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Posted on November 4 at 8:34 p.m. (Suggest removal)

robbump, you make an excellent point. I do have a problem with the protesters being in Washington Park after ten, when the park is legally closed. Just because Mayor Jennings kowtowed and chickened out by telling protesters that it's ok to break the law doesn't make it so. Protesting ceases being legal protest when you break unrelated laws to do it. All it does is promote inequality: it basically says that the park is legally closed to everyone after 10, except for protesters, who for some reason get special rights.

The other problem I have is them asking the government to provide them with sleeping bags and hot plates and such. You can't call the government an evil entity AND ask them for special favors. If you can't deal with the sacrifices, or supply your own supplies, then stay home.

From: Letters to the Editor for Nov. 2

Posted on November 4 at 8:26 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Reality 1: This man was either on steroids, or he is the most physically superhuman being to naturally occur in the area, at least. Normal people cannot simply toss around 45 pound barbells without effort, or push over weight machines with one hand.

Reality two: Several patrons were in immediate - yes, life threatening - danger.

Reality three: After a police officer attempted to talk the man down, the man proceeded to attack the responding officer in a very violent and physical altercation.

Reality four: At one point, the man actually Tased himself, when he grabbed the officer's Taser and pulled the trigger.

Reality five: The Taser did not kill this man by itself. The fact that he was tachying at over 200 heartbeats per minute due to the drugs in his system did. It is possible that the electricity AND drugs combined to be lethal, but that's the chances you take when you do drugs and act criminally reckless.

Reality six: Yes, this man died. And yes, many other lives were saved from the lunatic.

You people are ridiculous. You whine about the unfairness when police use lethal force. Then you whine when they use Tasers. What would you have them do, go out and challenge the criminals to an old-fashioned duel? Maybe you can go out and do their job for them, since you seem to know better how to handle the situation than they do.

Here's a thought: instead of constantly blaming the cops for doing their jobs, how about we blame the criminals for making these things necessary? What really caused this man's death? The fact that he was criminally destroying property, assaulting people, and putting people in mortal danger, not to mention the illegal drugs he was on. If he hadn't committed all these ILLEGAL acts, he'd still be alive. The Taser is next to irrelevent. But hey, let's never have the police protect anyone with the equipment at their disposal, because some GUILTY person might get hurt or killed! We'll let the innocent people get killed instead! That seems fair, right?

So, your question, Mr. Statler, seems to be: what if they didn't have Tasers? I have your answer. Several cops would be injured, at least. Several innocent patrons and staff members of Gold's Gym would be in the hospital. And the troublemaker (note the lack of quotation marks) would probably still be dead, since his blood pressure and pulse were off the charts from the drugs. So there's you answer: without the Tasers, many MORE people would be hurt - is that *really* what you want to be advocating?

From: Letters to the Editor for Nov. 4

Posted on November 4 at 8:25 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ok, Mr. Statler, let's clear up a couple things. First, I'd like to know why you put "troublemaker" in quotes. You don't consider someone punching another patron, pushing over weight machines, tossing 45lbs barbells around, and harassing people a troublemaker? Wow, I'm glad you aren't in charge of writing the laws - anyone could do anything!

Secondly, let's counter the outright falsehood you tell: "...since he apparently wasn’t threatening anyone’s life and wasn’t armed himself." Really? Throwing around 45lbs weights in a crowded gym isn't putting anyone at risk? Pushing over weight machines that weigh several hundred tons isn't dangerous? Are you even reading what you write?

Must've been really nice to have a couple big burly guys accompanying you on your little military law enforcement adventures. Of course, I fail to see the comparison between this and the 'roid-enhanced madman who threw a cop trying to restrain him, so maybe you're just saying it as an FYI.

Let's come away from Mr. Statler's fun little world where everything always goes exactly right for a minute, and come join me in reality.

From: Letters to the Editor for Nov. 4

Posted on November 2 at 7:17 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I think it's important to recognize that the people committing the acts of violence, or even non-violent criminal acts, are not the majority of the protesters. I don't think they should even be grouped in the same category as the true Occupy protesters. Let me explain why.

The true protesters are down there (and other places) because they are irritated and angry with the way things are, in particular with the economy. I am personally of the opinion that they need a more focused, clear goal (or mission statement) in order to be heard, but at least they are showing the government that they don't like how things are going.

Then there are the people that I believe Mr. Philipson is talking about. There are a wide variety of them. Some are down there because, hey, it's a great excuse for a party, for having casual sex in the park, or for getting drunk. Some believe in the cause, but are going about "protesting" the wrong way - throwing rocks through windows, beating up on people, impeding traffic and preventing people from getting to work. These things are not peacable, and cannot be considered legal protest. There are those taking advantage of the large crowds of protesters, and the relative obscurity, anonymity, and camouflage it provides, to commit violent crimes such as assault and rape. None of these people are true Occupy protesters, but are using the situation to their advantage for their personal ulterior motives. They are the individuals the media focuses on, because they are different than the mob of protesters around them, whose actions are that of a united front, which is difficult for the media to do much in way of a coherent story.

Of course, there are also a large number of protesters who are down there protesting because they want to "fight the Man," even if they don't actually know what the protest is about, but I don't think those are the people Mr. Philipson was referring to, either.

Mr. Philipson, I would assume (and perhaps I shouldn't) that you would agree that the right to peacable protest is a right afforded every American. If you are a supporter of the Tea Party, which from what I've been able to garner from people who assert themselves as supporters of that party is supposed to be in favor of protecting the rights of the American people, I must conclude you should be in favor of people exercising the right to peacably protest, yes? This right applies to those who agree with your viewpoint, as well as to those who don't, with which I'm sure you would also agree.

You're correct in that those who have strayed from peacable protest need to be stopped, but just because some people who claim to be a part of the group are bad apples, doesn't mean we chop down the whole tree.

From: Letters to the Editor for Nov. 2

Posted on November 1 at 7:01 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Rick, I'm not opposed to preserving some wild for the wilderness, but we have to draw the line somewhere. Otherwise, progress comes to a standstill and human civilization fails to thrive.

The land you are speaking of is county property. If they choose to build upon it (which they have not done), it's legally their right to do so. Now, I'd agree that a change like that, on taxpayer land, should be put up to a vote; but, if the voting majority went with building, would you be willing to accept that?

The land you're talking about falls into two separate categories. The first (further back) is hardly a safe haven for wildlife, as hikers, bikers and the like are constantly back there (you yourself talk of the Boy Scouts using it). The other category is the hill itself, which we all know is used for sledding by the town's children in the winter - so, also not ideal for wildlife.

Both categories are, of course, fun for the kids (and adults), but are hardly the only places one can accomplish these things. Want to teach your Scouts orienteering? Delanson has a fantastic hiking trail. The Catskills and Adirondacks are both less than an hour away. Need a place for your kids to sled? Collins Park has a hill devoted to it.

We're not talking about massive deforestation here, or the elimination of a species. There is a federally protected preserve not two-tenths of a mile away from the land you're talking about, which cannot be built on.

Conservation and progress are both important, and both have drawbacks when taken to extremes. Since the preserve will not - cannot - be touched, I don't think the conservationists are giving up all that much to allow a little progress to occur alongside it.

From: Letters to the Editor for Nov. 1

Posted on October 31 at 12:17 p.m. (Suggest removal)

When I worked in day care, we had one of Frank's gigantic pumpkins outside the day care every Halloween (his sons attended the day care). It was always such a welcome sight, and the kids loved it! Glad to see he's still growing the Great Pumpkin :-)

From: Growing a great pumpkin

Posted on October 31 at 12:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Terry, perhaps you're someone who is not buried under a mountain of student loan debt. If so, good for you. Many of the rest of us are, however. The money we are paying in student loans is money we could be using to put back into the economy.

While I am normally someone who believes that when you borrow money, you should pay it back, I am also a realist who recognizes a simple fact: we HAVE no extra money. This isn't a case of us not wanting to pay back student loans; it is a case of not having enough money to comfortably do so AND pay the rest of our bills AND buy groceries AND pay for gas.

In Europe, students may attend public universities for a very minimal cost - fees for labs, books, etc. Students pay less than 10% of what American students pay. Grades are higher in European universities, and employment rates following graduation are also higher. So, obviously, low cost higher education can be successfully accomplished. So why don't we do it? Perhaps that's more political than the Student Loan Relief.

Over the past decade or so, big business and the government have gotten bailout upon bailout. Corrupt companies get to declare bankruptcy, and then have the government pay them money to continue operating. Entire state governments continue to operate while being billions of dollars in the red. It's about time someone suggested a bailout for the American citizens. Yes, it's a political stand. Made by a politician (wow, there's a surprise - politics in politics!). And it's being done to help the American people.

I'm not sure how you figure it's going to hurt you financially by having to pay less money. Maybe you learned a different type of mathematics than the rest of us.

From: Letters to the Editor for Oct. 31

Posted on October 30 at 2:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

tonijean, there is a vast difference between believing the government would never lie to us and believing that they ALWAYS lie to us, the latter of which you and Neil seem to favor, despite a complete lack of any actual evidence. This seems pretty hypocritical, since your entire conspiracy theory rests upon the idea that you haven't seen any evidence of what the government say, yet you're okay with rambling conspiracy theories that have no basis in evidence.

And, just to appease you (ok, and to be a smart@ss):

1. The act of conspiring together.
2. a: an agreement among conspirators.
b: a group of conspirators.

Since term I actually used was "conspiracy theory," not simply "conspiracy," I will define that for you, as well:

A theory that explains an event or set of circumstances as the result of a secret plot by usually powerful conspirators

I'm not altogether certain why you wanted the term looked up, since I used it correctly. The only explanation I can think of is that you weren't sure what it meant and needed me to tell you; so, there you go, the terms "conspiracy" AND "conspiracy theory," as defined by Merriam Webster. Hope it helps.

From: Letters to the Editor for Oct. 29

Posted on October 30 at 1:57 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I agree with most of what Sister Glynn has said, but I do have to disagree with the assertion that it is unimportant that they haven't articulated a common, coherent message.

As with any protest, having a clearly stated goal is the single-most important thing needed for a successful protest. Without it, the demonstrators are just a horde of angry people shouting at the top of their lungs and accomplishing nothing.

The first rule of debate is to clearly state your position - in other words, a message. The second rule is to be able to navigate your way through to a conclusion you are aiming for - in other words, a goal. The same rules apply to protesting. No one is going to listen to a bunch of people babbling about nothing.

I applaud anyone who wishing to (properly) exercise their right to peacable protest. If you wish to make a difference with your protest, though, you need to research what you're protesting and set a clear objective. Only then will anyone care to listen to you.

From: Letters to the Editor for Oct. 30

Posted on October 29 at 11:32 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Wow, Neil - do you get a subscription to Conspiracy Theory Monthly? I'm sure you have evidence of all these lies, probably stored next to your evidence that Elvis is actually alive in Hawaii, and that JFK was really shot by Muslim radicals.

From: Letters to the Editor for Oct. 29

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