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Letters to the Editor for Oct. 26

Wednesday, October 26, 2011
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NYCLU study on Tasers, and Gazette’s editorial about it, were off base

Re Oct. 23 editorial, “Police too quick to use Tasers”: The Gazette is once again misrepresenting the facts.

I was unable to locate the actual study the New York Civil Liberties Union recently did on Taser use. Without reiterating them here, the findings are just that — findings. They support no legitimate basis for concluding that the police are misusing Tasers. The findings only support the opinion of the NYCLU from the perspective of their “expert” and his or her recommended criteria for justifying Taser use.

Generally, the Gazette editorial listed several incidents in which Taser use was absolutely warranted when you know the facts of each case and what happened from the officer’s perspective.

To keep this short, I will quote just one sentence from the editorial and correct some misinformation. “While the woman subsequently bit the cop, at no time did she appear to pose the kind of deadly physical threat that might justify their application of a 50,000 volt electronic shock.” First, it should be noted that this woman was so dangerous that, despite having a Taser used to subdue her, she still managed to bite an officer. Bites can break skin and cause infections and possibly transmit disease through open wounds.

Second, if the woman mentioned was posing a threat of deadly physical force, guns would have been used. Tasers are less-than-lethal weapons, rendering them useless in a situation where lethal force is threatened. The use of force continuum requires that the officer meets, but does not exceed, the amount of force being used against them.

Thirdly, Tasers only have 50,000 volts while in the air. When they hit any other medium, like a human body, the voltage drops down to around 1,200 volts. And volts are entirely irrelevant since one could sustain a lethal shock from a home outlet at 120 volts. It’s amperes that do the damage. And while it’s true that anything above 0.1 amps can be lethal, it also has to do with the combination of amps, Ohms and how many collective joules they generate. Over 10 joules is considered hazardous. Tasers generate 0.3 to 1.75 joules.

Regarding these tools being torturous in nature, obviously the editor hasn’t been subjected to pepper spray, their suggested alternative. The pain is also torturous but the effects last for hours — not seconds.

Could the Gazette please stop creating a public fear of the police and the tools they use? Most cops use their tools appropriately and within the confines of the law and department policy.

Dan Darling

Glenville

Why must individuals pay more for stamps?

Re Oct. 19 AP article, “Stamp prices will rise to 45 cents next year”: The Postal Service wants to raise the cost of stamps. Well, I get mail from health care, Social Security [and] the Federation of Senior Citizens. The cost of sending me these letters is only 15 or 16 cents. Why can’t they pay for stamps — 44 cents or [coming soon] 45 cents? I have to pay, why can’t they?

A letter is a letter, no matter. They were all mailed from the same ZIP codes.

Alice M. Schultz

Scotia

Skip the excuses for not raising taxes on the rich

Why is it that the Republicans and Gov. Andrew Cuomo have come up with such lame excuses for not wanting millionaires to pay their fair share in taxes?

President Ronald Reagan didn’t want to tax the rich because their wealth would “trickle down” to the middle class and poor. That worked, didn’t it? The Republicans in Congress don’t want to tax the wealthy because they provide jobs. Right!

Gov. Cuomo doesn’t want to tax millionaires because they would leave New York state. How shortsighted! Doesn’t he see how many of the middle class have left or are leaving because state taxes are so high? If millionaires paid their fair share, taxes would be reduced and maybe this exodus would stop.

The 99 percent are not stupid. It’s the millionaires and rich corporations that spend their money to keep such politicians — who are not “for the people” — in office.

Tell the truth. Stop coming up with such lame reasons for supporting such outrageous policy.

Tom Mayer

Schenectady

Sch’dy should exempt WWII vets from trash tax

Re Oct. 17 editorial, “Veterans’ exemption unfair, unaffordable”: Not only is an exemption unfair, but it is not deserved! Most of these vets enlisted after the bullets, grenades, bombs, etc. stopped flying.

It is unbelievable that [Acting Mayor] Gary McCarthy would propose to honor them with an exception when he, Mayor Brian Stratton and the City Council dishonored WWII veterans with a tax increase (by not allowing them deserved exemptions on the “fees” removed from city taxes and taxed separately (e.g. garbage tax).

If there are only 30 city residents that are Cold War vets, then how many WWII vets are left that are city taxpayers?

Mr. McCarthy, why don’t you propose, instead, to rectify the injustice done to the WWII vets? How quickly the next generation forgets the sacrifices of the soldiers that mostly fought to save our country from Japan and the Nazis.

John E. Marciniak

Schenectady

The writer is a WWII combat vet.

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comments

October 27, 2011
9:55 a.m.
biwemple says...

Typical government agency solution to a problem of decreasing revenues - raise the fees. Examples: Thruway: not enough users or it costs to much to manage EZ-Pass, so raise tolls. Schd'y: not enough mortgage tax coming in as fewer people are buying homes, so raise the rate. Post Office: people are paying bills online instead of sending it via mail, so raise stamp costs.

As for Reagan not wanting to tax the rich. Listen to or read the speech he gave at Northridge HS, CA in 1985 where he spoke almost the identical words being used now for the wealthiest to pay their fair share. I don't recall anyone calling Reagan's words in his speech 'class warfare' then either. Perhaps he was against trickle-down economics before he was for it?

October 27, 2011
7:32 p.m.
WordWiz78 says...

Mr. Mayer, no one is claiming the "99%" are stupid - you are, however, incredibly misinformed. Your key (and sole) argument here seems to be that the rich don't pay their "fair share."

How so? They pay the same percentage of taxes that you do. In fact, since their AGI is so much more than yours, they pay a proportionately higher amount of money every year.

So, are you saying you want them to pay more for being successful? They should pay a higher percentage than you because they were able to be more successful than you? What kind of jealous, arrogant excuse is that? When did we start punishing people for being successful? If that's the case, please allow me to stop working right now so that I might not offend you by being a success.

A question, Mr. Mayer: where do you propose we stop with this Punishment Tax? I mean, I'm assuming you are not completely destitute, so - relative to those who are - you are quite rich. Let's impose higher taxes on you, as well. Of course, you probably think we should draw the line at whatever your AGI is - obviously, only those who make more than you are the ones who should be punished, right?

Perhaps you would prefer we live in a communist society, where everyone gets the same amount of money, regardless of how hard they work for it. The burger flipper at McDonald's, the teacher at the local high school, the paramedic who saves your life, and the soldiers who fight for you freedom will all make the same amount. So will the guy who opts not to get a job because he sees that he will still get the same amount of money as you, and he won't have to do a damn thing!

October 27, 2011
9:14 p.m.
wmarincic says...

Dan Darling
When Eddie Ritz was forced to shoot the man with the knife after a long standoff the Gazette criticized the Police for not calling in an outside agency with tasers. The Gazette is anti-police, always have been and always will be.

October 27, 2011
11:49 p.m.
dandarling32103 says...

@ Marincic I know. But I have taken it upon myself to write the wrongs (yes, write) of the Gazette's libelous remarks and persistent crusade against our defenders of public safety. We would all be ignorant if we denied that some bad apples (or good apples gone bad) have been and still are employed by police everywhere. But we would all be more ignorant for condemning the police generally. People are so quick to criticize them and maybe I'll never change minds. But I feel strongly that someone should speak out against poor reporting on this particular matter.

October 28, 2011
6:56 a.m.
wmarincic says...

Dan I have personally spoken to Gazette Editor Judy Patrick about the liberal bias of the Gazette. I believe she will agree but she is also a huge defender of the most biased of them all, Kathleen Moore.

October 28, 2011
11:58 a.m.
dandarling32103 says...

UGH! I know. I can't believe she won a reward for her reporting. I've heard from some of my friends on the force that she stalks them looking for something to go wrong or to be out of place. It makes me sick.

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