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Hamas to blame for Gaza troubles

Thursday, July 31, 2014
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Hamas to blame for Gaza troubles

It was only a matter of time before a letter attacking Israel appeared in The Gazette, and it's no surprise that Tom Ellis [July 24 letter, "Israel responsible for violence in Gaza"] has stepped up to take the first shot. Some people can be relied on to base opinions not on facts, but on distortions and lies.

Israel, the only democratic nation in the Middle East, is engaged in a war it did not want, did not start, and cannot afford to lose. It is fighting for its life against a genocidal enemy right on its border. Hamas, elected by Gazans, has led Gaza down a path of economic ruin, violence, and what can only be deemed political insanity.

What does Hamas hope to gain from the 13,000 rockets (and counting) it has fired to date into Israel? The answer is dead Jews. Thanks to Israeli technological genius and U.S. funding and support, Hamas has been thwarted in this goal by the Iron Dome missile defense system.

In Gaza, Hamas uses its people as human shields. It uses homes, schools and hospitals as bases for militants and storehouses for rockets. From these locations, Hamas purposely draws fire from Israeli soldiers to make Israelis appear as monstrous aggressors. Most sensible people know who the monsters are in this situation.

Israel warns civilians to leave buildings in advance of attacking the Hamas militants inside them; Hamas tells those same civilians to stay put. Every death of a Palestinian civilian in Gaza is at Hamas' feet.

In accordance with United States and international desires, Israel withdrew completely from Gaza in 2005 -- an exchange of land for peace. We know now that this was a sad fantasy. Rather than invest in the development of Gaza and the well-being of its people, Hamas has invested vast amounts of capital in the digging of elaborate tunnels from which to stage attacks of kidnapping and mass murder inside Israel. The openings of these tunnels are hidden in houses, hospitals, and schools.

This awful, grotesque war, and the tragic loss of life, has brought us to a moment of crystalline moral clarity. Hamas is a vicious terrorist group bent on Israel's destruction. Israel is fighting back.

It is so easy to take a side.

Jessica Hornik Evans

Alplaus

Concussion issue is not going away

A small notice appeared in the newspaper a while back focusing on the fact that the CBS television network was paying the National Football League about $275 million for a one-year deal to broadcast eight Thursday night football games in September and October.

On another occasion, it's also been reported that the NFL has annual revenues approaching $10 billion. So when a federal judge approved an NFL concussion settlement involving the removal of a $675 million cap on concussion-related damage claims by more than 4,500 former players, critics of the deal insisted the NFL was getting off lightly.

Once all of the ballpark figures are put aside, the root cause for what has transpired is one word -- concussions -- and the physical damage that's been inflicted upon former NFL players such as Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Dorsett and Super Bowl-winning Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon, who suffers from dementia.

As more and more facts about the severity of concussions and how widespread the injuries are among all athletic sports categories, ranging from professional, college, high school, down to municipal community levels, become more public knowledge, the demand to do something about the overall situation significantly intensifies, especially among senior citizens.

This is understandable, because grandparents and great-grandparents in substantial numbers still have children and grandchildren living with them due to economic necessities, and they are witness to the presence of concussions, plus other types of injuries, taking place among the sports their offspring pursue.

In some municipalities around the country, officials of long-standing Pop Warner football leagues freely admit having to seriously consider ceasing operations if more increases in donations are not forthcoming to help meet the rising costs of expensive protective equipment participating youngsters must now wear.

With each passing day, as more Baby Boomers join the ranks of senior citizen voters, bringing with them energized ideas on how problems can be solved, current elected officials who represent us, and those who want to do the same, should know they will be making a major mistake by thinking concussions are not a "hot-button" issue, because the seniors' voter's block has already made it quite clear that it is.

Anthony Biscotti

Amsterdam

Ballston Lake should be cleaned up now

How refreshing to see the July 27 editorial ["Act now to protect Ballston Lake or lose it"] regarding the need to clean up and stop neglecting Ballston Lake. The need to take care of the lake is long overdue.

More than 40 years ago, my family purchased lake property and it was clean. You could see the bottom, and weeds were minimal. Today, the water is dirty, weeds are everywhere and nothing is being done. How sad. At that time, many properties were summer cabins. That has not been the case in many years. With people living year-round, the lake has suffered from septic system runoff and neglect.

It is imperative that a sewer system be installed immediately. The editorial mentioned Lake George and the efforts to keep it pristine. These same efforts need to happen for Ballston Lake. Neglect is easy. The neglect needs to end today. Where are the perch and the hundreds of baby bullhead we used to see on a regular basis?

The time has come to take action and clean up this beautiful piece of nature. I hope those who have the power to make change do so today. What are you waiting for?

Deborah Trudeau

Ballston Lake

Don't stereotype all breeds as dangerous

This is in response to the July 23 Viewpoint, "Dangerous dogs have no place in our society": Where does Mr. Paul Donahue get his facts that pit bulls and bull mastiffs are dangerous? In fact, both breeds are A-OK. Both breeds are champs as well. I do agree dogs that are dangerous should be put down, no matter the breed.

He is stereotyping the breeds. In fact, the mastiff is called the gentle giant and they are hunting breeds.

Second, pits are made that way -- not born that way. You say "banning of these dangerous dogs is obviously an effective means." OK. If that's so, then ban German Shepherds, Dobys as well. They attack. Or what about the Akita breed in Japan used to protect the emperor.

Did you all know during World Wars I and II, they used any breed to fight? Yes, it was wrong and I'm deeply sorry for both sides.

When your dogs are young, you as the owner should teach them right from wrong. The owner should be held accountable for any dangerous action, as I would if my pets did the same.

So in closing, please do not stereotype the breeds. Learn and help.

Howard F. Mochrie

Fort Plain

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