Need to Name
January 30, 2012
Twenty years ago I formed the habit of taking frequent walks on what I now know to be the Debra Brodie Foster Trail in Two Holes of Water Park. Since then the head of the trail has blossomed with information. This began in 1995 with a small and discreet bronze plate set into a large rock honoring Ms. Foster’s largess. I am indebted to her and everyone involved with sustaining this and all the other trails in the vicinity of my house.
Later a much larger sign appeared on two tall wooden posts: “Two Holes of Water Park,” with a logo. At various times notices for lost pets are attached to this and since Christmas two decorative gold-foil bells have hung on a bush in front of it. Also, there is a fairly large sign explaining the hunting seasons. Information, celebration, cries for help, and warnings — all well and good.
I walk the trail in all seasons and all weathers, usually with my dogs, frequently with my wife and daughter, and in summer with visiting friends. We meet and briefly greet occasional hikers, joggers, and bicyclists. We generally head northeast with the inevitable yet unspoken destination of a small plateau on top of a modest rise in elevation. This is a clearing with a view north down a forested valley and a stunted tree growing sideways that provides a knotty seat and resting place. It is peaceful and serene, cool in summer and spectacular in snow. We sit and think and chat; the dogs play. I suppose this might be called communing with nature.
On Sunday, to my surprise and alarm, I found this bower had become an outdoor museum. A low, wooden guardrail appeared beside the trail and in front of it a large black-and-white sign and in front of that a slight circular depression had been excavated to a depth of about three feet. The sign informed me that this had been a “Woodcutters Well” and that my rustic tree bench was what remained of a “Lopped Fence.” Besides this information there were diagrammatic drawings of the two “exhibits” even though they are plainly in sight. The sign itself bears the credits of trail supporters and students of East Hampton High School, as well as its illustrators.
Exurbia rules. Mother Nature is now at the disposal of our all-consuming need to name and claim, Disney-fashion, all that is beautiful and strange. Why do we need to be told what to look at and what to think when we do look? And if we have to post words all over the forest, who decides that three paragraphs about wells and fences are more appropriate than, say, three stanzas from Walt Whitman or Robert Frost?
The net effect, for me at least, is to rob this peaceful place of all energy, of all wonder, of all that our imaginations might make of it. Education is not always about information.
Again, I applaud and support those who have maintained this trail for my enjoyment for the past 20 years, but I deplore this labeling litter.
Letter of Gratitude
January 30, 2012
On Friday, Jan. 20, because of an outrageous lapse of attention, I found myself pinned to the ground almost under my car after the front wheel had gone over my right lower leg. The wheel then caught the edge of my baggy winter jacket, and I couldn’t extricate myself, so I started screaming for help. I was in the parking lot of the Golden Eagle. And the community came.
People nearby came running. Someone called 911, and the process of rescue began — quickly. A police officer, Mario Galeano, assured me they would get me out and explained carefully what they would be doing as he took my contact numbers. The fire department jacked up the car. Emergency medical workers moved me to a stretcher as the car was lifted.
Officer Galeano returned to tell me he had reached my contacts. Very soon I was in the ambulance with several ambulance volunteers, Diana, Joe, Lisa, and the driver.
My wounds were examined, my blood pressure monitored, and sooner than I would have thought, I was at Southampton Hospital’s emergency room being cared for — cleaned, x-rayed, and instructed in my after-care with important warnings and medications coordinated by Terri Rosko, a physician’s assistant.
I, miraculously, have no broken bones — only huge bruises, abrasions, and lots of swelling.
Of course, this is a letter of gratitude and of thanks to our professional and volunteer workers who are here for us no matter what the emergency. Their response — the professionalism, the efficiency, the coordination, the calm, and particularly the caring — was amazing.
A little history: I’ve had a house in Springs since 1979, spending summers, school vacations, and most weekends here. When I retired in 1991, I started to spend more time here. On Dec. 1, I made the final leap, giving up all that New York City has to offer as my birthplace and the glory of itself, and relocated permanently. I’ve made the right choice to become part of this community. Thank you, thank you, thank you, everyone. (And yes, I have registered to vote!)
January 24, 2012
To the Editor,
I would like to invite all senior citizens to join us at the center on Springs-Fireplace Road. Now that the winter is here and the days are shorter, the center offers good meals, bridge, meditation, knitting, movies, bingo, and more. These things take place before lunch, except bingo. If you come by bus, you are taken home. Lunch gives us a chance to socialize with other people. You can also get transportation by calling 324-6711.
A Young Man’s Call
“Papa, are you coming”
His voice filters up the stairs
Bringing me from my dream
The room still cool and dark
He is ready to go hunting
Expectation fills his face
Outside, geese are calling
We’ll go together, once I’m dressed
I think back in time, a smile on my face
When I stood beneath these stairs
And called my Papa, urging him on
To come with me, out the door
I descend the stairs so softly
While above, my family sleeps
He’s dressed, boots on already
I grab coffee, and off we go
He’s young, the cold will not hinder
His quick walk towards the pond
I follow behind, gun at my side
Looking at myself as I was, way back then
I will show him how to call the geese flying overhead
I will whisper to “be still” as the first birds come to us
I will teach what I was taught
In this vast expanse of marsh
In time, he’ll grow to show me
Birds my older eyes cannot see
He’ll lead, and I will follow
This is how it’s meant to be
January 30, 2012
I would like to thank all of the members of our community and of St. Luke’s parish who showed their support by purchasing soup through our soup drive this week. Due to the generosity of all those who participated we were successful in reaching our goal of establishing a budget for future community events.
In all, the process highlighted how wonderful our community is. It is very encouraging to be surrounded by such generosity and to witness the willingness of others to help a cause that is so important to me and to St. Luke’s Church. It is true that “we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give‚” and, with that in mind, I extend my appreciation to the Rev. Denis Brunelle, the vestry, Round Swamp Farm for making the soup, and especially the people of St. Luke’s Church and our community.
January 30, 2012
Joyful describes the Martin Luther King Jr. birthday celebration at Calvary Baptist Church. Inspired describes how many felt when the event was concluded.
Thank you to Dave Cheney, the master of ceremonies, Pastor Charles E. Hopson of Calvary Baptist Church, Oswaldo Palomo of Living Water Church, and the keynote speaker, the Rev. Michael Jackson of Triune Baptist Church. The choirs from the three churches were outstanding, as was the flag dance by Gloria Moore, along with beautiful inspirational readings and finally the outstanding oration by Mr. Jackson.
Henry Haney, chairman of the Martin Luther King planning committee, and his entire committee prepared a program that was enthusiastic, imaginative, and motivational.
All contributions supported the M.L.K. scholarship committee, which provides funding for college-bound members of the church.
Thank you for a wonderful and uplifting afternoon. I left with a continued appreciation of Dr. King’s life, his mission, and his courage.
They Did Fast
January 23, 2012
To borrow a phrase from Jeanette Caputo’s letter to The Star, the fact that she presumed to write a damning letter about people “you know nothing about is infuriating!” What she wrote could not be further from the truth.
Bill and Ellen Crain are vegans. Not only do they not eat meat, but they have created Safe Haven Farm Sanctuary in Poughquag, N.Y. They focus on rescuing abused and neglected farm animals. In doing so, they hope to raise awareness about the plight of animals raised for food, the benefits of a vegan diet for the animals, human health, and the environment.
They are also the founders of the East Hampton Group for Wildlife, whose goal is to help East Hampton become a national leader in humane wildlife treatment and population control. They propose to reduce the deer population by humane means rather than by continually increased hunting.
In 2006 they commissioned and funded the town’s only scientific deer count, which is the first step in an immuno-contraception project. Among their other projects was the funding for the installation of roadside reflectors on Stephen Hand’s Path, which has significantly reduced the number of car-deer accidents in that area. I suggest Ms. Caputo go to their Web site at easthamptongroupforwildlife.org to learn more.
And I can assure . . . that they actually did fast. I was with them when the fast started and when it ended. Ms. Caputo, I believe you owe the Crains an apology.
January 30, 2012
To the Editor:
Upon arriving in Sagaponack for the weekend just past, as I have done for 30 years, I was overwhelmed, astounded, and appalled by the absolute destruction of the view coming east on Hedges Lane, which is the entry point to the open farm fields for which Sagaponack is known and cherished. The wanton, egregious disregard for zoning, architectural review, aesthetics, and the history of this place is beyond even those words.
In the fraudulent espoused name of “preserving” a so-called historically important house, we are now saddled with undoubtedly the worst, disgusting eyesore where a legitimately preserved and important farm field has existed for decades. A 1930s mass-produced four-square is not historically important on any level. The one in question was and is a dump of a shack. There are a couple of others nearby for those who need to see a foursquare.
However, a few people in power were able to hold up and make demands on Michael Davis, a major beautifier of Sagaponack, for $85,000, to move this molded, rotted, dilapidated waste. We were then conned into the totally absurd explanation that it could be placed on an acre of preserved land and be sold to provide a land trust with funds to buy and “preserve” other land that the trust had overpaid for.
The reality is that the acre should never have been touched, but if it was, as an unencumbered lot in that location it could have provided at least another $1 million for the land trust over what it was sold for. It should also be noted that another buyer wanted to buy the lot, move the house to a more appropriate location in Sagaponack, and restore it by itself with no embellishments or add-ons, and build a proper, attractive, unobtrusive house on Hedges with proper landscaping.
We were then told that the buyer who should have been under massive covenants had asked to add “just” 1,000 square feet at the rear, and behind the house. Not exactly historic preservation, but it was granted.
Lo and behold, there is now an extension larger than the original shack, architecturally ugly, and totally inappropriate. There is a massive two-story garage with probably two or more bedrooms or some such above, and the unmitigated gall to add a pool house so that as you drive down Hedges you see what appears to be a solid obstruction of view covering the full extent of the lot. Just how much coverage is one allotted on an acre?
The “important” foursquare is not only obscured by the massive extensions, but is also being altered from its very important originality. A porch is being added. We already have an original foursquare with pre-existing porch restored nicely across the street. Yeah, well, there would have been no way to sell this encumbered lot without all the concessions, and we can’t blame the buyer, just the sellers, and the ones who decided for all of us what was important! Guaranteed any vote would have squashed this at the get-go. I also dare anyone to try to justify what has been done on any level, be it architecture, preservation, aesthetics, finances, or the history of our very special village!
How did this entire project get past zoning, architectural review, historic preservationists, building department, and all the “concerned citizens of Sagaponack”? How is it in this persnickety place there is no lawsuit arguing to stop and demolish this travesty and transgression? Try getting the slightest concession here and see what you are faced with.
I fully expect that there is nothing that will be done, but will herein suggest that before a C of O is granted there be substantial trees, landscaping, and, although I object to them, high hedges required to be installed to mitigate this unhappy situation.
This newspaper should photograph and report on the above.
LOUIS K. MEISEL
January 30, 2012
How do you replace an icon?
Whom do you employ to continue the 28 years of invaluable service provided by Larry Penny, director of the Department of Natural Resources, for the environment and the people of East Hampton?
Where will you find an accomplished academic, a true teacher, who so loves his subject matter — the natural treasures of this town?
Larry’s office has been a user-friendly classroom and source of education for our residents. How many phone calls did he receive asking to identify a special bird or frog or wildflower in the neighborhood? And how many of us were treated to a Larry-guided trek out on a cold winter day to count water birds on our frozen ponds and bays or to slog through the sands of the Walking Dunes in spring to search for endangered plants?
Larry served as a hands-on director. Just one example: After the early spring floods of 2010, 50 families in Beach Hampton were spared an epidemic of mosquitoes because Larry not only researched and located the safest and most effective larvicide, but he donned his hip boots and waded from one wildly-flooded property to another to manually disperse the smelly stuff.
As the watchdog for our fragile environment, Larry Penny has long defended our wetlands, wildlife, and those dunes threatened by undisciplined development; he is widely recognized as the authoritative voice for the protection of those natural resources with which East Hampton is so blessed.
And now that Larry is no longer a member of our government, what is to be the future of East Hampton’s Department of Natural Resources? Word from Town Hall is that candidates are being interviewed. We know how difficult it will be to find someone of comparable knowledge, dedication, and commitment to the environment. The public will be carefully watching the process because nothing is more important than a superbly qualified and independent guardian of our special lands and waters.
January 23, 2012
At tonight’s Springs advisory committee meeting, when talking about illegal overcrowding in Springs homes, one attendee shared a little-known fact. There are families in Springs that are renting out beds, not rooms. That attendee said, based on information from a friend living in one of these houses, that there can be four beds in one room, and each bed costs $800 a month. The attendee stated that the landlords are making $3,200 per month renting one bedroom. People who rent these beds are restricted going to the house they are renting in, except just for sleep and showers. They have to come late at night and leave early, so the number of cars in the driveway does not stand out to neighbors.
It was also noted by an audience member and confirmed by Theresa Quigley that, even though the town applauds itself on investigations of overcrowding, there is an East Hampton law that prohibits investigating a house as being overcrowded based on the number of vehicles in or near the driveway. That law needs to be changed so that the number of vehicles in or near the driveway is sufficient cause to investigate a house for overcrowding.
Ms. Quigley said that Springs school taxes are zoned by state, not town, law. The state decides districts. One attendee suggested that the cost of Springs school taxes be shared by all other East Hampton hamlets, so that the homeowners of Springs do not have to bear the brunt of educating a burgeoning immigrant population, since, noted in Ms. Quigley’s handout of population and density statistics, Springs has by far the most immigrants residing in housing over all the other hamlets.
When Ms. Quigley talked about low-income housing, she brought up a good point, “maybe we should only allow low-income housing and apartments to be built in all other parts of East Hampton, except Springs.” Her point was well received. Some audience members blurted out that low-income housing should be put on Lily Pond Lane and Further Lane. Those statements drew cheers and chuckles from the crowd.
January 30, 2012
It is beyond my ken why the Wilkinson administration is spending so much time deconstructing a perfectly good “dark skies” lighting law that has wide community support. Don’t they have better things to do? If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
As the comprehensive plan says, the lighting law looks to preserve what’s left of our rural heritage. Anyone gazing up on these starry winter nights knows why it’s needed. Businesses have already had two extensions to comply and will save money on lighting bills to boot.
Bill Wilkinson and Theresa Quigley should get behind dark skies. Neighborhood associations like ours in Barnes Landing have already spread the word among residents. Everyone’s ready to go, except some unnamed business objectors. Okay then, buy them some new light fixtures, we’re not bailing out banks here.
Let the lights shine down.
January 20, 2012
A Sunday morning ago, I was just settling in for a post-pulpit nip, when a sartorially challenged woman, accompanied by a gray sliver of a man, sat in the next booth.
“She told me I could do it my way! I got a 15-vote mandate!”
“I am going to vanquish that blond hussy on this ‘Dark Skies’ thing.”
“She is very attractive.”
“My clients are the aging, corporate rich. They need bright lights so they can bleeping see!”
“Dark skies are so Al Gore!”
“They can go to the bleeping planetarium!”
“I can’t believe all of these busybodies wanting to keep ‘Dark Skies’.”
“Our so-called experts were disaster.”
“Do you want to order?”
I rose from my faux-leather perch, tossed the remains of my sherry over my shoulder, and fled.
All good things,
January 30, 2012
In one of your articles in last week’s Star you reported on a tirade, with quotes, by Bill Wilkinson against Sylvia Overby and Peter Van Scoyoc.
I’m not going to restate any of those quotes, but I believe every person in East Hampton should read that article again because it puts in bright sunshine the attitude Mr. Wilkinson has for our town and people. I will, however, state a quote from Thomas Jefferson, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
Truly, Ms. Overby and Mr. Van Scoyoc are patriots and will be bloodied, but thank God we have them, because “All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.” — Edmund Burke
January 30, 2012
In recent public discussion the East Hampton Town Board has made it clear that it is deliberately pursuing a practice of developing policy in secret meetings. One strategy is to move a touchy subject to executive session, as it did illegally in closing the public meeting about state citations against the scavenger waste facility when there was no pending litigation to justify the move.
Another approach is gathering small groups of interested people to develop proposals in closed meetings with no more than two board members. That strategy allows exclusion of the public, which would not be permitted under the state’s Open Meetings Law if a board majority were involved. The board used this strategy in developing proposed new farm legislation, plans for the Amagansett Life-Saving Station, early arrangements with the MTK concert proponents, and contractor-licensing regulations. Deputy Supervisor Quigley announced plans last week to revise proposed new lighting regulations the same way.
Minority council members have vainly pointed out that excluding the public in these ways denies us the opportunity to be represented. In addition, in the words of Councilman Peter Van Scoyoc, they also create a “sense of things happening behind closed doors.”
The supervisor maintains that allowing the public to even observe such discussions, let alone participate, will disrupt and delay the “management” of what he calls “the enterprise,” citing his business experience to prove the point. However, far from being an efficient, businesslike way to get the public’s work done, the board’s secretive discussions, leading to repeated drafts and redrafts of legislation that proved illegal, unworkable, or unpopular, have resulted in just the kind of delay that the supervisor says never occurs in the business sector from which he hies.
Rather than huffing and puffing at its new Democratic colleagues, the town board should rethink its practices in the light of their comments and open its processes to public view — if for no other reason than, as Mr. Van Scoyoc said convincingly, “the more open the process, the more likely it is that it would result in proposals that gain public support.”
Have Lost Sight
January 26, 2012
“Deja vu all over again,” as Yogi often said, but now it is worse. It took me three weeks for my sides to stop hurting from all the laughter when I read about Mr. Wilkinson’s call for “unanimity” on the board.
“Team East Hampton”? Well, I think that means more than the Wilkinson-Quigley-Stanzione cabal. Not to overturn the government, but to run roughshod over the taxpayers, over this wonderful place we call home. There are two other members of the board. Ah, but who cares what they have to say?
His recent rude, dismissive, condescending attitude arose when Councilwoman Sylvia Overby tried to be heard. I was surprised he didn’t just say, “Shut up! I am the emperor here!” She mentioned “the people” and he uttered, “No, the town!” Well, Mr. Wilkinson, we are the town, not you, and you have lost sight of that.
The 15-vote landslide has emboldened him to be more arrogant, snotty, vindictive, and of course, demeaning and more dictatorial in his behavior. He voiced displeasure with a term I referred, to describe the sneaky backroom deals that make a mockery of good government, “for the people,” remember, that is what you are supposed to do.
Instead we got slammed with a stealth tax that hurt residents with the elimination of a valuable service that had a minimum cost and a huge benefit to those who now have to pay a fortune to maintain their properties.
He rammed a failed concert down our throats, concocted back-room sneaky deals to sell town property. The town office condos? Well below market values. To whom and why? Yep, I know, lightning-fast corporate decisions! This is not the Magic Kingdom.
He stacked the deck at the recent sham airport funding meeting with shills brought in by special-interest groups. He knew it to further his agenda of catering to special-interest groups at our expense.
The real residents of this town were forced to stand not only outside in the hall, but the building as well — a clear violation of the occupancy laws. When a request to move the meeting to a larger facility was made so that the real residents could voice their rights to be heard, he shot back a resounding “No! No discussion. Move it along.” Well, had he moved it, the special-interest lobby that was present (right, Tom and Judith?) that had the room filled with the shills could not have dominated the meeting as planned. The cozy little meeting the day after the election and the day before the resolution that was passed. Dominick Stanzione and Tom Twomey, new B.F.F.s, cozy as all get-out. I know they were really discussing restaurant critics.
That bum’s rush to the Federal Aviation Administration? Well, that fence smoke screen concocted as of late is just that. That fence was constructed in the Bullock administration and through the Lester and Schneiderman years, Bill McGintee, and the first two years of Mr. Wilkinson, and not one peep out of the pilots or the board of the sudden emergency.
There was a prior $300,000 capital allotment but, unfortunately, not bonded. All of a sudden it rockets to over a million? The public be dammed. Twenty more years of involuntary servitude to a federal agency for a mere few pieces of silver. There is a surplus in the airport budget to repair the fence that has stood the way it is for over 15 years; it doesn’t have to be replaced. Their pants were on fire to get their slimy foot in the door.
Mr. Wilkinson boasts about a unanimous decision to go to the F.A.A. Well, what was promised to Julia Prince — funds for the “world-class” skateboard park she championed just before she left? We really need one and the possible liability. Pete Hammerle’s vote, a parting shot at the Democrats for not supporting him? Some of the leading Democrats in this town abandoning their own candidate because he was courageous enough to take a stand for the people here not catering to the special-interest group.
Now we come to the musical chairs at the planning board. Not even a courtesy call to members just like the dismissal of our committee. We had to read about it in the papers. Theresa Quigley’s nose in the lighting law? Team East Hampton? Rah rah!
Now the complaints against Larry Penny. Well, when the grand poobah discovered that he left his butt end hanging out the window in a case he could not win, ready, shoot! A corporate syndrome for sure. A whopping lawsuit soon to follow Mr. Penny’s victory. The charges soon fade away. The laughable beat goes on. Was this like one of his $5 billion decisions? Too bad a recall is so difficult.
ARTHUR J. FRENCH
January 28, 2012
I attended a meeting in Riverhead on Thursday morning regarding the Peconic Institute’s draft mission statement (as of Jan. 12). I will not go into the whole statement; however, in part the first paragraph refers to the health of the environment and the economy inextricably related in the Peconic region. All this sounds well and good. Who doesn’t want clean water? Who doesn’t want to keep our rural atmosphere here on the East End?
I did study up on just what sustainability means before going to this meeting. Did any of you even hear of this program here in East Hampton? Sustainable development came about as far back as the late 1980s and early l990s through what is called Agenda 21 — Agenda 21 being one of the five main documents to come out of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, the eco-confab in Rio de Janeiro, the 1992 Earth Summit. Realizing that the U.S. Senate would not ratify some hard-law treaties of the climate and biological diversity conventions, and after President George H.W. Bush signed the Climate Change Convention in 1992, U.N.C.E.D. leaders decided to build political support for ratification by also initiating efforts aimed at winning enactment of global-warming legislation at the state and local levels. Therefore, the name changed to I.C.L.E.I. in 1992 (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives), and in 2003 it changed the name to I.C.L.E.I. - Local Governments for Sustainability, no doubt to place more emphasis on the local and to diminish concerns about its international influence and its political and financial ties to the U.N.
In part of its mission, I.C.L.E.I. intends to connect local government to the U.N. and affiliates, mobilize local governments to help their countries implement multilateral environmental agreements such as the Rio convention through Cities for Climate Protection, Local Action for Biodiversity, and other initiatives.
Realizing this is a rough read, I would just like to tell you what Agenda 21 proposes: a global regime that will monitor, oversee, and strictly regulate our planet’s oceans, lakes, streams, rivers, aquifers, seabeds, coastlands, wetlands, forests, jungles, grasslands, farmland, deserts, tundra, and mountains. It even has a whole section on regulating and protecting the atmosphere. It proposes plans for cities, towns, suburbs, villages, and rural areas, envisions a global scheme for health care, education, nutrition, agriculture, labor, production, and consumption, in short, everything. As stated in the “Local Agenda 21 Planning Guide,” published in 1996, the question is asked: “What is sustainable development?” In short, it is a program of action for local and global economic reform — a program that has yet to be fully defined. It is a program that is absolutely essential to our existence and it is not fully defined. Further stated, no one fully understands how, or even if, sustainable development can be achieved, however, there is a growing consensus that it must be accomplished at the local level if it is ever to be achieved on a global basis.
In other words, sustainable development is an emerging all-purpose, open-ended, enabling act giving global planners carte blanche to claim it means whatever they want it to mean. So, ask your local representatives about this. This agenda usurps the power of them to represent you. Ask yourself or your representatives if you are aware of BID — bet no one knows.
So, getting back to the Peconic Institute’s draft mission statement, in paragraph two it states, “A forum to improve on present policy and governing paradigms is desired . . . that better sustains the environment, the economy, and supporting infrastructure such as transportation, energy, work-force housing, health care, clean water, and other necessary regional infrastructure.” Sound familiar?
Debater and Baiter
January 26, 2012
Wow! One really has to give credit to the Newt for his Lazarus-like victory in the South Carolina Republican primary. His campaign in the homeland of Fort Sumter showed Newt at his best. He truly is a master debater and baiter. I guess that is why he was known as the King of the Hill during his rather brief tenure as speaker of the House before he was found guilty of ethics violations.
January 23, 2012
To the Editor,
Douche bags in the desert is the most applicable description of Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, and Rick Santorum at the Republican debates when asked about what they would do about the situation in Cuba. Ron Paul tried to remind them that the cold war had ended and that the United States has sustained Fidel Castro by its refusal to treat the Cubans as people that we can deal with for the past 50 years. The concept of Cubans as humans so overwhelmed the other three candidates that they broke into spasms of aggressive vitriol and hatred.
Mr. Paul looked with total disgust at his fellow candidates because he knew about our anti-democratic history in the country and viewed Cuba as a small insignificant island that posed no threat to anyone. Was Castro worse than Batista? Does anyone know who Batista was?
Mr. Gingrich, the Freddie Mac historian-fellow for $1.8 million, said that he would use all the overt and covert power that the U.S. possesses to bring American freedom to the Cubans. But Newt seemed historically challenged, deficient, or simply ignorant of the U.S. presence in Cuba for 50 years preceding Castro, in which it supported one dictator after another and even stationed U.S. troops on the island to help keep the Cuban people under control. Newt, ever supportive of private investment, supported the U.S. government’s willingness to turn much of the island’s agriculture over to United Fruit Company and just about all of Havana to the mafia, essentially enslaving the Cuban people while extolling the virtues of freedom and democracy.
America’s role in the abuse of the Cuban people was erased from Newt’s historical lexicon, while it is standard reading for every Cuban junior high school student.
Mitt Romney echoed Newt’s position by stating that the speaker was absolutely correct in his analysis. He took a jab at Obama for appeasing the Cubans and then wondered aloud what continent the island was a part of.
Mr. Santorum then talked about the rising threat of Al Qaeda in our hemisphere through Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. He said that he has been studying the problem for the past six years and could pinpoint exactly when and where the contacts took place. While Rick doesn’t speak Spanish or Arabic, he could tell from their body language that they were plotting against us.
So the three Republican douche bags concluded that we would have to bomb Cuba to save the Cuban people from themselves. Even though the America-Cuba parable is the 2,000-pound gorilla threatened by a caged parakeet. Clarity in foreign policy will not come from any of these cretins. Their ignorance and bluster make for good television debate, but, like a windstorm in the desert, just blow hot air until they run out of steam.
January 26, 2012
To the Editor,
Wall Street greed and corruption became rampant and we, the people on Main Street, had to bail them out in 2008. The moral of that story was when you are heavily in debt, borrow another trillion and all shall be well. Corporate welfare has led us down a path of self-destruction. We were told then the banks were too big to fail, but they did.
Four years later the economy is worse off and the bigger banks are still making profits at our expense. Now we are in the process of repeating the same mistakes by borrowing another trillion of our hard-earned taxes. Have we become the slaves of crony capitalism?
Let’s face the reality: The American dream has turned into a nightmare. Our lives are in the grasp of corporate powers in violation of the Constitution, now being threatened, which leads me to a prophetic quotation from Thomas Jefferson, “The Constitution should be rewritten in every generation to avoid having society remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.” We need radical change, our government has been privatized and is dysfunctional.
Demands the Respect
January 24, 2012
To Tim Thomas, goalie, Boston Bruins:
To show the state of the country’s divisions and the ignorant and wrong-headed thinking that has emerged these past 10 or 12 years, nothing beats your refusal as the Boston Bruins’ goaltender to attend, with your teammates, the White House invitation to appear there so the president could honor your team for its Stanley Cup Championship.
Think about it! Barack Obama is president of the United States, not of the Democrats in the United States or the Republicans in the United States, but all of the United States. He stands as a symbol of this great country and its place in the world. If not the man and his policies, then the very office he holds demands the respect and support of every citizen of this country during his term in office.
He is the commander in chief of our armed forces, we do not run from his command any more than we would disobey his direct order on the field of battle.
No, Mr. Thomas, we don’t give a damn about your personal politics or teapot views. We couldn’t care less if you voted for an aborigine warrior for president, your action dishonors this country and disrespects its citizenry, its Constitution, and its traditions.
To make a personal political protest, you chose to trample on the flag and honor of the country that provides you the freedom to be the fool and ingrate you are.
And now I have even more incentive to root for the New York Rangers to kick your butt.