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Too many people are paranoid, feeding conspiracy theories

Wednesday, May 8, 2013
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Too many people are paranoid, feeding conspiracy theories

What a shame the Gazette published the “Nest Heads” comic strip April 25 instead of April 29.

The husband is reading a newspaper and commenting, “It seems like more and more people are buying into more and more conspiracy theories. That can’t be good for us.” He must have been reading the April 29 Gazette!

Your April 29 letters led off with a prediction by Richard W. Colyer that “government’s role appears to be changing rather rapidly, unfortunately. We are becoming a regulation nation. Government is currently seeking to control our behavior, from Obamacare to restrictions imposed on the private sector, and free enterprise, to what we can eat and drink. And now the Second Amendment is under attack.”

Also on April 29, the Boston bombers’ mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, apparently agrees with Colyer. According to a neighbor, “She started quoting a conspiracy, telling me that she thought 9/11 was purposely created by the American government to make America hate Muslims. It’s real. My son knows all about it. You can read it on the Internet.”

Then there was the April 29 “Annie’s Mailbox,” in which a troubled fan tells of her outrageous sister. “She believes the government is spraying poison into the skies and dropping ticks to kill us. She thinks crackpots rapping on YouTube are reliable sources of information. She believes every conspiracy theory out there.”

Now, if I was into conspiracy theories, I would wonder about all those people buying up all the weapons and ammunition they can get their hands on. If we lived in a banana republic, I’d worry; but it’s our government’s job to protect us from armed radicals.

Bernard Bloom

Saratoga Springs

Don’t grant scofflaw landlords any evictions

Here is an idea that might light a fire under landlords who choose to disobey the rental inspection requirement in Schenectady: If they want to take a tenant to court for unpaid rent, or evict the tenant for any reason, they must first prove that the apartment was legally rented, including proof of the required inspection.

Most likely there is some legal reason that this cannot be done, but wouldn’t it work beautifully if it could be?

Valerie Mapstone Ackerman

Schenectady

Misinformation abounds about Lyme disease

With May comes the requisite article on ticks and Lyme disease, since this month is widely recognized as “Lyme Disease Awareness Month.”

Unfortunately, these articles are often filled with pervasive misconceptions about tick bites and rashes, usually accompanied by quotes from an infectious disease specialist and other generalizations implying that such opinions represent the consensus view.

The article on Lyme disease that appeared in the May 4 Gazette is no exception. The opening paragraph firmly asserts that ticks have to be attached for a “minimum of 36 hours before you need to worry.”

Regrettably, there is no scientific evidence that shows exactly how long a tick much be attached before pathogens are transmitted. Besides Borrelia, ticks also harbor pathogens like Bartonella, Babesia, and Ehrlichia, which live inside blood cells and could potentially be transmitted as soon as the tick drills through the top layers of the skin.

The article also mentions the “bulls-eye” rash as a clear marker of the disease, but clinical research shows that a “bulls-eye” shows up less than half the time. Some people are successfully treated with antibiotics according to CDC [Centers for Disease Control] recommendations, but published studies indicate that more than half continue to experience chronic pain and debilitating neurological symptoms after antibiotic treatment.

The outrageous statement by Dr. Dean Lemeri [medical director of primary care] of Ellis Medicine, that “the nice thing about Lyme disease is it’s hard to get and easy to treat,” punctuates the urgent need for state and national lawmakers to get involved and press for changes to the CDC recommendations for Lyme disease diagnosis and require insurance companies to cover long-term treatment.

There is nothing “nice” about Lyme disease.

Holly Ahern

Charlton

The writer is professor of microbiology at SUNY Adirondack and will be a speaker at the World Wide Lyme Disease Awareness Day rally in Albany on May 10.

Trees in Kings Road cemetery in sorry shape

Has anyone who works for St. Joseph’s Cemetery on Kings Road noticed how many dead and overgrown trees there are on the hill adjacent to the cemetery?

They are an eyesore.

Heaven forbid a big storm hits and they come down. There are some that have been dead for years, and nobody has even had them trimmed.

Bob Hamel

Schenectady

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comments

May 8, 2013
10:19 a.m.
albright1 says...

Bernard Bloom, I know! conspiracies theories abound....remember the one where if Romney was elected President, he was gonna outlaw abortion and end the constitutional right for women to have free birth control pills with no copay? That was a good one.

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