Letters to the Editor for Nov. 2

Wednesday, November 2, 2011
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Occupiers justifiably upset by an economic system gone awry

Re Oct. 30 Viewpoint, “‘Occupiers’ mistakenly blame whole class for actions of a few”: The Occupy Wall Street movement has been variously described as a mob, as anarchists or as a bunch of aggrieved unemployed students. In the Viewpoint, the columnist [Norman Perazzo] even implied a comparison with Nazis!

Instead I believe they protest the widespread economic injustices resulting from failed governance, marketplace corruption and regulatory mismanagement. These are injustices and economic distortions that can be understood by all Americans. The Occupy movement protests an economic system that has an excessive banking/investment sector, with insider capitalism enabled by the Federal Reserve and Congress at the expense of industries employing people producing real goods and services.

Deregulation of banks and investment houses (like 1999 repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act) has resulted in the growth of systemically dangerous banks/investment houses that needed a federal bailout in 2008. Federal monetary policy permitted a real estate price bubble and then backstopped the distressed and leveraged debt of the institutional speculators and bankers.

Federal regulators never punished those in Wall Street for fraud and malfeasances (liar loans, looting, mortgage recording fraud, etc).

Today’s low-interest monetary policy continues, penalizing middle-class savers and the virtue of thrift while supporting banks, speculation and debt. Washington fiscal policy has wasted the $2.6 billion Social Security Trust Fund set up for the “boomer” retirees, spending it on failed wars, bank bailouts and tax reduction for the wealthy. Having run debt, many of these same leaders conspire to destroy the Social Security program. Corporate special interest money continues corrupting the political process — billions will be given for the 2012 presidential election.

I disagree with Perazzo: This is not about class nor about envy of earned wealth — it is about rightful anger over the injustices of a privileged coddled financial sector and select beneficiaries enabled by the Federal Reserve and by Washington. The American economy will not recover until the banks are reformed, Wall Street is effectively regulated and the rule of law for all re-established. Otherwise, we have lost our American democracy.

G. Latimer Schmidt


Corporate cash has too much influence in U.S.

American democracy is being usurped by corporate money.

National surveys show 87 percent of Democrats, 78 percent of independents and 68 percent of Republicans favor passage of a constitutional amendment to overturn the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United, which declared that corporations [had the same free-speech rights] as people. I, and many others, believe that the judicial code of conduct that applies to all other federal judges should apply to the nine Supreme Court justices as well.

Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas both had undisclosed ties to the Koch brothers and corporations at the time they were deciding the Citizens United case. Further, Clarence Thomas should be impeached because he accepts gifts from participants in cases that are before him, and he files false financial reports.

Let your elected representatives know how you feel about these matters.

Dealy-Doe-Eyes Maddux

St. Johnsville

Occupy movement like tea party? Not a chance!

Now that the Occupy Wall Street protesters throughout the United States have turned violent, are folks still going to equate these disparate groups with the tea party ralliers?

In my opinion, there is 180 degrees of difference between overthrowing the government and downsizing the government. All rational, thinking patriots in the United States can easily see from the newscasts, even from the MSM [mainstream media], what this current protest has evolved into and who is supporting these outliers. This is what community organizing looks like!

And we all know who was involved in those actions prior to being elected president.

Howard Philipson


Turn eyesore buildings into parking lots

The question on what to do with the delinquent tax eyesores so prevalent in our city’s neighborhoods needs to be addressed.

I propose that Metroplex buy these properties. It would then remove the eyesores and turn them into off-street, well-landscaped and cared-for parking lots for the neighborhoods. I believe Metroplex is allowed to fund parking lots.

The lots would remove the blight from the landscape and would also relieve street parking conditions and make snow removal much easier.

I see it as a win-win situation for our neighborhoods and city.

Joseph Kaczynski


Dirty politics, as usual, from Gary McCarthy

Re Oct. 30 Carl Strock column, “Did Hull at Union help or hurt Sch’dy?”: Thank you, Carl Strock, for setting the record straight on the originator of the propaganda slams (Oct. 30) by Schenectady’s current acting mayor [Gary McCarthy].

We, the people of Schenectady, need a man of vision and integrity, not more of the same dirty politics. We need a man to change “business as usual” and take back our city.

We are fortunate to have a real choice in this election.

Connie Schmitz



The Gazette will continue to publish selected letters pertaining to the Nov. 8 election in its online edition,

The deadline for submitting letters is noon Wednesday, Nov. 2, and we will continue to publish them through Saturday, Nov. 5

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November 2, 2011
6:26 a.m.
wmarincic says...

We have six Police Chiefs that really don't do much. One of them when asked "why don't you retire and enjoy life" said, "where else can I make 100K per year to do nothing". Well Gary McCarthy gave all of these same chiefs a 20K per year raise. Where is the Gazette on this? Why do we need SIX chiefs and a commiissioner? How many MUCH NEEDED police can we put on the streers with that much money saved?

The SPD is working with dangerously low staffing levels and crime is out of control. I know and speak to many officers at all levels in Schenectady and they all say the same thing, they have ZERO time for proactive policing. Lets get rid of all of these chiefs and load the srtreets instead with actual officers to deal with this crime.

November 2, 2011
3:14 p.m.
albright1 says...

Dear Elected Representatives,

Please pass a law that says the Gazette has to use their brains during the screening process before they print a letter to the editor.

Thanks for the idea Dealy

November 2, 2011
7:17 p.m.
WordWiz78 says...

I think it's important to recognize that the people committing the acts of violence, or even non-violent criminal acts, are not the majority of the protesters. I don't think they should even be grouped in the same category as the true Occupy protesters. Let me explain why.

The true protesters are down there (and other places) because they are irritated and angry with the way things are, in particular with the economy. I am personally of the opinion that they need a more focused, clear goal (or mission statement) in order to be heard, but at least they are showing the government that they don't like how things are going.

Then there are the people that I believe Mr. Philipson is talking about. There are a wide variety of them. Some are down there because, hey, it's a great excuse for a party, for having casual sex in the park, or for getting drunk. Some believe in the cause, but are going about "protesting" the wrong way - throwing rocks through windows, beating up on people, impeding traffic and preventing people from getting to work. These things are not peacable, and cannot be considered legal protest. There are those taking advantage of the large crowds of protesters, and the relative obscurity, anonymity, and camouflage it provides, to commit violent crimes such as assault and rape. None of these people are true Occupy protesters, but are using the situation to their advantage for their personal ulterior motives. They are the individuals the media focuses on, because they are different than the mob of protesters around them, whose actions are that of a united front, which is difficult for the media to do much in way of a coherent story.

Of course, there are also a large number of protesters who are down there protesting because they want to "fight the Man," even if they don't actually know what the protest is about, but I don't think those are the people Mr. Philipson was referring to, either.

Mr. Philipson, I would assume (and perhaps I shouldn't) that you would agree that the right to peacable protest is a right afforded every American. If you are a supporter of the Tea Party, which from what I've been able to garner from people who assert themselves as supporters of that party is supposed to be in favor of protecting the rights of the American people, I must conclude you should be in favor of people exercising the right to peacably protest, yes? This right applies to those who agree with your viewpoint, as well as to those who don't, with which I'm sure you would also agree.

You're correct in that those who have strayed from peacable protest need to be stopped, but just because some people who claim to be a part of the group are bad apples, doesn't mean we chop down the whole tree.

November 4, 2011
3:58 p.m.
robbump says...

I am no supporter of the tea party - and I have no problem with protests of any sort. That said, there is a difference between protest and inhabiting a public park. Most areas have some ordinances about erecting a tent ... let alone bringing in cooking devices and heaters.

If the folks want to stay up all night protesting, or even sleep on the ground in a sleeping bag, they should be all means do so. But when you put up shelters ... well:

Are you really protesting as you sleep?

November 4, 2011
8:34 p.m.
WordWiz78 says...

robbump, you make an excellent point. I do have a problem with the protesters being in Washington Park after ten, when the park is legally closed. Just because Mayor Jennings kowtowed and chickened out by telling protesters that it's ok to break the law doesn't make it so. Protesting ceases being legal protest when you break unrelated laws to do it. All it does is promote inequality: it basically says that the park is legally closed to everyone after 10, except for protesters, who for some reason get special rights.

The other problem I have is them asking the government to provide them with sleeping bags and hot plates and such. You can't call the government an evil entity AND ask them for special favors. If you can't deal with the sacrifices, or supply your own supplies, then stay home.

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