Letters to the Editor for July 31
Financial advantages of taking the bus don’t stop at gasoline
As a regular rider of the CDTA’s BusPlus express service between downtown Schenectady and Albany, I read with interest your coverage in the July 23 issue.
However, I would point out that your reporter drastically underestimated the financial advantages of commuting by bus. As people so often do, Mr. [Michael] Goot only took the cost of gas into account when comparing driving vs. riding the bus. He calculated a savings of $9.40 a week for bus passengers.
In fact, the savings are vastly more, if one properly includes such indirect costs as depreciation, repairs, and insurance. Remember, every mile you drive now shortens the life of your car and reduces its value.
The true cost of driving is the 55.5-cents mileage rate calculated for this year by the federal government.
So let’s do some figuring: Let’s say the Schenectady-Albany commute is 15 miles each way (although by car on I-90 it’s closer to 20 miles).
That works out to 150 miles a week or 7,500 miles for a 50-week working year. Thus, the real cost of driving — using the federal rate — is $4,162.50. And remember, that’s after-tax dollars. Most workers would have to earn between $5,000 and $7,000 extra to recoup that $4,162.50, since commuting costs are not deductible.
Compare that with the $1,000 annual cost of taking the bus. And that amount would actually be less, because CDTA offers discounts for multi-trip tickets (thereby offsetting the tax implications).
Finally, one has to remember that parking in central Albany costs serious money. When I used to commute by car, the closest free on-street parking I could find was more than a half mile from my office at State and Pearl streets.
And the parking situation will only get worse as Albany implements permit parking for local residents, which will rightly reallocate spaces now taken by commuters.
Anti-gun opinions are too many — and wrong
In the eight editions published since the unfortunate July 20 theater shootings in Colorado until today [July 29], the Gazette’s bias toward the “progressive “ agenda has never been more evident.
I did not save the July 21 or 22 papers, but in the next week the editor chose to publish four anti-firearms editorials, three anti-gun cartoons, two anti-firearm letters to the editor, two news articles that reported on anti-firearms opinions, and Carl Strock’s expected rant on firearms ownership [July 29 Gazette].
That, sir, is 12 pieces of anti-firearms propaganda and a single [July 29] letter (by Bob Nicolella) of perhaps 110 words. I ask you, is 12-to-1 fair and balanced? That said, from my perspective Mr. Nicolella made more sense than the previous dozen frantic propaganda pieces put together.
I know several people who own AR-15 style rifles. These people are serious competitive target shooters who compete against official military rifle teams (Army, Marines) and active police officers, as well as other civilians. The military-style rifle is required in most competitive matches. These competitors are serious, disciplined, and safer with an AR-15 than Carl Strock is with a toothbrush.
The anti-gun writers repeatedly asserted that these firearms were not needed. This argument, of course, looks right past the individual’s right to own a firearm for defense. The 18th century political writing clearly documents the fear of those founding fathers of the government. The late 18th century saw the suppression of dissent by federal troops in western Massachusetts and western Pennsylvania.
The arrests made pursuant to the Alien and Sedition Act jailed citizens for criticizing the government and made the need for self-defense obvious. The use of federal troops to evict the peaceful Cherokee Nation from land the Supreme Court said they rightfully owned and the punitive campaign against the Mormons in the 19th century were prologue to the use of the Army against coal miners, Japanese-American citizens and college students at Kent State in the 20th century.
In more recent decades, federal units have attacked small religious sects, and federal snipers have killed an unarmed woman at Ruby Ridge.
These atrocities remain untaught in the school curricula controlled by the state and federal government’s departments of education. As both Thomas Jefferson and Ronald Reagan agreed nearly 200 years apart, government is not the solution, government is the problem.
Therein lies the unbridgeable chasm between big-government secularists (government is God), and us plain old gun nuts.
Church’s doctrine on sex makes perfect sense
Interesting July 22 Viewpoint column about the Catholic Church by L. D. Davidson. I would like to offer this answer to the question posed: The Catholic Church believes sex is for procreation and modern culture passionately believes it’s mostly for fun. That covers just about everything that bothers people the most.
Here is the Catholic view:
u Abortion — why would you want to undo the natural consequence of your action?
u Same-sex marriage — if you can’t procreate, what is the purpose for getting married?
u Birth control — why prevent the natural result of your action?
u Sex before marriage — the church wants people to commit to the relationship as publicly and as strongly as possible before you start a family, which is the natural consequence of sex. It takes a lot of commitment to make it work.
The church is not creating some crazy belief system when it comes to these issues. It’s as simple as “if you want sex, you should want a family, naturally.”
That bothers people; they want inconsequential sexual relationships for fun. Good luck with that!
$$ for opening ceremony could be better spent
While watching the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics being held in London, the commentators made reference to whether the 2012 opening ceremony would be better than the one four years ago in China.
I was disturbed by the amount of money spent on the opening ceremony and the competition to do even better, which of course means more money spent.
When is enough enough? I think of the Third World countries where people live in cardboard shacks, have no electricity, and certainly no running water.
While visiting Africa in 2006, it was sad to see people wearing the same clothing every day because it was the only set they had; children and woman walking three, four, even five miles to get water that wasn’t even potable.
So could less money be spent on the opening ceremony, and that money be better spent elsewhere in the world on something important and lasting?
Vets call for peace via ‘revolutionary love’
Looking for an antidote to fear? Tired of gun violence and sexual assault? Dismayed by the lack of timely treatment for veterans who are committing suicide, or the sexual assault of women in the military or civilian life? Not happy about drones flying overhead and spying on you?
Has something gone very wrong in American today? We can help. We are the voice in the wilderness. It is a faint voice, but we are definitely calling.
Plain and simple, this year’s Kateri Peace Conference is about love, revolutionary love. The kind of love that invites us to move beyond fear and isolation, to cross the line, to occupy squares, to change the world.
So Cross the Line to Revolutionary Love at the 14th annual Kateri Peace Conference in Fonda on Aug. 17 and 18. Our website has complete conference information at www.kateripeaceconference.org.
The writer is a member of Veterans For Peace and co-facilitates the Kateri Peace Conference.
Dangerous in the aisle and behind the wheel
Next time you are at the supermarket, take a look around. You will see all kinds of strange behavior. An old woman who can’t get through the aisles without running into things; a young woman talking on the phone blocking the aisle, totally unaware that other people even exist; an old man who has no idea what he is shopping for, and so many more.
Now get in your car to drive home. The same people that were just in the supermarket are driving around you. There’s the old woman — I am hoping she doesn’t smash into me. There’s that young woman talking on the phone pulling out in front of me — without even looking. There’s the old man, who doesn’t know if he is taking a left or not — his signal has been on for six blocks.
I hope that I get home to my family alive. They give licenses to anyone.
Jeffrey S. Reed
Credentials matter in climate change debate
Good thing that Peter Diana (July 27 letter) set me straight on climate change and global warning.
Otherwise, I might have been fooled by the Nobel Prize-winning scientists and scientific studies that claim otherwise.
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