Jan. 6 resonated across the country
The ramifications of Jan. 6 were not local — and are not local. They are nationwide.
We had a (then) president insisting he had won an election that he had actually lost.
This same president called a governor to ‘find’ him more votes so that he could say he had won that state. Illegal. He assigned his vice president the task of negating the counting of the Electoral College votes. Illegal.
To this day he is busy spreading the Big Lie. To add to that, there are governors who have followed his lead and have taken steps to ensure that voting will be harder next time around for those legally registered to vote (particularly if they are Black, or immigrants, or living in parts of cities where one voting location has now replaced seven or eight others.)
We now have seen absentee voting almost disappearing in our country, even though ‘widespread fraud’ through this means of casting a ballot proved to be fictitious.
Finding out how many subversive elements we have in our country was a shock to our national psyche.
Using patriotic names, we find men playing war games, attacking our Capitol building.
Our (then) president said he would be with them. They did not realize he meant in spirit only. Do not ever make light of an attack on the People’s House. It belongs to all of us.
We still live in a country where every vote is counted.
Justify school cops or spend elsewhere
Why should the Schenectady City School District adopt a plan to bring more police officers into the city’s schools, at an annual cost of $300,000?
According to the Gazette’s March 6 editorial (“Give Sch’dy school officer program a chance,”) the primary reason is to improve relations between the police and the community.
That is also a main justification provided by school district officials since they unveiled the plan.
If that really is the aim of this program, the police department should foot the bill.
Improving the public’s image of and trust in the police are not central to the mission of the school district.
Maybe the goal is to improve safety in the schools.
If so, do we know if having police officers in Schenectady High School these past few months has increased safety in that school?
The Gazette editorial says we should give the program a year and if its goals are not met, the school district should cancel it.
Why wait? District officials should provide evidence now that the current pilot police program has resulted in a safer high school environment.
If they cannot demonstrate that, school leaders have a responsibility to explain why they think expanding the program to other schools will improve safety.
Otherwise, the $300,000 would be much better spent on educating the city’s children, which is after all the district’s main mission.
Stop Putin before he goes even farther
As I read and watch the news regarding Ukraine, I am convinced that Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, has every intention of turning the now-sovereign nation of Ukraine into a satellite of Russia. This despot has a vision of restoring Russia to the old USSR established after World War II by Joe Stalin. The United States, UK and EU allies need to prepare for a more determined effort by Putin to incorporate Ukraine now and then to try and dominate the Baltic nations, Poland, Hungary, Moldova, Romania and Bulgaria, too.
Sanctions will help, but only so far because we are dealing with a bully who has a sociopathic personality. As a minimum, we should more seriously consider participating in a no-fly zone with our allies over Ukraine.
If we don’t take more action now, there will not be a sovereign Ukraine and then he will also try to dominate the other nations I recited above.
He only understands force, and we certainly can give him that if we want to confront him.
Chaires will stand up for the marginalized
Last year was the deadliest year for transgender Americans. This year could be even more deadly, with governors and legislators in Florida and Texas championing legislation like, “Don’t say gay” and anti-trans acts stripping rights away from transgender kids and their parents.
We must be vigilant this election cycle in defending transgender New Yorkers.
In 2019, after more than a decade of trying, the state Legislature and governor passed and signed GENDA, the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, into law. This legislation extended basic human rights protections to transgender New Yorkers, 16 years after a similar bill outlawed discrimination based on sexual orientation, protecting lesbian, gay and bisexual New Yorkers.
Two Democrats in the Assembly voted against GENDA, one of whom was Angelo Santabarbara.
Democrats in the newly drawn 111th Assembly District, which stretches from Schenectady to Amsterdam, have an opportunity to vote for Justin Chaires, who will be a champion for marginalized New Yorkers. That is one of the reasons why Justin was endorsed by the Working Families Party, a progressive third-party challenging the conservative Democratic establishment in Schenectady.
I ask you to join me in supporting Justin Chaires the state Assembly.
Village election date coincides with terms
Regarding the date for village of Ballston Spa elections as reported in the March 8 Gazette (“Fitzpatrick, Rossi vie for mayoral post,”), you should obtain more information.
If village elections are held in November, when will the winners take office? Appointment year starts on the first Monday in April. Will that also be changed? Guess all the information has not been forthcoming. If candidates don’t take office until April, incumbents who lose can sit there and make decisions not necessarily in the best interest of the residents because they won’t be in office come April.
Stefanik spreads bad info on gas prices
Regarding recent gasoline prices, where can we start? Maybe at $4.19 per gallon. Let’s start with the facts.
The United States is the largest oil producing nation in the world: fact. The United States is a net exporter of oil: fact. The United States is energy independent: fact. Major oil companies control the price of gasoline: fact. Major oil companies export oil: fact. Major oil companies are private companies not owned by our government: fact.
Increased oil exporting started after the “new” NAFTA was passed (USMCA) under the Trump Administration: fact.
Most U.S. oil exports are to Mexico and Canada: fact. Major oil companies donate large amounts of money to political parties: fact. Major oil companies donate more than two thirds of these monies to the Republican Party: fact. Major oil companies made record profits in 2021: fact.
Our congressional representative, Elise Stefanik, received over $250,000 in campaign donations from major oil companies: fact.
Stefanik claims the United States is not energy independent. Stefanik also claims the Biden Administration is responsible for these higher gas prices and a failed energy policy.
These are erroneous claims. Major oil companies are responsible for gouging with higher gas prices. They created a “supply shortage.”
My question is what does a representative that received $250,000 in campaign donations do for these major oil companies? Perhaps her “Job One” is to spread disinformation that claims someone else is responsible for higher gasoline prices.
JIM NOVOTNY SR.
Roger stone a master of public misdirection
Roger Stone was caught seemingly red-handed at the Willard Hotel in Washington as the Capitol riot went down, and he was quoted as saying “this hurts, it doesn’t help the movement” and “I’m not sure what they thought they were going to achieve.”
This is masterful misdirection purposely placed to direct guilt away from himself while he slipped out the back door. This is Stone’s classic modus operandi.
Stone knows that politics is nothing more than entertainment for the not-so-good-looking, but he has elevated politics to the realm of trickery. He is known as the dirty trickster, but Stone is more refined than that. He doesn’t even want you to know that you’ve been hustled, the sign of a professional con artist.
He likes to plant a political bomb, leave no fingerprints, tell outrageous lies, then sip a martini on the first plane out of town. Was he behind the Capitol riot? He was behind the Brooks Brothers riot that derailed the Bush-Gore recount. But hey, who’s to say. In his off time, he parades around in a Joker tee-shirt. And now you know why.
We should offer Putin a way to save face
The New York Times reported the United States and NATO are supplying Ukraine with 17,000 anti-tank weapons. The USA’s use of uranium-tipped anti-tank shells in Iraq injured and killed U.S. soldiers and their families, poisoned Iraqis, and left radioactive contaminants in many Iraqi locations.
Does anyone want Ukraine, large parts an industrial wasteland and also poisoned by Chernobyl, further contaminated with radioactive debris?
Even more ominous is the insanity of waging war, as Russia is, in a nation with 15 large nuclear electricity generating stations. Nuclear power catastrophes can unfold in more ways than we can imagine or control, and they can be far more deadly and damaging than the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs were.
Finally the United States and Russia have thousands of atomic and hydrogen bombs and rockets and aircraft to quickly deliver them to targets.
Supplying Ukraine with weapons escalates the conflict and devastation and increases the risk of nuclear war of some type.
While I have tremendous empathy for Ukrainians (and Russian anti-war protesters), the United States should offer Russia a face-saving exit plan from the war.
Russians are justifiably outraged at the repeated enlargement of NATO since the USSR collapsed in 1991. The United States should offer Russia a 25-year freeze on further NATO expansions in exchange for an immediate ceasefire and withdrawal, with negotiations to quickly begin on permanently reducing tensions and armaments in Europe and establishing a new continent-wide security arrangement.
Get screened for colon cancer at 45
March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month, and 45 is the new 50 for colorectal cancer screening.
The Cancer Services Program (CSP) of Fulton, Montgomery, Schenectady is happy to share that we now offer free colorectal cancer screening at age 45, instead of 50. Our program screens people who do not have insurance and who are at average risk for colorectal cancer.
The CSP gives out screening tests that are done at home and mailed to a lab. A screening test is used to look for disease before there are symptoms. Screening tests can find cancer early when it may be easier to treat. When it comes to colorectal cancer, screening may even prevent it by finding growths that can be removed before they turn into cancer.
Last May, the national recommendations for screening were changed from age 50 to 45 for people at average risk for colorectal cancer. If you think you may be at higher risk for colorectal cancer due to family history, symptoms, or because you have other bowel diseases, ask your health care provider if you should begin screening before age 45.
The CSP is asking all adults to talk to their health care providers about their risk for colorectal cancer and when to start screening. If you do not have insurance or healthcare provider, call the CSP at 518-770-6816.
The writer is health education promotion coordinator of the Cancer Services Program of Fulton, Montgomery, Schenectady Counties.
To hurt Russia, stop reliance on China
I am proud that the United States is placing an embargo on Russian oil and is willing to take the economic hit to support the Ukrainian people in their struggle.
But the simple truth is that while Russian oil is between 1% and 10% of what we import (depending on how you measure it), it is a small fraction of what Russia exports. The largest consumer of Russian oil is not Europe either. It is China. And it is paid for by U.S. dollars, which buy Chinese goods.
We are part of a global market, and a new trade triangle as evil as the historic opium/silver-gold/tea triangle and the slave/cotton-sugar/manufacturing trade triangle. To have real impact, we must reduce our addiction to Chinese-manufactured products and grow and support American-made.
Ignoring this is ignoring our role in financing Putin’s ambitions.
Put blame for gas, covid on right culprit
I read Mary Baker’s March 9 letter (“Trump, supporters fuel Putin support”) blaming the previous administration for our woes and it was what Biden inherited.
Well, that is your opinion and here is mine. There are three things that are hurting Americans the most these days: gas prices, inflation, and covid.
Well, I believe the astronomical increase in gas prices is directly on Biden’s shoulders. He shut down the Keystone Pipeline and put thousands out of work, hence making us more dependent on foreign oil. The demand has not changed. I am not going to get into an economics lesson. Research it yourself. Inflation, you are correct to a point. It did start under the previous administration, but not by his own doing. It was the Democrats/Pelosi with their reckless payouts/covid relief and printing of money that continued into Biden’s administration. These are all facts and can be researched.
Covid on the other hand, we have not gotten to the bottom of yet, but I am sure Fauci had a hand in it.
Fauci has worked for both sides of the aisle and apparently is not registered to any party. He supports gain of function research and has ties to the lab that apparently leaked the virus. I would not be surprised if the DNC had a hand in it as well. Each side always puts blame in the previous administration. But let’s try to put the blame where it actually exists.
Vietnam is a lesson for Putin in Ukraine
The wisdom put out these days is that Ukrainian forces are putting up a magnificent fight. But Russia, with its overwhelming advantage in power, will soon prevail.
We also are told that Russia has never mastered the ability to effectively coordinate combined operations — sea, air and land forces working together. Let’s think about those claims. They might or might not be true.
When American military analysts talk about Russian inability to coordinate combined operations, they are implying that we are already masters at it. Think back decades to the war in Vietnam. We used a large air force in that theater. We also used numerous aircraft carriers. At peak, we had 549,500 troops in country.
South Vietnam had a similar number of men under arms, too. And in spite of that, we could not win that war, even after years of trying.
Now to Ukraine today. It has an area about 3.5 times that of South Vietnam in 1964. The Russians are only using around 150,000 troops there, and their air power is not doing a good job.
So we used 3.5 times as many of our troops and South Vietnam used about as many troops, and even with our ability to coordinate combined operations, we could not win.
Why should we think Russia is so certain to win now?
BLM protests were comparable to Jan. 6
I agree with Dr. Arthur Salvatore’s letter (“Jan. 6 impact has been far overblown”) in the March 7 Gazette. I could not have said it any better.
“Compared to the destruction and burning of buildings and businesses — dead bodies from BLM protests that lasted months and in multiple major cities — this (Jan. 6) was a walk in the park. If and when I see a call for the BLM to be held responsible for its damage and death, maybe then we can consider fair punishment for the Jan. 6 protesters.”
Let me be clear — I am definitely not racist but why did the BLM looters get a “pass?” What happened to George Floyd was disgusting and I’m glad those involved will pay the price, but why was there no outrage in the opinion section about the destruction and looting of businesses? These innocent business owners didn’t deserve to lose their livelihood.
Dems’ energy policy was shortsighted
The recent spike in gasoline and energy prices, with proper and thoughtful policy was completely avoidable.
As the Democratic Party has been taken over by very far leftists and those focused with ravenous hatred of one individual, their policy platform has been based upon emotion and short-sightedness.
Case-in-point is the so-called Biden energy policy of stifling domestic production of oil and even natural gas.
Pipeline construction halted, drilling on federal lands ceased, regulations and red tape reimposed, and generally making efficient domestic production and distribution of these fuels difficult. And to what end? Prevention of ominous climate change?
As the left never wants to acknowledge positive news or progress in their pursuit of never-ending environmental regulation, the fact is U.S. carbon emissions on per capita basis have fallen back to levels of the 1860’s and gross carbon emissions from the United States are down to levels of the 1920’s even though we have more than doubled our population by 225 million more people. That’s good news, isn’t it? But Biden blindly invoked the aforementioned restrictions on day one and thereby removed any cushion we had to absorb an event like loss of Ukrainian and/or Russian oil.
All in favor of forcing a sharp change to green energy. I am not opposed to renewable resources for energy — who would be? But let’s do so in a thoughtful manner, so that the populous can absorb such a change economically.
We shouldn’t have had America only, but we need America first.
Let seriously ill people end suffering
New Yorkers deserve a Medical Aid in Dying Act. At this time, ten states and Washington, DC have Medical Aid in Dying laws.
These laws permit seriously ill people to request medication from their physician that will allow them to end their suffering. This means that about 22% of Americans now have this right. It is time for New Yorkers to also have this right.
New Jersey and Vermont recently enacted Right to Die laws. Oregon has had a Right to Die law for over two decades — and there have been no incidents of abuse.
Allowing terminally ill people with a life expectancy of six months or less to access medication is about giving them control over how much pain they are willing to endure. This is a bill based on compassion — and it is something which we provide for our beloved pets.
This is the time — right now — for New Yorkers who support a person’s right to self-determination at the end of life to reach out to their state legislators.
The bill is A4321 (Assembly) S6471 (State Senate). Call, write, email your state legislators now!
The writer is president of the League of Women Voters of Schenectady County.
The writer is a member of the League of Women Voters of Schenectady County.
Families deserve relief from gas prices
New Yorkers are already feeling the strain of increased costs for essential goods, especially at the gas pump where prices increased significantly over the last year and are expected to continue rising.
After the challenges of the past two years, I believe our families deserve all the relief we can provide.
That’s why I have introduced new legislation to suspend the state’s gas tax for one year to help bring gas prices down and help working class families save more of their hard-earned money.
This measure will have an impact both at the gas pump – and in store aisles. For commuters who refuel even once a week, it could save hundreds of dollars in the coming months. For consumers the increases in gasoline and diesel prices are not only being felt at the gas pump, but also in store aisles.
Saving thousands of dollars on shipping and transportation costs to get essential goods to our community would also save consumers at the grocery store and on the products we buy for everyday needs.
As gas prices are expected to surge nationally in the coming weeks this relief measure is designed to help mitigate some of the effects of the current crisis here in New York.
My legislation would have an immediate impact on working class families, helping save money at the pump during this critical period of economic recovery and I urge the governor to include this measure in this year’s state budget.
The writer represents the 111th district in the state Assembly.
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