Country is headed back to Puritan age

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion OK, so enough with exposes about the Weinsteins, the Frankens, the Lauers, the Keillors and the growing chorus of #MeToo’s. The “rest of the story” deserves ink, or at least a mention, before we punch our American culture’s socio-sexual reset button.Expose, please, the manipulation, deception and outright trickery of all the gold-diggers, the well-bedded Hollywood stars, the trophy-wives, the “Oops-I’m-pregnant” dates, and the faux divorce/alimony/child-support schemes that proliferate in the underbelly of American society. Anyone want to pick at that scab?  It might tamp down the shrill voices of the Gloria Alreds, Megyn Kellys and Kirsten Gillibrands, whose righteous rants are revitalizing Puritanical standards that threaten to rekindle Shaker celibacy for all of us.And that could be the death knell for Victoria’s Secret apparel, Brazilian-cut swimsuits, breast implants, mini-skirts, tuxedos, red lace, slow dancin’, candle-light dining, romance novels, poetry, cocktail-parties, the point of fine wine, to say nothing of chocolate and many other artifacts of romance.Let’s hope not.Living in an exceptional society deserves a fair amount of wiggle room, if you get my drift.Jim SchaeferRotterdamMore from The Daily Gazette:Rotterdam convenience store operator feels results of having Stewart’s as new neighborCar hits garage in Rotterdam Sunday morning; Garage, car burnFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censuslast_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Wednesday, July 10

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionFacts back Obama’s economic successesI don’t know where Mr. Edwards in his July 3 letter (“Trump’s economy trumps Obama’s”) got his figures on economic growth when he attempted to refute a previous letter to the editor comparing Obama’s record with Trump’s (1.5 percent v. 3 percent GDP growth). But I suspect he heard the president himself make that claim.Trump is fond of using quarterly GDP figures. So when the GDP rose 3 percent during one quarter (3 months) during his first term, he bragged that Obama’s economy never hit such a high. That’s false; the economy breached the 3 percent quarterly threshold four times between 2009 and 2016. Trump was undoubtedly referring to annual GDP growth under Obama, which at its highest was 2.9 percent, exactly the same as 2018 under Trump.True, the unemployment rate has reached its lowest point in decades during Trump’s administration. But Mr. Edwards fails to point out that unemployment dropped 4.4 percent under Obama (9.1 percent at the tail end of the Great Recession in 2011 to 4.7 percent in Jan. 2017), compared to a drop of 1.1 percent under Trump (4.7 percent to the current low of 3.6 percent). Clearly, then, the decrease in the unemployment rate is part of a decade-long economic expansion that also accounts for the reduction in the number of people on food stamps.Finally, Mr. Edwards should recognize that the Federal Reserve lowered interest rates to thwart the economic tailspin in 2008, which is exactly what it’s supposed to do during a recession, not to artificially boost stock market prices to make Obama look good.Fred ComoBurnt HillsJuly 4th celebrates deliberation, not warDonald Trump insisted on having tanks and military equipment in the Washington, D.C., Fourth of July parade.Fourth of July celebrates that a deliberative body, arguing civilly, made a vital step in creating a more just and compassionate form of government than the world had ever known.Millions of Americans and billions of people worldwide have enjoyed far better lives under this form of government.Fourth of July does not celebrate that firearms had to be used in a bitter conflict that caused suffering and death on both sides.Let us all hope for, and work for, a time when tanks are a museum curiosity much like medieval armor is today.Roger GrasierSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationlast_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Thursday, Sep. 5

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionAssault weapons not for sport or defenseThe headlines scream about yet another mass shooting, but nothing of substance is being done to stop the carnage. The Daily Gazette has published several recent letters on gun control that seem to be blind to the facts.It’s an inarguable fact that assault weapons are specifically designed to kill as many people as quickly as possible. They should never, ever be legally owned by private citizens, whether mentally stable or not. These are not sport weapons, nor are they for home defense. They should be classified as weapons of mass destruction and, like New Zealand, should have been outlawed after the very first incidence of mass murder. The definition of criminally insane? The politicians who bow down to the NRA and facilitate the slaughter.Virginia NewtonBurnt HillsLimit when trains must sound hornsFor the last 16 months, CSX trains have been traveling through our residential areas, loudly and repeatedly discharging their horns 24 hours a day.We are awakened repeatedly during the nights. They engage their horns at all crossings, including farm crossings. There is no way to clearly describe the intense, blaring disruptions experienced by so many residents in the area.For decades, all railroad companies have engaged train horns only at public crossings.  Recently, however, it has become evident to some that the state law governing trains, written decades ago, does not employ the word, “public.”Consequently, CSX maintains the need to engage train horns at all crossings in the state, including farm crossings. The state Department of Transportation recently announced that it agrees and shares the same opinion.Adults as well as children are awakened during the night. Some of the younger kids are confused and immediately break down into tears. We are all so tired of this. It can actually affect our health.A meeting held recently at Sen. George Amedore’s office concluded with attending constituents leaving with confidence and enthusiasm. The senator has introduced legislation in the New York State Senate which, if passed, will positively affect residents.If you are affected by 24-hour-per-day CSX train horns, contact your state senators and assemblymen in an effort to work together in changing the law.Vic SgambatoFort Plain Life today is full of puzzling questionsAh, the paradox of modern life. It is puzzling, in the light of the growing number of deaths due to overdosing on opioids, that we should encourage the legalization of marijuana. It’s an enigma that we warn our youth about the dangerous results of smoking tobacco and, at the same time, glorify the very trendy vaping.Even more disturbing to me is the fact that we have over 40,000 homeless American veterans. Yet with open arms and colorful signs, we encourage undocumented aliens to cross our borders and then provide them with living places, food and health care. What might even be worse, though I hardly think so, is the astronomically high cost of a university education, which often leads to joblessness. Ah, but we are in the second decade of the 21st century, where diversity is the watchword. Is change really that important? Could be. Time will tell, but the message might turn out to be an oxymoron.Allen R. RemaleySaratoga SpringsFly the flag high and celebrate AmericaI looked at my calendar today and I noticed that it was not the 4th of July. The reason why I associated the 4th of July with today is because as I travel around Schenectady and I see a beautiful display of the American flag, or “Old Glory.” It seems that all of a sudden, people are flying the flag from their homes and business places more than previous years.Maybe we are getting more patriotic and thinking that it is time to display their feelings about our great country. The flag is a display of beautiful colors — red, white and blue. Those colors blend in with any color of paint on our homes.The next great holiday that we should display the flag is Patriot Day on Sept. 11. Constitution Day is Sept. 17. Sept. 20 is POW/MIA Day, when we honor our service members that are still not accounted for from all wars.Veterans Day on Nov. 11 is a day to remember all Americans who served in the military and still do.Another great day on the calendar is the “forgotten day” of July 4th, and the day that the Statue of Liberty replica was to return home at Gateway Park in Schenectady.  She has been in storage for years and we received the message that ‘’Lady Liberty was coming back on July 4th.” We are all waiting. Fly your flags and salute the Statue of Liberty for all the great moments of freedom that she has inspired us with.James A. WilsonSchenectadyRe-scan to recover lost TV channelsThis is in response to the frustrated articles about the change in over-the-air television reception. The channels aren’t gone, just changed. You need to rescan the channels. Perhaps someone who knows computers could help.Elsie HellerSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homeslast_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Saturday, Oct. 5

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionMotorists: Give bike riders enough roomOn behalf of bike commuters, I am writing this letter as a warning, an informational piece, and a thank you.I have been commuting to and from work regularly since August.Riding to work is a fantastic way to get my exercise and always improves my mood.Most of my ride is on the bike path between Campbell Road and the Rivers casino. The remaining 3 miles I brave the open roads.To all the drivers who see me and give me space as you pass by. Thank You!  I notice you and I sincerely appreciate it.For those who drive by with mere inches between your car and my left side, I ask you please make a better effort to share the road with me. I have a wife and two children who love seeing me get home safely.From inside the safety features and comforts of your automobile it may not be evident the conditions cyclists face in the shoulder.It is a minefield of rocks, litter, rusty jagged hunks of metal, potholes, roadkill and other random interesting objects. (Public officials – are you reading this too?)Believe that I stay as far to the right as possible. I do worry if you are all paying attention. Are you distracted by your phone? There are only a few inches between your car and me with my helmet and blinking lights.Sharing the road makes it possible for me to hug my wife and kids every evening.Nathan GlassRotterdamGrateful for book program’s coverageThe Friends of Schenectady County Public Library would like to thank The Daily Gazette for its excellent coverage of SCPL’s One County, One Book program. From Bill Buell’s features last year and early spring, to Indiana Nash’s recent insightful interview with visiting author Imbolo Mbue, our community read program was greatly enhanced by the exposure gained from these engaging articles. Keep up the good work!Cheryl CufariChristine WitkowskiSchenectadyThe writers are co-chairs of SCPL One County, One Book.More from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censuslast_img read more

Open all hours

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Notebook: Is it really elementary?

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Inner city gurus in £1bn Royals win

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Grosvenor bridge project

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West Java searches for 90 missing umrah pilgrims amid travel ban

first_img“We’re also coordinating with the travel agencies because they were the ones who managed their departure process,” he said, adding that he hoped the pilgrims were in good health.It has been six days since they left Indonesia for Saudi Arabia. An umrah trip usually lasts about 12 days.Read also: Saudi’s sudden ‘umrah’ ban leaves pilgrims heartbrokenAjam said there was a possibility that some of the 90 worshipers were not West Java citizens but had departed using services from travel agencies in the region.Responding to the matter, West Java governor Ridwan Kamil demanded the regional religious affairs office coordinate with Saudi Arabian government.Presidential spokesperson Fadjroel Rachman said on Friday that 1,685 Indonesian pilgrims were stranded in third countries during transit and that they were in the process of being flown back home by their respective airlines.Indonesia, the country with the largest Muslim population in the world, contributed the second-highest number of umrah pilgrims last year with 443,879 arrivals, according to the Saudi Hajj and Umrah Ministry.Saudi Arabia, on average, welcomes nearly 7 million umrah pilgrims annually. (eyc)Topics : Read also: Banning or wooing travelers in time of novel coronavirusThe office’s hajj and umrah division head Ajam Mustajam said 700 umrah pilgrims from the province had returned home. However, there were 90 pilgrims who booked their pilgrimage with four travel agencies in West Java whose whereabout remained unknown.”We are still figuring out whether the 90 people have reached the holy land [of Mecca] or are still in transit in another country,” he said in Bandung, West Java, on Tuesday during a coordination meeting regarding COVID-19 handling.Ajam added that the religious affairs office was continuing to coordinate with the religious affairs ministry to check the computerized integrated umrah and hajj system, which holds data on the registration, departure and return of pilgrims. The West Java Religious Affairs Office is tracking down 90 umrah (minor hajj) pilgrims who left for Saudi Arabia from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Banten, on Thursday – a day before Saudi Arabia announced a temporary ban on pilgrims to limit the spread of the coronavirus.On Friday, the Saudi kingdom placed Indonesia on a list of countries whose citizens were barred from visiting the two holy cities of Mecca and Medina amid the rapid global spread of the novel coronavirus.The decision left thousands of Indonesians stranded, some on their way to Saudi Arabia, others checked in at airports and still others arriving in the country.last_img read more

Pope displeased with ‘drastic’ Rome church closures

first_imgItaly has imposed Europe’s toughest response to a pandemic that has killed 1,016 people and infected more than 15,000 in the peninsula in less than three weeks.The government has shut all shops except for pharmacies and groceries in the hope of stemming contagion and easing the burden on Italy’s overstretched hospitals.The Holy See initially resisted the drastic measure of closing places of worship in a country that is overwhelmingly Catholic.But the papal vicar for Rome said he was finally forced to take the step by “the even more binding restrictions placed on the ordinary movement of people” by the government. Pope Francis expressed his displeasure Friday with the move by the Italian authorities to close all Catholic houses of worship across Rome until April 3.”Drastic measures are not always good,” the Argentine-born pontiff was quoted by the ANSA news agency as saying in his introduction to mass, in uncharacteristically blunt language for the head of the Church.He nevertheless urged the faithful to show “responsibility” and “cooperate with the appropriate authorities,” ANSA reported. “This provision is for the common good,” Rome vicar Angelo De Donatis conceded. Catholics have been exempted from the obligation to attend mass as a result. ‘See the sick’ The draconian measures only allow Italians to go outside for work or in special circumstances — such as visiting sick relatives.Everyone must carry with them a signed form to say they are aware of the risks of being outdoors.Trains are still running but travellers must show documents to security guards at stations well as airports.Streets in central Rome are almost completely empty and patrolled by soldiers armed with machine guns.In video clips from the Tuscan city of Sienna and the southern city of Naples — reminiscent of similar ones from the Chinese city of Wuhan during its quarantine — people can be heard singing from their windows over the empty streets. The pope nevertheless called for priests “to have the courage to go out and see the sick, bringing the strength of the word of God”.”We continue to pray together for the sick, for health workers and for the many people suffering from this epidemic” Pope Francis said.Topics :last_img read more