The Locally Owned Voice of the Capital Region

Where there’s no leadership, there is no responsibility

Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Text Size: A | A

Where there’s no leadership, there is no responsibility

Where have all the leaders gone, long time lasting?

After reading the book “The Generals,” I was impressed with the leadership during WWII. Supreme Commander Gen. George Marshall and second in command, Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, made decisions to remove unproductive generals from service — i.e. those who were either too old or too set in their ways, who were not aggressive, not battle-ready and, above all, not team players.

They moved generals from front lines to the States, demoted some to lower ranks, and forced others to leave the service. Their decisions were not based on personal feelings or friendship, but on one criteria: to win the war. This model of tough governing removed incompetence and developed great leaders.

While reading this book, my thoughts were brought to present-day leadership in Congress and the presidency. I thought of how past failures, such as Benghazi, the IRS shenanigans, Fast and Furious, and the latest fiasco, the rollout of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), were handled.

In all these cases, not one person was relieved of their duties. I’m not talking about lower-level people, but the advisers and supposed leaders of these projects. The head of the Health and Human Services Department, Kathleen Sebelius, was not fired or reprimanded for doing a terrible job on the rollout of the ACA, but instead had a position added to her staff to help solve the problem of running the program.

This is so typical of government-run programs. Instead of finding new leadership and getting rid of incompetence, they either throw money at the problem or hire more people to solve it.

Unlike the WWII model of leadership, this model of governing perpetuates incompetence, increases costs and destroys the development of great leaders.

Vince Alescio

Clifton Park

Committee to Save Cuomo, anonymously

Your Dec. 6 editorial on the Moreland Commission on corruption in state government was right on the mark. You correctly pointed out the commission lacked the legal muscle to force legislators to adhere to any of their suggestions. I only wish that you had gone further in pointing out that the biggest culprit is Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Cuomo has made a career out of avoiding the disclosure of the names of his biggest campaign contributors, and the Moreland Commission is just the most recent victim of his duplicity in supposedly fighting corruption in government. After his election, Cuomo helped create the Committee to Save New York. The committee, which was created to sound like a grass-roots citizens group, was actually a group of Cuomo’s richest campaign donors and their funds were unlimited.

Using a barrage of TV ads, the committee was able to help Cuomo attack the state’s public employee and teachers unions, painting them as some evil empire that was destroying the state. The ads were responsible for the loss of benefits and salary of public employees, but that was nothing compared to what it did to the teachers.

When the Joint Commission on Public Integrity (JCOPE) attempted to force the Committee to Save New York group to reveal the names of its members, the governor steadfastly refused.

Unfortunately, none of our legislators have had the guts to publicly take Cuomo to task, due to their fear of his previously high popularity numbers. Make no mistake, Andrew Cuomo is a bully, and his style of governing is closer to that of a mob boss than that of a state governor.

I’m sure if the Moreland Commission or media get too close to the truth of the source of the money in the state Democratic Party, the money will soon disappear, then come back in the Cuomo 2016 presidential campaign.

John Angilletta

Scotia

Cellphone zombies destroying society

The moans and the shuffling of feet can be heard from near and afar, down any street, mall or public space. They move slowly, eyes straight ahead, jaws slack. They are the cellphone zombies, oblivious to everything and everyone around them. Innocent bystanders and drivers are at grave risk from these disturbed zombies talking on their cellphones while operating fast-moving vehicles.

In states that have not yet disarmed cell phone-occupied drivers, the resulting carnage is as gory as any scene out of George Romero’s movie, “Dawn of the Dead.”

Social conversation has also been a common way for how people meet one another. However, normal human relationships are being replaced with the cold calculus of truncated text messages and trivial phone chatter. Conversations with friends and spouses are constantly disrupted when people jabber with digital ghosts who are not even present. Much like the flesh-munching ghouls depicted in Hollywood horror flicks, people have become dead to the social environment around them.

In addition to cultivating antisocial behavior, improper cellphone use leads to people who are solemn, withdrawn and blatantly rude. Cellphone zombies can be seen inappropriately using their electronic devices at work, in grocery store checkout lines when they should be providing their full attention to the cashier, at gymnasiums when they should be working out, as well as during other public gatherings.

The zombies also play games, movies and music in public without using headphones: They blast their activities through the phone’s speaker at full volume so everyone within a half mile can hear it.

The cellphone zombies have proliferated everywhere. They elicit no emotion or any sign of acknowledgment towards each other. Their fingers coldly type, as if programmed by a word processor. They slowly sway back and forth, lacking any bodily coordination, aside from the typing action of their fingers. They slowly stumble forward towards the apocalypse of social ruination.

Clint D. Green

Clifton Park

There was still plenty of time to try rape suspect

What gives Ms. [Judge Karen] Drago the legal authority to dispose of rape charges [Nov. 29 Gazette]? You have five years to bring any felony charges.

I am wondering what she does with tougher cases, where the victim is raped in a setting they can’t leave for a long time (e.g. prison, a nursing home, a mental institution, even college is notorious for delaying these cases).

What would she do if the defendant or victim moved out of state? Many serial rapists move around.

In Massachusetts, a serial rapist and murderer, Alex Scesny, is only now finally doing time for a rape and murder from 1996 and is suspect in many other rapes and murders in three different states.

These cases are hard enough without her single-handedly changing the statute of limitations.

Beth Jacobs

Niskayuna

Capitalism and poverty two sides of the coin

What can be done and what is done are often not the same.

I accept the premise that capitalism can alleviate poverty. Lately, though, I have seen examples of where it may breed poverty instead, and it is happening right here in America.

The pope sees it happening globally and has recently spoken to that point. That, coupled with some of Robert Reich’s comments on inequality during a September interview with Bill Moyers, makes for a bewildering yet provocative issue.

Where Pope Francis claims that unfettered capitalism promotes inequality, and thereby, poverty within countries, Reich claims that capitalism is an absolute necessity for democracy to function, though not to the extreme that it appears to be in America today.

It is undeniable that the United States has been a world leader in fighting the war on poverty, with its many and generous contributions worldwide. This is the model where capitalism can alleviate poverty. On the other hand, the difference between the rich and the poor is widening in the United States and that is the example of what capitalism is capable of doing if unchecked. Where is the tipping point?

I would hope our political leaders could recognize and resolve that question. I think President Obama understands the concept. If only he could get cooperation from Congress. That may not happen soon. For now, we may regrettably need to accept, with regard to capitalism, that what can be done is not what is being done.

Ray Knapik

Ballston Spa

Letters Policy

The Gazette wants your opinions on public issues.

There is no strict word limit, though letters under 200 words are preferred.

All letters are subject to editing for length, style and fairness, and we will run no more than one letter per month from the same writer.

Please include your signature, address and day phone for verification.

For information on how to send, see bottom of this page.

 

comments

December 17, 2013
1:40 a.m.
+0 votes
Will1960 says...

Clint Green paints a disturbing yet accurate picture our youth's overindulgence with electronic devices. It will likely take more of that anti-social conduct before parents and educators get serious and start limiting their children's use of these machines. We as a society have been much too slow to re-act to the negative effects of these devices on today's youth. I agree that these devices have helped to create a generation of zombies who will fall through the cracks without having the ability to think for themselves or be able to engage their social skills since they are void of any.

December 17, 2013
7 a.m.
-1 votes
wmarincic says...

Eric Barnes tell the families of the people that Mandela put gasoline soaked tires around their necks and set them on fire about how wonderful and forgiving he is. Mandela was a communist who was on the U.S. terrorist watch list.

December 17, 2013
7:01 p.m.
+0 votes
pollywog says...

Vince should pay attention to the real news. The IRS scandal actually targeted more liberal groups than Tea Party ones. The Benghazi fiasco began years before when Republicans cut the foreign budgets, but let's blame the President for a single misstatement. No one went after Bush and Cheney when they took us into an illegal war, now did they?

December 17, 2013
9:35 p.m.
+0 votes
ChuckD says...

pollywog, your points are right on and easily verifiable truths, but I too take extreme exception to how Ms. Sebelius has so far been allowed to slide through. The buck stops with her and she has so far avoided any accountability, save for some uncomfortable moments in Congress. This is the very picture of what's wrong with the Obama administration and the rest of the Democratic Party; an apparent inability to stand up to those who need to be held accountable.
.
Ms. Sebelius, as well as the contractors of the website and those who hired them, should be summarily shown the door. And then sued.

December 18, 2013
7:01 a.m.
+0 votes
wmarincic says...

Polliwog. Which of the hundreds of misstatements by Obama. Was it " the murder of our ambassador was caused by an obsolete Internet video" or was it " if you like your health insurance you can keep it" or was " if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor". There are also a hundred more absolute lies by Obama like we will have to most transparent government in history, another lie since Obama is being sued by all of the news agencies who say he Obama is blocking access and running the executive branch in secret. Liberalism another word for liar.

December 18, 2013
7 p.m.
+0 votes
Phils2008 says...

Yes polliwog, Chucky is right. Every point you made is an "easily" verifiable truth. The beauty of being uninformed, gullible, ignorant and simply ideologically dishonest is that you can have an opinion and not care that its based on utter nonsense. How cool is that? Plus, you have the added benefit of even less informed people telling you how smart you are. Can it get any better??????

 

columnists & blogs


Log into Dailygazette.com

Forgot Password?

Subscribe

Username:
Password: