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Letters to the Editor for Oct. 31

Monday, October 31, 2011
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Letter wrong: The Palestinians started it and have kept it going

Re Tom Ellis’ Oct. 27 letter, “Israel has rejected all Palestinian peace offers”: I don’t know where Mr. Ellis has been for the last several decades.

It wasn’t the new state of Israel that attacked the Arabs in 1948; it was the Arab armies that attacked the new nation. All the wars since then came about due to Arab attacks and/or deadly threats.

In recent years, Israel has returned the Gaza Strip in the hope of a peaceful Palestinian area; instead it received almost continuous rocket attacks.

Hamas has pledged it will never make peace with Israel. Instead, it calls for Israel’s extermination. How do you make peace with a government that calls for your eradication?

Israel returned South Lebanon to Lebanon after being continuously attacked from that strip of land. The United Nations promised the land would be mostly demilitarized. Since then, terrorist Hezbollah has taken over the area and is dug in with massive amount of rockets. I haven’t heard the U.N. say a word about the massive buildup of weaponry on Israel’s northern border.

Mr. Ellis is either full of hatred for Israel, deeply biased or refuses to remove his blinders. For his information, the Palestinians already have a large state: Jordan, where about three quarters of the population are Palestinians.

Jonas Kover

Amsterdam

Media can’t properly cover Occupy movement

The Occupy Wall Street movement is the first major technology-driven movement of the 21st century.

Impervious to media spin, there is a resounding feeling that no media outlet has yet captured the sentiments of the protesters.

What the Occupy movement really represents is America’s collective conscience that thinks a system of booms and busts, where gains are privatized and losses are socialized, is not just irresponsible but repugnant.

Gone are the days where the hypocrisy of an economic modality that systematically serves the upper class is only discussed in small circles of friends and co-workers in dimly lit warehouses and offices. Occupiers demand a fair shake from a country that has always been a reflection of the people who live in it, not the people who own it.

Protesters gain resolve in the notion that there are thousands who share the same conviction and sense of fairness.

Twenty-four hour media outlets are no longer the gatekeepers to a successful movement. For the first time, their individual bias has been circumvented, allowing us with ease to become participants, not spectators. Never before has a movement been so accessible to those who wish to be part of something that is capable of such palpable change.

Ryan Wilson

Latham

Student loan bailout plan driven by politics, period

Re Oct. 27 AP article, “Obama pushes student loan relief”: This so-called solution to student debt is just another glossing over “bailout” — destined to cost us (the ones who are paying and have paid) even more money!

It is just another “vote for me” ploy that won’t solve the real problem but will grab headlines!

It would be nice if Obama actually had some answers, but all that he offers is smoke and mirrors. What else can we expect from a man who got the Nobel Peace Prize for nothing!

Terry Hurlburt

Schenectady

Many reasons for workers to approve PEF contract

Some recent opinions in this paper regarding the Public Employees Federation require further clarification.

A rejection of the new contract affects not only the 3,496 people who will lose their jobs but also will impact upwards of 10,000 PEF employees who will be demoted. PEF also stands to lose thousands more in the coming months as the union currently has no layoff protection, whereas the Civil Service Employees Association ratified contract and PEFs new contract provide layoff protection.

So, in the end, voting down the new contract will likely affect close to 20,000 PEF employees, or one third of the membership.

Another misconception is that only those with low seniority are being affected or laid off. While it may be true that many with seniority are being demoted rather than laid off, I personally know several people with 20-plus years in state service who would lose their jobs.

State employees did not cause this financial mess for New York, as state employees account for only a small fraction of the overall state budget. But for those with a vendetta against the governor — this is not that fight. In voting “no” on this contract, you will be hurting your fellow PEF brethren, not the governor.

In addition, if you think your local economy will improve when thousands of state employees lose their jobs, think again.

These are people in your communities who will fall behind on their mortgages or go into default; these people won’t be shopping during the holidays; these people will be competing with your college-age children for work.

You will be paying for their unemployment benefits with your tax dollars but you will not be receiving the state services they provide.

Vote “yes” — it’s better for everyone.

Susan Olsen

Schenectady

The writer is a state Department of Transportation employee.

 
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comments

October 31, 2011
12:15 p.m.
WordWiz78 says...

Terry, perhaps you're someone who is not buried under a mountain of student loan debt. If so, good for you. Many of the rest of us are, however. The money we are paying in student loans is money we could be using to put back into the economy.

While I am normally someone who believes that when you borrow money, you should pay it back, I am also a realist who recognizes a simple fact: we HAVE no extra money. This isn't a case of us not wanting to pay back student loans; it is a case of not having enough money to comfortably do so AND pay the rest of our bills AND buy groceries AND pay for gas.

In Europe, students may attend public universities for a very minimal cost - fees for labs, books, etc. Students pay less than 10% of what American students pay. Grades are higher in European universities, and employment rates following graduation are also higher. So, obviously, low cost higher education can be successfully accomplished. So why don't we do it? Perhaps that's more political than the Student Loan Relief.

Over the past decade or so, big business and the government have gotten bailout upon bailout. Corrupt companies get to declare bankruptcy, and then have the government pay them money to continue operating. Entire state governments continue to operate while being billions of dollars in the red. It's about time someone suggested a bailout for the American citizens. Yes, it's a political stand. Made by a politician (wow, there's a surprise - politics in politics!). And it's being done to help the American people.

I'm not sure how you figure it's going to hurt you financially by having to pay less money. Maybe you learned a different type of mathematics than the rest of us.

October 31, 2011
3:20 p.m.
wmarincic says...

WordWiz78
I would say that if America put an end to funding illegal aliens to the tune of 120Billion per year we could well afford to do this. I'm all for helping America and Americans first. I also am a believer that immigration is good for America but it has toi be LEGAL not illegal.

October 31, 2011
5:25 p.m.
albright1 says...

Mr. Wordwiz, when you borrow money, you are obligated to pay it back. Wasn't that clear when you borrowed it? Most of us can't "comfortably" pay it back the way you wish you could, but we pay it back "uncomfortably".

Now if you would like someone to pay it back for you, I suggest you contact the thieves at the place of higher learning that benefited from your tuition payment in the first place. If they took your money to grant you a diploma in a field that had no possibility of getting you a job that paid enough, they are guilty of false advertising and you have a legitimate claim.

October 31, 2011
5:34 p.m.
albright1 says...

Ryan Wilson,

What???

Actually I was going to say that your statement... "Twenty-four hour media outlets are no longer the gatekeepers to a successful movement." is crazy. Without the left wing media running the occupy movement as the lead story everyday for over a month, nobody would even know you are there. But now as I think a little harder, I believe you're right. Even with the media running the occupy stories as the lead for over a month, you still don't have a successful movement.

October 31, 2011
5:52 p.m.
rdubvdub says...

Albright-

Partisonship aside, surely you don't believe that thousands of protester scattered across over a hundred cities in country isn't news worthy? Especially when there has been incidences of violence involving the police? I understand that you're under the impression that this is all a liberal-media plot to validate the movement, but fundamentally the media's job is to cover things that are news worthy. Thousands of protesters in the streets, whether you believe with them or not, is news worthy. More news worthy than the propaganda run by Fox News and most of the conservative outlets on a consistent basis.

-Ryan

October 31, 2011
8:50 p.m.
wmarincic says...

Incidents involving the police? Like the incident where a protester pushed a 600 pound motorcycle onto the officer that was riding it. How about defecating on the police car, is that what you are talking about? How about throwing rocks and stones at police, is that the incident?

In the beginning this may have been a movement to bring attention to the average person who has been ignored by it's government. It has since been taken over by socialists and anarchists that want to destroy America.

In New York a retired teacher earning $70k per year said we need to overthrow the government. In Denver they were saying they were going to march to the capital and take the Governor.

I really dislike Obama and hate everything he stands for but I would never want him overthrown.

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