Flag statements don’t dishonor the country

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionFlag statements don’t dishonor the countryThe flag and anthem are more than symbols of patriotism and the military. The flag is a symbol of freedom for all citizens.And when some citizens feel the flag does not fly over them with the same resonance that it flies over others, then making that statement in the presence of the flag is what should be done.It doesn’t dishonor the flag or the military. Rather, it states that all citizens have an equal right to the same level of freedom, and no political son of a bee should defame the First Amendment. It’s for the First Amendment and other fundamental rights that our forefathers fought, sacrificed and died. To denigrate free speech is to dishonor the flag and the military. It’s to hurl insult at our heritage. The First Amendment is why these very words can be written and shared. Without freedom in our country, the flag is no more than colored cloth blowing in the wind. Now we see that some are more interested in stirring up conflict than they are in offering condolences to the grief-stricken families whose loved ones paid the ultimate price for our freedom. Shame. Humpty Trumpty sat on a wall.Humpty Trumpty was vindictive to all.All his advisers. And all of his men.Dreaded the moment he would tweet once again.Glenn WiteckiSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:Motorcyclist injured in Thursday afternoon Schenectady crashSchenectady’s Lucas Rodriguez forging his own path in dance, theater, musicSchenectady NAACP calls for school layoff freeze, reinstatement of positionsSchenectady police reform sessions pivot to onlineFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?last_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Monday, May 13

first_imgI especially appreciated your emphasis on the fact that sex trafficking is not just a “big city problem” and that “Schenectady is a particularly attractive target for sex traffickers because of its proximity to interstates and New York City.” Therefore, to keep both Democrats protecting our city and schools, it’s critical to vote for Michele Madigan to return as Commissioner of Finance in the Democratic primary on June 25 and thereby keeping Patty Morrison on the Board of Education. One vote for Madigan will guarantee two Democrats will represent us and fight for our values. We need to keep her on the Board of Education to protect her seat and vote from those we disagree with. Morrison is running for the Saratoga Springs Commissioner of Finance, a job held for the past seven-plus years by fellow Democrat Michele Madigan, who has been endorsed by the Democratic Committee for re-election. How on Earth are you going to enforce this law? By hiring more people to surf the streets looking for children selling lemonade? No, some curmudgeon will rat out the poor kid.   I worked in a restaurant years ago and and I know for a fact that the Health department would call the manager or inn keeper and give them a days’ notice that they were coming. We all scurried around making everything “up to Health Dept. standards.” Perhaps the Health Department will call the parents before poor Johnny and Mary get slapped with a fine. Kathy WilsonSaratoga Springs The whole notion of having to legislate children’s “Kool-Aid or lemonade stand is absolutely absurd to any normal thinking person and I am sure Sen. Tedisco (whom I like) probably feels the same way. The success of our agency comes from the quality of our outreach, case management and therapeutic programs, both residential and non-residential, with the aim of instilling in each client the importance of self-dignity and enduring relationships. The work we do not only strengthens and empowers the youth we serve, but it also strengthens the community in which we live. Since 1985, Safe Inc. of Schenectady’s primary goal has been to provide outreach, counseling, advocacy and shelter to homeless, runaway, “throw-away,” at-risk and sexually-exploited youth. Unfortunately, state law is very clear: A person cannot stay on the Board of Education and be an elected city official. As you stated, it’s noteworthy that Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney has been taking positive steps with the state Office of Court Administration to initiate a human trafficking court to serve the Schenectady area. We welcome all collaborative efforts to enable sex-trafficked victims to avoid incarceration. Well throw out the old adage “When life hands you lemons make lemonade,” but not without a permit. I would like to meet the individual that could walk up to a child and tell him it is against the law to sell lemonade, not beer or wine but lemonade. This is the world we live in today. Sad really sad. Leave Morrison and Madigan in seatsIf we are smart in the primary on June 25, we can have two Democrats supporting our values instead of one. Patty Morrison currently has the important role of protecting our values as a member of the Board of Education, with several years left on her term. Laws for lemonade stands are absurdI cannot believe that I am writing an opinion on governing a lemonade stand. Barbara DworkinSchenectadyThe writer is the Board President of Safe Inc. of Schenectady. Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionHuman-trafficking efforts improve livesThank you so very much for your May 5 editorial which highlighted the community fight against human trafficking.  We want to partner with our community courts and social service agencies to enable these victims to have access to the medical care, housing, education and job training essential for future success. Linda CorteseNiskayunaMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18last_img read more

Niche markets

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Selling off the family silver

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Drive from Norwich

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Cheap and cheerful

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Service with a smile

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PREMIUMGrowing pains: US tariff policy overshadows planned Jokowi visit

first_imgTopics : A recent United States decision to revoke Indonesia’s status as a developing country may have a dampening effect on the country’s trade interests, experts have said, as officials scramble to arrange a visit by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to the US next month.Few details of the plan for the President to meet US President Donald Trump have emerged, but the meeting has been backed by Jokowi’s senior aide, Coordinating Maritime and Investment Minister Luhut Pandjaitan, who recently returned from the US with the promise of US investment.Multiple meetings have been held between Indonesian and US officials in what some observers see as an apparent prelude to a visit by Jokowi. Others see it as a reaction to the removal of Indonesia’s “developing country” status at the World Trade Organization.Luhut’s visit to Washington on Feb… Google Log in with your social account Linkedin LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Facebook Forgot Password ? Indonesia-US-relations Jokowi visit tariffs economy US diplomacylast_img read more

US faces ‘darkest winter’ if pandemic planning falters: Whistleblower

first_img“What we do must be done carefully with guidance from the best scientific minds. Our window of opportunity is closing. If we fail to improve our response now, based on science, I fear the pandemic will get worse and be prolonged,” Bright said during his testimony.The pandemic has infected nearly 1.4 million people in the United States, gutted the economy and killed more than 82,000.Bright testified to the subcommittee on health that he would “never forget” an e-mail he got in January from a US supplier of medical-grade face masks warning of a dire shortage.”He said ‘we are in deep shit. The world is. We need to act,'” Bright said. “And I pushed that forward to the highest level that I could of HHS and got no response.” Bright testified that the US still lacked a comprehensive plan for ensuring a supply of basic supplies like swabs needed to administer coronavirus tests.Trump, who has been pushing for the US economy to reopen quickly, dismissed Bright as a “disgruntled employee” on Twitter on Thursday morning before the hearing begun.Later on Thursday, Trump told reporters at the White House that he had watched some of Bright’s hearing.”To me he’s nothing more than a really disgruntled, unhappy person,” Trump said, adding that he did not know Bright.”Everything he’s complaining about was achieved,” HHS Secretary Alex Azar told reporters.Earlier this week, leading US infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci warned a Senate committee that a premature lifting of lockdowns could lead to additional outbreaks of the deadly coronavirus. Trump on Wednesday described Fauci’s warning as not acceptable.In a whistleblower complaint filed with a government watchdog last week, Bright said that he warned about the virus in January and was met with hostility from HHS leaders.Bright, who was reassigned to a new government job last month, said he was ousted from BARDA because he resisted efforts to push the drugs hydroxychloroquine and the related chloroquine as cures for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus.Bright said in the statement last month that the US government has promoted the medicines as a “panacea” even though they “clearly lack scientific merit.”HHS spokeswoman Caitlin Oakley has disputed Bright’s account, saying in a statement on Tuesday that he was transferred to a job where he was entrusted to spend around $1 billion to develop diagnostic testing.”We are deeply disappointed that he has not shown up to work on behalf of the American people and lead on this critical endeavor,” Oakley said.Bright testified that he has not started his new government job because he has hypertension and took a medical leave.The House subcommittee was also hearing on Thursday from Mike Bowen, co-owner of Prestige Ameritech, the largest US surgical mask producer.It was Bowen who sent Bright an email in January warning that the United States would run out of medical-grade face masks if it did not ramp up production, according to documents included in Bright’s whistleblower complaint. Topics :center_img A whistleblower who says he was removed from his government post for raising concerns about coronavirus preparedness told a congressional hearing on Thursday that the United States could face “the darkest winter” of recent times if it does not improve its response to the pandemic.Hours after President Donald Trump railed against him on Twitter, whistleblower Rick Bright testified to a US House of Representatives panel about readiness for the outbreak.Bright was removed last month as director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, or BARDA, a part of the US Department of Health and Human Services responsible for developing drugs to fight the coronavirus.last_img read more

Indonesia’s clean energy program faces setback, ETI ranking plunges

Indonesia’s readiness to shift toward a clean energy economy took another step back last year because of fossil fuel subsidies and faces a monumental hurdle this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.Indonesia’s ranking fell seven places to 70th out of 115 countries surveyed in this year’s Energy Transition Index (ETI), down from 63rd last year. The index is compiled annually by the World Economic Forum (WEF) think tank, which also described this year as a period of historically “unmatched economic instability” due to COVID-19.Going forward, the pandemic-led collapse of fuel prices and energy demand further risks Indonesia’s energy transition unless the government intervenes, WEF told The Jakarta Post. Topics : Vijay Singh, WEF project head for the future of energy and materials, said Indonesia’s slip in the latest index was mainly driven by setbacks in economic development “specifically due to the distortions created by the presence of energy subsidies”. “The effect of energy subsidies, such as reducing incentives for efficient consumption and being more beneficial for higher-income consumers, are well documented,” he said via email.He also said Indonesia had progressed in terms of energy access and stagnated in terms of environmental impact. The latter may change over the years as coal plants continually dominate power production in the growing economy.WEF’s index report acknowledges the necessity for governments to prioritize spending on health care, social welfare and business continuity amid the pandemic but also argues that “the risks to the future of human civilization from climate change remain”. Energy economist Alloysius Joko Purwanto separately said that coal and oil-related subsidies were likely the main contributors to Indonesia’s energy transition setback. Oil is mainly consumed by the transportation sector and coal by the power sector.Indonesia introduced in January last year a domestic coal price ceiling at US$70 per ton, well below the $90 market price that month. The price cap, which has been extended to this year, is expected to boost domestic coal consumption by 12 percent to 155 million tons in 2020.The government also set this year’s subsidized fuel quota at 26.87 million kiloliters (kL), up 3 percent from last year, after domestic consumption exceeded last year’s quota.However, the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) economist said that collapsed oil prices and reallocated spending also presented an opportunity to boost Indonesia’s energy transition. The WEF holds a similar stance.“We can pull out energy subsidies and we can redirect economic stimuli to develop renewable energy,” Joko said.Joko also concurred with WEF over Indonesia’s energy access progress, saying that the government’s ongoing 35 gigawatt power plant development program helped bring electricity to many neighborhoods.Indonesia’s electrification ratio — the portion of neighborhoods that can turn on a lightbulb — reached a historical high of 98.89 percent last year, even though observers and politicians pointed out that multiple field problems remain.“The government’s position is to protect the people’s purchasing power and ensure business continuity,” the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry’s acting oil and gas director general, Ego Syahrial, previously told reporters.The ministry’s director general for renewable energy, Sutijastoto, was not available for comment over the WEF report.Solar producer Nick Nurrachman, chairman of the Indonesian Solar Panel Producers Association (APAMSI), said coal-generated cheap electricity had always deterred investment in solar photovoltaics (PV) in Indonesia. The recent oil price crash has further deterred investment.“People looked for renewables because oil prices were rising. With oil prices decreasing, demand for renewables, including solar panels, decreases,” he said. read more