Letters to the Editor - 06.02.11


Still Shocking
    Sag Harbor
    May 23, 2011
Dear David,
    The story (May 19) of an aggressive driver allegedly causing a very serious accident on the killing macadam of the Napeague stretch was unbelievable, but still shocking, especially since it was the very same operator of a vehicle who reportedly employed the same tactics five years ago against another Latino in Montauk, repeating nearly the very same modus operandi, except he didn’t struggle with Gustavo Torres in his road rage this time around, nor apparently did he use any anti-Latino slurs, as witness accounts in Montauk had it in connection with the 2005 incident.
    From the quote given by Detective Lt. Chris Anderson, it struck me as possibly the beginning of a cover-up for the driver, an ex-policeman and ex-firefighter. I would like to know why this driver was not given a sobriety test as a routine and fundamental instrument of investigation.
    I would like to know why the police seem eager to discount or question the account of the victim, as well as why the police failed to question the victim in pertinent detail, instead of blaming the victim for not telling the police at the time what he perceived to have happened, especially given this driver’s record as a person well known to the East Hampton police.
    Again, it appears to me there should be serious training of East Hampton police on proper protocols in hate-crime investigation, as this case may glaringly show.

Blue Air
    East Hampton
    May 26, 2011
Dear East Hampton Star,
    Duck leaves tar.
    Windmill and steeple in front of blue air.
    Cincinnatus behind the lawn mower.

Miss Moon
For the most marvelous Miss Moon on the day of her passing:
Fleecy pillow bed, clean and folded.
little bowl, washed and dried
and finally,
tucked away.
huge brave mighty beating heart
still, and from now on,
resounding silent.

How did such an enormous
ever fit into

Mortgage Mess
    May 23, 2011
Dear Editor:
    I wish to call attention to the first inkling that someone is going to investigate the too-big-to-fail, interlocking consortium of thieves who caused the financial disaster of 2008 and the continuing tragedy of the United States economy, indeed the world economy, that flowed from it.
    Apparently shortly before the 2010 election, the attorney general of Iowa, Tom Miller, stepped forward and claimed to enlist all the remaining 49 states’ attorneys general to pursue a united and comprehensive examination of the mortgage mess, foreclosures, etc., but nothing much came of it. Some imply that the extremely heavy donations from investment banks and law firms that flowed into his campaign coffers in those last two weeks before Election Day influenced his subsequent lack of enthusiasm for the task.
    But our own attorney general for New York, Eric Schneiderman, has stepped up. He campaigned that he would be a sheriff to both Wall Street and Albany and is focusing on Morgan Stanley, the Bank of America, and Goldman Sachs for starters. He plans to direct his attention to the securitization process‚ in which all those worthless mortgages were sliced and diced and sold, even sold short to their trusting customers.
    It would seem that Eric Holder should have undertaken this project, but I am grateful to Eric Schneiderman for taking on Wall Street and the banks and await satisfaction (jail time?) for the perpetrators whose greed has caused so much pain. Are you with me?

Rich Man’s War
    Sag Harbor
    May 26, 2011
To the Editor,
    It has been a tradition that every time our nation goes to war, the poor are the first to lose their benefits, often to fight a rich man’s war.
    There has never been a war in history where the invaders openly said, “We’re going to war for money.” There is so much money to be made from war. In wartime the few make huge profits at the expense of the many. Most of the people who benefit from military buildups are already rich. The above is excerpted from an interview with Paul Chappell, a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point in 2002 who served in Iraq as an Army captain in 2006 and 2007.
    The Pentagon is the largest office building in the world, 1.7 miles of corridors where the arms merchants make their deals. For many years they have sold 60 percent of the world’s weapons to democracies, third world countries, and dictators and armed 150 nations, planting the seeds for future wars. Chuck Spinney, a former 30-year analyst for the Pentagon, said the Pentagon has $4 trillion unaccounted for. The Pentagon has also been referred to as the death lobby.
    In peace,

Cold, Wet Cloth
    East Hampton
    May 30, 2011
To the Editor,
    Until Helen Rattray’s May 26 column, I had heard of many sects of Judaism, but I had never heard of the Oblivious Sect. Now summertime driving in the Hamptons makes so much more sense. Who knew? Do all Oblivions drive alike? If so, it would explain a lot. Also, there seems to be a secular Oblivious Manhattan Sect and an Oblivious Hispanic Sect; those who are obviously driving out here obliviously.
    After trying to decipher her column several times, I still do not understand what her Jewishness has to do with anything. Oblivious, I get. She is religiously a Progressive-Liberal first, foremost, and above all else.
    How dare she trivialize the murders of six million innocent Jews at the hands of the Nazis by making their murders akin to the justifiable and lawful waterboarding of two of Al Qaeda’s main planners of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks? Is she serious? Does she even know what the American version of waterboarding entails?
    Does she know that many of our combat servicemen are waterboarded as part of their training? It is because that is the least violent act that one might expect to endure as an American soldier, sailor, airman, or marine captured or otherwise trapped behind enemy lines.
    The process of waterboarding the way the Central Intelligence Agency practiced it is as follows: The subject is immobilized by being strapped to a board which rotates so that he is head down. He is blindfolded beforehand and rotated, face up, a cold, wet cloth is placed over his face, and water is poured over said wet cloth to give the reflex sensation of drowning. That is it. My initiation into the Neperhan Club at the Harvey School for Boys was worse than that. I was only 9 years old and I survived it, unscarred.
    Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times. Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded 83 times for a total of 266 waterboarding events. I hope that each received 11.2 pours at every event — one for each victim of their 9/11 plot. Or, maybe a better way to think of it is one waterboarding for each poor soul who either jumped from or burned to death on the top floors of the Twin Towers on 9/11.
    The point is that waterboarding worked. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed blurted out the code name of a Bin Laden courier during one of his waterboarding events — six years and a lot of hard work later, by many people whose names we, hopefully, will never know — pop, pop — some true evil disappeared from this world, justice at the hands of Seal Team Six. Thank you.
    So, now let’s move on to Stalin and his murder of 20 million (mostly) Jews and her idiotic assertion that there is any comparison to Charles Graner and Lynde England’s despicable behavior at the Abu Ghraib Prison. This rare exception does not prove her hypothesis. This is just more hyperbole, n’est-ce pas?
    Does she really think Mr. Graner and Ms. England’s disgusting behavior compares, in any way, to the barbarity of Saddam, Uday, and Qusay? That point is not debatable.
    Once again, gasp, pop-pop, justice served, thanks to the finest and most humane military force God ever assembled.
    As to her last point and the title of her piece, does she actually mean the United Nations flag? Again, is she serious?
    Al Qaeda declared war in the form of fatwas on the United States and its allies twice, August 1996 and February 1998, prior to the attacks on Sept. 11, 2011.
    In an emergency meeting of the Security Council on Sept. 12, 2001, the United Nations condemned the terrorist acts of 9/11. In a unanimous resolution (1368), the Security Council stated that a “terrorist attack on one country was an attack on all humanity.” The body recognized the “inherent right of individual or collective self-defense in accordance with the United Nations Charter.”
    I would suggest that she reread Article I, Section 1 of the U.N. peace treaty that she cites, paying particular attention to the last sentence, “It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.”
    Or, perhaps, she might mean the stars and bars of the Confederacy and Old Glory? The original Decoration Day was June 9, 1865, and was made a permanent Memorial Day a year later by the Ladies Memorial Association of Petersburg, Va.
    One of the principal active members was Nora F.M. Davidson, the founder of a school for young women. On June 9, she took her students to Blandford Cemetery and decorated the graves of Union and Confederate dead with flowers and flags. Her act inspired the establishment of a national Memorial Day by Grand Army of the Republic General Order Number 11, issued on the 5th of May, 1868.
    A great soldier summed up a true warrior’s view of the day with typical American spirit, bravery, and aplomb: “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.” — General George S. Patton
    It is too bad that, that sort of fundamental truth is so often missing from the opinion pages of The East Hampton Star.

These Panderers
    East Hampton
    May  27, 2011
Dear Editor,
    It should be obvious to anyone who follows politics that one of the pre-eminent traits exhibited time after time by those holding or seeking political office is pandering. They see, or think they see, a position on an issue that will be advantageous to them that will enhance their standing with a particular voting group and they go for it like sharks after fresh bait. Truth does not enter the picture, nor do facts or arithmetic; whatever it takes to garner favor with the group is the road they follow.
    Now what better issue to single out as a prime example of pandering than the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts? The pro-Israel side is up for grabs, they think, and we can go for it. So they commence the lies and obfuscations. They color, distort, and do whatever they think it takes to enhance their standing with this those who strongly support Israel.
    Thus when President Obama attempted to restart talks between the Israelis and Palestinians, and referenced as starting point for the negotiations the 1967 borders, these panderers immediately took his comments out of context, dropped portions of his speech, ignored the history of the use of the 1967 borders, and attempted to create a controversy which would inure to their benefit and undermine the president’s stature amongst the Jewish community and other Israeli support groups.
    They did this even though the president’s suggested aims and goals were, somewhat belatedly, elaborated upon, echoed, and supported, almost in their entirety, by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. So much for the bipartisan stance on foreign policy utilized by our political parties since the Civil War.
    There is no end to the hypocrisy of those seeking office and power. They fudge mathematical prognostications, make up their own facts, and just lie, lie, lie, and they do not even shy away when their lies are placed before them in the form of videotapes and prior statements.
    But this president moves ahead. His courage, impugned by insignificant former governors of Minnesota and the former speaker of the House and senate minority leader, is abundant and his vision enviable.
    Look and see the pandering, folks, then just ignore it and charge it up to the buffoons who use it.
    Barack Obama will be re-elected in 2012 even without the vote of Jerry della Femina.

One’s Ship Drifting
    May 30, 2011
To the Editor,
    This may sound provocative to some, but it is true nonetheless.
    I moved to Springs in 2005, in part to live in the same place that Jackson Pollock did.
    I too consider myself an artist, and I feel that I share the same sense of spirit and resolve as he did to show others a new way of looking at the world around us. Like Cezanne, Picasso, and others before them, Pollock used his vision to channel possibilities from an alternate reality and manifest it right here in front of our eyes, and we then looked at art differently.
     Many others, known and unknown, have changed the way we view our world through their insights and thereby altered our evolving now since our first moment of human consciousness. In recent times, Frank Lloyd Wright did it with architecture, and Thomas Jefferson did it with government. I do it with time. But when it came to living someplace and being from Long Island, Springs was a more convenient move for me than Illinois or Monticello. Besides, I love the ocean.
    But of all those that have come before and offered a new way of looking at things, I feel I have the most in common with Isaac Newton, who I don’t think ever heard of Springs. I feel this commonality not just because we were both born prematurely and small and had difficult circumstances as children our perceivable conditional similarities would seem to end there, but because he too could see what was going on all around us that was invisible to others, just as I do, and he used this knowledge to help us build a better world.
    Even though things had been falling down in plain sight of others forever, in a thought of enlightened vision  evolved through years of contemplation and knowledge he saw the reason that things fell down. In an identical fashion, I see the reason why each moment in our universe becomes the next, and why everything becomes as it does. Kind of like Newton’s theories of universal gravity apply to the back-office force that seemingly controls the movement of things, my view of our electromagnetically dynamic universe applies to the back office force that controls the creation of our individual and collective reality, the whole universe, and causes the illusions of time and gravity themselves.
    I know. You don’t believe me, but it’s true.
    Time has been seen and used as a measurable force by man for over 15,000 years, starting with moon phases and ice age hunters, gravity for a (big) tad less. Both are not real or essential forces, but rather local manifestations of electromagnetism as everything in our universe constantly repels and attracts from what it is to what it will be, based upon its nature and environment. To us it appears as time and gravity, things getting older and things falling down, but older and younger and up and down are terms that are relative to a fixed perspective of limited view, and not representative of the Big Picture.
    We have created ways of measuring the effects of the constant attraction and repelling of all things in our universe into systems that beget formulas that allow us to constructively use this power to create our man-made world, like time and gravity. But just as the understanding of those invisible forces and the creation of systems for their measurement and use of the knowledge and understanding from this facilitates the construction of our buildings as well as our individual life experiences, understanding the essential force that creates the illusions of time and gravity can improve our accuracy in creating a world of our liking and choosing.
    Much like vulnerable sailors of days gone by whose lives were lost for the want of a proper longitude (a manifestation made possible by the evolved accuracy of our system of portable timekeeping), charting one’s course for the future without proper declination can result in one’s ship drifting way off course and into unfavorable conditions, with tragic consequences. Understanding where time comes from and at what speed and from which direction can help one better use the tool of time to more effectively sculpt a preferred reality.
    I enjoy showing people this new and interesting way of looking at how our world works. Anyone interested in finding out for free in a nondogmatic way how and why the world around us works as it does and where time comes from can contact me via e-mail or Google my pseudonym, Michael Galileo and visit my Web site.
    By the way, there are 101 days from the beginning of Memorial Day weekend until midnight on Labor Day this year. That’s 8.726 million seconds to be experienced and savored one at a time. Happy summer, everyone!


Dear Tom Kaczmarek,


Most of the children in this country who lost their father in Vietnam were not allowed to grieve when their father’s were killed.  The anti-war sentiments were very strong in 1968, and for many years thereafter, as you well know.   We could not even talk about our father’s death.  I always felt so alone in this, wondering why it still bothered me after so many years; even 30+ years later, why did it bother me so. Why couldn’t I get over it, accept it and move on.  This delayed grieving is a shared phenomena.  I learned that so many other kids stories were so similar to mine.  In 1999, I found out about Sons and Daughter’s In Touch (SDIT), a national support group for kids whose father’s were KIA or MIA in Vietnam.  This group, along with the Internet, and many vets like you, has allowed me to heal and find closure. I have found so much information about my dad that I never knew; so many men like you have reached out and helped in any way they could. 


Who was my father you ask; he was MSGT Richard C. Keefe.  Thank you for marching proudly and remembering him on Memorial Day.  


Thank you for your service to our country.


God Bless,