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Term limits will curb special interests

first_imgBoth Democrats and Republicans are at fault. Neither side wants to lose face or blink first during tough negotiations. Their base would punish them if they failed. The progressive wing of the Democratic Party is already calling Sen. Charles Schumer ugly names. It’s a game for politicians. One political side will always win, while the American people always lose.One set of elite power brokers that never loses is the lobbyists — the special interests. These deep-pocketed enterprises play both sides of the aisle, ensuring success no matter which party is in power. The longer politicians stay in power, the deeper the special interests’ control over a politician is cemented.Congressman and senators should have no more than 12 years is Congress. This is enough time for them to represent their constituents and for the people to have a safeguard against deep special interest roots, a sort of insurance policy against lobbyists.The swamp is full of bad actors and politicians. Let’s limit their time in Washington, D.C., now.Rafael PoloNorthvilleMore from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsCuomo calls for clarity on administering vaccineGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18 Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion Today more than ever, the country needs term limits for our congressmen and senators. A government shutdown is proof that the time has come to prevent professional politicians from growing deep nourishing roots (money) that keep them in power. Yes, the shutdown is over. But will we go through another painful political fight in February?last_img read more

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Olympics haven’t solved the North Korea problem

first_imgThe U.S. therefore continues to consider military options for striking North Korea. For the past several weeks, we’ve heard relatively little talk of U.S. preventive strikes from Cabinet officials.But such threats will probably resume in the spring, especially if North-South diplomacy collapses.Preventive strikes would not denuclearize North Korea and would probably spark a catastrophic conflict.But with no other way to avert an ICBM, the White House will continue to request military options from the Pentagon.And it will continue to hint at this preparation to try to intimidate North Korea.The North Korean nuclear program proceeds apace.North Korea hasn’t tested a long-range missile or a nuclear weapon since this Olympic thaw. More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: 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 homesEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists But that doesn’t mean it has halted its programs.On the eve of the games, a major North Korean military parade displayed its latest hardware.Its scientists are likely working as furiously as ever to improve its nuclear arsenal’s sophistication and to perfect an ICBM reentry vehicle.Olympics diplomacy has bought Pyongyang time and space to continue these activities with less international scrutiny.But that hasn’t weakened its interest in having a reliable nuclear arsenal.If U.S. officials continue to send signals that they believe they have a “window of opportunity” in which to strike North Korea and prevent its ability to threaten the United States, Pyongyang will want to rush to complete its programs.It will need another test – or several – to accomplish this. That all but assures U.S. ire. Kim Jong Un has done an excellent job of capitalizing on and exacerbating discord in the U.S.-South Korea alliance, trying to separate the allies.He can anticipate that a summit will sow more strife on its own.And if the exercises do go ahead despite North Korea’s charm offensive, Kim will probably test something in response.The U.S. negotiating position hasn’t changed.The United States continues to insist that North Korea must come to the negotiating table prepared to denuclearize.There is almost no chance that North Korea intends to give up its nuclear weapons, and therefore will not negotiate to this end.It might be willing to engage in diplomacy if it believed U.S. objectives were more modest. Categories: Editorial, OpinionBoth during the run-up to the PyeongChang Olympics and during the Winter Games, the tensions over North Korea’s nuclear weapons have appeared to relax significantly.Reports that Vice President Pence’s bellicose rhetoric derailed diplomacy with the North, however, reveal a harsher reality.After the Olympics are over, the temperature between Washington and Pyongyang will almost certainly spike again.Here are five reasons.Inter-Korean diplomacy isn’t about nuclear weapons.The cooler temperatures on North Korea come from inter-Korean diplomacy – not diplomacy that includes the United States or other major powers.President Moon Jae-in of South Korea calculated that it was more advisable to have North Korea participate in the Olympics than to let North Korean leader Kim Jong Un spoil things from the periphery, potentially testing missiles or nuclear weapons just 60 miles to the north.center_img But if Washington continues to press disarmament publicly, Pyongyang is unlikely to believe a deal can be reached at all.The U.S. objectives haven’t changed.Under the Trump administration, the U.S. has taken the position that North Korea should not be allowed to acquire an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of delivering a nuclear payload to the United States.Some senior officials have provided alternative takes on this red line, but the stance is basically unchanged:The administration wants to prevent a fully operational North Korean ICBM.Unfortunately, the administration has few tools with which to achieve this.Diplomacy is unlikely to succeed in the short term for the reasons described above, and sanctions can’t wrest long-range missiles out of Kim’s hands. The Olympics offered a reprieve in North Korea tensions.That hints at what diplomacy could produce if all parties shared approaches and objectives:A pause in North Korean testing in exchange for modified U.S.-South Korea exercises and space and time for multilateral diplomacy.But because inter-Korean diplomacy has moved ahead of nuclear diplomacy, because there has been no real progress between Pyongyang and Washington, and because the U.S. and North Korean positions remain locked in opposition, this Olympic pause will be transitoryLet’s hope it is not broken by fire and fury.Mira Rapp-Hooper is a senior research scholar at the Paul Tsai China Center at Yale Law School and an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security.  The two countries have discussed holding more formal talks after the Olympics are over, including a possible summit meeting.However, inter-Korean diplomacy is primarily focused not on North Korea’s weapons programs but on issues specific to North and South Korea, like reuniting families divided by the Korean War.Alliance trouble ahead.If Moon decides to pursue a North-South summit, he may further postpone annual military exercises with the United States, which have already been pushed back because of the Olympics.Pyongyang finds the exercises problematic, believing they’re U.S. preparation for a decapitation strike against the north.From a military perspective, the annual drills could probably be delayed with no more than a modest impact on U.S.-South Korea readiness.But if Moon unilaterally decides to do so, it will ruffle U.S. feathers.last_img read more

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Letters to the Editor for Saturday, Jan. 25

first_imgThe efforts to keep our schools safe came one step closer to home, as reported by the Jan. 12 Gazette (“Parents voice school safety fears.”) It is a given that that parents, teachers and school administrators have the responsibility to make student safety a number one priority, not just part of an agenda and paying it only lip service, as public concerns were aired in a December school board meeting.While attempting to solve this dilemma, parents, teachers and school administrators had to endure pernicious twaddle from self-styled student “activists” who have never been in front of a class nor understood the dynamics of teaching, who prattle on with such useless advice as, “If you teach our children that they are valued, that they are people, that they are human beings, and that we love them, they will show up to be loved.”I was an educator and I deeply resent the inference that I was a nanny as well.I suggest that I was charged to teach young people; loving them was never part of my job description.Today’s “children” do not suffer from a lack of love.Rather, they suffer from a lack of discipline, which at one time came from the home, and have no need for any more excuses, no matter how eloquent, mitigating their behavior.The school’s task is to keep children safe.When we have successfully completed this task and the children feel safe, it stands to reason that they will learn.Michael G. DeckerSchenectadyThe writer is a retired Schenectady High School teacher.Is Congress worthy of your mountain?In the Bible, Psalm 15 starts with a question: “Lord, who may live on your holy mountain?”As I read it, I was struck by how much we would be blessed if those we elect to serve on our own Capitol Hill might be possessed of those same qualities.Katie FinneganMiddle GroveStart investing now to secure your futureI graduated high school in 1969.I bought myself a red convertible for $2,000.Had I instead invested that $2,000 in a total stock market fund and added just $2.50 per day, that little pile would now be worth over $1 million today.The moral of the story is simple. To accumulate large sums of money, one must start early, save steadily and let time and compounding do the magic for you.For those who feel the market is risky, I assure you that saving money in a lock box is much riskier.Instead of $1 million, your coffee can, lock box, mattress, whatever, would have just over $50,000. The other $950,000 in compounded earnings would be lost to you forever.Albert Einstein once said compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe. He said it is the eighth wonder of the world. It is something you should know about early in life.Don’t wake up 50 years from now and wish you did.James PavoldiDuanesburg Work harder to make  pensioners wholeThe state of New York and St. Clare’s Corp. (aka Albany Catholic Diocese) agreed to the closure of St. Clare’s Hospital in 2007 with a promise to make our pensions whole. The promise was broken, and we are not looking for a handout.Fiduciaries made some serious miscalculations for the amount needed to make our pensions whole, and St. Clare’s pensioners are paying the price for this enormous mistake by facing a bleak financial future — and as a result having to sell our homes and inability to stay afloat paying bills.As directed by the state in 2007, The Commission on Health Care Facilities in the 21st Century (known as the Berger Commission) mandated closure of Bellevue Hospital and consolidation of Ellis and St. Clare’s Hospitals; this mandate never happened. Instead, Ellis Hospital took over St. Clare’s Hospital, Bellevue remained open, and an agreement was made by the state and St. Clare’s Corporation/Albany Catholic Diocese to make St. Clare’s Pensions whole; this never transpired.In the last 14 months, we have tirelessly made strong efforts to have our voices heard by telling our personal stories; appearing in TV interviews; received support from local newspapers, politicians, AARP and TV stations; held meetings; attended rallies and court appearances; had numerous meetings with Bishop Edward Scharfenberger and politicians, and many other efforts.Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Bishop Scharfenberger — let’s work together to make our pensions whole so we can have some dignity and security in our retirement.Patricia PangburnSchenectadyThe writer is a St. Clare’s pensioner. Criticism of Polimeni a sign of hypocrisyRegarding the Jan. 15 Gazette article “NAACP calls for city to employ diversity training:” It is beyond ridiculous that Schenectady City Councilman John Polimeni’s minor speech gaffe caused such a stir.Mr. Polimeni nearly used the term “colored” before immediately correcting his own wording. But his message was that the council is “very fortunate” to have diversity of race and gender.Why would he make this statement if he was racially biased?Several meeting attendees called for city officials to receive “diversity training,” despite diversity being the very thing Mr. Polimeni praised.Members of Schenectady NAACP addressing city officials by reading the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is completely illogical, as Dr. King’s agenda was the exact opposite of today’s “tolerant” left.If meeting attendees strictly followed Dr. King’s vision of abolishing recognition of race, the word in question wouldn’t have even come up, let alone the controversy that followed.The most blatant hypocrisy of all comes in the fact that the word “colored” is right in the name of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). The term under scrutiny is used prominently by the organization scrutinizing it.Mr. Polimeni’s intentions were clear, but intentions no longer count for anything on the political left.David NosekGlenvilleSenators should have to explain voteThe impeachment trial of Donald Trump in the United States Senate is not about whether he held back military aid to the Ukraine for “dirt” on Joe Biden.The trial is not about whether he prevented key witnesses to the event from testifying.The overwhelming evidence indicates that he did both.Rather, the trial is about whether his actions, either one or both, meet the constitutional criteria for impeachment.Each senator has taken a sworn oath to being impartial. An impartial informed decision requires all the evidence to be examined.It’s a travesty of justice to deny new discoveries from being introduced.To make the trial result even more legitimate and accepted, every senator, not on a tribal basis but on an individual basis, should explain the reason for their vote on impeachment.Charles RiellyAltamontPoliticians must put end to sex traffickingNew York City is a major sex trafficking destination in the world.When will politicians stand up and put an end to this?Question: What sort of ‘man’ enjoys sex with a ‘girl’ (or could be a boy) who was gang-raped as part of the ‘on the job training?’Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Congressman Paul Tonko, Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand are AWOL on this matter. Republicans do not exist on this issue either. They are spineless.Silence is golden for politicians on the sex trafficking matter. Why?Pride without honor exemplifies politicians in Washington and Albany. Congress turns a blind eye toward sex trafficking.They do have time to schedule hearings on cheating in professional sports while Albany worries about plastic bags. Silence of the lambs is how some ‘live.’Edmond DayRotterdamMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: 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 intimidationGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18center_img Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionSchool task: Teach, keep students safelast_img read more

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Acquisition strategy pays off for Ashtenne

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The making of a mayor?

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Offices: Drawing the shortage straw

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Forte urges assembly to back Cardiff Bay

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The next regeneration

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Interest rates held at 4%

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Three of a kind

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