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Monthly Archives: October 2020

Hard-right is not in line with Christianity

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionI can’t help but wonder at times how the idea of what it means to be a Christian became so entangled with hard right political views. I understand the logistics, for it’s easy to look at the number of people shouting that they are Christians and the views they loudly proclaim. Though I disagree with the entanglement of the two (Matthew 22:21), it’s evident they are entwined. I struggle the most with seeing the lessons of Christianity I learned become so twisted that they allow the current message put forth by hard-right politics.The verses used to condemn individuals who identify as LGBTQ+ are all from the Old Testament, which exists to show us what the world was like before Jesus died for our sins. Eating shellfish is mentioned more times in the Old Testament as a sin than anything that could possibly be interpreted as anti-LGBTQ+. Have we forgotten that the Second Foundational Commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself? Removing access to health care, giving tax cuts to only the rich (Matthew 14:16), judging others (Matthew 7: 1-2), and spreading hate are all radically anti-Christian. Still these ideas perpetrate the minds of many “Christians” to the extent that upon stating that you are Christian to someone, they will likely assume you have these views. To those of you who would say that the view put out by hard-right politics is Christian, I urge you to consider the verses Matthew 6:5 and Matthew 25:34-43 before arguing your point.Shelby BrysonScotiaMore from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationSchenectady teens accused of Scotia auto theft, chase; Ended in Clifton Park crash, Saratoga Sheriff…last_img read more

Bullet-proof vests won’t be offensive

first_imgAs with current inoculations, the cost would be borne by the students’ parents, thus putting no increased financial burdens on our already-strained educational system.Depending on the dress codes of various school districts, the appearance of vests could be regimented or a provision to permit individual stylistic adornments allowed. Additionally, there could be a mandate requiring all vests be manufactured in America, thus not adversely effecting our trade deficit and helping further lower the unemployment rate.I offer this potential solution without incentives, financial or otherwise, nor do I seek any endorsements, political or personal.I only seek to enhance safety in our school systems while offending the fewest entities possible.Carl YanochScotiaMore from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationSchenectady teens accused of Scotia auto theft, chase; Ended in Clifton Park crash, Saratoga Sheriff…EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the census Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionAs, I assume are most mentally stable individuals, I, too, am horrified by the continual violence inflicted on our nation’s schools, as was most recently exhibited in Parkland, Fla. Many solutions for these events have been offered, none of which have been enacted.For a plethora of reasons, we are no closer to finding a cure for this carnage today. There are myriad factions and special interests that find these potential solutions unacceptable or unworkable.One idea I haven’t heard suggested, and one that seems to address the objections directed at the others, has yet to be offered.Much as we mandate inoculations against various contagious diseases before permitting students to enroll in school, why not mandate the wearing of bulletproof vests for all students?While not 100 percent effective, at least their vital organs would be protected. Surely the NRA wouldn’t object, as no one’s Second Amendment rights would be violated. last_img read more

A generation talks about emerging from the wreckage

first_imgI told them that when I went to public school the American history curriculum was certainly liberal, but the primary emotion was gratitude.We were the lucky inheritors of Jefferson and Madison, Whitman and Lincoln, the Roosevelts, Kennedy and King.Our ancestors left oppression, crossed a wilderness and are trying to build a promised land.They looked at me like I was from Mars.“That’s the way powerful white males talk about America,” one student said.When I asked how they were taught American history, a few said they weren’t taught much of it.“In my high school education the American Revolution was a rounding error,” one young woman said. Categories: Editorial, OpinionI’ve been going around to campuses asking undergraduate and graduate students how they see the world.Most of the students I’ve met with are at super-competitive schools — Harvard, Yale, the University of Chicago and Davidson — so this is a tiny slice of the rising generation. Only one young man, from Germany, raised a hand. “The utopia of our parents is the dystopia of our age,” a Harvard student said, summarizing the general distemper.It’s not that the students are hopeless. They are dedicating their lives to social change. It’s just that they have trouble naming institutions that work.A number said they used to have a lot of faith in the tech industry, but they have lost much of it.“The Occupy strategy was such a visible failure, it left everyone else feeling disillusioned,” one lamented.“We don’t even have a common truth. A common set of facts,” added another.The second large theme was the loss of faith in the American idea. Still, their comments are striking.The first thing to say is that this is a generation with diminished expectations.Their lived experience includes the Iraq War, the financial crisis, police brutality and Donald Trump — a series of moments when the big institutions failed to provide basic security, competence and accountability.“We’re the school shooting generation,” one Harvard student told me. Another said: “Wall Street tanked the country and no one got punished. The same with government.”I found little faith in large organizations.“I don’t believe in politicians; they have been corrupted. I don’t believe in intellectuals; they have been corrupted,” said one young woman at Yale.I asked a group of students from about 30 countries which of them believed that the people running their country were basically competent. I was also struck by pervasive but subtle hunger for a change in the emotional tenor of life.“We’re more connected but we’re more apart,” one student lamented.Again and again, students expressed a hunger for social and emotional bonding, for a shift from guilt and accusation toward empathy.“How do you create relationship?” one student asked.That may be the longing that undergirds all others.David L. Brooks is a columnist with The New York Times.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homescenter_img I asked the students what change agents they had faith in. They almost always mentioned somebody local, decentralized and on the ground — teachers, community organizers.A woman from Stockton, California, said she was hoping to return there.A woman from Morocco celebrated the uneducated local activists who operate from a position of no fear.They are just fighting for the basics — education, health care and food.“We want change agents that look like us. We want to see ourselves moving the country forward,” one Chicago woman told me.The students spent a lot of time debating how you organize an effective movement. Others made it clear that the American story is mostly a story of oppression and guilt.“You come to realize the U.S. is this incredibly imperfect place.” “I don’t have a sense of being proud to be an American.”Others didn’t recognize an American identity at all: “The U.S. doesn’t have a unified culture the way other places do,” one said.I asked them to name the defining challenge of their generation.Several mentioned the decline of the nation-state and the threats to democracy.A few mentioned inequality, climate change and a spiritual crisis of meaning.“America is undergoing a renegotiation of the terms of who is powerful,” a woman from the University of Chicago astutely observed. One pointed out that today’s successful movements, like Black Lives Matter and #MeToo, don’t have famous figureheads or centralized structures.Some students embraced these dispersed, ground-up and spontaneous organizations. If they flame out after a few months, so what?They did their job.Others thought that, no, social movements have to grow institutional structures if they are going to last, and they have to get into politics if they are going to produce any serious change.A woman from the Middle East at Yale’s Jackson Institute noted that the Muslim Brotherhood spent decades debating whether to remain outside the system as a community organization or to go into politics.That was the sort of debate I saw playing out in front of me on campus after campus.I came away from these conversations thinking that one big challenge for this generation is determining how to take good things that are happening on the local level and translate them to the national level, where the  problems are.last_img read more

YOUR RIGHT TO KNOW: NY government payroll posted online

first_imgOne important piece of information that taxpayers in New York have a right to know is how much of their tax dollars are being paid to government employees.But if you had to go individually to each government entity to find out the information, it could take you a tremendous amount of time, not to mention that you’ll probably run up against a wall of opposition from some entities that might not want you to have that information.Thankfully, the Empire Center for Pubic Policy, an invaluable nonpartisan government watchdog group, saves citizens the trouble of asking for the salaries from whatever municipal board, school district or state agency they want to know about by gathering and posting the entire government payroll online — state and local.And it just released the payroll for the 2019 calendar year.The new database includes the names, titles, base pay rates and total pay of more than 307,000 individuals who worked in the state’s executive, legislative or judicial branches at any point in 2019. (It does not include the cost of pensions, health insurance for employees and retirees, and other benefits.) The database allows you to search for payrolls by city, county, town, village, executive, New York City, public authorities, schools, special districts and all three branches of state government (executive, legislative and judicial). It’s easy to narrow your search to individual entities and to search by a person’s name and title. So if you’re looking for a specific government employee, you just plug in the name, and the pay will appear.The database goes all the way back to 2008 in case, for instance, you want to see the progression of salaries.Of course, government employees don’t usually like people knowing what they earn. But that’s one of the sacrifices they make when they decide to work for the taxpayers. To find the payroll database, visit the SeeThroughNY website and hit the tab for Payrolls. Or click here to jump right to it.This is a tremendous service that the Empire Center provides each year to New Yorkers. If you’re interested in this aspect of where your tax dollars are being spent, take a few minutes to check this out.It’s your right to know. Keep government honest and accountable by exercising that right. Categories: Opinioncenter_img More from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Schenectady homeless assistance program Street Soldiers dealing with surge in needEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Schenectady Clergy Against Hate brings people togetherEDITORIAL: Don’t repeal bail reform law; Fix it the right waylast_img read more

Delancey set to raise Greycoat offer

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Former Bourne End boss starts again in tough retail sector

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City faces £1.29bn investment challenge

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L&G adds momentum to south-east recovery

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Mosque on wheels rolls in to help Muslims pray at Tokyo Olympics

first_imgThe organisation’s CEO Yasuharu Inoue hopes athletes and supporters alike will use the truck.”I want athletes to compete with their utmost motivation and for the audience to cheer on with their utmost motivation as well. That is why I made this,” said Inoue, pointing to the white truck parked next to Tokyo Tower on Wednesday.”I hope it brings awareness that there are many different people in this world and to promote a non-discriminatory, peaceful Olympics and Paralympics.”Tokyo 2020 said on Wednesday that they were looking at various avenues to provide appropriate facilities for all religious groups.”The Organising Committee is preparing a list of religious or faiths centres that could be contacted or visited if requested by residents of the Villages during the Games,” Tokyo 2020 told Reuters in an email.”In the Games’ venues, multi-faith prayer spaces for athletes and spectators are under consideration in venue operations planning.”According to a investigation by Waseda University, there were 105 mosques in Japan at the end of 2018. But with these spread across the country and many of them small and on the outskirts of Tokyo, it may be difficult for Muslims who need to pray five times a day.Inoue said he has already spoken to several Olympic committees, including most recently Indonesia, about helping their athletes.Topan Rizki Utraden, an Indonesian who has lived in Japan for 12 years, came to the Mobile Mosque for the first time with his daughter.He said it can be challenging to find a quiet place to pray in Japan, particularly outside Tokyo.”It is really difficult to find mosques near your place,” said Utraden.”If you are in the city there is no problem but if you take a road trip outside Tokyo it is difficult.”Sometimes I pray in a park but sometimes the Japanese look at me like ‘what are you doing?'”Topics : There is also a dearth of prayer spaces in hotels and public areas across the Japanese capital.This is where the Mobile Mosque, a fully-equipped 48-square-metre prayer room that opens up on the back of a parked truck, comes in.The back of the modified truck can be widened in seconds and the vehicle also includes Arabic signage and outdoor water taps for pre-worship cleaning.The Yasu Project, the organisation behind the enterprise, plan on pitching up outside venues during the Olympics, which run from July 24 – Aug. 9. For the thousands of Muslim athletes, officials and supporters arriving in Tokyo for the Olympic Games later this year, it may be a struggle for them to find an appropriate place to pray.The answer might just be found roaming the streets of Tokyo on the back of a truck.By the time the Games start in July, there will be prayer rooms available at the currently under-construction athlete’s village. However, some venues may not have a designated space.last_img read more

China’s Hubei, excluding Wuhan, reports no new coronavirus cases

first_imgQinghai, a northwestern province in China that had reported no new infections for 29 days as of March 5, said it would stagger the start date of different school days from March 11 to March 20, according to a notice posted on an official website on Friday.Separately, the southerwestern province of Guizhou, which reported no new infections for 18 days, had said at the end of February that schools would start from March 16.Outside of Hubei, there were 17 new confirmed cases, bringing the total new infections in mainland China to 143 on Thursday, up from 139 cases a day earlier.Of the 17 new cases, 16 were imported from outside of China – 11 in Gansu, four in Beijing and one in Shanghai. A total of 311 passengers arriving at Gansu’s provincial capital of Lanzhou from Iran were quarantined, state television reported late on Thursday.Last month, Gansu became the first province to lower its emergency response measures from level I to level III, reflecting the lack of new infections.Beijing’s four cases were from Italy.As new cases dwindle in China, attention has turned to potential infections arriving from overseas.Authorities in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong have all vowed to quarantine travelers from countries hit the hardest by the coronavirus, which Beijing identified as South Korea, Japan, Iran and Italy.The overall accumulated number of confirmed cases in mainland China stood at 80,552 as of Thursday.The death toll from the outbreak in mainland China was 3,042 as of the end of Thursday, up by 30 from the previous day.Hubei reported 29 new deaths, while in Wuhan, 23 people died.Topics : China’s central province of Hubei, excluding the provincial capital Wuhan, reported zero new cases of coronavirus over 24 hours for the first time during the outbreak, as authorities continued to contain imported infections in other parts of the country.Wuhan, the epicenter of the epidemic, reported 126 new confirmed cases on Thursday but there were no new infections in the province apart from those, the National Health Commission said on Friday.Elsewhere in China, schools in provinces reporting no new cases for a number of days, started to set their opening dates in a sign of the country returning to normal.last_img read more