Month: October 2020

  • Bush calls for a nobler politics, but GOP stays the course

    first_imgCategories: Editorial, OpinionFor liberals who have been around long enough to have spent a healthy chunk of their lives writing about the misdeeds of the George W. Bush administration and thought we’d never see a more destructive presidency in our lifetimes, Dubya’s emergence as a voice of GOP moderation has been more than a little disorienting.Thursday he gave a speech with some thinly-veiled criticisms not just of President Donald Trump, but even of developments within his own party.Yet at the same time, Ed Gillespie, an old aide of Bush’s, is waging a positively Trumpian campaign to be governor of Virginia – and Bush is raising money for him.Which reveals that despite the better intentions of some within their party, Republicans will always revert to stoking fear and hatred if they see electoral advantage in it.And their continued use of those poisonous tools ensures that their own voters will keep responding to the ugliest appeals.Here’s a sampling from Bush’s speech: If Ed Gillespie loses (as the polls suggest he will), some Republicans will probably say that it proves that the kind of campaign he’s running just doesn’t work anymore.But their voices will be drowned out by one 2018 primary contender after another who banks on hatred and resentment getting them the Republican nomination in their races.In many of those races, they’ll be right, at least in the primary.For now, the Republican Party can’t transcend the politics of racial hatred and fear, because that’s what they nurtured their base on.Just ask the leader of their party.Paul Waldman is op-ed columnist and senior writer for The American Prospect, and a blogger for the Washington Post’s Plum Line blog. More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the census And of course, the rape. This kind of thing has a long history in GOP campaigns.Let’s not forget that it was George W. Bush’s dad, a genteel country-club Republican if ever there was one, who ran a vicious race-baiting campaign against Michael Dukakis centered on the story of Willie Horton.Vote for the Democrat, the elder Bush said in so many words, and hordes of scary black men will rampage across the land, killing you and raping your women.Sound familiar?The boogeyman changes but the song remains the same, and in the age of Trump, Republicans use immigrants to promote fear and division.Interestingly enough, Gillespie is taking pains to distance himself from Trump, no doubt because Trump’s approval is low in the increasingly liberal Virginia, even as he pins his electoral hopes on the same sentiments that helped get Trump elected.“I don’t know the president,” Gillespie insists. “I’ve not met him.”center_img “We’ve seen our discourse degraded by casual cruelty. At times it can seem like the forces pulling us apart are stronger than the forces binding us together. Argument turns easily into animosity. Disagreement escalates into dehumanization.“Too often we judge other groups by their worst examples while judging ourselves by our best intentions, forgetting the image of God we should see in each other.We’ve seen nationalism distorted into nativism. Forgotten the dynamism immigration has always brought to America. . .“Being American involves the embrace of high ideals and civic responsibility. This means that people of every race, religion and ethnicity can be fully and equally American.“It means that bigotry or white supremacy in any form is blasphemy against the American creed.”It should be said that as president, Bush did advocate comprehensive immigration reform.But now his former adviser Ed Gillespie has all but centered his gubernatorial campaign on fear of the MS-13 gang, alleging that because his opponent Ralph Northam does not condemn “sanctuary cities” – of which there are none in Virginia – that Northam is practically indifferent to the prospect of MS-13 coming to kill you and your family. The White House sends Mike Pence to stump for Gillespie, no doubt reading the same poll numbers as the campaign.But Gillespie has obviously decided that if he’s going to get Republicans to the polls, he needs to serve up the red meat.Let his old boss make a speech about the better angels of our nature; Gillespie will count on our basest fears and ugliest sentiments to get him to the governor’s office.Many Republicans believe that one day they will get past this sort of thing, that they’ll put their long history of race-baiting behind them and run more inclusive campaigns.The trouble is that every time they run a race like Gillespie’s – or Trump’s – they make it harder to break out of their own pattern.They convince their supporters to enact their own identity politics and blame those who aren’t white for their problems, then find that when the next election rolls around, those voters are drawn to the most divisive, angriest candidates.That’s the story of the 2016 presidential election: Republicans spent years stirring up anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant feeling, then were shocked when the candidate offering the most naked bigotry trounced all the more reasonable contenders.last_img read more

  • Tired of letter writer’s hateful, sexist letters

    first_imgRe March 11 letter, “Don’t forget all of Hillary Clinton’s flaws”: Really, John Osterlitz, you write a letter to the editor because you want everyone one to be patriots and stop with the lies and hate, and then proceed to fill your letter with nothing but hate, lies and unproven stories.It really amazes me that you truly believe your own lies and once again grace the pages of our newspaper to spew your hatred, bigotry and sexism, as you’ve done in countless letters in the past.Well, this is one reader who will tell you I’m sick and tired of your endless crusade to criticize and demean anyone who disagrees with your political views.JOSH HERMANCERotterdamMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homes Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

  • Madness on the left has reached peak

    first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion The left’s madness has just about reached its peak, with all the talk of impeaching the president (which started on President Trump’s first day in office). But now they have really gone on a rampage. The Democrats/socialists have hated this president so much to go so far as to try to screw up talks with North Korea and have maybe a shot at some peace. No, they want Trump to fail. By doing so, they want the United States to fail, true socialists that they are. Instead of opening their eyes and seeing the truth, hate blinds them. Every day, in newspaper items and on TV, talking heads try to say how much Democrats are going to win in November. Are they mind readers or wishful thinkers, trying to make you think Dems are going win. The real sad thing going on in Washington’s deep state is the fact that it’s Democrats who did all the colluding. The fact that Obama was paid $4.5 million by the pharmaceutical companies represents pure greed and is harmful to nation. There are a lot of people who should be behind bars in this nation, starting with those on the left in Washington D.C., and those in New York state. But you people will not vote them out. Why? Do all of you like high taxes? Do you all love protecting MS-13 gangs? Must be.Al Marvell ScotiaMore from The Daily Gazette:Schenectady teens accused of Scotia auto theft, chase; Ended in Clifton Park crash, Saratoga Sheriff…EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homeslast_img read more

  • Letters to the Editor for Wednesday, Jan. 15

    first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionDiscipline starts at home with parentingThe headline in the Jan. 12 Sunday Gazette reads “Parents voice school safety fears.” I had to wait 30 days to tell my answer to this ongoing problem, of which politicians and the superintendent will not talk about. That is, it starts at home.These kids needed and need strong discipline. They don’t have it or will not have it. So, if these so-called parents will not do it, then turn it over to teachers and principals — and no complaints about it. You expect schools now to raise your kids, feed them, clothe them and provide supplies.Well, let them do discipline. If you have to have police walking halls, so be it. You the people let it get to this. Now pay the piper and get with program. This is chaos, brought on by liberals and socialist Democrats in charge. Are you hearing me politicians?Al MarvellScotia National Grid must hear all voicesI must communicate my displeasure, at the very least, regarding the National Grid tactic of trying to shut people up who disagree with its expansive plans. This has degenerated into a case of one of the biggest and most powerful companies in New York state basically attempting to push through its agenda for its E37/Albany Loop fracked gas pipeline proposal by any means it can.National Grid does not have the right to try and invalidate our filed E37/Albany Loop testimony with the state Public Service Commission (PSC) or that of several others who are in opposition to this project, while it is being properly vetted.Apparently, National Grid’s game plan at this point is to attempt to keep others who disagree with out of the formal deliberative process.Based on past experience, we know that they also prefer to limit full discussion by having only one public hearing and then expect to go on their monopolistic way.Those days are over. We are fed up with having environmental policy take place behind our backs simply because “we” don’t have the money and lawyers that they do.We out here will continue to fight this and other battles like it.We hope that the PSC will see fit to address the practice  of “bullying” by National Grid and set the record straight for all to see.Kenneth ScallonNassauMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18 Able-bodied people should have to workMr. Leon’s short and concise letter on Dec. 16 (“Nations like America take care of the poor”) was wrong. Wealthy, compassionate, civilized nations do not deprive those that cannot take care of themselves of food stamps.There is nothing wrong with expecting able-bodied people to work for their food. President Trump is requiring people that are not disabled, seniors or single parents to get a job. The people Mr. Leon is referring to are poor because they don’t work.We live in the greatest country on the face of the Earth. No other country is even a close second. What makes us great is anyone can get a job, especially now, if they want one. I, for one, am tired of paying for able-bodied people to stay home and wait for the check. We give people food, pay for their rent and subsidize their utilities when many are able to work. But the Democratic Party has made it too comfortable to live off the rest of us.One of the first things Obama did as president was remove the work requirement for welfare. He just perpetuated the problem.What makes us the greatest is not the “things” we give people; it’s the chance we give people to make something of themselves.Dave EdwardsHalfmooncenter_img Help others live by donating blood“The things we do so that others may live” is the understated motto of the United States Air Force Pararescue Service, heroes among heroes.It also characterizes the selflessness of the men and women who donate blood products and register as organ donors. These personal gifts of life are the ultimate expression of individual commitment to the health and welfare of society.Rapid advances in medical science are subjecting the supply chain to stress which may jeopardize the ability to provide a time sensitive perishable product in a moment of urgency.The system is overly reliant upon a minority of Americans who voluntarily step up on a regular basis to keep supplies flowing. One never knows who will be in dire need now and where one donation will make the difference.There is still time to make a New Year’s resolution that is realistic and easy to sustain. I am a registered organ donor and recently topped off 21 gallons of blood. Like fellow donors, I do it without expecting recognition or reward. There are the incidental benefits of blood pressure monitoring and blood screening that may detect issues requiring further examination.In closing, I wish to thank current donors who know their decision is appreciated beyond words by grateful beneficiaries and their families. Please continue to encourage others to join in the effort to provide a second chance at life.Mark RahnScotialast_img read more

  • Letters to the Editor for Thursday, Jan. 16

    first_imgRethink scope, price of Whiteface lodgeI have seen the ads about a $14 million ski lodge at Whiteface. I am at a loss. I do not understand this price tag. That sounds like a done deal,I do not see how there was enough time for company bids. Gov. Andrew Cuomo described the lodge as a great improvement, but the description is exactly the same as the lodge lost to fire.You must look at our resort, our community and the customer base of the mountain. We are not Vail and we do not want to be.We want to serve New York families first, people who can drive to the mountain. Food prices at the mountain are already high. If you lease space for the snack bar, how much will a hotdog and soda be? And we only want a snack bar, not dining.When we pay $100 to spend the day skiing, we do not give up a half hour or longer to “dine.” We grab a quick snack then head back out to ski; darkness comes early.Please reach out to area builders and ask them what they would charge to rebuild mid-station bigger and better, but not best. We can have “good enough,” which can be as beautiful as the original.Sue MartinSaratoga SpringsPensioners grateful for Rotterdam ElksWe are the St. Clare’s pensioners who have lost all or some of our pension with only a mere three weeks’ notice. To say that we are devastated is an understatement on most days. But we have had support from many sources, and I want to mention a local source.The Rotterdam Elks did not hesitate at all to provide us with a meeting place that is centrally located and has adequate parking. I only had to ask once, and the board met and instantly said “yes” to us. The Elks are a group of people who have a mission to help their neighbor and we, the St Clare’s pensioners, are honored to have them as our friends.They have made our very difficult days much easier now and we thank them all.Mary HartshorneBallston LakeThe writer is chairman of the St. Clare’s Pension Recovery Alliance (SCPRA).Shocked by bill for use of Ellis spaceI received a bill from Ellis Hospital for a doctor’s appointment at the hospital. I called the billing department listed on the bill and explained I had paid my co-pay at the time of my appointment.I was told that since I utilized Ellis Hospital’s space, I was charged $30 for the privilege.What? I called my doctor’s office and was told this was something new and they apologized for not telling me.Marilyn VitchRotterdamMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18 Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionFind a solution for Stockade floodingSara Foss’ Jan. 12 article (“State plan for Lock 7 dam a breakthrough”) caused a reaction in me. Having lived in and out of the Schenectady area since 1968, I’m amazed and disappointed nothing substantive has been done to alleviate the flooding problems in the Stockade and other affected areas.My brain synapses exploded when I read, “The New York Power Authority … has said … there’s no evidence that altering the dam will reduce flooding,” followed by “… the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has said no modifications were necessary.”I ask the “dam” experts, in the extreme case of removal of the entire structure, what would be the effect on water levels, flow, etc. for the conditions of concern?Did flooding of the Stockade occur before the dam was built? What have been and will be the societal costs of not solving the problems? Would you live there?I invite both authorities and government officials to meet with me at the miSci children’s water table (water flowing with pegs to hold plastic rectangles that can be positioned to divert/block water in different ways) to conclusively justify their assertions.Any toddler can show the effect that installing and removing rectangle(s) has on the flow and depth of water. Any person who played “damming” rainwater in street gutters as a child can also explain.While complete removal may have overriding potential adverse consequences, there are likely multiple potential options, between the “extreme” and “do nothing,” to solve this man-made problem. It’s time to fix it now.Al PirigyiBurnt Hillslast_img read more

  • Let the investment begin

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  • £150m Princes Dock enters second phase

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  • Epsom & Leatherhead

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  • Wright buys up London homes

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  • Making value judgments

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