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Posted on October 27 at 7:32 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Mr. Mayer, no one is claiming the "99%" are stupid - you are, however, incredibly misinformed. Your key (and sole) argument here seems to be that the rich don't pay their "fair share."

How so? They pay the same percentage of taxes that you do. In fact, since their AGI is so much more than yours, they pay a proportionately higher amount of money every year.

So, are you saying you want them to pay more for being successful? They should pay a higher percentage than you because they were able to be more successful than you? What kind of jealous, arrogant excuse is that? When did we start punishing people for being successful? If that's the case, please allow me to stop working right now so that I might not offend you by being a success.

A question, Mr. Mayer: where do you propose we stop with this Punishment Tax? I mean, I'm assuming you are not completely destitute, so - relative to those who are - you are quite rich. Let's impose higher taxes on you, as well. Of course, you probably think we should draw the line at whatever your AGI is - obviously, only those who make more than you are the ones who should be punished, right?

Perhaps you would prefer we live in a communist society, where everyone gets the same amount of money, regardless of how hard they work for it. The burger flipper at McDonald's, the teacher at the local high school, the paramedic who saves your life, and the soldiers who fight for you freedom will all make the same amount. So will the guy who opts not to get a job because he sees that he will still get the same amount of money as you, and he won't have to do a damn thing!

From: Letters to the Editor for Oct. 26

Posted on October 26 at 8:04 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Well said, robbump - I agree 100%!

In my opinion, there shouldn't *be* any political parties. If you want to run for office, you run as an American, not as a Republican, Democrat or any other partier. Since that is about as likely to happen as Paris Hilton becoming president (God help us all if she ever does), I think that at the very least, once any candidate is elected to any position, they must become neutral - in other words, not Rep. or Dem. No special interest groups for them to owe special favors, no party vs party attitudes - just a "for the people" goal.

It doesn't guarantee a better system, but it sure couldn't be worse!

From: Letters to the Editor for Oct. 23

Posted on October 24 at 9:16 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I agree with Ms. Wood that the release of Ms. Rose so that she could "tend to other clients" is a travesty, not upholding, of justice. Her agency should have fired her, at any rate. I hope that her other clients do a thorough inventory of their belongings and scrutinize their finances!

As to Ms. Wood's question of PoA: many people whose relatives do not live in the immediate (or at least proximate) area will have their aides handle the day to day finances. Most likely, the woman's family did have PoA - but if they trusted the aide (which most families do), they probably didn't check every withdrawal for legitimacy.

Ms. Rose is a blight on the home health care system. Most home health aides are very good, very caring people. Ms. Rose is an example of someone who takes a position because it is one that lends opportunity to her greed.

I wish the elderly woman and her family luck, and hope that the companies such as National Grid can grow a heart long enough to forgive the debts. She is a victim, and doesn't need to be further victimized by ruthless corporate greed.

From: Letters to the Editor for Oct. 24

Posted on October 23 at 12:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Mr. Elfland is absolutely correct - PETA is not on any terrorism watch list that I'm familiar with, and the organization does not endorse heavy-handed or violent tactics to promote their cause. There are people out there who commit violent acts in the name of animal rights, and they sometimes claim to be linked to PETA, but this is in their minds only. If all it took for an organization to be a terrorist one was a few disparaging remarks by someone who clearly is already biased against them, we'd all be in trouble!

From: Letters to the Editor for Oct. 23

Posted on October 22 at 10:02 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Alex: Good letter. You presented the argument in a respectful manner, with good reasoning and examples of how it has worked in other places. I think you should send a copy of the letter to the town board, actually. You should get a petition going, as well.

I don't believe that skateboarders are, as a rule, troublemakers. Some certainly are, but so are some basketball players and scholars. It would definitely be nice, though, to have the skateboarders have their own space, though, so they are no longer boarding down the middle of the road.

From: Letters to the Editor for Oct. 22

Posted on October 21 at 8:28 p.m. (Suggest removal)

RE: Fred and Debbie Turner

First off, let me extend my sympathies to you. It is awful the way many of our youth are treating others. When I was a child some twenty years ago, I would never dream of speaking to adults this way - and I know there would have been dire consequences if I had!

I think the true problem here lies, not with the Scotia Police itself, but with the continual decrease in respect many children are raised with; respect for others as well as respect for self. Too many parents these days don't respect anyone, and live in a "me first" world, with a vast sense of entitlement. Children are monkey see, monkey do, and so they copy this attitude. They know no fear, because they know that no one can do anything to punish them, and their parents won't either.

I work for an ambulance company. We get called for "out of control" kids all the time - as young as 5 years old. The parent or parents can't handle the kid's demanding attitude, so they call us to take them to the hospital. Or we get called by the schools to take a kid to the hospital for out of control behavior. Teachers hands are tied - they aren't allowed to punish kids in any meaningful way - so they call us, and we bring them to an already over-taxed hospital for the staff to waste time babysitting, when they could - and should - be tending to legitimate patients.

We had an incident not long ago at our ambulance station. Three teens (about 14 or 15) were pushing and shoving each other in our parking lot, and even into our ambulance bays. When I told them to leave, I was told "F*** you! F*** the ambulance!" Hopefully, these young teens don't learn the hard way that one day they will say that to the wrong person, who will hurt them - or worse.

So, what's the solution? I truly don't know. I don't advocate beating children into submission, of course (though I think society needs to stop considering a basic spanking, when deserved, to be abuse). Do we throw them in a cell overnight to "learn a lesson"? I don't know that this is the solution, either. All that will do is further make them disobey authority. I think, so long as parents refuse to be parents, refuse to discipline their kids, and continue to teach them that the world owes them, there will *be* no solution.

All this being said, I thank those parents out there - and there are many, my own included - who raise their children to respect others. I thank those teachers who still, against all opposition, try to reach these children and give them a good role model. And I thank those youths - children and teens - who *do* respect others, and love, and care, and strive to become good, productive adults. There are as many respectful kids as disrespectful, I really believe that - it's just that the disrespectful demand more attention. My only solution so far is to teach the children *I* know how to be respectful, and hope that others do the same. Good luck to you both!

From: Letters to the Editor for Oct. 21

Posted on October 21 at 8:11 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I haven't seen anywhere that states that the SPCA is randomly stopping pet owners on the streets for no reason. I, of course, do not know every move the SPCA makes, so maybe it has happened. I'm not really sure that it classifies as an invasion or erosion of your liberties. Is it an erosion of your liberties that you are required to present proof of age when buying cigarettes or beer? If you're of age, you're not doing anything illegal when buying those items, but you're still required to present ID upon request.

I'm all for human rights, Mr. Hotaling, but I'm even more for human responsibility. I get tired of hearing pit bulls being demonized while their irresponsible owners get off scot free. If this helps to prevent irresponsible people from owning pets (which, I'm not saying it surely will, but it's worth a shot at least), I'm all for it.

From: Letters to the Editor for Oct. 21

Posted on October 20 at 7:12 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I'm obnoxious to you for the simple reason that you disagree with me, apparently. Okay, you're entitled to your opinion. Nothing I said was dishonest, or fatuous, which you again misuse. Now, on to rest of your diatribe:

1. As quoted by Rivera: "Columbus committed and helped pave the way for hideous crimes — including slavery, murder, rape, theft and genocide — all on a grand scale." This is pretty much blame assignment on Columbus, not bad teaching. Rivera then goes on to mention the war in Afghanistan. Since the entire letter was predicated upon teaching about Columbus Day, I see no reason not to tie the two things together, do you?

2. I never suggested that Rivera wanted to ban teaching. I stated, pretty clearly, that there is a knee-jerk reaction to ban things because they offend people, which is not the same thing. Don't put words in my mouth, you're having enough trouble properly defining your own. I also never suggested that Columbus did not do some or all of the things mentioned, but stated that Columbus Day is not celebrating those things, but simply Columbus' discovery of America. If you'll note, I even then go on to say that Columbus was indeed not the first to discover America, and that the holiday should be used as a way to teach about other explorers, as well.

3. I will possibly concede this point to you, as there is indeed no direct mention of political correctness or anything similar. There has been much in the news lately about such things - the latest being a principal wanting to ban Columbus Day, Thanksgiving and Halloween from school so as not to offend indigenous peoples (how Halloween offends them, I can't imagine) - so I made the not-so-difficult leap that this was why the letter had been written and subsequently printed. Perhaps this was an erroneous assumption, but it doesn't make my assertion "dishonest," "obnoxious" or "fatuous."

And if your aim isn't to alter my habits, perhaps you could lay off telling me what to do ("pedantry and subtlety - try less of the former and more of the latter. We'd all be grateful" - quoted directly from your first post).

From: Letters to the Editor for Oct. 18

Posted on October 19 at 8:25 p.m. (Suggest removal)

btw, Jack, since "fatuousness" implies a complacency in its foolishness, and since my post was neither complacent toward Mr. Rivera's letter, nor were the arguments foolish, your word use is a bit incorrect.

I hope your idea wasn't to persuade me of your intellect by using big words, at any rate. Any monkey with a thesaurus feature on their computer can come up with big words. The key is to use them correctly.

From: Letters to the Editor for Oct. 18

Posted on October 19 at 7:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Jack, I honestly don't care what you want. I'm sorry that I'm too articulate for you. Where exactly did I exaggerate what was in the letter? Be specific, not subtle - we'd all be grateful.

Since you couldn't do anything but pontificate (since you like to use big words, yourself), rather than actually arguing how my post lacked validity, perhaps you could elaborate...or have you reached the limit of your vocabulary in that one post?

From: Letters to the Editor for Oct. 18

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