Comments by Will1960

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Posted on February 21 at 7:43 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I agree with Biwemple's take on punishing white collar offenders. But to get back to Jerryrock's concern that by allowing prisoners college degrees society will somehow be enticing criminals to break the law so they can go to jail to get a free education seems absurd. What are the end results? If this program put forth by Cuomo significantly lowers the recidivism rate and converts convicts to being productive citizens than it's worth a try. No one appears to be bothered by the astronomical cost of warehousing people unless it's a perceived benefit to the criminal. The majority of those opposing this idea seem to base their opinions on their own anecdotal experience, the weakest kind of evidence. It would be more revealing to examine what similar policies have produced in other states.

If this program to provide college to inmates is passed, it should be studied carefully and if there's not a huge reduction in the recidivism rate as Cuomo predicts than scrap it. Putting our social resources only in our youth while giving up on adults who have made mistakes and exhibited bad judgement doesn't reflect this nation's history for giving people second chances.

From: Lawmakers call Cuomo's inmate college education plan 'unfair'

Posted on February 7 at 8:26 p.m. (Suggest removal)

This case is a tragedy that hopefully will inspire some guidelines for elderly people seeking home health care aides. Make it easier for folks who need home care assistance to find help that isn't out scheming to rob or kill them. I can't think of a worse way to die in your golden years. This woman acted like a heartless predator with her actions and she should be punished accordingly. There ought to be a specific law for these kind of scoundrels that would ensure that they never see the light of day.

From: Live-in helper charged in employer's death

Posted on February 7 at 7:49 a.m. (Suggest removal)

“E-cigarettes can serve as a gateway to youth to become addicted to nicotine and then graduate to regular cigarette use. We don’t need to introduce a new generation of smokers to tobacco-related diseases and a premature death.”
I was encouraged to see the writer, Kathleen Moore put this above quote by this zealot, Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy into context here, below:
It’s not yet clear whether the nicotine vapor from e-cigarettes is harmful, but the American Lung Association of the Northeast said it would be better to be safe than sorry.
This fact also refutes the claim by Judy Rightmyer that E-cigarettes serve as a gateway to real tobacco. But studies be damned.
“E-cigarettes can serve as a gateway to youth to become addicted to nicotine and then graduate to regular cigarette use. We don’t need to introduce a new generation of smokers to tobacco-related diseases and a premature death.”
It takes about five minutes to pass these anti-smoking bans and twenty years to repeal them, even if E-cigarettes are proven to be harmless. These anti-tobacco groups will never be satisfied until cigarettes are totally banned. E-Cigarettes are a less harm alternative to regular smokes. The data isn't even in on the claims Capital District Tobacco Free Coalition makes, yet the CDTFC wants to pass laws to ban a product that will just go on the black market with regulation at all.

From: E-cigarettes banned from Albany County facilities

Posted on February 5 at 3:39 p.m. (Suggest removal)

As long as the war on drugs remains the centerpiece of US policy, there will always be an disparity enforcement against users who are minorities or fall into the lower economic rung of society. Legalization of marijuana would significantly curtail this injustice. The NAACP supports legalization initiatives for this very reason. Harrop makes some excellent points here. However, until these arguments are presented and debated in the political arena, don't expect either of the major parties to entertain them, much less embrace them.

From: Froma Harrop: At least make war on drugs class-blind

Posted on January 16 at 7:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I wasn't as thrilled with "The Wolf on Wall Street" for reasons that I haven't seen articulated from the movie critics. There were gaping holes in this movie on both the character development as well as critical points in the plot. First, Scorsese never provided any explanation why or how Belfort made this incredulous transformation from a tea toddling, straight laced, principled stockbroker to a scheming, drug laden shark. Then in a key point of the plot, the FBI obtains damning evidence(the envelope with his note tipping off his partner not to incriminate himself) against Belfort. The envelope just magically appears without any context of how the FBI got possession of it.
Otherwise, this movie was an Odyssey in excessive drug use and reckless behavior. The victims Belfort ripped off had no voice or face in the movie, which made it easy to forget how many people Belfort actually hurt and thus glamorizing him.

From: Watching “The Wolf of Wall Street”

Posted on January 15 at 6:52 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The lawsuit ought to include a policy that ensures police have take the necessary steps to ensure they have the right address. Even if the plaintiffs are successful with their monetary claims, the taxpayers will have to foot the bill, not the cops responsible for this mayhem. So where's the incentive for preventing "mistakes" like this from occurring again.

From: Pair suing Amsterdam police over mistaken raid

Posted on January 6 at 8:02 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Ben Barber's hatchet job on marijuana was an example of anecdote journalism at its worse. I was surprised the Gazette would even publish such a shoddy piece. We don't or we shouldn't make policies based on one person's personal experience. That's why we study issues to get a broad knowledge to base our policies on. Another annoying aspect of Ben Barber's tirade was that he advocates resisting legalization without delving into some the problems prohibition of pot that have lead to this change. Also he wants a policy for everyone to follow based on his experience. The Gazette could have found a more reasoned, intelligent writer to argue against legalization. I hope next week's opinion section, the Gazette publishes a counterpoint to Ben Barber's flawed op-ed.

From: Op-ed tirade against marijuana was full of contradictions

Posted on January 3 at 10:17 a.m. (Suggest removal)

If your concerned about an increase in accidents on our roads, the National Traffic Safety Board did a comprehensive study on lowering the the entry level of BACs from .08 to .05. The NTBS concluded in this study that such a change would result in saving 800 lives annually from drunk driving fatalities. Seems to me that if road safety is a big concern, you would be in favor of the NTBS's recommendation to go to .05. Deaths due to DUIs associated with pot are not the problem. It's a red herring.

From: Arguments against legalizing marijuana ridiculously outdated

Posted on January 2 at 10:32 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Wmarincic, I guess you're okay with wasting billions of taxpayer dollars and our scant law enforcement resources on the war on marijuana with 0ver 800,000 arrests for simple possession. Your concern about pot's potency has been exaggerated since the 1980s, yet that claim still doesn't diminish the fact that according to DEA Judge Francis Young, pot is one of the most safest substances on the planet. The proof of Young's statement is born out in the fact that no one has ever overdosed from in-haling. No one.
The moral decay of America has been criminalizing marijuana use through lies and propaganda with films like "Reefer Madness" and giving pot a schedule I classification without any scientific scrutiny. We can credit the war on pot for helping America earn the tile as the world's leading jailer. Kudos to Lawrence Goodwin for calling out a ridiculous op-ed piece, favoring prohibition with his thoughtful counterpoint.

From: Arguments against legalizing marijuana ridiculously outdated

Posted on December 24 at 10:49 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Why can't America look to what Germany and Switzerland accomplished by making Heroin Maintenance clinics available to their citizens? The results are that those countries lowered drug-related crime substantially, weened more addicts off their addiction and severely cut into the black market of that drug. These polices don't condone heroin use but to treat this problem as the health issue that it is. This approach is more humane and compassionate while not relying on taxing the criminal justice system to warehouse addicts.
The legislative session Sara referred to focused solely on passing tougher laws, something politicians here are good at even though the results have failed to put a dent in the availability of Heroin or reduce the number of users. It's time for our elected officials to think outside the box and look where success has been achieved in dealing with Heroin and all the problems associated with its use. The fear of being tarred as "soft on crime" has prevented politicians from both parties from acting in a thoughtful and effective manner. We can do better than repeating the same mistakes.

From: Painkiller abuse needs attention, too

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