Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionState’s Republicans need to stop declineIt seems like every week we hear about another New York State Senate Republican announcing their retirement. I hear many complaining about not being in the majority anymore. So instead of standing up for themselves, their beliefs and their constituents they have decided to call it quits.Cowards. Also, The Grand Old Poltroons have not won a statewide election in almost two decades and I don’t see that changing any time soon with the group of throw-away candidates they put on the ballot come Election Day.This train wreck didn’t happen overnight. The slow, steady decline started many years ago.Things like this happen when you have no leadership at the top.Yes, I know they got themselves a new state chairman this year, and with the little I have seen and heard, I’m not impressed. One has to do a little more than just keep saying how bad the other party is. In this political climate in New York, the Republicans must promote more viable (moderate) candidates to run for statewide office for any chance to win anything.We could really use some checks and balances in our state government. It’s really not good for the people when one party rules everything. A perfect example is Schoharie County.Jerry FioreSummitSantabarbara is far left and ineffective Democrat Angelo Santabarbara is a fraud. He brags about voting no on his party’s disastrous bail reform bill, but he did nothing to stop it.If he truly cared about our safety, he would have tried to change his party’s view and debate the bill on the Assembly floor. But he did nothing.As a result, child molesters, like the one who groped 13 young girls at the Saratoga County Fair, could still be prowling around. Thanks a lot, Angelo. Santabarbara’s attempts to stop the release of dangerous criminals were either feeble or non-existent, and now he wants to swoop in and save us from a problem he created. Santabarbara fears his party’s leaders.He failed to stop bail reform, because he follows his Democratic Party, which only cares about passing laws for New York City.Santabarbara tries to portray himself as independent from his party, but do not be fooled.The Democrats controlling the New York State Senate, Assembly and governorship are extreme left fanatics who decriminalize assault on pregnant women, elevate the rights of animals over the rights of babies, murder pre-born babies moments from birth and refuse medical care to babies who survive abortion. Santabarbara voted in favor of those heinous laws. No matter how far to the right Santabarbara runs before election, he’s still a member of the crazy far-left Democrats.Jennifer RichardsBurnt Hills The popular belief in the paranormal realm is of some unusual physical phenomenon. In this letter, I document a case of extreme intelligence in the paranormal zoo.I have been analyzing world class chess for 35 years. In the 1980s, I used a weak computer for analysis.Fifty players in the Capital District could beat this program.Now computers are so strong they would crush World Champion Magnus Carlsen.One day, I was analyzing my favorite opening, the Evans Gambit, with a weak computer. Then it did the impossible. It played both sides of the position at blitz speed and was calculating better than the strongest computers today.Because it was playing at blitz speed, it gave me a lesson on just how deeply it was analyzing. It came up with a position where I did not need to calculate anything. All I had to do was count moves, not analyze. In a critical position, it was clearly seeing ahead 10-15 moves in a matter of seconds.Richard MoodyMiddleburghFacts get in the way of Trump accusationsIn response to Mr. Gray’s rebuttal in his “What are Trump’s crimes?” Nov. 19 letter to The Gazette:1. Can you name the ‘collusion,’ or is it just an uncorroborated accusation? See Mueller Report.2 and 3. There’s no obstruction if what you wanted never happened; read the definition.4. Comey should have been fired long before he was, and nothing was obstructed. The witch hunt continued.5. What conduct? Flynn was railroaded. You should be happy.6 to 10. Your mastery of the numbers designating laws is admirable.Do you have a particular instance or event you could mention for one of them, or just more uncorroborated accusations?11. Really? Was he accused of these while he was in the Oval Office (like another president I could name) or when he was a private citizen? Both parties have more than their share of this tripe.12. Where did you read this? Do you have an unnamed source the MSM haven’t discovered?13. You’re really swinging at nothing here. You must have gotten this from CNN or Adam what’s-his-face.The delay in aid to Ukraine was to ensure that our taxpayer money wasn’t going to a corrupt government. The Ukrainian president stated he had no idea it had happened, and it’s difficult to bribe someone who isn’t in on the secret.Maybe some actual facts will help clear up the confusion you obviously have, although facts don’t seem to sit well with the liberal agenda.Jeffrey FalaceSchenectadyTo win, just don’t do what GOP, Trump doRegardless of whether a woman or man wins the Democratic nomination for president in 2020, we’ll have a candidate with a positive, inclusive non-racist, law abiding and patriotic agenda.Our candidate assuredly will believe in: the rule of law; our intelligence community; science, including combating climate change; that the environment needs to be protected with an EPA that works for the people, not fossil fuel companies; that the Interior Department needs to protect our national parks and monuments and not give them away to the fossil fuel industry; that women and minorities matter; the right to affordable health care and prescription drugs; protecting voting rights; maintaining good, strong relations with our allies and demonstrating world leadership; not allowing foreign nations to meddle in our elections; holding dictators accountable; valuing human rights again; a rational, humane immigration system that doesn’t separate families; a balanced tax system that benefits the middle class and disclosing their tax returns; rebuilding our infrastructure; ensuring workers get a living wage; the value and honor of public service; hiring honorable, non-corrupt, non-racist advisers; eliminating nepotism; not accepting emoluments; maintaining a strong strategic military; prosecuting domestic terrorism; holding groups like the KKK and NRA accountable; and so on.Everything listed above is the opposite of the current administration and, for that matter, most of the GOP.If the Democratic candidate can communicate this belief agenda, there should be little problem in winning the 2020 presidential election, regardless of the Republican opponent.Raymond HarrisGlenvilleExperienced teachers are worth the costAs I read your editorial “Time to rethink LIFO” in the Dec. 15 Gazette, I found myself becoming more and more agitated by your characterization of longer-tenured teachers.To suggest in the editorial that higher paid, longer tenured teachers are underperforming is a slap in the face to every tenured teacher. Districts have the opportunity to remove ineffective teachers in the years before tenure is granted. Administrators need to evaluate the performance of new teachers during their probationary period to ensure that they are being successful in the classroom.We are all well aware that the cost of education is high and that districts across the state are having a problem funding programs.But to suggest that laying off longer-tenured teachers is the way to save money and help balance the budget is unconscionable. It is also not a reasonable assumption to suggest that the newer, younger teachers are going to be more successful in the classroom. It is true they’re cheaper. But keep in mind the old adage “You get what you pay for.”Teaching is difficult these days under the best of circumstances, and new teachers may not have developed skills that will allow them to adapt successfully to constantly changing conditions in the classroom. Students come to school with myriad issues, and having an experienced teacher may be the best chance a student has of achieving success.I suggest that we look at better ways to fund education than paying teachers less money.Carol SzczepanskiNiskayuna When did we stop thinking for ourselvesI was chagrined by the idea that a belief in a Qanon conspiracy could become a legal defense. When, exactly, did we become an idiocracy?Will lack of critical thinking skills also become a legal defense someday? And, along those same lines, exactly what is POTUS trying to flush down his toilet?I was also chagrined to read a letter that compared robocalls to liberals. I am, definitely, liberal. But I have many conservative co-workers and friends, and I enjoy a rousing debate. I would never compare any of them to a robocall.I think that Mr. Marincic’s Dec. 7 letter (“Paper should remove spammer comments”) is emblematic of where our country is right now.Debra KenfieldSchenectadyEditor’s Note: This letter was corrected to change the word “ideocracy” to “idiocracy” in the first paragraph.Look at who profits off of downtroddenI appreciate the nothingness of a Victorian Christmas as much as the next person. At 72, sitting on Santa’s lap is not for me.During the Victorian Period, the English (British Empire) allowed Ireland to be depopulated by famine. Who could afford a Victorian Christmas in England during the 19th century? Tiny Tim?The people partaking in the English Victorian Christmas profited from the fruits of Irish starvation. Most of the people in England did not connect the dots, nor did they care to.The merchants of death did profit. The Catholic Church and Protestant denominations profited also.The land of dead or immigrated ‘peasants’ was picked up by various sects. Church holding increased after the famine. Who profits today from illegal immigration and peasant labor? Catholic charities for sure. Others do also, but not as obvious.Yes, the Jesus Christmas is still with us, for now. I have little doubt English Victorians were strolling to church praying for Irish famine victims and folks shipped to an Australian penal colony, while visualizing Baby Jesus in Bethlehem. Christmas Carol rerun time. God Bless Tiny Tim.Edmond DayRotterdamComputers transcend our idea of normal Cartoon reflective of the cruelty of TrumpThe tasteless caricature of young climate activist Greta Thunberg by Trump-worshipper Stiglich in the Dec. 15 Gazette was just plain cruel.This young woman never asked to be Time magazine’s Person of the Year. The vulgar, selfish, narcissistic scoundrel and climate change-denier in the White House thinks otherwise. He cannot abide someone else in the spotlight.Speaking of cruelty, this administration is responsible for 425,000 children losing their health insurance in 2018. They are attempting to kick poor families off Medicaid, and the last straw is 700,000 Americans losing food stamps, although even more rules are being pursued that will kick an additional 3 million off the rolls. Nearly 1 million children will lose their automatic eligibility for free school lunches as well.The much-touted “parental leave” bills being considered are not truly paid-leave programs at all. Yhey merely allow workers to take out loans to fund their leave, loans that must eventually be repaid through cuts to their future Social Security benefits or future child tax credits.The sooner this crass, coarse twit and his entire corrupt cabal is history, the better.Cynthia SwansonNiskayunaCongress should resolve to end hungerAround the world, about 150 million children under age 5 are malnourished. The majority of hungry children live in Latin America, South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, where poor countries struggle to provide basic education, health care, clean water and food.Malnutrition is especially harmful to women and children in the 1,000 days between conception and a child’s second birthday. It stunts mental and physical growth and weakens immune systems that fight disease.Malnutrition causes or contributes to the death of 2.6 million children under age five each year.To address this tragedy, Congress should pass the Global Nutrition Resolutions (H.Res.189/S.Res.260).These bipartisan resolutions make improving global nutrition a priority of the United States government.For example, the resolutions would ensure Congressional support for humanitarian aid in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Such aid reduces the extreme poverty and chronic hunger that drives migrants to flee to the U.S. border.Meanwhile, 13 million American children live in food-insecure families. Expanding summer feeding programs would help them to grow and learn.Americans donate about $14 billion a year to food banks, pantries and soup kitchens. It is heartwarming to see so many people helping the homeless and hungry. In that spirit of American generosity, Congress should make reducing hunger a national priority while supporting international efforts to create a more peaceful, just and loving world.That would be a wonderful Christmas gift to hungry children and a great resolution for the new year.Frank HauprichBallston SpaGrateful for support of league homes tourOn behalf of all the acting, sustaining and provisional members of the Junior League of Schenectady and Saratoga Counties, a sincere thank you to everyone who supported our biennial Homes for the Holidays House Tour.The tour was very successful this year, thanks in large part to five wonderful properties that highlighted the past, present and future of our community, the talented designers that decked their halls for the holidays, including Felthousen’s Florist, Experience Creative Design, Karen Splendido of Splendid Stems and Denise Maurer Interiors and our generous sponsors and patrons.For almost 40 years the community has embraced Homes for the Holidays and made it a delightful holiday tradition.Every penny raised helps fund the League’s community programs including Operation Back to School, Kids in the Kitchen, and Discrete Dignity.We look forward to seeing everyone again Dec. 3-4, 2021.Denise Murphy McGrawNiskayunaThe writer is president of the Junior League of Schenectady and Saratoga Counties.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the census
‘Getting screwed over’: Man changes gender on ID to get cheaper car insuranceNZ Herald 30 July 2018Family First Comment: “According to multiple car insurance companies from New Zealand, Australia and Canada, gender is one-factor insurers consider when calculating premiums as well as driver age, location and previous driving record. He says he’s saved about $100 per month.”Superb. And if you ‘identify’ as a child (which has and does happen) you qualify for the child rate at the buffet, hot pools and movies.We live in confusing times!#BiologyOverIdeologyA 23-year-old driver has legally changed his gender so he could significantly reduce his car insurance premium.The Canadian man, who is identified as David, was fed up with paying extraordinary prices so decided to alter the gender on his birth certificate and driver’s license.He told CBC News he’s saved more than $1,100 to date since making the change.“I’m a man, 100 per cent. Legally, I’m a woman,” David said“I did it for cheaper car insurance. I didn’t feel like getting screwed over anymore.“It was pretty simple. I just basically asked for it and told (the doctor) that I identify as a woman, or I’d like to identify as a woman, and he wrote me the letter I wanted.”He sent the letter off to the government registration department and within three weeks he received a new birth certificate indicating his gender as female.READ MORE: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12097734Keep up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.