War doesn't benefit citizens
War is the lowest form of behavior humans can engage in; it is the opposite of civilized.
In my lifetime, America has fought wars in Korea, Vietnam, Panama, Grenada, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, and twice in Iraq. We have deposed democratically elected leaders in Iran, Chile and Haiti. With the possible exception of Afghanistan, every war America has engaged in since World War II was not because we were attacked, but because it was perceived that our "strategic" (economic) interests were threatened.
Our foreign policy has evolved to become an insidious, coercive force around the globe. We covet the assets of weaker nations and use the World Bank and IMF to gain an economic stranglehold on their natural resources, such as oil.
Leaders who oppose us are overthrown or liquidated, even if elected, and replaced by brutal dictators who will give in to the demands of America's insatiable corporate machine. Instead of money going to serve the needs of a nation's poor, it flows into the coffers of American corporations. We have (or had) the highest standard of living on the planet as a direct result of this. We paid for it on 9/11, but failed to learn anything from that day.
The war in Iraq has weakened America militarily, economically, morally and spiritually. Our economy is again in shambles, as each Republican president since Reagan has left it. The war in Iraq will drag on for years, because Iraqi oil is far more valuable than the hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis or the millions displaced, their shattered country, stability in the region or the lives of brave Americans who sacrifice so much for the benefit of American corporations. Is it really one's "patriotic duty" to enable and serve the interests of such a dysfunctional government, or corporate America?
Worcester has no other option
Many people have complained about the $30-plus million reconstruction of Worcester Central School, stating it is too expensive and will cause their taxes to rise. It is time for a dose of tough love. Yes, it is expensive, and yes, it will raise your taxes. You have no other option.
For 20-plus years, we have been patching and repairing the Worcester school, and like a worn pair of pants, we are now patching the patches. At some point the pants must be replaced. We can no longer patch and repair the school, it must be fundamentally rebuilt.
For those who complain about the cost, compare it to recent school construction in Cherry Valley, Cobleskill and Unadilla, especially when adjusted for inflation. You may not like it, but between state and federal mandates and updated building codes, any new construction of this type will cost between $30 million and $40 million.
For those who still say no, consider the consequences. Worcester Central is hopelessly in violation of the building codes. At some point in the very near future, the state Department of Education is going to step in and close down the school for good.
We went through a mild version of this three years ago; the next time, the state will not be as sympathetic. Our children will be parceled out to Schenevus, Richmondville and Davenport, or even farther. A living and breathing town needs certain minimum institutions, such as a post office, doctors, markets and, most importantly, a school. If we lose these things, we are no longer a town, just a collection of houses along state Route 7.
Pass the reconstruction budget and save the school, or veto it and lose the town.
Tire slashings endangered lives
A headline in the Tuesday, Feb. 26, edition of The Daily Star read, "Tires are slashed by lake; police still investigating." Under any number of different scenarios that headline may have been, "Man bleeds to death in parking lot after cutting leg with ice auger," or "Hypothermia kills 17-year-old following icy plunge into Otsego Lake."
Thank goodness nothing like that happened, but by slashing a tire on and disabling every vehicle parked in the lot, this deranged person endangered the lives of more than 30 people. Imagine an injured or ill fisherman in need of urgent medical attention rushing to his car only to discover that his tire was deliberately vandalized and that no one else could help him because their tires were also flattened. For whatever reason this sick act of infantile vandalism was undertaken, there is absolutely no excuse for damaging other people's property.
A small group of ice fishermen have parked at Five Mile Point for years without incident. If this coward has issues with this, there are certainly more-civilized ways to get his point across. Perhaps if one of the above alternative headlines had appeared on page one of the paper that day and someone had died or suffered needlessly, it would have weighed heavily and forever on his conscience ... if he has one. He and anyone else who believes these senseless, cowardly and criminal acts carry no serious consequences should think twice.
Rename public safety building
Well, the Common Council has dropped the ball again. The proposal by the police organization CSEA's president, Mr. Dominic Pucci, that the public safety building be named the Platt building, honoring a well-respected and devoted public servant, Lt. Gerald C. Platt, is a very commendable suggestion. Why can't we operate with our hearts once in a while and do the right thing? Why do we have to create another layer of decision-making with just one more committee?
Sometimes it is important to show our humanity in the course of city affairs. The long-range effects of such caring always pay off.
Mrs. Joseph Fiorvanti