Letters to the Editor Monday, Aug. 2
Exempt classic cars from limo safety bill
We are members of car clubs that specialize in older collector cars, including ambulances, hearses, flower cars and other altered vehicles. We display our cars at shows and club events and are NOT involved in any activity where our cars are used for commercial purposes.
In fact, we refuse to even loan them as a favor for weddings, etc. The cars are only driven occasionally.
It goes without saying that the horrible limousine crash that took so many precious lives was a tragedy for the families and loved ones that could have been avoided.
Action to prevent such a crash of this kind was needed. Prevention of an unsafe vehicle used commercially or by the private sector must not happen and our organization fully supports that action.
Unfortunately, New York state, in an attempt to enact legislation that would stop this from happening, has included collector cars as well. As of today, those of us who have cars that have been altered will no longer be able to have them inspected. This is a result of us having to get our cars recertified to 2011 federal standards. Coach builders are not willing to certify a 1980s car to a 2011 standard.
Currently, Rep. Paul Tonko and U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand are pushing a limousine safety bill in Congress (S.1529) to be effective across the United States.
We are asking all car enthusiasts to contact their state legislators and support this bill, but request an exemption for historic collector cars.
Bill would impede freedom of speech
I’m writing regarding the Dallas Morning News editorial (“Vaccine misinformation justifies reforms”) printed in the July 28 Gazette about Sen. Amy Klobuchar introducing a bill to start legislation that would curtail the liability protections of social media companies under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
This legislation should be a red flag for people interested in freedom of speech.
The off-brand media outlets are the ones that’ll often tell the truth. The large companies are covering for a government that is claiming ownership over its citizens, and their thinking. That goes against our history, as well as the intent of our founders and of the Constitution.
Remember, would-be tyrants target media reporting, confiscate guns, silence critics and withhold necessities. By the time the populace understands the situation, it is too late to react.
This legislation should be called the “Keep the Citizens Ignorant Act.” What next, your right to question government actions?
Francis Van Staveren
Recruiting effort raises questions
Thank you for the Bloomberg Opinion column published in the Gazette on July 18 (“U.S. must step up military recruiting”) regarding the military “stepping up” their recruiting efforts.
The column cites how the task of recruiting is difficult due to the “dwindling number of Americans willing and able to serve” and “Only 13% of young adults express a positive propensity to serve”.
With only 2% of the target population fitting the criteria the services covet, I would like the parents of those qualified individuals to ask your kids: “Why would you defend the 87% that dismiss you as cannon fodder, serve under leadership that has not won a war since 1945 and that accepts U.S. casualties before inflicting damage on the enemy?”
We need you “two percenters” more than they do.
Defunding the police and cutting Pentagon funding naturally leads to a shortage of police officers and makes it difficult to fill military slots.
In publishing the subject column, is it becoming a concern to our “woke” betters, that the “host” may not choose to defend the “parasites” any longer?
Many Tonko donors from outside district
One of the most boring things that someone can do is go over a candidate’s FEC (Federal Election Commission) filling report.
Yet that’s what I chose to do the other day when I looked at Congressman Paul Tonko’s report.
Normally I would have called Mr. Tonko OUR congressman, but after reading the report I’m not so sure of that.
I found that of the individual donations that he received (donations from everyday people), only slightly more than half actually came from the Capital Region.
When you include the amount he raised from PACs, roughly 75% of his donations come from out of the district.
This is an exceptional amount of money that does not have the Capital Region’s best interest at heart. It raises in my mind the question of Mr. Tonko’s objectivity when goes to cast our vote in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Because I’m a glutton for punishment, and out of curiosity, I also took a look at Mr. Tonko’s opponent, Liz Joy, and found that over 90% of her donations do come from this district. This fact alone tells me that Mrs. Joy is far more concerned with the people of NY-20 than Mr. Tonko is.
Using wrong words can skew message
We all know that words matter. The wrong words or words used too casually can often cause damage that is difficult or impossible to repair.
As an example, ’defund the police’ was intended to deflect tasks other than law enforcement to professionals other than police.
The intent was to free up police for what they are trained to do and let other professionals deal with things like domestic disputes.
The term was, and remains, a stupid use of the words because it becomes a rallying cry.
That’s why I was shocked to hear a journalist who ought to know better use the term ‘gun control’ on a network news show recently.
Sure, in a perfect society, guns could be controlled like automobiles, licensed and registered.
But in American culture, that’s not about to happen. The term becomes a rallying cry for every gun owner and militia that is convinced the government wants to confiscate their weapons.
How counter-productive and stupid for a journalist to still be using that term on national TV.
How about ‘gun safety’ or ‘reduce gun violence.’ That’s right, ABC, it was your show.
Thomas P. Herrmann
Masks, vaccines cross political lines
I asked a simple question to a coworker, “Do you think we’ll be required to wear masks again?” since I clearly noticed a greater number of customers entering wearing masks.
Well, I got a speech about whether or not Gov. Cuomo needs higher approval ratings to “I survived COVID-19 once and I’ll do it again; I’m not wearing a mask for anyone.”
Never answered the question.
There seems no shortage of reasons why many people choose to not wear masks or vaccinate, but only one reason to do both — which is stopping COVID-19/Delta variant spread. However there is no common ground.
This is not a political or religious debate, it’s about the health of all of us. How did this get so complicated? How did we all become so selfish?
Sure you can blame Donald Trump, Dr. Fauci, the CDC, President Biden, Red States vs. Blue States, the clergy, and the list can run in perpetuity. It doesn’t change the fact this virus can affect anyone, regardless of political or religious affiliation.
The bigger problem is that news and opinion have become one in the same.
There is more opinion, unverified I might add, over the airwaves and social media that people don’t believe the news media.
It may have changed, but print media needed three sources to verify a story before print. Not true on the web. I’ll stick with print and the visual reminder of all the refrigerated trailers full of bodies in New York City as proof.
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