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Obama’s failure has been noble, but House’s has not

Thursday, December 12, 2013
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Obama’s failure has been noble, but House’s has not

Recently the approval ratings for both President Obama and Congress have fallen to all-time lows. It is important to examine the issues which precipitated these historic declines.

In the case of the president, the ratings have fallen largely because of the disastrous rollout of the Affordable Care Act and the president’s failure to make good on his promise that “if you like your health insurance, you can keep it.”

The Obama administration is working hard to repair the damage associated with these issues. In the next few months we will know if these efforts have been successful. In any case, the president’s desire to provide health insurance for millions of uninsured Americans is a worthy objective from both an economic and moral perspective.

In the case of Congress, the ratings have fallen largely due to the obstructionist behavior of the Republican-led House. The House has failed to take action on a number of Senate bills including the federal budget bill, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and the immigration reform bill. All three pieces of legislation have been supported by the majority of Americans including many Republicans.

We well remember the negative economic impact of the government partial shutdown brought about by the failure of the House to take timely action on the federal budget bill. The Republican-led House has not only been obstructionist but also has failed to offer constructive alternatives to the Senate bills. I see no worthy objectives behind the House behavior.

The president has made serious mistakes regarding the Affordable Care Act, but the intent of the act is consistent with American values. In my opinion, the actions of the House are inconsistent with American values and are harmful to the nation.

Don Steiner


Use common GPS to make trains safer

Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!

According to the Dec. 9 Gazette article, our legislators are striking again with a typical “non-solution” to a problem that could readily be solved, and with significantly less cost.

The problem [stems from] the fatal train derailment resulting from excessive speed on a curve which resulted from an engineer “nodding” or “dozing” because of the train’s hypnotic motion.

They are proposing that video cameras be installed to view the operator and the tracks, hoping the knowledge that they are being recorded will keep them alert. What nonsense!

The technology for a real solution is readily available and easily adaptable — the common global positioning system (GPS). Mine is a $150 Garmin, which has instant readout of the local speed limits and the auto’s current speed.

A simple alarm system to “awaken” the operator could readily be adapted to give a variable loudness warning, ranging from a low buzz to an ear-splitting siren, depending on the train’s speed relative to the local limit.

Of course, I am certain these wise politicians see the advantage of their approach is they could justify the creation of another government surveillance agency to review all the video data and assess the necessary fines on those who doze.

William Johnsen


Remember Sandy Hook, and fight for gun control

Let’s not forget the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that took place last Dec. 14.

Last Christmas I wrote about this issue. Both my wife and I are teachers in the public schools, with one child still attending, and we’re still concerned about school shootings. We aren’t against honest and healthy citizens owning guns, but we would just like to remind you about this anniversary and ask for your support for effective and powerful action to adequately protect our children and schools.

In order to help, I’ve made the following pledges, and I hope you will join me in this effort to save our country and schools from this carnage:

1) As a father (of two) and teacher, I promise to love and nourish the minds, bodies and souls of my children, all children, and the students in my care; to spend time with them and guide them gently so that they will not resort to violence, but to love instead.

2) I will continue reminding my colleagues, family, friends, the media and political representatives, to pass meaningful, just and effective gun control laws in our state and country to make our schools safer and prevent further violence and carnage.

3) I will remind state government officials to restore the correct amount of financial assistance to the poorest school districts in our state (mine is Schenectady city schools), so we can do our jobs, teach our children and protect them better!

4) I will go on line and sign any petition for better gun legislation. To do so, log on to; and to get more info on gun violence and to stop shootings, visit

My hope and prayer for this Christmas and the future is that we all work together and unite in this effort to prevent gun violence committed by our own people against our own people.

May God bless Sandy Hook’s children and teachers who have given their lives. I hope they didn’t die in vain, for our good, for our country’s and for the whole world’s — and that America’s culture of violence and death may soon turn into a culture of peace and life.

Ottavio Lo Piccolo


Springboks should make amends over Mandela

Nelson Mandela used the all-white Springbok rugby team to aid the integration of South Africa. He did it after he was released from prison and after he was elected president.

There was an unfortunate incident involving the Springboks during Mandela’s prison term and during the resulting broad boycott of South African business and cultural activities.

The organizers of the Springboks should use the occasion of Mandela’s death to recall his rich history of moving South Africa forward. Their shameful disregard of the boycott should be repudiated.

Otherwise, they stand on the wrong side of history, with George Bush and Dick Cheney, who opposed the boycott supporting prisoner Mandela.

Mike McLaughlin


No need for footballers to celebrate every play

Some years ago, the NFL fined players for excessive celebrations after scoring touchdowns. Now, we can’t watch a play without someone “hot dogging” how great he is.

We try to teach young kids in sports not to gloat when they win or perform well, but role models in major sports we can point to are practically nonexistent.

I enjoy watching the local high school sports, where this type of behavior is not acceptable. The NFL should wake up before it has more problems than just concussions.

Gerard F. Havasy

Clifton Park

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December 12, 2013
6 a.m.
+0 votes
Phils2008 says...

Hey Don, a fantasy does not make a fact. Obstructionist? You think just because a socialist took the WH that members of the opposition party should then role over and let him obfuscate and obliterate the Constitution? Should they allow the total destruction of America simply because you worship Obama? You guys tore into Bush day in and day out to get his poll numbers down. You berated and belittled both the man and the office with unrelenting attacks. Contrast that with the cover you offer this President through every scandal. Scandals you would have rightly used to impeach a Republican. No, Obamas polls are down because of all of the scandals and despite the cover offered by the MSM not just the continuing ineptness he's shown with the ACA rollout. You haven't had Bush to bash so Congress has been used as a replacement. Add the fact that most Conservatives oppose the establishment Republicans who are Democrat lite, the idiot Reid who will not allow the Republican Congress to pass anything and you have the reason for their low ratings. Spend less time trying to be a good Democrat and more time being an eyes wide open American.

December 12, 2013
6:17 a.m.
+0 votes
Phils2008 says...

Ottavio, I made the following pledges as well:

1: Stop raising our children under the very liberal philosophy that started the downward spiral of respect for teachers and authority we used to live under.

2: Enforce the laws already on the books against those illegally using guns and not pass more laws that hurt everyone but those that ignore them.

3: Teach what the Constitution says not what you want it to say. You didn't create this country and if you don't like it leave.

4: Read all the information on gun violence, compare that to other forms of violence and actually accept the statistical facts uncovered.

5: Lastly, I pledge to not dump more wasted dollars into an education system designed to pay teachers protected by tenure to indoctrinate our children in liberalism.

December 12, 2013
6:24 a.m.
+0 votes
tues8capt says...

Don, I can't wait to read the comments that your assinine letter will generate. Obama will go down in history as the WORST President ever. The best thing he could do would be to resign, but I fear it's much too late for our country. He had absolutely no qualifications to be President, yet the voters elected him TWICE! That certainly doesn't say much about our God-given intelligence, does it? How can you think that a government that is 17 trillion dollars in debt and can't manage it's own finances can possibly manage healthcare, ie, the non-Affordable Care Act? Take off the blinders, or are you happy to be one of the sheep being led to slaughter?

December 12, 2013
7:43 a.m.
+0 votes
wmarincic says...

Don Steiner. Obviously you were too busy staring at a picture of Obama to see Paul Ryan on every news Station with his budget bill. You elected a community organizer with no experience as president twice. The man who said that he does not know admitted terrorist William Ayers but Ayers has come out twice saying he was the actual author of Obamas book " Sins of my father". That's the problem with liberals, you just don't have a clue. You are the cause of the decline of the greatest country on earth since the late 60s and you continue to blame everyone else. I was raised to take responsibility for my actions obviously you were raised to blame others for your actions. Liberalism, another name for cowards.

December 12, 2013
6:25 p.m.
+0 votes
FrankLowe says...

Mr Lo Piccolo
1. I will teach my children to be productive private sector workers, therefore contributing to society rather than being a drain on it.
2. In case you missed it, the cowards in Albany passed the most regressive anti freedom gun legislation in the nation this year.
3. Please explain why the rest of us should pay for the incompetence and corruption that has caused the fiscal mess in the cities
4. I will make generous donation to the NRA in your name

December 12, 2013
7:54 p.m.
+0 votes
ChuckD says...

Wow, the hot air from the "Right" in here would be welcome if it didn't come with such a foul odor. There's so much vitriol I won't even attempt to rebut it all, but doesn't the hate and anger get tiring after a while? It sure does for us.

December 13, 2013
5:45 a.m.
+0 votes
Phils2008 says...

Thanks for the input ChuckD. Check come yet?

December 13, 2013
7:10 a.m.
+0 votes
wmarincic says...

Liberalism. Just another word for spending somebody's hard earned money.

December 14, 2013
12:21 a.m.
+0 votes
ChuckD says...

Right, and thanks for reminding us there still are no funny right wing comedians.
To the letter writer's original thesis that got you lots' knickers all knotted up:
While you can make a case against the Obama administration's handling of drones and privacy, and I and most of the Left certainly has if you paid attention, the Obama administration has owned up to failures with it's attempt to bolster and improve the overall health of the American population. That by any measure, is a noble cause. To argue that it's not is sociopathic. Just as indifference to gun safety is.
On the other hand:
The House Angry White Man's Party votes 47 times on something they don't like, knowing full well each and every time that success is impossible.
89% of the Angry White Man's Party are...white, and confidently proclaim they're going to 'sweep the White House in 2016!' even as their demographic continues to shrivel like their....20th century ideas about Socialism.
Who are the loons? Who has the more noble cause?

December 14, 2013
6:08 a.m.
+0 votes
Phils2008 says...

ChuckD, Thanks. LMAO, Typically a sociopath is defined as someone who has a disregard for the rights of others or behaves in a violent or dangerous way toward others with little or no guilt. Sounds a lot like you libs when you don't get your way. Your sycophantic idols on MSNBC lead the way along with your SEIU thugs, your Black Panther party members, your occupy wall street criminals. You want to define sycophant as a condition of angst exhibited by those that oppose you politically. Who are the loons? Democrats. Who has the more noble cause? I can only assume the cause is the preservation of America and not the establishment of socialism on American soil, so Id have to go with Conservatives. The only people left in America who truly. love it. You sociopaths think if you continue your vile attacks on black conservatives you might get that number above 89%, but I think they're finally starting to see liberals for the phony's they are.

December 14, 2013
7:14 a.m.
+0 votes
wmarincic says...

ChuckD. Obama is fixing Obamacare? Why is it right in your mind to destroy the lives of some people in order to help other people? What happened to taking responsibility for your life, family and future? Yes some people need help and nobody helps people in need more than conservatives. The stories of thousands of people losing healthcare is only begun. I now have to pay $6,500 on top of my $7,000 a year premiums. Why? Do you really think this is right, if so you must be getting your health insurance paid for by somebody else. Liberalism, just another word for gimme yours.


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