first_imgThere is only one choice for Saratoga Springs City Court judge. When you examine the qualifications of Drew Blumenberg and Francine Vero for the position of City Court judge, it’s easy to see the gigantic gap in City Court and criminal law experience.While Drew has over 10 years working in City Court and litigating cases, Ms. Vero has less than a year of on-the-job training to put on her resume. During the past decade, Drew has handled over 5,000 cases in Saratoga Springs City Court, assisting people with their constitutional right of public representation. In the same time frame, Ms. Vero was working for a private law firm representing corporate interests.City courts are primarily criminal courts. Doesn’t it make sense that a City Court judge should have extensive experience practicing criminal law? Please join me in voting for the only candidate who is qualified to serve as City Court judge, Drew Blumenberg.Nicholas D’AlessandroSaratoga SpringsMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsSchenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30% Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

Hey, men: Sexual harassment isn’t just a ‘women’s issue’

first_imgBut we men can be more than passive observers, and a start is surely to be better at listening.So I asked some smart, strong women how men can become part of the solution.I started with Gloria Steinem, who emphasized that men can stand up to make clear that inflicting unwanted sexual attention on another person is just plain wrong.“Every time a man interrupts the culture of dominance — and treats both women and men as unique individuals who are valuable for our hearts and minds and actions, not for how we look or where we are in some hierarchy — we are closer to being linked, not ranked,” Steinem told me.“Fathers have a big chance to do this just by listening to their daughters, and showing them that they’re worth listening to. Co-workers can do this by not commenting on a woman’s appearance when they wouldn’t say the same of a man.“This is not rocket science,” Steinem added. “It’s empathy.”Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, told me that she flinches a bit at references to male “allies,” because that can sound as if men are wading in as a favor to women. One of the bravest voices has been Ashley Judd, who broke the ice by speaking up about Weinstein.So I asked Judd how men can help.“Men being willing to have dialogue with their families and friends, and to disrupt sexist remarks, jokes and behavior, is integral to change,” she said.“Learning to let women speak up, and being open and teachable, is crucial. Imagine if we could simply say, ‘stop’ and ‘no,’ and men stopped? These micro interpersonal interactions hold transformative power.”One unfortunate consequence of greater scrutiny of these issues is that male bosses are sometimes reluctant to have dinner or drinks with female employees, making it difficult for women to build social relationships with bosses and be promoted.I asked Rosabeth Moss Kanter, a Harvard Business School professor, about this, and she said that the solution is obvious.“More women in all positions of power,” she said. “And not as tokens.” But that sounds as if one cares about women only if one has made one, or as if one thinks of female colleagues as little girls.So let’s switch to this paradigm: “As a human being, I want fellow humans treated fairly and decently, not poked with less respect than we would treat a pound of beef at the supermarket.”I asked my wife, Sheryl WuDunn, what her advice was for men, and she was concise:“Put peer pressure on each other to treat women better.”Hey, men, let’s heed her advice.Nicholas Kristof is a columnist with The New York Times.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen? I’m sure that some men reading this are rolling their eyes.On Twitter, one person responded to my denunciation of sexual harassment with a snide, “Do you have a penis at all?” Sigh.We men simply have to understand that there is nothing manly about sexual assault.Look, human relations are complicated, we are sexual creatures and it’s inevitable that there will be fine lines and misunderstandings.But a new ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 54 percent of American women report having received unwanted and inappropriate sexual advances — meaning that this is a huge national problem, and a challenge for us all.Civil rights weren’t just a “black problem,” the Holocaust wasn’t just a “Jewish problem” and sexual harassment and discrimination are more than just a “women’s problem.”Men sometimes weigh in: “As a father of a young daughter, I deplore. …”center_img Categories: Editorial, OpinionWomen have been speaking out over the last few weeks about sexual harassment and assaults — passionately, eloquently and sometimes tearfully — and we men have been (for once!) rather silent.That’s better than jumping in, drowning out women’s voices, and mansplaining. (Actually, I saw a TV show about this once, and the real problem is. ) In fact, she noted, it’s in everybody’s interest that we erase harassment and discrimination — and a man’s own team will perform better if he includes women who feel safe and respected.Sandberg also emphasized something I strongly believe: We need not just sensitivity training, but also accountability. That means firing not only the men who sexually harass but also the men and women who are complicit.“People need to be afraid not just of doing these things, but also of not doing anything when someone around them does it,” Sandberg said.“If you know something is happening and you fail to take action, whether you are a man or a woman — especially when you are in power — you are responsible, too.”One dismissal sends a stronger message throughout an organization than 10,000 hours of sensitivity training.Men have sometimes been prone to disbelieve victims’ stories, and one of the most distasteful aspects of the Harvey Weinstein scandal was a rush to refocus blame by questioning why female victims didn’t speak up earlier or go to police.That tendency to victim-shame is precisely why survivors are reluctant to speak up — and let’s remember that culpability lies with perpetrators, not victims.last_img read more

‘Mosaic of obstruction’ building around Trump, GOP

first_imgWe have also learned that Trump has demanded political/personal loyalty from not one but three key individuals in the investigation — former FBI director James Comey, former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe (Trump asked whom he voted for and tried to fire him) and now, we learn, Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein.Trump reportedly asked Rosenstein whether he was part of Trump’s team — at the very time Rosenstein is overseeing the Russia investigation. Moreover, Trump had a meltdown when he learned Attorney General Jeff Sessions had recused himself from the Russia probe. Trump demanded to know who would be his “Roy Cohn” at the Justice Department. He has never stopped searching for one.All of these attempts to extract promises to act as Trump’s political protector rather than to follow their oaths of office seem to be powerful evidence of Trump’s “corrupt intent.”Taking a step back, the Nunes lunacy concerning release of the memo may well do more harm to Republicans and implicate both the White House and Nunes himself.Constitutional lawyer Laurence H. Tribe says, “Both the President’s release of the memo despite the warning of FBI Director (Christopher) Wray and the actions of Nunes in concocting a phony smear of Rosenstein seem to me to be important parts of an ongoing conspiracy to obstruct justice.”Ethics guru Norm Eisen agrees. The New York Times reports that the former spokesman for the Trump legal team, Mark Corallo, plans to tell the special counsel about a conference call with Trump and Hope Hicks in which she promised the incriminating emails concerning the Trump Tower meeting with Russians in June 2016 would never get out.(Hicks has herself been interviewed and is in legal peril if she did not tell the truth.) Hicks’s counsel denies the claim. If she said this, her actions might evidence a plan to destroy evidence or impede the investigation.Moreover, she may have given Trump confidence to cook up a phony explanation for the meeting. Corallo seems to have been the only honest man in sight.According to the report, he cut short the conversation, informed the lawyers, wrote down notes and also told Stephen Bannon about the call. Then he quit.In other words, he seems to have everything humanly possible to leave investigators a brightly lit trail of possible evidence. Categories: Editorial, OpinionRepublican antics concerning the memo drafted by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., threaten to damage our national security, the FBI and the entire congressional oversight process.Meanwhile, President Donald Trump faces a constant drip-drip-drip of new revelations giving heft to a possible obstruction-of-justice charge. “Dissemination of false information to target prosecutors and investigators (Rosenstein and others here) can be part of the mosaic of obstruction,” he says.“And while Nunes has speech and debate immunity, that may not extend to colluding far from the floor of Congress, at the White House, to help the president interfere with the Mueller investigation.”Eisen, together with Noah Bookbinder, Caroline Fredrickson and Kristin Amerling, has now released a handy guide to the entire scheme to discredit special counsel Robert Mueller III and the investigation.The authors find that a multitude of allegations thrown around by Trump and his lackeys — each easily debunked — do not show Mueller to be compromised.However, they write:“Collectively, they amount to one of the most sustained smear campaigns against honest government officials since Senator Joe McCarthy’s attacks of the 1950s.“We address them collectively in this report because a pattern has emerged of the President and/or his enablers making wild allegations, dominating a media cycle, then pivoting away as the falsity of the claims emerge. “Rather than defending the spurious attacks, after a short interval, a new and baseless charge is launched, and the vicious cycle is repeated.“We think the pattern is highly relevant to the credibility of each new charge relating to the (special counsel)-the latest coming in the form of the Nunes memo-and that it is important for a rebuttal of them all to be on the record.”Trump and Nunes can create a cloud of confusion and feed the Fox News state TV programming beast, but Trump has left himself wide open (with a slew of witnesses) to a charge of obstruction.Nunes is making Trump’s predicament worse in that regard; he’s inadvertently demonstrating the lengths to which Republicans, and not only Trump, will go to protect Trump from legal and political peril.This is unlikely to end well for Nunes, Trump or the GOP.Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Washington Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censuslast_img read more

Tamworth storage

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Emission impossible

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West Coast view: Roger Vincent

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Leading the pack

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Hedge trimming

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Chard’s challenge

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PREMIUM‘If you fear it, face it’: Jakartans push themselves to conquer fear of public speaking

first_imgpublic-speaking anxiety skills employee career mental-health Forgot Password ? Linkedin Log in with your social account Topics : Facebook “Contestants, are you ready?” the head organizer, the so-called contest chair, asked in excitement.All seated in the first row, each of the 15 participants answered with a doubtful “yes”. They laughed nervously, acknowledging that, ready or not, the competition was about to start.The event was a speech contest recently held by the Jakarta Toastmasters Club (JTC) at an office space in South Jakarta. The club itself is part of an international network of “non-profit educational organizations that teach public speaking and leadership skills”, as described by the Toastmasters website.Each participant had to deliver a five- to seven-minute speech — anyone who spoke for less than four minutes and 30 seconds or more than seven minutes and 30 seconds would be disqualified.The speeches delivered that evening covered various topics, from th… Google LOG INDon’t have an account? Register herelast_img read more