Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion I received a disheartening message recently. As the chairman of the Department of Surgery at Ellis Hospital, a disheartening message usually means a patient has received a terminal prognosis. In this case, the notice was far less critical, but just as disturbing. The Niskayuna Democratic Committee, whose candidates in this year’s election are Joe Landry, Denise Murphy-McGraw, John Della Ratta, Peter Scagnelli and Diane Percy, sent out a “mailer,” claiming that my daughter — at the top of the Republican ticket for this year’s elections — was racist, Anti-Semitic, and Anti-Muslim.How would my daughter, Yasmine Syed, harbor such beliefs? I’m a Muslim. So are three of her uncles and two of her aunts. Her mother, Anne Marie, is of Jewish descent whose ancestors barely evaded persecution in Hitler’s Europe, escaping to America after World War II. Yasmine is half-white, half-Middle Eastern, the daughter of both a Muslim and a Christian, the descendant of Jews. As a parent, I asked, “What did my wife and I do wrong?” I quickly realized we didn’t do anything wrong. It was Joe Landry and his team of Democrats who did something wrong. In Mr. Landry and his political counterparts’ ignorance and haste to smear my daughter and the Republican slate of candidates, they revealed a glaring oversight.They failed to even properly research their opponent. My daughter and all of our children are a living, breathing “League of Nations.” Being of Pakistani descent, she isn’t anti-Muslim. With a mother of Jewish heritage, she isn’t anti-Semitic. And being half-Caucasian, half-Middle Eastern, she isn’t racist. As Jesus said in Mark 3:25: “If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” Basically, Joe Landry and the Niskayuna Democratic Committee would have you believe my daughter is full of hate — for herself.If Mr. Landry and the Democratic slate don’t even know or respect our family, do you think they care about your family or what’s needed to make Niskayuna a better place? Since my wife and I moved here in 1982, this town has represented every good thing about America that I sought to enjoy when I emigrated from Pakistan in the 1970s.With this ugly, hurtful, and most importantly false mailer, Mr. Landry and his team reminded us of what our families sought to escape by coming here to America: accusations and innuendo based on personal politics or ethnic background. Niskayuna is better than this, and I know you are, too. Politely, I hope you’ll keep this in mind on Election Day, Nov. 7.Iftikhar SyedNiskayunaMore from The Daily Gazette:Puccioni’s two goals help Niskayuna boys’ soccer top Shaker, remain perfectNiskayuna girls’ cross country wins over BethlehemEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidation
Stuff co.nz 21 October 2019|Family First Comment: “Conservative lobby groups such as Family First already have plenty to do campaigning against abortion law reform and the cannabis referendum pinned to go with the 2020 election. Add in a referendum on euthanasia and there would be quite a cocktail of policies to campaign and fundraise with. The Government would be coming for your babies, your grandma, and to give your kids legal weed.” That’s a great slogan!! Thanks guys ANALYSIS: The prime minister has said several times that she doesn’t think there should be a referendum on euthanasia.But she could well vote for one on Wednesday. Here’s why.Jacinda Ardern has supported the End of Life Choice Bill every step of the way, and voted with bill sponsor David Seymour on all of his varied amendments thus far – all of which are aimed at getting it to pass.Now, with the referendum vote looming – under which the law would be dependent on the public endorsing it – Ardern has left open the option of voting for a referendum which she has previously be wary of, if that’s what is needed for the bill to pass.Ardern is of course only one vote of 120. Because euthanasia is a conscience matter for Labour and National, the leaders’ votes technically don’t count any more than the lowliest of backbenchers’.But her vote will likely be influential on other MPs on the fence, which could be crucial. It’s much easier to make a hard decision when you know your leader has made the exact same call. Several other Labour MPs could go all the way from yes to no without much trouble.Seymour desperately needs to pass the referendum amendment on Wednesday to pass the bill itself in a few weeks’ time. This is because of a deal he made with NZ First early in the process: if he got a referendum included, all nine NZ First MPs would stay onboard through all three readings.If the referendum amendment fails, it’s not clear that every NZ First MP would vote against the bill (opinions clearly differ within the party), but most would.READ MORE: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/116752897/what-labour-will-worry-about-with-a-euthanasia-referendum?cid=app-iPhone
Following stringent operations undertaken by agents of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), two persons were on Tuesday arrested and later released on station bail for trying to dispose of some 375 boxes of smuggled chicken, which weighed approximately 15,000 pounds (lbs).GRA disclosed that several operations were conducted across the country in Georgetown, Demerara and Berbice, where the foreign chicken was discovered.The smuggled product was seized from two separate cold storage facilities in East Berbice, Region Six, after it was discovered that the commodities were unlawfully being disposed of by the curators. It was noted that, over the past week, members of the GRA’s Law Enforcement and Investigation Division (LEID) assisted in the seizure of 190 boxes and one pack of chicken from one of the locations in Corentyne, Berbice, and 52 boxes and one pack from another facility at Annandale, East Coast of Demerara.GRA explained that other exercises were also conducted in Bush Lot, West Coast Berbice and in the Bourda Market, Georgetown, with more “irregularities in the sale of uncustomed chicken” being noted. Seizures and legal action were taken.“The GRA seized an aggregate of 268 boxes and two packs of chicken (weighing approximately 10,720 lbs). That amount was handed over to the Ministry of Public Health for appropriate use under the instruction of the Commissioner-General,” the country’s premiere revenue-collecting agency said.GRA added that in future it would seek to “minimize recurrences” of smuggled chicken entering the local market. The seized chicken will be donated “for utilisation by the appropriate Ministries and other State Agencies, rather than offering them for sale to the general public”.The revenue body said it is in the process of acquiring and establishing cold storage facilities in its warehouses in Berbice and Georgetown. Between January and April, 2016, GRA noted, it had recouped some $114 million in previously lost revenues, which were recovered during anti-smuggling exercises. The body had emphasised the need for all businesses or persons who are required to pay taxes comply with all necessary requirements in terms of attaining licensing.