Boycott is only way to get stores closed

Friday, November 22, 2013
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Boycott is only way to get stores closed on Thanksgiving

I thought Black Friday was commercialization at its worst, the corruption of a religious holiday. It’s been many generations now since crafty marketers dressed the baby in the manger up in a red suit and displayed him on a sleigh at the end of the Thanksgiving parade to promise children more gizmos than they can imagine. And it’s been downhill from there.

Every year corporations up the ante trying to outdo each other in sales. “Let’s start playing Christmas music on Nov. 1!” Just when you think it can’t get worse, it does.

Those in the quest of the almighty dollar have seized another holiday, Thanksgiving. It started with a major chain a few years ago, but now more and more stores have decided to open their doors on Thanksgiving to “be competitive.” “To get our share of the dough” is more like it.

I always [thought of] Thanksgiving as the last non-commercialized holiday. That’s why I have always liked it so much. It’s dinner with family. Relaxed and simple. Low pressure. I have made the turkey for so many years now, it’s something I can do in my sleep (and sometimes do.) If I forget to set out the cranberries, no one will even notice. What’s important is that we are together as a family, catching up on news, celebrating accomplishments, brainstorming problems, laughing about foibles and loving each other.

But big business wants to change all that. They seem to be saying, “Eat your turkey if you want, but then come out and buy, buy, buy.” They actually want us to celebrate our national holiday of thankfulness by poring over advertisement fliers.

I know full well that if I don’t want to shop, I don’t have to. But what about all the people who want to be home with their families but have to be in the stores selling? They don’t have a choice.

One day, I would love to see a different corporate decision. I would love to see a commercial that shows a Norman Rockwell-esque family gathered around a table filled with all the usual Thanksgiving fare with a voice-over saying, “We here at (insert store name) value our employees and you, our customers, enough to remain closed on Thanksgiving. We feel that in a culture where there is unlimited access to all forms of consumerism, a day of rest is warranted. So sit back and relax for a day. We’ll see ya bright and early on Black Friday!”

One thing may help make this a possibility: Don’t shop on Thanksgiving. If the money they are paying to all their employees isn’t profitable, they may once again decide to shutter their doors for the day.

Catherine Butryn


Party bosses to blame for Sch’dy mudslinging

In the recent Schenectady City Council election, I had the privilege of campaigning against two men, Carl Erikson and John Mootooveren.

During our short time of appearances and debates, I came to know these men reasonably well. Unlike their Democratic leadership, consisting of [County Attorney] Chris Gardner and [Democratic election commissioner] Brian Quail, Mr. Erikson and Mr. Mootooveren exemplify character, principle and decency.

Unfortunately, I and the citizens of Schenectady weren’t aware of Mr. Mootooveren’s work history [Nov. 8 Gazette], so I do reserve judgment on his honesty.

During the latter stages of our campaign, disparaging, unwarranted and malicious literature was mailed throughout the city, attacking me personally and professionally, along with my running mate, Joe Kelleher [Nov. 2 Gazette].

Upon finding out about this deceitful, unprofessional, cunning and dishonest approach by the so-called leadership of the Democratic Party and others in the hierarchy who hide in the shadow, Mr. Erikson and Mr. Mootooveren approached me immediately to apologize and [expressed] embarrassment at their leadership’s transgressions.

Mr. Erikson was so upset he actually canceled his last check to the party’s pool fund for campaign literature. A day later, his name vanished from the front window of Democratic headquarters. How nice of their so-called professional leadership!

When asked if they knew anything about this, these so-called leaders’ response was, “We had no idea that this happened and certainly had nothing to do with it.” This has been their usual cowardly response over several past campaigns. They pulled this some ominous attack when I ran for sheriff in 2009, and also attacked my wife Susan several years back, when she beat out a 16-year incumbent in the county Legislature.

I assume that Chris Gardner and Brian Quail think like tyrants and try to bully and intimidate people into doing their dirty deeds. But, alas, Mr. Mootooveren and Mr. Erikson did not subscribe to their slandering tactics. For this, I truly respect and appreciate them!

Joseph M. Lazzari


Casino would boost Saratoga year-round

Saratoga has been billed as the “summer place to be.” More recently, Saratoga has been trying to promote its attraction to become a year-round destination. Expansion of the current racino to a casino would encourage that initiative.

Recent protests have indicated that the casino would detract from downtown businesses. To the contrary, the expansion would add to Saratoga’s appeal. People will go where the casino is located, thereby hurting local businesses if the casino is located elsewhere.

This is a chance for Saratoga to become the “year-round place to be.”

Ron Martino


Obama’s presidency wracked with failure

As a lifelong Democrat, I find President Obama a disappointment.

Ramming through Obamacare — a tax on the young and middle class to benefit the old, sick and poor (Medicaid and subsidies), on a strictly partisan vote — instead of focusing on the economy was a mistake.

Prior to the 2012 election, [National Security Adviser] Susan Rice, a White House mouthpiece, repeated the same lame story to five major news programs that the 9/11 attack in Benghazi was by “spontaneous amateurs,” knowing it was a well-planned attack by professional fighters.

Immigration reform has vanished, Obama was “clueless” about massive NSA spying or that the IRS was targeting tea party-leaning charities. Our electrical, cyber and civil engineering infrastructures are still woefully deficient. Our debt is ballooning, equities are bubbling due to free money from the Fed, Wall Street banks are bigger than before the Great Recession, half the jobs created in the past three years are low-paying, and regulatory and policy uncertainty stifles growth. Obama promotes full utilization of fossil fuels, exacerbating global warming.

Obama loves drones, which beget more jihadists. Guantanamo is open. Threatening to punish Assad for crossing a “red line” (using chemical weapons in Syria) — was toothless, and he [Obama] refused to call a military takeover of a democratically elected government in Egypt a coup. Iran is five years closer to a nuclear bomb.

If Obamacare fails, what does President Obama have to show for his failed presidency except killing bin Laden?

Richard Moody Jr.


Deficits will cause dollar to weaken

Beware. What follows is an extremely boring letter about the economic implications of the federal deficit.

We have a deficit because the government spends more money than it collects in taxes. It is able to do this because of loans from other countries. These loans are made because dollars are used as a means to settle debts acquired in import and export activities.

As the economies of India and China continue to grow, we will see a decline in the role of the dollar as a reserve currency. Because our printing of money makes our products look cheaper in the eyes of the rest of the world, this effect will manifest itself in the repatriation of dollars through foreign purchases of American products and companies.

To see social stresses that are in store for us, you need only review what happened to Great Britain when the pound ceased being a reserve currency.

Republicans are not very popular as they endorse living in the real world and pointing out this inconvenient truth.

Fred Barney


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November 22, 2013
5:16 a.m.
Phils2008 says...

Richard, you can take responsibility for putting him in office not once but twice. I assume being a lifelong Democrat is some point of pride for you. Now like the good lemming I'm sure you have been, get out and crank up the vote for Hillary. As you know, problems caused or created by Democrats can only be fixed by Democrats. So get out there and vote Democrat. Ignore her lying shady past, her army skilled at personal destruction and her lying weasel of a husband. Just vote Hillary like a good little Democrat and all will be well.

November 22, 2013
7:07 a.m.
wmarincic says...

Joe Lazzari, always a class act, Schenectady voters don't have a clue what they lost by not electing you. Don't fear though Joe, it seems that there are people waiting for proof from DHS that Mr. Mootooveren is an actual U.S. citizen, so I am being told. If he is not I would hope he would do the right thing and bow out now rather than have the controversy later.

November 22, 2013
7:09 p.m.
rpterry says...

A most recent letter is the constant charge that Pres. Obama is weak in foreign policy. Let’s check the record:
War in Iraq ended
War in Afghanistan nearly ended.
Osama Bin Laden killed in his bedroom, no less.
Hundreds or more Taliban and El Qaida killed by drones and other means.
Gaddafi removed with no troops on the ground as Republican hawks demanded
Syria destroying its chemical weapons without troops on the ground as hawks also demanded.
Iran about to agree to nuclear deal avoiding military action same war mongers wanted.
Most important, a firm policy to avoid sending American service people into every possible trouble spot.
Smooth relations with all parts of the world. Recent ruffles about spying not started by this administration.
New focus on China vicinity as a place for strong military presence.
All this is failure?

November 22, 2013
7:47 p.m.
wmarincic says...

rpterry, get a clue, Iraq war had a timeline before Obama was elected. NBC news last night said that we will have troops on the ground probably for another 10 years in Afghanistan. Bin Laden killed because of Bush interrogation techniques not because of Obama but in spite of Obama. Gaddafi is gone from Libya and the country is in turmoil, the Libyan people are saying "before we only had Gaddafi, now we have hundreds just like him". Syria destroying it's chemical weapons because of Putin, not Obama, maybe you forgot Obama's line in the sand and then when he failed at that he tossed it to Congress to take the heat off himself. John Kerry another traitor in Iran giving the Iranians more time to get that nuke. Netanyahu is absolutely right. Obama is a failure in everything he does, he is a failed community organizer and a drug dealer and cocaine user in college. He was mediocre at his best, he was a Senator that was mediocre and he has never truly accomplished anything. So yes, he and his whole presidency is an absolute failure. Time to put the Kool-Aid down.

November 23, 2013
7:51 a.m.
gina99 says...

Joseph Lazzari-Thank you for running against the corrupt Democratic mud machine. You ran a clean campaign on the issues. In any other County the Democratic boss Chris Gardiner who lost 3 seats on the County Legislature and slimmed all GOP opponents would be sent packing. Never Schenectady. He will receive a huge raise from the overtaxed County taxpayers and be given a Patroon Award for libelous writing. BTW, the biggest problem is the Glenville Supervisor wanting full time hours?

November 23, 2013
5:31 p.m.
TellCathySteve says...

It's a pretty big problem, gina99, when the Town Supervisor, who has held elected office for six years, decides to sneak in his proposal that will result in a big fat raise for himself,rather than following the law. The residents spoke out, and despite his claim to the contrary, Mr. Koetzle had no intention of abiding by the law and calling for a public hearing. He changed his tune pretty quickly mid-afternoon on Wednesday, no doubt when his political pal, the Town Attorney probably advised him that, ya know what Chris, it might be a good idea to follow the law.

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