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Landin Van Buren, 94, WWII Combat Veteran, Vice Principal
IN MEMORIAM

Landin Van Buren, 94, WWII

Combat Veteran, Vice Principal

Landin I. Van Buren

ONEONTA – Landin Irving Van Buren, 94, who fought in the Battle of the Bulge during World War II and later rose to vice principal at Oneonta Junior High School  laid down his working tools on Sept. 25, 2017.

Landin was born May 3, 1923, in Oneonta, where he lived his entire life except for the World War II years. He graduated from Oneonta High School in 1941, and in the fall of that year entered Hartwick College as a chemistry major.

Costas Wins Frick Award For Broadcast Excellence

Costas Wins Frick Award

For Broadcast Excellence

Bob Costas

COOPERSTOWN – Bob Costas, a star of NBC Sports since the early 1960s and a presence at Hall of Fame Inductions for decades, has been selected as the 2018 recipient of the Hall’s Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in broadcasting.

 Costas will be recognized during the Hall of Fame Awards Presentation on Saturday, July 28, as part of Hall of Fame Weekend 2018. Costas becomes the 42nd winner of the Frick Award, as he earned the highest point total in a vote conducted by the Hall of Fame’s 15-member Frick Award Committee.

1,000 Babies In Line For Their First Books

1,000 Babies In Line

For Their First Books

Ronald Warner and Krista Spooner-Warner, of Fultonville, with their son Conlee, receive a hand-sewn tote and children’s book from Barbara Potter, who initiated the project on behalf of the Four County Library System and Better World Books. Looking on is Catherine Lane, a registered nurse in the Bassett Birthing Center.

COOPERSTOWN – Five local libraries and Better World Books (BWB), with a grant from the Four County Library System, will provide the parents of 1,000 babies born at Bassett Hospital with their new baby’s first book and a hand-sewn tote to carry it home in.

Barbara Potter, who works at Kinney Memorial Library in Hartwick, pulled the project together. She pooled funds from the Springfield, Cherry Valley, Huntington (Oneonta), Cooperstown (Friends of the Library) and Kinney libraries to buy material to make the totes and reached out to BWB. When BWB learned of the initiative, it offered to donate all 1,000 books.

Faso Makes Three Stops On Oneonta Business Tour

Faso Visits Noah’s World,

Toonie Moonie In Oneonta

Congressman John Faso, R-19, above, meets with the owner’s of Noah’s World in Oneonta, Sheila Andreic and husband Aleksandar, during a visit to Oneonta today.  “The congressman … wanted to learn about initiatives in our county that focus on early learning and development.” said Barbara Ann Heegan, Otsego County Chamber of Commerce president. “I immediately thought of Noah’s World. They provide an excellent service for … parents who work struggle to find affordable, quality childcare.”   He then went next door to tour the production floor of Toonie Moonie Organics with owner Kim Condon, inset, seen overlooking their kitchen. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

IN MEMORIAM: The Rev. Kenneth Baldwin, 95; Veteran, Hospital Chaplain
IN MEMORIAM

Rev. Kenneth Baldwin, 95;

WWII Veteran, Fox Chaplain

Rev. Kenneth Baldwin

ONEONTA – The Rev. Kenneth R. Baldwin, 95, retired United Methodist Church pastor, World War II veteran and Fox Hospital chaplain during his retirement in Oneonta, passed away on Aug. 27, 2018.

Ken was the son of the late Bert and Mae (Clifford) Baldwin of Fayetteville, and was born in Syracuse on June 26, 1923.  In 1940, he met the love of his life, Nancy Hall, at a youth camp in Charlotte, Vt.    World War II lengthened their courtship, but Ken and Nancy were married in 1948 and shared 70 years of happy marriage.  They enjoyed dancing well into Ken’s nineties, often to the applause of onlookers.

IN MEMORIAM

Frank J. Kranitz, 92, Richfield;

WWI Vet Owned Lake-n-Pines

Frank Kranitz

RICHFIELD SPRINGS – Frank Joseph Kranitz, 92, a World War II veteran and former owner of Lake-n-Pines Motel on Otsego Lake, passed away peacefully on Monday evening, Nov. 12, 2018, at the Saint Johnsville Rehabilitation Center, Montgomery County.

He was born on Oct. 12, 1926, in Woodside, Queens, son of the late Joseph and Mary Tones Kranitz. Frank was raised in Queens where he graduated high school.
After graduation, he enlisted in the Army during World War II.
He served as a rifleman in central Europe and fought at the Battle of the Bulge.
He was the recipient of the Occupation Medal of ETO, EAME Campaign Medal, one Bronze Battle Star, World War II Victory Medal, American Campaign Medal and Good Conduct Medal. He was honorably discharged on April 27, 1947, attaining the rank of private first class.
On Sept. 12, 1965, he married the former Geraldine Hauser in Saint Mary’s “Our Lady of the Lake” Catholic Church in Cooperstown.
For 28 years, Mr. Kranitz owned and operated the Lake-n-Pines Motel, retiring in 1992.
Frank had a strong sense of community and was a member of Hugick, Purcell & Shepard American Legion Post No. 616, Richfield Springs and the Blind Veterans Association. He was a member and Past Master of Otsego Lodge No. 138 Free and Accepted Masons, a Past Excellent of the Royal Arch Masons No. 26, Zayrrah Shrine, Otsego Commandery No. 76 Knights Templar, Kentucky Colonel and Honorary citizen of Louisville, Ky., as well as a member of Buechel Lodge No. 896 Free and Accepted Masons in Louisville, Ky.
To all who knew him they will never forget a kind, gentle and caring gentleman with an unforgettable smile. He will be sadly missed by his many friends and family, especially his cherished grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Surviving him are his devoted wife of 53 years, Geraldine; a son, Frank Kranitz and his wife, Joyce of Richfield Springs; two daughters and their husbands, Geraldine and Timothy Krull of Saint Mary’s, Pa., Linda and William Collins of Warren; 10 grandchildren, Cassandra, Cheryl, Phillip, Claire, Katie, Matthew, Christine, Thomas, Katy and John; three great-grandchildren; two nieces; and five nephews.
Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Eugene and Joseph Kranitz; and a sister, Martha Kranitz.
Calling hours for Mr. Kranitz will be 4 to 7 p.m., tomorrow, Thursday, Nov. 15, in J. Seaton McGrath Funeral Home, 40 West James Street; Richfield Springs. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m., Friday, Nov. 16, at Saint Joseph the Worker R.C. Church, Richfield Springs with Father Silvastar Sarihaddula, Pastor officiating.
Interment with military honors will follow in Lakeview Cemetery, Richfield Springs.
Expressions of sympathy may be made with memorial donations to the Richfield Springs Volunteer Fire Department. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.
Members of Otsego Lodge No. 138 F&AM; are asked to meet at the funeral home on Thursday evening at 6:30 p.m. for ritualistic services.

Frank J. Kranitz, 92, Richfield; WWII Vet Ran Lake-In-Pines
IN MEMORIAM

Frank J. Kranitz, 92, Richfield;

WWII Vet Owned Lake-In-Pines

Frank Kranitz

RICHFIELD SPRINGS – Frank Joseph Kranitz, 92, World War II veteran and owner of the Lake-n-Pines Motel on Otsego Lake for many years, passed away peacefully on Monday evening, Nov. 12, 2018, at the Saint Johnsville Rehabilitation Center in Montgomery County.

He was born on Oct. 12, 1926, in Woodside, Queens, son of the late Joseph and Mary Tones Kranitz. Frank was raised in Queens where he graduated high school.

After graduation, he answered the call of his country by enlisting in the Army during World War II.

‘Trusted Traveler’ Revocations Aside, ‘Green Light’ Bad Law

EDITORIAL

‘Trusted Traveler’

Revocations Aside,

‘Green Light’ Bad Law

The second hijacked smashes into the World Trade Center’s South Tower on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. The 19 hijackers had 30 driver’s licenses from five states. Reforms that followed to increase inter-agency communications are threatened by New York State’s new “Green Light” Law, Acting Deputy Homeland Security Director Ken Cuccinelli says.

On Sept. 11, 2001, the 19 terrorists who attacked the World Trade Center and Pentagon, or crashed in Schwenksville, Pa., had 30 driver’s licenses among them that allowed them to gain access to and hijack the four jets.

Nineteen licenses were from Florida, eight from Virginia, one each from Arizona and Maryland, plus two from California that were issued to two “watchlisted” participants.

None were from our state’s DMV, but if such a national catastrophe were to occur again, it could be different.

Acting Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Ken Cuccinelli referenced that last Thursday, Feb. 10, in answering reporters’ questions on his department’s decision to exclude New Yorkers from four “Trusted Traveler” programs after the passage of the state’s “Green Light” Law, which prohibits state law enforcement agencies from sharing routine DMV data with immigration agencies.

The programs give pre-approved travelers and trucking companies no-wait entry in to the U.S. The decision means 80,000
New Yorkers who have applied for the status won’t be approved, and 175,000 already approved will lose their status as their five-year passes expire.

“It was embarrassing to us in Virginia, that (many) of the 9/11 terrorists used Virginia driver’s licenses to help accomplish their evil mission, and we set about to fix that, and we did fix that,” said Cuccinelli.

Cuccinelli fielded reporters’ questions on removing New Yorkers from “Trusted Traveler” eligibility.

New York is “one of the other targets of 9/11 that is walking backwards, quite intentionally, … to bar the sharing of law-enforce-
ment-relevant information like vehicle registration, matching driver’s licenses to identifications, and critically, criminal records that are kept up to date and DMV databases.”

As stated here before, the “Green Light” legislation, granting a legal document to people who are in the U.S. illegally, is illogical on its face, evident to the 62 percent of New Yorkers who opposed it in a Siena Poll.

Plus, the Democratic majority folded it into the vote on the state budget, avoiding public hearings and on-the-floor discussion where the benefits and deficits would have become clear.

The law forced county clerks who run DMV offices, like Otsego’s Kathy Sinnot Gardner, to disobey either state law or federal law, contrary to their oath of office: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States AND the Constitution of the State of New York.” (Emphasis added.)

Since DMV applications are automatically forwarded to the state Board of Elections, where they are processed routinely, the “Green Light” at least gives an amber to voter fraud.

The law in place, the DMV and state Division of Criminal Justice Service then ordered local police to sign a “pledge” not to share any related information with federal agencies; obdurate police would be denied access to DMV records, essential to ensure someone stopped for speeding isn’t wanted for shooting a cop downstate.

County Sheriff Richard J. Devlin Jr., called that “blackmail,” reported Joe Mahoney, Albany correspondent for Plattsburgh’s, Niagara Falls’ and other Upstate papers, who broke the story statewide. “I signed the agreement with displeasure because it would really affect our officers here if we were not to have access to this data,” Devlin told Mahoney.

All this just isn’t right.

Supporters of the “Green Light” Law argue that because of the vast number of illegal immigrants in New York State – in 2014 there were 4.4 million in New York State, an estimated 22 percent of the population – this is a necessary safety measure, ensuring they pass the driver’s test and have insurance.

Still, to anyone who watched the World Trade Center towers collapse, visited the chilling 911 Memorial & Museum in New York City’s financial district, or listened to Cuccinelli the other afternoon, the justification rings hollow. Should every law be repealed if it’s flouted? Should any?

The answer to illegal immigration is much larger than the “Green Light” Law, requiring well-regulated borders and likely a humane path to citizenship for otherwise law-abiding immigrants. (A massive expulsion would be a human rights disaster.) But that’s a separate discussion.

Democrats have characterized Homeland Security’s decision as a reprisal by the Trump Administration: In his State of the Nation speech the night before it came down, the president singled out California and New York State as states where “sanctuary” communities are putting the law-abiding general public at risk.

But with Monday the 10th’s announcement of action against the state of New Jersey and the county that includes Seattle, Wash., it appears to be part of a larger push-back against the whole concept of “sanctuaries” – one that’s long overdue.

In New York State, according to the Center for Immigrant Studies, the cities of New York City and Ithaca, and five counties, are sanctuaries. However, that doesn’t include Cooperstown, where a Village Board resolution from 2017 declares village police won’t cooperate with ICE investigations that may occur locally; now, it may make sense for the trustees to withdraw that ill-considered resolution.

Whether reprisal or prudent governance, the right course is clear: The “Green Light” Law should be repealed on the merits. That the state’s economy will now suffer and hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers face travel delays are an added impetus for the state Legislature to do the right thing.

Instead of rethinking where we are and returning to a more sensible course, state Attorney General Letitia James, also on Monday, filed suit accusing the Trump Administration of using “our nation’s security as a political weapon.” Rather, is New York State simply risking our nation’s security to ride an ideological hobby horse?

As for the governor, he said “more than a dozen states – including red states – (have) similar laws.” He knows better. While other states grant licenses to undocumented immigrants, they didn’t include the most objectionable provision: barring cooperation with federal agencies. Washington State is considering that clause, but now may change its mind.

Contrary, it seems, to county clerks and sheriffs, the governor and attorney general are entitled to their own opinions. Neither is up for reelection in November, but the state Legislature is: 62 percent of voters should hold their representatives accountable on this issue. Turn off the “Green Light.”

BOUND VOLUMES: Mar. 14 – 15, 2019

BOUND VOLUMES: Mar. 14 – 15, 2019

200 YEARS AGO
In the case of Sturges vs. Crowninshield – the opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court dated February 25, is summarized as follows: “Discharges under state insolvent laws, exempt the body of the debtor from imprisonment. But his property, subsequently acquired, is liable to his creditors; or, in other words, the contract is discharged as to the person, but not as to the future state of the party.” It is further decided, that until Congress acts upon the subject, the states may pass insolvent or bankrupt laws, which, however, can have no other effect that is above stated; but may be beneficial in putting an end to the partial dispositions of property, which now operate so severely upon the great mass of creditors of those who fail among us. This is all that has yet been decided upon this interesting subject. Gentlemen of the profession will perceive that many points remain for discussion.”
March 15, 1819

175 YEARS AGO
Advertisement: Blacksmithing – Those who want their Horses well shod, or their axes new-laid, or other edge tools made or repaired, are respectfully invited to call at Badger’s Fly Creek Machine Shop, who has on hand the best materials, and has employed Mr. E. Wentworth, whose experience as a Shoer is well known, and who can remedy the defects in the feet of horses which have come from bad shoeing and otherwise. Please give us a trial. Fly Creek, March 1, 1844.
March 11, 1844

150 YEARS AGO
Mr. H.F. Phinney, after having appealed from the present location of the railroad line and terminus in this village, has gracefully yielded to an adverse decision; and, as an evidence of his good will and hearty cooperation in the work in which we are all interested, has released the right-of-way through his entire property, embracing the Lough Farm and the Seminary grounds, to the company, free of charge. This is one evidence among others that Mr. Phinney is not making his investments in this village from purely selfish and personal motives, but that he has a higher view than some minds comprehend of the obligations resting upon men of wealth in the discharge of their stewardship.
March 12, 1869

Robert C. Stiefel, 93; WWII Veteran, SUNY Oneonta Retiree

IN MEMORIAM:  Robert C. Stiefel, 93;

WWII Veteran, SUNY Oneonta Retiree

Robert C. Stiefel

ONEONTA – Robert C. Stiefel, 93, a World War II veteran and SUNY Oneonta retiree, passed away on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018, at the Chestnut Park Rehabilitation & Nursing Center.

Bob was born on June 14, 1924, in Oneonta, the son of Charles and Mabel (Moon) Stiefel.

He served his country in the Army during World War II, (1943-1945), the Asiatic Pacific Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal.

PASTORS: What Does Crisis Mean?

County Pastors Contemplate:

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

Editor’s Note: The coronavirus has closed churches, but via the Internet and other means, pastors continue to preach. Over the next few weeks, we will share their words here.

Out Of Pain, Grief, Find Understanding

Ralph Waldo Emerson, a Transcendentalist Unitarian, wrote, “There is a crack in every thing God has made.”

In 1992, Leonard Cohen, singer, musician, and song writer, sang in his song “Anthem”, “There is a crack, a crack, in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”

Rev. Schwalenberg

It is also how our light shines out. Through our brokenness.

Things are going to be difficult for us for a while. There will be pain and struggle and grief.

And we will feel profoundly broken. But in our brokenness. In our pain. In our grief. In our struggle.

Let us remember.

We are rooted to the Earth.

Connected in ways we cannot even begin to know or understand.

We are both whole and holy, APART it may seem, but truly, I tell you, A PART of the greater whole.

Bound by spirit. Bound by Life. Bound by Love.

Together.

Broken and Whole.

Rev. CRAIG SCHWALENBERG
Universalist Unitarian Church
Oneonta

He Intervenes, For Our Ultimate Good

In times like this, we must always remember that God is not the author of evil. He does not desire to hurt or afflict his creation.

Father Boston

But, as he did in the life of David the King – the “man after God’s own heart” who committed adultery and contracted out a murder – he will use evil to bring about good.

As he did in the life of the man born blind, he will make our hurts and afflictions occasions for his greater glory.

God grabs hold of the circumstances we have made for ourselves – circumstances that threaten to drag us down to our destructions – and uses those things to redeem us, and to glorify his Name. Our sins do hinder us. They can never hinder him.

What’s God up to? What’s he doing? I cannot give you an answer that will bring clarity to the days ahead. I cannot sketch out for you God’s game plan for what he’s accomplishing in this moment. I can only promise you this: the God who came and walked among us as one of us remains with us in our hours of trial as much as in our moments of triumph. The God who came and walked among us as one of us shall never leave us, whatever the afflictions through which we must walk. The God who came and walked among us as one of us is with us still. He goes still to the sick and suffering.

What’s God doing? What’s he up to? The same thing he has always been doing. The same thing he has always been up to. He is intervening, here and now in the life of this world – in your life and in my life – for his greater glory and for our ultimate good. Hold fast to that assurance. Hold fast to that unshakable, unbreakable promise. Hold fast to one another, even from a distance, even while we are apart.

Rev. DANE BOSTON
Christ Episcopal Church
Cooperstown

Lost In Dark Wood, We Find A New Way

The best evidence I’ve seen that the Maker of heaven and earth is searching for us, seeking to create a new relationship, a new covenant for a new age, is by witnessing all the caring that’s going on, here in our community and all around the world.

Rev. Swords-Horrell

People are taking care of their neighbors; they are calling our oldsters on the phone, checking in, getting their groceries, walking their dogs. There are school buses in front of our schools where families can get food.

We live in a community with a lot of heart, and this crisis is strengthening the ties that bind and creating entirely new ones, ties across the airwaves, across cyberspace, binding us together in love. That’s Holy Spirit work.

So as we continue our journey through this dark wood, we will continue to ask, who’s lost? Who’s lost in our community, our world, and how can we reach out to help be finders and restorers of life and health, from a safe distance?

When God called out that night so long ago, “Samuel, Samuel”, the lamp of God had not yet gone out. It was the darkest hour of the night. Some of us remember how Mama Cass sang, “And the darkest hour, is just before dawn.”
As Marcia McFee wrote for our liturgy today, “The path of life is rarely clear or straight-forward. We find ourselves lost in a Dark Wood, unclear which direction to go, perhaps having strayed from the path we thought we were on. It is at these times that the gift of getting lost is that we begin to pay more attention than we usually do.”

We’re standing together in a dark wood, not sure which way to go. We’re being invited to pay attention, to get quiet and open wide our senses. We’re listening for our name, for the call of God on our life. As individuals. As families. As a church. As a nation. As a planet. We’re getting quiet and we’re listening. We’re ready to say, “Speak, Lord, for your servant hears.”

Rev. MARTI SWORDS-HORRELL
First United Methodist Church
Oneonta

Display On Jim Konstanty At GOHS During October

He Pitched For Phillies In World Series

Display On Jim Konstanty

At GOHS During October

Oneonta’s Konstanty is considered the MLB’s first relief pitcher

ONEONTA – “Jim Konstanty & the World Series,” featuring Oneonta’s most accomplished Major Leaguer, is on display at the Oneonta History Center, 183 Main St., through October.

Helen Rees, Konstanty’s daughter, is sharing her collection of memorabilia from her father’s professional baseball career.

Konstanty (1917-1976) played for five teams during his 11 years in the Majors. Although also a starting pitcher, he is considered baseball’s first specialist as a relief pitcher.

He was the Most Valuable Player in the National League in 1950 and pitched in that year’s World Series for the Philadelphia Phillies.

BENNETT: In Land Of Plenty, Many Are Needy

WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER

In Land Of Plenty,

Many Are Needy

By LARRY BENNETT • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

This column is titled, “We are all in this together,” but it doesn’t always appear to be so.

Larry Bennett, retired Brewery Ommegang creative director who is active in local causes, lives in East Meredith.

The U.S. economy is the world’s largest – our GDP will exceed $21 trillion in 2019. Our GDP represents 20 percent of total global output, is larger than China’s GDP, and is projected to grow 2.5 percent in 2019. Our GDP per person is seven times the world average while we have 1/20th of the population. We are the richest nation on earth, and you’d think we would all be doing well. But – according to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) – we have the second highest poverty rate of the OECD nations and the worst income inequality rate. How can this be?

In 1960, an average American couple with two kids lived on a single income. With saving and planning they bought a modest home. Unless they were big city residents they owned a serviceable automobile. They saved for their kids’ educations. While it is true that many African Americans, Native Americans, and others were often excluded from these opportunities, it was still the case for many Americans.
Early 1960s corporate-CEO-to-employee pay ratio was an average of 20:1. In 2018 it was almost 300:1. Since 2006, corporate profits grew 30 percent while household income grew only 4 percent.

According to one Federal Reserve Bank study, the share of the national income that workers receive has fallen to its lowest level since World War II, even as worker productivity has gone up six-fold. Workers fuel the success of the companies but executives reap the rewards at increasing levels of inequality. This money grab deprives company workers of a fair share in what they help create.

What does this mean in Otsego and Delaware counties? We are a microcosm of the nation: What we see here is happening everywhere. At least one Fortune 500 company operates here; in fact, Walmart has been #1 on the Fortune 500 list for six years running. Their CEO was paid $22.8 million in 2018. That’s 1,188 times the $19,177 median wage of employees. In just two hours of one week he made more than those employees made in a year. An average Walmart has 280 employees who are paid around $20,000 each.

With a payroll of $5.6 million a store typically brings in around $46.7 million in revenues. The majority of these Walmart revenues leave our area and go to Walmart’s corporate coffers: to highly compensated executives, to pay dividends to stock holders and Walton family members, and to support a $500 million private art collection and museum.

This flood of money makes the Walton family the richest in America, with assets of over $160 billion in 2018.

Yet the average Walmart employee makes around $20,000 per year. The corporate starting wage is $11 per hour. Fifty percent of employees are approved only to work part-time, which curtails benefits and opportunities for raises and advancement. Employees are cheap to hire and fire. They are intentionally disposable. It is also known that a significant number of Walmart employees depend on food stamps to feed their families.

If this is how the wealthiest company in America treats its employees everywhere, including here, what model does that set for other employers? I do not mean to pillory Walmart alone. This is the model under which American businesses currently operate.

From the largest to the smallest businesses, many working people are treated poorly, and this keeps or pushes many into poverty. As a business problem, a political problem, and a social problem it is crucial to fill this vast income gap. As a nation, if we expect those who struggle to be able to escape poverty, income inequality must be addressed.

BENNETT: On Arms, Will Enough Ever Be Enough

We’re All In This Together

On Arms, Will Enough

Ever Be Enough?

Larry Bennett

The 2020 proposed U.S. military budget is $737 billion. When is enough, enough?

This is 37 percent of the $1.7 trillion military spending for all the world. It is more than the next 13 nations combined (numbers in billions): China ($224), Saudi Arabia ($70), India ($55), Germany ($49), UK ($49), Japan ($47), Russia ($44), France ($40), South Korea ($38), Brazil ($29), Italy ($29), Australia ($26) and Canada ($21). Only two of those nations are adversaries.

The $737 billion is but one part of the entire U.S. budget of $4.75 trillion – comprising discretionary spending, mandatory spending, and interest payments – but defense discretionary spending is 15 percent of the entire budget and half of all discretionary spending. There is an additional amount of mandatory VA and military benefits spending of some $200 billion. That’s almost $1 trillion, over 20 percent of the total budget.

Here’s what we have for our money:

• We have rough parity in deployed nuclear weapons: 2,200 for us and our allies, vs. 1,780 cumulative for Russia, China and North Korea. Few doubt ours are the most technically advanced and capable, though with nuclear weapons that seems a useless distinction. If only 5 percent of them were exploded, then the entire human race ¬– not just the combatants – would suffer horrible consequences.

• We have 13,000 U.S. aircraft vs. Russia and China’s combined 7,000. Other western and allied nations add 12,000 more to our side, so we have 25,000 vs. 7,000. Again, there is little doubt ours are the most capable.

• We have 10 nuclear-powered supercarriers, two more being built, and more planned. The Russians and Chinese each have one. Ours are supported by a massive fleet of offensive and other vessels. Russia’s fleet has heavily deteriorated since the demise of the USSR, and China’s fleet is a fledgling.

• We have 70+ submarines, all nuclear powered, classified as either ballistic missile, guided missile or attack submarines. Each of the 14 Ohio-class ballistic missile subs can deliver up to 192 nuclear warheads.

The firepower is unimaginable, and in fact half of all U.S. nuclear weapons are on
these 14 virtually undetectable submarines. No other submarine force is remotely as lethal as ours.

• We have the world’s third largest land force with 1.3 million active troops and another 865,000 in reserve. We also have a global presence unlike any other nation, with about 200,000 active troops deployed in more than 170 countries. China’s land forces are around 2 million, but again ours are advanced and capable. We fall behind in the number of tanks, having 6,200 while China has 13,000 and Russia 21,000. But many of those Russian and Chinese tanks are there to deter each other.

The U.S. competitively spent the USSR into economic collapse in the ‘80s. Russia no longer poses a substantial conventional threat to Western Europe and NATO. Its weak economy is highly dependent on resource extraction, not manufacturing.

In dealings with China, the U.S. has focused on economic competition, not military competition. We have a mixed record but it is advantageous to both nations to maintain peaceful competition and not sink into a cold war, let alone a hot war.

Then there is North Korea, which could be utterly destroyed by one Ohio-class submarine. Other threats include Iran, but it has huge internal struggles, no patron nation, and hard choices to make. Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria are quagmires we can’t fix, and they pose no direct threat to the U.S. Finally, those nations bordering Israel pose no unsurmountable threat to Israel, at least by conventional means.

It seems physical terrorism and cyber terrorism are the biggest existential threats to the U.S., yet we spend enormous resources elsewhere. Our trillion-dollar defense spending offers unassailable military security but skimps on other forms of security. That missing security can be realized by reallocating hundreds of military billions to expanded healthcare, to better education, to improved infrastructure, and to fighting climate change.

We already have enough weaponry to fight off the entire world. Enough is enough.

Larry Bennett, recently retired Brewery Ommegang creative director who is active in local causes, lives in East Merideth.

Harrelson Wins Frick; Spink Goes To Cafardo

2 JOURNALISM INDUCTION HONOREES

Harrelson Wins Frick;

Spink Goes To Cafardo

Nick Cafardo
Ken Harrelson

COOPERSTOWN – Ken Harrelson will be honored with the Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in broadcasting, and the late Nick Cafardo, for the J.G. Spink Award for “meritorious contributions to baseball writing” Saturday, July 25, during the 2020 Hall of Fame Induction Weekend.

A five-time Emmy Award winner, Harrelson became a Chicago icon while calling White Sox games for 34 of his 43 years behind the mic.

Born Sept. 4, 1941, in Woodruff, S.C., and raised in Savannah, Ga., Harrelson was a star amateur athlete in several sports before signing with the Kansas City Athletics in 1959 following a heated bidding war. After stellar seasons in the minor leagues in 1961 and 1962, Harrelson debuted with the Athletics midway through the 1963 campaign. With Kansas City, he helped popularize the batting glove, which quickly became standard issue for most big leaguers.

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