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Voters should demand good, ethical service from elected officials

Wednesday, October 2, 2013
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Voters should demand good, ethical service from elected officials

The Sept. 27 editorial (“Go after pensions of corrupt pols”) was right on the mark in assailing the continued payment of pensions to politicians convicted of corruption.

Such chicanery is an absolute insult to the good folks of New York, who struggle to pay their burdensome taxes. Too bad there isn’t a pre-election test, akin to a pre-employment drug test, that takes the measure of the ethics and morality of anyone who aspires to an elected position. The taxpayer certainly deserves it.

And to those politicians still in office — close those loopholes that cause New York to bleed financially. We can’t continue to fund a state that doesn’t exercise prudent financial practices.

It’s a proverbial no-brainer. Don’t wait for bad things to happen; get our house in order now. That’s what you’ve been elected to do. We the voters demand it. If it doesn’t happen, the consequences will be dire.

But how will the elected officials know that the public demands an orderly house? After all, I suspect many readers will nod in agreement and then set the newspaper aside, doing nothing to let politicians know that I am not the only one who feels this way.

Today’s technology makes it so easy to contact government officials. Make that move. Do something to let your representatives know that you demand good, effective, ethical public service. What are you waiting for?

Jerry Boehm

Albany

Starbucks ‘Viagra’ cartoon a low blow

Re the Sept. 27 political cartoon depicting Starbucks offering an “Espresso con Viagra” as a substitute for guns that are no longer allowed in their stores.

As a man who isn’t easily offended, I must say this picture struck a nerve.

I have no problem with a company choosing its own policy. But allow me to pose a question: A violent crime victim is permanently terrified at the thought of stepping outside his home (something most people can never understand and take for granted). Instead of attending therapy sessions and popping pills, he chooses to carry a gun to gain the courage, re-enter the public jungle and move on with life (another choice many people could never understand). Please tell me: What are they compensating for?

Not all gun owners are on a power trip. In fact, a majority aren’t. Furthermore, I find it amazing how such a hypersensitive society (magnified by the biased media) can hypocritically poke fun of issues like this as they see fit.

It’s obvious and unfortunate that anyone who owns a gun is immediately labeled a “nut,” living in the Wild West, compensating for undersized genitalia.

We’re actually very normal people. We just see the right to defend ourselves a little differently. Refrain from mass judgments and respect [our] opinion.

Nic Aragosa

Scotia

Even on sidewalks, bikes a threat to pedestrians

Re Sept. 29 Viewpoint, “All together now”: As I sat perusing the newspaper, I chuckled. No, I roared when I saw the front page Opinion Section piece regarding the sharing of bike paths with pedestrians.

On July 30, I was the unfortunate victim in the lasting dispute over who has the “right of way”: I was left with two fractures — a wrist and an ankle. The ankle has healed, but the wrist has not. I underwent surgery on Sept. 11 to transplant a donor bone in my wrist. I’m still in a cast.

I was not hit by the bike headed straight for me; that would’ve been really messy. Instead, I jumped off the path to avoid being hit and slid in the wet grass, breaking my ankle. Trying to break my fall, I broke my wrist.

The extremely sad part of this account? I was walking on a sidewalk — a sidewalk! He was biking on the sidewalk.

He never slowed down, never acknowledged my presence, never even looked up. I dove off the walk for my life. He continued on his ride without looking back.

Is it coming to the point where people will have to pass bike tests and walk tests to ensure safety on paths? Do we need police officers patrolling paths and issuing citations for failing to follow the rules? Please.

The unwritten rules on these paths are basic — be courteous, share, be nice, be friendly, be aware of others, smile, say hello and, most of all, be safe.

Seems to me, most of these things we learned about in kindergarten. Hmmm. Grow up.

Diane Gabriels

Schenectady

If only Navy Yard shooter had used an AR-15

Re the Sept. 28 Gazette letter, “Use minimum security prisons to grow food”: Will someone explain to Sid Gordon that the Washington Navy Yard shooter did not use an AR-15.

He used one of the oldest, but more lethal, weapons in our arsenal — the pump action shotgun!

Accuracy is not a prime concern in using a shotgun. If I have to be shot, I would prefer it be with an AR-15. Unless it hits a vital organ, it very often passes right through you and won’t even knock you down. This has been proven time and again — starting in Vietnam.

A round from a shotgun will most likely rip you a new butt.

Don Vanderwarker

Malta

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