last three governors of New York: Spitzer, Paterson and now Cuomo have crashed and burned concerning their treatment of women. If he would like less modern examples, there are always JFK (whom I always liked), LBJ and Ted Kennedy. And of course William J. Clinton. If John really wanted to be of public service, maybe he could write a piece suggesting how to elect a decent Democrat for governor.
Then he goes on to excoriate Elise Stefanik for supporting Trump. Hitching her star to a man of dubious morality? You mean Hillary Clinton, right? Not only is Stefanik loyal, she knows her constituents and voted against Trump more than once on legislation that would hurt them.
Lastly, in the switching-names department, a little research is needed. When it comes to “ethically and morally compromised,” you could certainly substitute Donald Trump’s name with Hillary Clinton.
Tom Remington
Wilton

Trump bears brunt of Afghanistan debacle

Kori Shake is a foreign policy expert who worked for the National Security Council and the State Department during George W. Bush’s administration and is director of foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute. She had this to say about Donald Trump’s February 2020 peace agreement with the Taliban:
Mr. Trump agreed to withdraw all coalition forces from Afghanistan in 14 months, end all military and contractor support to Afghan security forces and cease “intervening in its domestic affairs.”
He forced the Afghan government to release 5,000 Taliban fighters and relax economic sanctions. He agreed that the Taliban could continue to commit violence against the government we were there to support, against innocent people and against those who’d assisted our efforts to keep Americans safe.
All the Taliban had to do was say they would stop targeting U.S. or coalition forces, not permit Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations to use Afghan territory to threaten U.S. security and subsequently hold negotiations with the Afghan government.
Several days ago, the Republican National Committee deleted their praise of Trump’s “historic peace agreement” from their website. It’s clear that Trump and the Republican Party own the lion’s share of the Afghan debacle. Nevertheless, they’re pointing the finger of condemnation at President Biden in an effort to shift the blame to him.
And nevertheless, Trump’s supporters will eat the pap that’s shoved down their throats with the gusto of a hungry hound dog.
Walter Wouk
Summit

Timing of political cartoon was offensive

Editorial cartoonists often use greatly exaggerated drawings and pithy comments to convey their point. I think we all understand the stretch of truth involved. The cartoon published on Aug. 27 suggested Trump supporters were kindred spirits of the Taliban.
While this is a ridiculous claim, the exaggeration to make a point is understood. However, publishing this cartoon the day after the terrorist bombing at the Kabul airport was in such poor taste that it has to have either been an error or suggests the editors of The Gazette lack any sense of decency. I think an apology to the readers would be appropriate.
Steven Rider
Albany
Editor’s note: The cartoon was placed on the page before news of the bombing was reported.

If voting is a right, then don’t restrict it

Laws in a republic are sacred. Yet, that presupposes that the laws are made without prejudice or corruption, that they represent the very best of our knowledge and wisdom, that they represent our values.
It is within the above context that I ask, is voting an absolute right?
If it is, then why do we not allow prisoners to vote, or felons no longer incarcerated? If it is a right to be protected, when the Supreme Court decided voting legislation no longer needed to be cleared before being implemented, because that protection was no longer necessary, and states immediately began imposing limitations, why wasn’t that section of the Voting Rights Act reinstated?
Even more to the point, in an election considered to be free and fair by election officials of both parties, the Justice Department, which was still under a Republican president, and the judiciary, why are all of these new voter restrictions and “protections” necessary, when the only problem was that Republicans lost the presidency and Senate?
The pandemic taught us the ways we can improve access to our democracy. Yet, instead of embracing this, there are those who are manipulating laws to undermine that progress.
Voting is either a right or it is not. The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act does not fix all issues, as in the case of prisoners, but needs to be law. It protects the vote from the real threats, like the laws proposed to make voting more difficult for people.
James Cimino
Schenectady

Use the intelligence that God gave you

On Oct. 16, 1945, at 3:32, a baby boy arrived. The mother called him Joseph. Jesus looked down on the boy and said, “I am going to give your brain an IQ of 100-plus. I expect you to use it.”
He went on to say “Sometime in your life, a person by the name Donald J. Trump, a person who could not find their way through an open door if you stood them in front of it, will come into your life. Like me he will gather followers. Like you, I gave each a brain. Their failure to use them, I had to drop their IQ to mid-60s. Now they follow him like pigs with rings in their noses. Now go forth, but don’t drink the bleach.”
Joseph Gibson
Ballston Lake

Articles will change view on Afghan crisis

Major Randolph’s Sept. 1 letter (“Biden has performed a botched job”) and others going after President Biden’s ending the war in Afghanistan might change their views if they read the Washington Post’s Dec. 9, 2019, articles detailing the release of more than 2,000 pages of “Lessons Learned” interviews conducted by the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.
The Post won a three-year long legal battle to release the information. (The Post’s article is available on the web). Craig Whitlock, the lead reporter, wrote “Afghanistan Papers” which was released on Aug. 31. The Inspector General’s report reported four themes: U.S. officials failed to tell the truth; admitted the mission had no clear strategy and poorly defined objectives; the United States did not understand Afghanistan; wasted vast sums of money trying to remake Afghanistan and bred corruption in the process.
In addition to the report, the Trump administration was found responsible for illegally delaying Special Immigrant Visas for Afghans who worked with the United States leaving a 17,000 application backlog for President Biden.
Jim Murphy
Scotia

Don’t undervalue life. Get vaccinated

Those who preach and/or advise people NOT to become vaccinated for the covid disease, because they think it to be unnecessary, are undervaluing human life. Despots are incapable of admitting wrongful behavior, so they continue to do damage to our America with bad advice. It is un-American to not care for one another. Please, I beg all of you who are not vaccinated to become vaccinated ASAP. Love one another and all will be well.
Dr. Dale M. Brown
Niskayuna

Who will admit they got decision wrong?

I would like to know who would be your choice for the last person to finally admit that maybe they voted for the wrong guy (asking for a friend).
Robert Mangino
Schenectady

 

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