Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionAmerica needs plan for Latin AmericaTrump doesn’t read history, so he’s ignorant and indifferent to the suffering South Americans that poverty and misery have reduced to a condition of life unworthy of human beings. South Americans are walking to the border for refuge in the United States because their countries have failed them, and they seek a safer, better life for their families.Our country has a shameful and tragic history that has contributed to this catastrophe.The United States has overthrown 14 governments around the world. In 1953, President Eisenhower overthrew the first democratic leader of Iran. Eisenhower, again using the CIA, overthrew the legal government of Guatemala in 1954 for the benefit of the United Fruit Corp.In 1982, a weakened Guatemalan government was taken over by the dictator Rio Montt. He ruled the country by terror tactics. His army broke into a farmhouse, killed the workers’ children, raped the women and beheaded or shot the men.If Trump was a moral man, instead of billions for a wall he’d fund a Marshall-type plan like what was used to rebuild Europe after Word War II.Latin America would surely benefit, just as Europe did. Trump’s terrible lies about the refugees belittles their struggle for a better life.His egotistical desires for a wall will never bring justice to our suffering brethren who have been severely harmed by the immoral foreign policies of America.Mary Jane ValachovicSchenectady Socialists worship at altar of governmentThey were originally called progressives, but when that term went out of favor, they became liberals. But that wasn’t working, so they reverted back to progressives. But again people weren’t buying it. So they have now revealed their true colors and call themselves “democratic” socialists.That’s an oxymoron if there ever was one. Socialists cannot be democratic. Oh, they can pretend because in many cases they come to power by so-called democratic elections, a la Venezuela. But in order for them to maintain power, they have to become authoritarian.The real lunacy of the leftist socialists is that they scream that some people have more wealth than others and that isn’t fair. Who cares? I don’t. It makes no difference to me how much wealth President Trump or Jeff Bezos or Bill Gates has. In addition to this lunacy, they also shout about climate change or global warming or whatever they are calling it these days. Again, who cares?You see I don’t care because I have faith in God. And my lord and savior Jesus Christ told us that the rich people who have already achieved their reward will not make it to heaven. But those of us who have not amassed great wealth will if we follow the Ten Commandments. As for global warming, if it is actually as bad as they say it is, it may just be God’s plan.The bottom line is those who are socialists have no more faith in God and now worship at the altar of the God of government.John GaetaniGlenville Long past time to act on global warmingInstead of hearing from me about global warming, let’s hear from former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, president of the G8 Conference in 2005.“The time to act is now. It’s plain that the emission of greenhouse gases is causing global warming at a rate that began as significant, has become alarming, and is simply unsustainable in the long-term.“And by long-term, I do not mean centuries ahead. I mean within the lifetime of my own children certainly and possible within my own. And by unsustainable, I do not mean a phenomenon causing problems of adjustment. I mean a challenge so far-reaching in its impact and irreversible in its destructive power, that it alters radically human existence.” That was taken from “Field Notes from a Catastrophe” by Elizabeth Kolbert.Now, let’s hear from Elizabeth Kolbert herself in that same book. “As the effects of global warming become more and more difficult to ignore, will we react by finally fashioning a global response? Or will we retreat into ever narrower and more destructive forms of self-interest? It may seem impossible to imagine that a technologically advanced society could choose, in essence, to destroy itself, but that is what we are now in the process of doing.”So, let’s not fry our children. Let’s elect someone at the next election who actually understands what is going on and will spend our tax dollars on clean, renewable energy projects instead of building a wall.Meanwhile, conserve gas, oil and electricity, and give up methane-producing beef and using drive-throughs.Jahnn Swanker-GibsonJohnstown GOP is no longer the Party of Lincoln Re: the March 4 letter from Richard Colyer: I am of Caucasian heritage and can’t speak for those who are not. However, I would like to enlighten the gentleman from Schoharie about why I believe the vast majority of people of color don’t vote for Republicans. My memory tells me that prior to the candidacy of Richard Nixon, most Southerners were called Dixiecrats. Sadly, the Party of Lincoln was used by Nixon to entice those Southern Democrats to vote for him. It was called “the southern strategy.” The Republican Party is no longer the Party of Lincoln. The Democrats have embraced people of all colors ever since Nixon. Republicans can’t seem to understand that Lincoln would want nothing to do with their party of today. Edwin R. Philbrook Latham DEC not doing its job regulating landfillsThe state Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) regulation of local landfills is criminal.Thirty years ago, the DEC allowed the first of many expansions of Albany’s Rapp Road landfill, despite a DEC scientist having personally documented an endangered species, the Karner Blue butterfly, living on the proposed expansion site during each of the 10 prior years. Last year, the DEC granted a giant expansion of the Colonie landfill despite it being on the Mohawk River bank and overlapping a hazardous waste dump. During February, the Times Union indirectly quoted the DEC saying it is determined to keep a solid waste landfill operating in the greater Capital Region. In early March, the DEC levied small fines for numerous violations.The DEC allows the Dunn landfill in Rensselaer to operate, despite dump owners being unable to control odors or trash and dirt blowing off the dump property.In mid-January, I participated in a meeting with the DEC’s top brass, at which three people including a woman and her 11-year-old son told the DEC they can smell the dump both outside and inside the Rensselaer public school building located next to the dump. The boy said many students are ill.Why have environmental conservation laws, solid waste regulations, public hearings and environmental impact statements if the DEC is adamant about keeping dumps open no matter what may be wrong with them? The DEC’s landfill regulatory process is a sham; politics trumps science, environmental protection and public health. Tom EllisAlbany Americans should get a return from Big OilMedicare for everyone, but how do you pay for it? Americans are being taken by Big Oil. There are many oil companies that drill on land owned by the taxpayer. They pay little for this privilege and then sell oil products to taxpayers or ship them abroad.With millions of barrels being taken out of public land, we should bargain with these oil companies. Simply put, we should get two barrels of oil for every 100 these companies take out of our land. In 2017, the United States produced around 8.6 million barrels of crude oil per day [source: U.S. Energy Information Administration]. That’s over 3 billion barrels of crude oil for the year. The revenues are astronomical, and using the formula of “Two out of 100,” it could pay a good portion of our health care costs. What about natural gas that is recovered by large corporations from land owned by taxpayers?A simple formula could be worked out to bolster what is collected by the “Two out of 100” barrels of oil, coupled with a small tax to pay for health care. Several years ago, we had Sen. William Proxmire from Wisconsin, who gave out “Golden Fleece Awards” for government waste of taxpayer dollars. I’m sure he would be giving awards to our government of today. Presently, we take from the middle class and give to the upper class, many of whom are in the oil industry. Let’s get paid for our resources.Gary Philip GuidoRotterdam State’s sanctuary law backfires in CaliforniaWhew, all you sanctuary city and state people dodged a bullet when the Napa Valley deputy was forced to shoot that poor three-time deported, twice-recently-arrested but protected from ICE proceedings due to California sanctuary laws. This was after he shot at her, of course, lest you folks are worried about immigrants here illegally being mistreated. Yup, he was even arrested for weapons possession. But yessiree, he was still here thanks to that California sanctuary law, just like the one Andy and the boys want for New York. Yup, dodged that mess if he had hit her. Then she would have been just like Rolin Singh. Oh, don’t know the name? As they say, you can Google it.Alan BuzanowskiSaratoga SpringsMore from The Daily Gazette:Cuomo calls for clarity on administering vaccineEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homes Sanders’ vision for college will be costlyI wonder, what with Bernie the carpetbagger, nope, Bernie the Socialist, yeah.I wonder, what with Bernie the Socialist wanting to give free college tuition, if there will be any colleges left in his adopted (because he couldn’t get elected in New York) home state of Vermont?I guess if he’s elected to the presidency, we won’t have to worry about free tuition anywhere in the states. Maybe it’s time for his wife, Jane O’Meara Sanders, to run the colleges of Vermont. Oh wait, she already has run a college in Vermont, into bankruptcy! Never mind.G. V. MarmuscakSchenectady Climate change makes winter a big challengeI live in the country. Snow falls on the driveway. I shovel it. We have had several snowstorms, several inches each followed by rain, and freezing rain. It’s difficult not only to remove the snow, but freezing rain makes it hard to walk on and hard to shovel. Four Sundays I have had to stay home from church because I might slip and fall. It’s hard to find fault about sidewalks and ice. Climate change is easier to argue than to shovel.Ellie PetersAmsterdam Cannabis regulation will help with healthWith the passing of the updated Farm Bill, there has been a lot of focus on cannabidiol (CBD), a compound found in the cannabis plant, which has innumerable health and wellness benefits. People want safe access to it. Current research suggests that CBD can be useful against seizures, inflammation, headaches, insomnia, anxiety, skin irritation and even cancer.As a small business owner in the cannabis industry, I see customers constantly seeking out CBD products. With research and legislation being so limited, there is a disconnect between supply and demand. There is a huge opportunity here for the state and local governments to really get ahead of the market and work together to create safe access to CBD products for all consumers.Increased legalization of cannabis throughout the country has opened the doors for research on other benefits of the hemp plant, and CBD is just one of many. It’s time for educated and clear regulation on CBD and other cannabis products within the state. Donald AndrewsSchenectady Kim torture schedule too full for Warmbier I see the lock-step media and the other unindicted co-conspirators (Progressive Democrat Party) have found another angle to attack Trump with. I refer to the Otto Warmbier case. First off, I feel very sorry for the nasty time Otto spent in North Korea and his untimely death. With that said, what the heck was he doing there to begin with. It’s not on most sane people’s to-do list. How did he think he could get away with anything that government did not like?With all the oppression, withholding of food to the general population and general misuse of people’s basic human rights, I seriously doubt that Kim said, “Hey take that American kid and torture him to death.” Little things like this are just done routinely, not as an order from Kim. I have to accept Trump’s words that Kim probably did not know about it until much later when he was informed of the potential international problem. It was just business as usual. Kim has much more important things to do than punish someone for what in this country would be a $10 fine for stealing a propaganda poster!David G. DeMarcoHadley Government won’t stop at Red Flag lawRegarding your Feb. 26 editorial extolling the merits of the so-called Red Flag law, I would be more inclined to agree if I could name a power that has been given to the government that the government has not abused.Michael ReillySchenectady Pothole-free street could draw touristsI recently heard a startling rumor to the effect that in our lovely city of Schenectady there exists a length of roadway that does not contain a single pothole. Hard to believe.If such a street exists, tourists should be encouraged to view it. They can then tell their friends about it which might encourage an influx of curious visitors to our city. Good for business.Arnold SeikenSchenectady Consider facts when evaluating Trump Dave Edwards, in his March 4 letter, needs some correction comparing Obama with Trump. Obama inherited an economy on the verge of collapse and steered it back to 75 consecutive months of job growth, with unemployment dropping from about 10 to 4.7 percent.Trump inherited a healthy economy that Obama built, but has had only three quarters at or above 3 percent, when he promised much higher. Obama didn’t just give Iran money; it was paid back to resolve an arms contract owed with interest since 1979. Obama deported a record number of undocumented immigrants (over 5 million) and was nicknamed the “Deporter in Chief.”Obama was not ashamed of the United States; he just apologized for some of our bad decisions. Trump added trillions to the debt after Obama started to bring it down, helping mostly the wealthiest Americans. How can you say Trump loves America and is “every man’s president” when he mocks, harasses and demoralizes everyday Americans, even heroes, while praising and siding with brutal dictators like Putin, MBS and Kim Jong Un? How about stomping on American institutions, the First Amendment, the free press and the rule of law on a daily basis? Trump is an embarrassment with no moral code or intelligence, so I’d take just about anybody over this failure. The president is a pathological liar with thousands told already, so please don’t take his word for it (or Fox). Research the facts!Joanna DeSilvaScotia Church still protects its sexual predatorsWell, it would seem that the Vatican conference on church sex abuse has come to an end without really accomplishing much of anything, according to the Feb. 25 Gazette.Nowhere in the article were the words “pedophile priests” mentioned.I guess that’s too harsh. Maybe calling it sex abuse by priests is a little softer on the ears. It had to have been quite a sight seeing all the bishops dressed up in their black cassocks. It must mean they were serious.Take all that garb off an offending cleric and they look like any other sex offender that gets convicted, because that’s exactly what they are, sex offenders. They prey on innocent children and others by using the power of faith over them to get their way with their deviancy. Not acceptable.Was defrocking Theodore McCarrick, former archbishop of Washington, just a feel-good gesture to make us believe the Vatican is on top of the situation and finally starting to take accountability? Walks like it, talks like it.My point is the Catholic Church hierarchy isn’t interested in breaking up their little club. They leave the impression they have a direct in with God that others don’t. Nice try fellas. As far as the conference, you can sprinkle powdered sugar all over what they were shoveling and dishing out, and no one’s going to swallow it.Bob BeliveGlenvilleFor more letters, see Page E2.