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Feedback 2/21 

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The shooting in Parkland

Here we go again with another shooting involving a school. There is lots of enabling going on, with two factors. One is the repeated phone calls involving this individual making threats, killing small animals, fellow-traveling in far-right expressions of hate that this militia in Florida's State Capitol to which he was a part of. From what I have read he was on anti-psych meds and he wasn't taken them as directed.

And then we have the "no guns nor ammunition is enough " crowd that doesn't seem to have the heart or gumption to rein in the subset of troubled people all too eager to destroy human life.

I also want to ask why anyone thought it was okay for him to have an AR-15 in a "locked" cabinet where he had the key available.

It has long been time to end the enabling behaviors on all sides that cause these needless tragedies. 


No Whole Foods on Monroe Ave.

I hope that the people and groups working to save Rochester from a Jeff Bezos-attempted invasion will be successful and that the Town of Brighton will pay attention to many of its residents and deny permission for a new Whole Foods.

Jeff Bezos himself leads a list of reasons to be opposed to a new Whole Foods market in Brighton. The Amazon founder (and now owner of the Washington Post) already is the wealthiest person on the planet, worth $80.7 billion. His recent acquisition of Whole Foods Markets and a prospect of new one in Rochester will not greatly increase his fortune, as measured in billions, but it will disrupt the supermarket scene in Rochester.

Among other reasons to oppose a Whole Foods on Monroe Avenue: For the health of our community, we need to support local enterprises. Even if Wegmans is a chain of 95 stores in several states, it is, at least, a locally owned enterprise. Its stores are magnificent, and it is doubtful that a new Whole Foods on Monroe Avenue could be superior to the Wegman's store there, which already attracts a great deal of traffic.

I do not shop at Wegman's, rather at farmers markets and the Abundance Coop, but I prefer it to the thought of patronizing a Jeff Bezos-owned store.

Other considerations: low pay and bad working conditions in Amazon's distribution centers. Many local book stores have also disappeared because of Amazon's sales tactics. Traffic safety and congestion on Monroe Avenue are major considerations.

Projects such as a Whole Foods need to be rejected.


The GOP and women's voices

It's so disheartening to see male judges disregarding the injuries of women when they try to get a court order of protection. Hopefully the #MeToo women's movement will shine a light on all domestic abuse. When will the GOP get on board and support women?

My husband just received a questionnaire from State Senator Rich Funke's office. When I called to ask where my questionnaire was, the male in the office said they only went out to the head of the household. Am I part of the household and have no opinions that may differ from the "head"?

I requested a questionnaire. I am still waiting for one. As a female, I did get the right to vote in the '20s, and I exercise it.


Trump and the GOP

We have not been allocated enough fingers to count the ways in which Donald Trump has undermined our democracy, reversed social progress, and brutalized our civil discourse. Fortunately, these are by and large reversible, and they do little to insure his reelection.

I have two more serious concerns, however. I fear that he may start a preemptive war with North Korea, as a function of his poor judgment and lack or moral compass, or, more likely, in an effort to obscure the findings of the special counsel.

I believe Fox News has become a de facto government organ of domestic propaganda. This hallmark of dictatorships presents a clear and present threat to our democracy.


Once again the Trump administration has illustrated how profoundly inept and morally bankrupt it is. Media reports have revealed that 30 to 40 persons in the Trump sphere haven't received final clearances. However, they are still allowed to handle classified documents without concern for national security.

When will the American people and our Congressional leaders say enough is enough? It is imperative that Congress do what is in the best interest of our country. The GOP has been complicit in condoning Trump's despicable behavior and supporting his Authoritarian and discriminatory policies.

The vast majority of the GOP caucus has idly sat by as Trump erodes our democracy. Did the GOP forget when Trump invited Russians into the Oval office, where he sarcastically boasted and laughed about terminating former FBI Director James Comey? He then shared classified information with Russian Ambassador Kisliak, whom is deemed to be a Russian spy by our Intelligence community. This is the same narcissistic person who called Democrats treasonous and Un-American for not applauding him during his State of the Union address.

Lastly, when White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter's two ex-wives and former girlfriend revealed Porter's abusive and violent past to the FBI Trump and his morally bankrupt staff covered it up. Only when the media released photos of a beaten ex -wife and an order of protection against Porter did the Trump administration reluctantly accept Porter's resignation. Trump unsurprisingly never took the golden opportunity to address the gravity of domestic violence or show empathy to the victims. Instead, he opined about how Porter's career is sadly cut short.


Trump's parade

So now we are to have a multi-million-dollar military parade, because our president saw one he liked in another country? Don't we already have Memorial Day, July 4, and Veterans' Day?

Not to disparage our military; in our household we honor an uncle who was a 10th Mountain Division ski trooper in World War II, a cousin who was a Navy commander, a couple of World War II foot soldiers, and two good friends who came back from Vietnam very tight-lipped about what they had seen. But I suspect a majority of today's military would be the type who, like these men, would most likely say "I was just doing my job," no matter how well done or at what personal cost.

So do we strut in front of the world, or might we better allocate the money for this parade to a place that really needs it, such as post-hurricane Puerto Rico? Isn't that more like who we really are?


Douglass in Rochester

As one who has returned to Rochester after 30-plus years in California, I can proudly say that Frederick Douglass's Rochester is my Rochester.


On a February 7 event preview, in which we erroneously called Frederick Douglass "the most photographed person of the 19th century": Given Frederick Douglass's devotion to the truth, I suspect he'd be the first to take exception to the oft-repeated parochial claim that he was "the most photographed person of the 19th century."

He'd want it made clear that, as the authors of his 2015 biography pointed out in the title of their book, "Picturing Frederick Douglass: An Illustrated Biography of the 19th Century's Most Photographed American," he was only this country's photographic champ, with the title "Most Photographed Person of the 19th Century" going to Queen Victoria, with 428 separate photos to his 160.


(Editor's note: we corrected that event preview online. And in our February 14 article on Douglass, we noted that he was America's most photographed person of the 19th century.)

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