Live updates: Turkey, Syria earthquake death toll passes 5,000; fears of new humanitarian crisis     Bangladesh seeks new terms for Adani coal electricity deal     Photos: Rescuers search for survivors after earthquake in Syria and Turkey kills thousands     Live updates: Turkey, Syria earthquake death toll passes 5,000; fears of new humanitarian crisis     Bangladesh seeks new terms for Adani coal electricity deal     Photos: Rescuers search for survivors after earthquake in Syria and Turkey kills thousands     After the balloon, China works on fixing U.S. ties while still looking tough     Ukraine live briefing: Ukraine vows to defend Bakhmut as Russia claims successes in combat      South Koreans wonder: Will the U.S. still protect us from North Korea?     Live updates: Turkey, Syria earthquake death toll passes 5,000; fears of new humanitarian crisis     Bangladesh seeks new terms for Adani coal electricity deal     Photos: Rescuers search for survivors after earthquake in Syria and Turkey kills thousands     Live updates: Turkey, Syria earthquake death toll passes 5,000; fears of new humanitarian crisis     Bangladesh seeks new terms for Adani coal electricity deal     Photos: Rescuers search for survivors after earthquake in Syria and Turkey kills thousands     After the balloon, China works on fixing U.S. ties while still looking tough     Ukraine live briefing: Ukraine vows to defend Bakhmut as Russia claims successes in combat      South Koreans wonder: Will the U.S. still protect us from North Korea?     

News of Otsego County

donald trump

BECKERT: Vote! Please Help Save Our Country
Letter from Bruce Beckert

Vote! Please Help
Save Our Country

This election is like none other in our time. It will either cement the global elite’s plan for our country or start us back on a path that will ultimately save this country so our grandchildren can have a lifestyle of freedom and opportunity that we have been so blessed with.

The Democrats have gotten used to swaying liberal Republicans, buying key elections with global elites’ dollars or just stealing elections. They have worked our judicial system, our media and the mind of some, so they can pull off most of their tricks. If patriotic Republicans don’t achieve wide margins we will see more elections stolen. Contrary to what many liberals think, a successful Democratic midterm election will lead to a country we will not recognize or be able to reverse. Democrats want a one-party system of government which will end our democracy, our way of life and the principles that have propelled us to the greatest power in the world.

Views Around New York State: July 8, 2021

Views Around New York State

Suing Georgia over voting rights is just the start

From The Albany Times-Union:
Georgia was among a host of GOP-controlled states that in the aftermath of Republican Donald Trump’s loss to Democrat Joe Biden for the presidency have intensified efforts to pass laws brazenly aimed at suppressing votes by people of color. Georgia and its defenders offered the weak defense that some of the provisions it passed will expand voting rights, as if a little window dressing is supposed to make up for its draconian measures.

Those measures, as outlined by Assistant U.S. Attorney General Kristen Clarke, included a raft of restrictions on absentee ballots, including shortening the time to apply for them and imposing new ID requirements. As Clarke noted, Black voters used absentee ballots at a much higher rate last year than white ones.

The Georgia law — which grew from three pages to 90 on its way from the state Senate to the House, where it received a mere two hours of debate — would also cut, from 100 to around 20, the number of ballot drop boxes that were popular in the metro Atlanta area where, not coincidentally, the state’s largest Black voting-age population resides. And infamously, the law made it illegal to give people waiting in long lines — which voters in high-minority areas tend to face — food or even water.

That’s just one state. The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University counted as of mid-May nearly 400 bills with restrictive voting provisions around the country.

These laws aren’t happening in a vacuum, but in the echo chamber in which Trump’s lie of a stolen election and his fiction of massive voter fraud keeps getting repeated by Republican lawmakers as if it is true in order to justify such anti-democratic schemes. … So they’re passing these laws in statehouses, and using the filibuster in Congress to block federal legislation to protect voting rights.

There are still laws that apply here, and it’s encouraging that Attorney General Merrick Garland announced at the same time as the Georgia lawsuit that the Justice Department will fully use the Voting Rights Act and other statutes to push back on voter suppression and intimidation wherever they find it. In the absence of a new commitment in Congress to this most fundamental right in a democracy — the right of the people to choose their leaders — the battle is never ending, to this nation’s shame.

Safety versus justice is a false choice

From The Albany Times-Union:
Some people deal with criticism by showing why it’s unfair. Then there are those, like Saratoga Springs Assistant Police Chief John Catone, who seem to go out of their way to prove their critics’ case.

Catone, joined by Commissioner of Public Safety Robin Dalton, went on a tear that sounded so many wrong notes when it comes to complaints of systemic racism in the criminal justice system that it was hard to keep track. … (Catone) delivered a rant filled with racist dog whistles, punctuated by what came off as a threat to summon the collective forces of the city’s historically white power establishment to put an end to what he called “a narrative of lies and misinformation.”

Let’s start with the most important thing of all: It is not the job of those in law enforcement to shut down speech they don’t like. That threat alone should be enough for Catone to turn in his badge and gun and retire early. And for sitting by his side, nodding in apparent agreement, Dalton should resign, and drop her bid for mayor.

We are in no way defending any violence that has taken place in Saratoga Springs, including a brawl Saturday night on Caroline Street and some alleged recent muggings in Congress Park. We in no way support demonstrators carrying bats, as one organizer acknowledged some did in the past.

We do support people’s right to demonstrate, to express their views that there are racial problems in their police department, and to petition their government for redress of their grievances. If that discomfits some in a community that thrives on tourism and its image as a charming, gentrified, historic American city, well, that’s the First Amendment for you.

Catone doesn’t seem to see it that way. He railed about how critics of his department were “trying to push a narrative from a national stage” — a reference to the Black Lives Matter movement — and talked of “gangs from Albany” — read: young men of color — coming up to Saratoga Springs to sell drugs and cause trouble. In wrapping all this into one speech, he conflated drug gangs and Black Lives Matter activists, an outrageous rhetorical slander whether he intended it or not. …

For good measure, he blamed criminal justice reforms passed by the state Legislature, which included ending a system in which low-income people unable to make bail were jailed without trial while those of means could readily buy their freedom.

So it’s police against “them,” and everyone has to pick sides? This is Assistant Chief Catone and Commissioner Dalton’s idea of a unified community?

What they present is the false choice that so many misguided or opportunistic politicians and demagogues offer: that it’s either law, order, and unquestioning support of police, or chaos.

A truly strong society — whether it’s a small city or the richly diverse nation it’s a part of — must be both safe and just. For all.

FURNARI: More Trump Flags On The Way

More Trump Flags On The Way

To the Editor:

This is a reaction to Consuelo Kraham Velez’s letter in the March 18 edition. And I write this for some of those that are fearful of being canceled because they worry about expressing their beliefs that may not be popular with their employer, their neighbor, or their governing body in their community.

Of course we will accept a portion of our money back. Let’s call it a rebate, not a relief check. We pay a fortune in taxes, so once in a while it’s nice to get something back.

And in regards to the comment about some kind of an “indisputable fact” that President Trump was trounced, it shows ignorance. If you still believe Beijing Biden was fairly elected and that fraud didn’t exist to get him in office, well then you are extremely naive. The mere fact a record 75 million voters never had their day in court proves my assertion.

China controls this temporary “lucky-if-he-makes-it-one-term” president, and the election was riddled with illegal actions and inconsistencies brought to light, proven, and never pursued by a bought-and-paid-for judicial system.

Corruption runs deep in our nation these days, due to people who are not statesmen employed in both parties. But if you call it “indisputable,” I’ll give you a chance. Bring us the facts next time you make such a statement.

Maybe getting off the big networks and doing a little research on your own will help you become more informed and appear more qualified to chime in. Just steer clear of the professors in your local universities, as they are certainly part of the problem.

And look out for more Trump signs coming. Because whether it’s Trump or anyone who believes in an America First policy, that’s who we will support. Not those hurting American businesses, and allowing undocumented individuals to enter our countryside on the southern border.

You don’t have a border you don’t have a country. Young girls are abused and sold because of the open border policy.

I hope you’re happy contributing to that, the higher gas prices, the pollution, the loss of jobs, the tension between us and China, Russia and North Korea, the appeasement of Iran, the massive spending, the higher taxes, legalization of drugs, abortion of 8- and 9-month-old fetuses, fentanyl entering through this open border policy killing tens of thousands of people a year – fentanyl coming from China specifically.

I challenge you to prove anything I just listed is not a fact. The arguments I’ve just made cannot be broken. And I’ll debate you any place, any time. In the meantime, I’m canceling reading anything you have to say to the editor and public again. So congratulations. You are now part of cancel culture you support.

Town of Otsego

VELEZ: Just Wondering…

Just Wondering…

To the Editor:

Recently, my travels took me slightly north of Cooperstown. I was rather surprised to see properties still displaying large Trump flags despite the actual, indisputable fact that he was roundly trounced in the last election.

Will the owners refuse to accept the actual relief checks that are soon coming their way, courtesy of our actual, legally elected president, Joseph R. Biden and the American Rescue Plan Act ?

Just wondering…


NORTHRUP: Impeachment Burnished At Least One Politician

Impeachment Burnished At Least One Politician

To the Editor:

We saw something this week in the Impeachment trial that is a rarity – a politician who followed the law, not his party line.

The idea of being faithful to the law is the essence of the inscription at Thermopylae, where 300 Spartans held the line against the Persian army. Herotodus mentioned the plaque commemorating
the battle: “Go tell the Spartans that we 300, ever faithful to their laws, here died.”

They didn’t say ever faithful to a person, or to their party, but to their laws.

Senator Cassidy (R-La.) voted that the impeachment trial is indeed Constitutional (which it is) against the wishes of his party. He then heard the evidence and voted to convict Trump.

What Senator Cassidy did was courageous, because, like the Spartans, he was ever faithful, “Semper Fidelis” to the law. Not to a party, nor a leader, but to the law. Here’s to that. Go tell the Cajuns.


DUNCAN: Hospitals Posting Prices? When You’re Sick, It Doesn’t Matter

Hospitals Posting Prices? When

You’re Sick, It Doesn’t Matter

To the Editor:

As I was driving along listening to NPR talking about hospitals now being required to post prices for services. I thought: That is all the hospital needs, more hoops to jump through for the government. I looked on the Internet to find out more details.

“The Trump Administration…announced it would begin forcing hospitals to publicly disclose the discounted prices they negotiate with insurance companies, a potentially bold move to help people shop for better deals on a range of medical services, from hip replacements to brain scans,” wrote the New York Times’ Reed Abelson.

Do they really think I want to go shopping for better deals in healthcare? Can you see yourself on a shopping spree to compare prices when you are sick? Are they completely clueless?

If you are sick, it’s prices be damned.. You want solutions to regain full health. Do you think a commander of a battleship has to worry about how much weapons, food and fuel cost so they can go out and kill people? Yet with healthcare in this county, it is all about prices. What kind of country is this?

It is true that hospitals and doctors are the Number 3 cause of death in America. (Maybe with COVID they have moved to fourth.) This fact and the issue of cost is a symptom of a deeper problem of medicine in America. What is the meaning of healthcare?

The high cost of healthcare is drug companies – “BigPharma”. They donate huge sums of money to universities to teach doctors to push drugs. Doctors then have a limited perspective on what healthcare is. They are forced to think within the box and lose their ability to be creative and innovative.

The knowledge should be about nurses’ and doctors’ views and experiences, not corporations. Even scientific studies would be better off if the ideas came from the nurses and doctors, not from mice running around in cages.

You can’t have a system of health based on profit without discriminating against the people with limited resources. Capitalism and healthcare can’t share the same bed.

Many will cry “socialism.” My cry is: compassion, humanitarianism. Healthy citizens equal healthy society. The bottom line is: We are all in this world together and we are all going to die. Why can’t we do it with dignity and virtue?

Hartwick Forrest

Trump ’24 Billboard Redebated

Trump ’24 Billboard Redebated

Planning Board Isn’t Proper Forum, ZEO, Town Attorney Find

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

Gone, Not Forgotten

It’s unclear whether a Town Planning Board effort to have the “Trump 2024” billboard on Route 28 removed is going anywhere.

The town Planning Board was expected to take the issue up Monday, Feb. 1, but the meeting at the town hall in Portlandville was cancelled due to the snowstorm.

Meanwhile, Town Zoning Officer Barbara Monroe drew a line in the sand, saying she has the sole authority to levy fines when zoning violations occur, not the Planning Board.

I have no intention of writing a violation on that sign,” at least for now, she said Monday.

Tuesday, Town Attorney Hyde Clarke, while saying his advice to town bodies is covered by attorney-client privilege, said Monroe’s right.

“It’s not really a planning issue,” he said. “The town has zoning regulations.”

And Town Clerk Rosemary Aborn and Zoning Board of Appeals chairman Al Bullard both said they’re not aware the issue is on this month’s agendas of the town board or ZBA.

“It sounds like a Demo-cratic plot,” said Bullard.

Events were set in motion two weeks ago, Village Mayor Brian Pokorny said, when two town Planning Board members approached him, advising him to remove the billboard or face fines; no amount was specified.

Let’s All Get Behind President Biden’s Call For Calm, Unity

Let’s All Get Behind President Biden’s Call For Calm, Unity

Our best hope: Joe Biden and his inclination toward unity.

It’s a day that will live in infamy, Jan. 6, 2021, when a mob attacked the U.S. Capitol, vandalized and ransacked the venerable building, and was driven out by National Guard units and Capitol Police with some loss of life.

Prior to Jan. 6, 2021, few Americans could visualize that ever happening. The natural response here in Otsego County, as throughout our United States, is horror, sadness and fear for the future.

What now?

Illuminatingly, the daily poll that sought readers’ opinions on the next steps found people chose the mildest options by a large majority.

Vote For Candidate With Integrity, Dignity, Veracity

Vote For Candidate With

Integrity, Dignity, Veracity

To the Editor:

The first Presidential candidate that I supported was Barry Goldwater in 1964. That was not a popular position in Texas, where LBJ was revered. I got into a few arguments.

I did so because of Goldwater’s integrity, his personal ethics, his honor.

The second political candidate I supported was JFK – for the same reasons – compared to Nixon, JFK was a paragon of integrity.

I have tried to support the candidate with the most integrity in each election, which is why I could not support Bill Clinton.

The first qualifications of a President are integrity, honor, and dignity.

This year, the choice is clear: Joe Biden has integrity, dignity and honor. His opponent has little honor, little veracity and little integrity.

We cannot honor a man who has no honor. We cannot believe a man who has no veracity. We cannot follow a man who has no integrity.


Germans Allowed Nazism; Don’t Allow Donald Trump

Germans Allowed Nazism;

Don’t Allow Donald Trump

To the Editor:

I remember, as a child in the late1940s, sitting under a table listening to the radio, as I often did, before we had our first television.

I never forgot the constant news reports, in real time, about the thousands of concentration camps and millions of mass killings found in and around Germany at the end of World War II.

I never forgot. It was always with me. How could that happen? Why?

I spent most of my life trying to understand how the German people could support such a deranged leader, and a horrible and devastating government that killed millions upon millions of innocent people simply because it did not like them, and the German people, voluntarily or not, participated in the killings.

The Germans killed thousands of people a day, 24 hours a day, every day, for years. They used their engineering skills and industrial methods to kill people any way they could and as fast and as efficiently as they could. Sometimes with soldiers spending days machine-gunning local
residents to death in the middle of their own towns and villages. Then simply driving away, with no effort to hide anything, because there was no one to do anything about it.

“Everyone knows what we bring” said one German soldier.

In exchange for the years of mass killings, the German people were promised a country of white people with blond hair. The master race.

What they received was the total destruction of their country by the Allied Forces, led by the president and the government of the United States of America.

For much of my life I saw the German people as a potentially violent and dangerous people.

At the same time, I was also very confident that we Americans were far different than the Germans and that nothing like that could ever happen in our country.

We were the heroes of the world, the good guys, the people the whole world looked up to for our ideals, our courage to defend the weak, the poor, the struggling.

I have now come to understand, 70 or so years later, that I was wrong. I was very wrong.

I can now see that some of the American people can also be slowly turned into a people who would turn on their neighbors, persecute them, and kill them with the support of their president, and some of their local law enforcement, and participate in the slow destruction of our noble experiment of human rights, individual freedom and self-rule.

Someone once referred to the “thin veneer of civilization”. I had always hoped that it was not true. That civilization was stronger, and deeper, and was constantly in the ascendant.

I am seeing now, in ordinary American people, who see themselves as good, God-fearing, hard-working people, and American patriots, slowly being turned into people who would turn a blind eye to, or fully participate in, the killing of their neighbors, who, they have been told by their deranged, power-hungry president, are inferior to them, or do not look like them, or do not believe in their God, or who are not carrying their own weight, or who are taking their jobs…

An extremely dangerous and homicidal president who only cares about himself, and who sees Americans dying, for any reason, as an inconsequential inconvenience not worth mentioning.
How do they expect all of this insanity to turn out if nothing changes?

I know how it is all going to turn out.

It took me 70 years to understand why.


FLEISHER: Support President? Support Dictator

Support President?

Support Dictator

To the Editor:

Have you ever asked why?

Why are Trump’s “facts” different from those of experts?

Why does he mock and attack journalists who ask tough questions?

Why does he encourage radicals to demonstrate?

Why does he ignore information from knowledgeable scientists?

Why does he want to open the economy before its safe?

Why does he surround himself with “yes” men and women?
Why can’t he tolerate criticism?

Answer these questions and you’ll have the profile of a narcissist in search of power, focused only on reelection and with no respect for our Constitution.

To support such a person is tantamount to supporting a Dictator not a President.


DELGADO: I Will Vote To Impeach


I Will Vote

To Impeach

Congressman Delgado represents Otsego County

Congressman Antonio Delgado, D-19, will vote for President Trump’s impeachment, he announced at 12:32 p.m. today.

The freshman congressman, whose district includes Otsego County, released this statement saying he supports both Articles of Impeachment the House of Representatives plan to vote on this coming week:

“The President pressured a foreign government for personal political gain while withholding congressionally approved foreign aid, and in doing so, both abused his power and put our national security at risk. 

Trump Gives Rivera Presidential Medal


Trump Gives Rivera

Presidential Medal

Mariano Rivera signs autographs at the end of the Legends of Baseball parade on July 20. the Saturday of Induction Weekend. Behind him are Hall staffers Roger Lansing, left, and Bruno Russo. ( photo)

COOPERSTOWN – Mariano Rivera, Class of 2019, honored as the only Hall of Fame inductee elected unanimously on the first ballot, is getting another honor today – at the White House.

At a reception today, President Trump plans to honor Rivera, the Yankees vaunted relief pitcher, with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  Here’s the complete citation.

“During his 19 seasons in Major League Baseball, Mariano Rivera established himself as the greatest relief pitcher of all time.  Signed by the New York Yankees in 1990, Mr. Rivera went on to become a 13-time All-Star and 5-time World Series champion.  He is the first player in the history of the sport to be elected unanimously into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Muller Ends 2-Year Probe, Submitting Report On Trump

Muller Ends 2-Year

Probe, Submitting

Report On Trump

The New York Times posted the long-awaited news on its web page a few minutes ago: Special Prosecutor Bob Muller has delivered the report on his two-year probe into President Trump to the Justice Department.

WASHINGTON – According to the Justice Department, the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, has delivered a report on his inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 election to Attorney General William P. Barr, the New York Times reported a few minutes ago,

That brings to a close an investigation that has consumed the nation and cast a shadow over President Trump for nearly two years, the newspaper said.

KUZMINSKI: Democrats Can Rebuild Around Climate Change, Economic Justice

Column by Adrian Kuzminski

November 30, 2018.

Democrats Can Rebuild Around Climate Change, Economic Justice

Adrian Kuzminski

Now that the Democrats have made a comeback by capturing the House of Representatives, they are faced with how to use their new power. Up to now, they have been obsessed with Trump, and split on how to address the problems of the day.
We’ll get to Trump in a moment. But first, let’s look at what the Democrats have to say about the big issues of the day.
These boil down to two super-problems: runaway climate change for all and increasing economic insecurity for many. It’s hard to think of any major issue which isn’t entangled in one or both of these, or that wouldn’t be greatly alleviated by progress on either of them.
Status quo Democrats (the Clinton-Obama tradition) have become the party’s conservatives. They’ve been running the show for a generation, and have failed to rein in either climate change or economic insecurity. There’s less and less reason to think they can deal with these mounting problems.

Progressive Democrats, by contrast, are largely defined by the Bernie Sanders movement, which, revealingly, calls itself “Our Revolution.” They are also influenced by the Green party, particularly by its call for a Green New Deal, recently endorsed by Bill McKibben.
The Green New Deal is remarkable in its focus on the twin problems of climate change and economic justice. So far, it’s the only alternative this writer has seen to business as usual (just Google “Green New Deal”).
The Green New Deal calls for closing overseas military bases and using the savings to help finance domestic renewal. It demands an end to subsidies and tax breaks for fossil-fuel related industries. It insists on an immediate transition to 100 percent renewables.
It identifies the financial system, led by too-big-to-fail private banks, as the main obstacle to economic restructuring. It proposes an alternative public banking system to fund infrastructure, guarantee employment, transition to renewables, offer free education through college, and provide single-payer, comprehensive Medicare for all.

Revolutions are risky business.
Can revolutionary excesses be avoided? Climate change and economic insecurity are increasingly catastrophic. Is a Green New Deal what we need to cope? Is it practical? Can it gain broad support? Can it hope to overcome its formidable opponents? Can its goals be achieved without chaos and abuse of power?
A lot will depend on the answers to these questions.
But, like it or not, the Green New Deal takes seriously our most intractable problems, and gives us a sense of what it will take to deal with them. If we’re going to have a revolution, this is the one the
left envisions.
Progress on big issues is unlikely, however, unless Democrats (and Republicans) learn to deal with Trump. We all know his faults. He has also become the voice of social grievances his critics have mostly, to their peril, ignored. Perhaps most important, he denies climate change and takes extremes of wealth for granted.

Whatever collusions and financial ripoffs might be pinned on Trump, even if illegal, blend all too easily with what many corporations and governments do routinely these days. In these ways, he’s as American as apple pie.
He should be impeached if impeachable offenses can be established. But for impeachment to stick, to avoid the appearance of political vengeance, it has to be part of a larger sense of renewed justice that speaks to the revolutionary changes which seem to be increasingly in the air.
That means getting serious about climate change and economic insecurity – two items not on Trump’s agenda.

Adrian Kuzminski, a retired Hartwick College philosophy professor and moderator of Sustainable Otsego, lives in Fly Creek.

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