Don’t blame cats for killing birds, blame the cats’ owners

Friday, March 22, 2013
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Don’t blame cats for killing birds, blame the cats’ owners

I was relieved by the March 12 letter by Nancy Castillo from Wild Birds Unlimited, that birds are indeed around where it is safe. Like many, I love birds and all of nature and wildlife.

However, being an owner of pets, including cats, I must come to the defense of felines and provide some insight to educate those who are unaware of a few facts about cats.

Dogs have been domesticated in our country for thousands of years longer than cats. Felines are much closer to their “wild” roots and, therefore they possess a stronger innate tendency to hunt for survival. They are not mean, just doing what nature is driving them to do.

The killing and hunting of birds from a human’s birdfeeder by cats can be directly blamed on another human — not the cat. Other animal predators that visit bird feeders are also doing what they were intended to do — survive.

Irresponsible and ignorant humans, who let their cats roam freely these days, are totally to blame whenever a homeowner sees unwanted cats at their feeders. My cats go outdoors, I don’t deprive them of their love of sunshine and fresh air, but they are contained in a totally secure and comfortable fenced in area, where they are not able to trespass onto my neighbors’ property and are safe themselves from peril.

Far worse are humans who just “throw away” that cute little kitten who grew older, was never spayed or neutered and is now either spraying, pregnant, or worse, has produced a litter of kittens.

These domesticated thrown-away felines revert to their wild nature to survive, and although most people may not know this, preying on bird feeders is not their first choice of food, it is their last. They much prefer to have a food source such as a human’s leftover food, a Dumpster behind a restaurant or supermarket, or small rodents they are able to catch.

I have worked for seven years with SCRUFF, Inc., a group of unpaid volunteers and veterinarians whose goal is to decrease the feral cat overpopulation, which is directly linked to human beings acting inhumane by dumping living creatures like they would garbage.

To date, Scruff has spayed/neutered close to 4,000 cats in the Capital Region (at zero cost to taxpayers) and that is only scratching the surface.

Whether you like cats or dislike them, please don’t blame them for preying on your bird feeders, blame the ignorant homo sapiens who mistreat and misunderstand them. And, please encourage and support efforts to spay/neuter all domestic pets.

Frances Bartholomew


Let’s end ‘rich get richer, poor get poorer’

Martin Luther King Jr. said, “A nation that continues year after year to spend more on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”

I would like to add that a nation that supports a political party that unabashedly puts the interests of corporations and the extremely wealthy ahead of the most vulnerable men, women and children is approaching spiritual doom. Budgeting is about establishing priorities, allocating funds for things we truly believe in — we can afford to support all the things that mean the most to us.

Cutting health care benefits for the poor and elderly, education, child care programs, Social Security and other critical social welfare programs, while maintaining preferential tax rates and tax avoidance strategies for corporations and the richest people in our country, clearly demonstrates what the Republican Party cares most about.

Hedge fund managers who make $10 million a week and pay a lower tax rate than teachers or secretaries; corporations like Facebook, which made $1.1 billion in profit last year and is receiving a $439 million tax refund; Microsoft, which has $66 billion in cash reserves; or Google, with more than $100 billion: Corporate profits are at an all-time high.

I am sure that many programs can be run more effectively and efficiently, and cuts should be made based on that happening. But such cuts should be based on the traditional philosophy of “doing the least harm.”

How can anyone think that denying needy people access to health care or cutting Head Start programs will do less harm than increasing a hedge fund manager’s tax rate back to where it was in the 1990s — 37.5 percent — which would cut his/her after-tax income from $8.5 million per week to $6.3 million per week?

How long will the majority of Americans stand for this obviously inhumane, spiritually empty approach to governing?

Nick Coupas

West Glenville

Illinois fracking law is good model for N.Y.

The March 8 AP article [“Illinois fracking agreement near; could be a model”] offers some example for New York. But what lessons should we take?

New York has inserted itself in the usual role of soliciting information, from anyone, on its environmental impact statement (EIS) and regulations. These will inform executive agency, and possibly legislative decisions. This is a many-to-one (the state) relation, not the many-to-many relation, or industry-environmentalist relation emphasized in the article on Illinois. But will the outcome be any different?

The Illinois process comes down to accepting fracking but with provisions for liability and disclosure on the part of those who will profit in the gas/petroleum industry.

In submissions to the New York process, on both the EIS and regulations, I have repeated that no one is certain what the impacts of fracking will be on individual water supplies. The object of fracking is to fracture substrata, intended to increase flow into the gas/oil wells. But given that natural seeps of gas and oil into water tables already occurs, it follows that the process will also increase this seepage, including of the “proprietary” chemicals used in the fracturing.

The industry simply discounts this risk. Fine, but then it is expected that they reveal what they are putting into the ground for detection purposes and take liability for any damage. If those conditions are not accepted, no one should be permitted to run off with profits without accountability.

What is the role of the state? Those of us who have been active in litigation about plans and environmental damage know that whether it is the state or industry, the burden of proof and costs falls on the damaged citizens. This was always true for state highway or urban renewal projects.

I was also active on the Crossgates Mall permitting process when the executive (in the form of the environmental conservation agency) overturned the finding of damage by its own administrative judge, based on our citizen battle.

So, New York state, show us you are serious about identifying and enforcing liability, on behalf of citizens and the environment, and we will have achieved as much or more than Illinois has. If the state does not take an active role in monitoring, and does not establish prima facie (presumed) liability when fracking chemicals are found in water supplies, or pollution occurs after fracking, then fracking should not be done here.

Gary G. Nelson


NYC soda ban ended up where it belonged

I was glad to read (March 12 Gazette) that state Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling has struck down New York City’s ban on big drinks.

I hope this serves to remind Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his crew that New York City is yet a part of the United States, a freedom-loving nation.

If the United States still has too much freedom for Mr. Bloomberg, I recommend that he move to some other nation.

Mr. Bloomberg is quoted as saying: “One of the cases we will make is that people are dying every day. This is no joke.” News flash: People were “dying every day” in Bloomberg’s city long before the invention of soda.

The real joke is the (fortunately failed) attempt to ban big drinks.

Joel Nelson


Homeland Security arms itself to the teeth

Why has the Department of Homeland Security purchased over 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition, over 2,000 AR-15s, thousands of 30-round magazines, and possibly over 2,000 MRAPs (mine-resistant armored personnel carriers)?

And why are none of the major news agencies, other than Forbes, asking these questions?

What kind of war is the Department of Homeland Security planning for?

Bob Semp


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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.

For more letters, visit our Web site:

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March 22, 2013
3:43 a.m.
janesjoys says...

RE: Semp - Perhaps the major news agencies did not feel that the facts warranted rousing the rables. The Daily Caller debunked this false info on Feb 26, 2013. I quote:

"The ammunition being purchased is “Commercial Lead Training Ammo” — or CLTA, in government speak.
There are three components to the order:
1. .40 caliber, 165 grain jacketed hollow point rounds
2. 9mm, 115 grain jacketed hollow point rounds
3. 9mm, 124 grain ball ammunition
On February 7, three sources — the Examiner, The Blaze and InfoWars – claimed that the DHS was adding 21,600,000 rounds of ammunition to its stockpile.
The next day, reported the 21,600,000 round purchased by DHS.
The Daily Caller has reviewed the purchase solicitation and has determined that those reports are wildly inaccurate.
Section 20 of the solicitation outlines the “Schedule of Supplies/Services,” which details the purchase for each of the three components. The first two components, .40 caliber and 9mm 115 grain jhp rounds, specify 100,000 rounds to be priced per 1,000 rounds. The third component, 9mm 124 grain ball ammo, specifies 40,000 rounds to be priced per 1,000 rounds.
The incorrect calculations that brought reporters to the 21.6 million number looks like this for each component:
1. .40 cal. 100,000 rounds x 100 quantities = 10,000,000 rounds
2. 9mm 115 grain, 100,000 rounds x 100 quantities = 10,000,000 rounds
3. 9mm 124 grain ball, 40,000 rounds x 40 quantities = 1,600,000 rounds
Total = 21,600,000 rounds
The problem with the equation is that the wrong numbers were used to calculate the delivery. The error in reporting occurred because the authors mistakenly failed to recognize that the delivery was to be priced per 1,000 rounds.
Here are the correct calculations:
1. .40 cal. 100 quantities of a 1,000 round unit = 100,000 rounds
2. 9mm 115 grain, 100 quantities of a 1,000 round unit = 100,000 rounds
3. 9mm 124 grain ball, 40 quantities of a 1,000 round unit = 40,000 rounds
Total = 240,000 rounds
To directly answer the rumors: Did the Department of Homeland Security just request to purchase 21,600,000 rounds of handgun ammo? No, not by a long shot."

Read more:

March 22, 2013
10:56 a.m.
wmarincic says...

janesjoy, FYI practice round ammo for instance for a .40 caliber is 135 or 155 grain, 165 grain and higher is killing ammo. I could explain the same for all of that ammo. Also you are using some obsolete liberl site for your info. Maybe you should use Forbes or one of the other outlets such as

March 22, 2013
12:06 p.m.
cfield says...

My opinion of the recent purchases of huge ammounts of ammunition, rifles, and armored vehicles by Homeland Security, aka Obama Administration:
The administration is afraid, that as they continue on their course of doing what they please and citizenz be damned, that when the citizens disagree, rally and protest the tyranny of the government, the administration will have the ability to forcibly put down any resistance by the population. Why else? Any civil unrest in any given State should be able to be quelled by that States National Guard, called out by the govenour of that state. Not good enough for "Big Brother"

March 22, 2013
3:02 p.m.
janesjoys says...

wmarincic - did you even read my comment? I cited my source and the date of the posting. I should know better by now. You will always have THE answer to everything. No compormise or discussion because you always talk louder and and don't seem to need to take a breath. No other idea could possibly be even considered.

cfield - Homeland Security was established under President Bush. Actually, with all the nuts out there ammassing assault weapons, I would be happy to have some agency protecting the unarmed with their armories.

March 22, 2013
7:48 p.m.
Newsworthy says...

cfield- really?! It seems like you have defined political paranoia. Do you really think enough Americans would get off their arses to revolt? Or are you expecting another Kent State?
I'm inclined to agree with janesjoy, that it's only a matter of time before some psycho cuts loose with an assault rifle (or worse) in an airport, train station, subway, etc. HSA agents on site could respond far more quickly than a police SWAT team. To accomplish that, the agents need to be well armed, armored and practiced. Hence, large purchases, regardless of the number of zeros in the quantity.

March 22, 2013
10:25 p.m.
wmarincic says...

janesjoy I saw it hence my response. Newsworthy are you kidding me? I think Hitler probably said the same thing in 1934. Maybe you should read this newsworthy. This sure sounds like Obama with his gus, ammo and his share the wealth doesn't it. History has a way of repeatiing itself when people don't learn by it.

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