Letters to the Editor: 09.27.12

Our readers' comments

Two Ways Out
    East Hampton
    September 24, 2012
Dear Mr. Rattray:
    The Town of East Hampton fire marshal’s office would like to remind everyone that Oct. 7 through 13 is National Fire Prevention Week.
    The reality is that when fire strikes, your home could be engulfed in flames in just a few minutes. It is important to have a home fire escape plan that prepares your family to think fast and get out quickly when the smoke alarm sounds. What if your first escape route is blocked by smoke or flames? That’s why having two ways out is such a key part of your plan. This year’s theme, Have Two Ways Out, focuses on the importance of fire-escape planning and practice.
    For more information, please contact this office.
    Sincerely,
    DAVID BROWNE
    Chief fire marshal


Unforgettable
    Montauk
    September 16, 2012
Mr. Editor,
    The family of Wally Drobecker would like to thank everyone for their love and support as we mourned the loss of a great husband and father. The expressions of sympathy, from such a close-knit community like Montauk, will never be forgotten, nor will the countless flowers, cards, food, and other means of comfort that were bestowed upon us.
    The heart-warming final salute from the Montauk Fire Department, to their 40-year member, will leave an unforgettable memory in our hearts.
    With many thanks,
    JOAN DROBECKER
    For the Drobecker and
    Lacker Families


Affects Us All
    Montauk
    September 24, 2012
Dear Editor,
    The Concerned Citizens of Montauk would like to cordially thank everyone who was involved and who attended this year’s annual meeting, “Tick-Borne Disease, Your Health and the Environment.” Special thanks to Dr. Joseph Burrascano for his informative presentation on Lyme and associated diseases, the Montauk Fire Department for providing its time and event space, and all the C.C.O.M. members and friends who joined us.
    Lyme disease is a topic that affects all of us on the East End, which was evident in this year’s turnout of close to 100 attendees. A heartfelt thanks to everyone for making it a success!
    Sincerely,
    BOB STERN
    President


Above and Beyond
    East Hampton
    September 24, 2012
Dear David,
    Saturday was one of the greatest days in East Hampton sports history, beginning with the induction of the first class to the East Hampton High School Athletic Hall of Fame and ending with the football team’s victory over rival South­ampton. In between there were athletic contests with many of the other high school teams, a carnival, bonfire, and all the activities that make homecoming special.
    As president of the Hall of Fame Committee, I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for the organization of the hall, and the induction of its members. Over 400 people attended the breakfast and ceremony, which saw 15 individuals and 2 teams immortalized on the beautiful wall outside the gymnasium.
    I would like to thank the many individuals, groups, and organizations who contributed to the setting up and construction of the wall for our Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame Committee for its dedicated efforts toward the establishment of the hall. The Kendall Madison Foundation, the East Hampton Coaches Association, and the class of 1977 all made contributions toward the purchase of materials and the sign for our Hall of Fame.
    Sign Language created a beautiful sign to provide the heading at the top of the wall. Richard Shilowich and Sheamus Gleeson went above and beyond to donate their time for the skillful construction of the wall. Anthony Hayes, L.C. Nelson, and Hector Aguirre provided the finish work and hung the plaques that make the setting for our hall so amazing. Richard Burns, the school superintendent, made a personal contribution toward the purchase of the plaques which hang on the wall, and which each inductee received.
    Pat Hand, the athletic secretary, did what she always does for the school athletic programs, making sure the entire day went off without a hitch. The administration and the entire school community for its support throughout the project. Finally, I would like to thank Joe Vasile-Cozzo, the athletic director, for his tireless efforts, attention to detail, and his commitment to the Hall of Fame project, helping to make sure this was a memorable day for everyone.
    Moving forward, we look for community members to fill out nomination packets for more of the deserving former athletes so that each year’s induction ceremony can be as exciting and rewarding as the one we just enjoyed. Congratulations to all inductees in the class of 2012.
    Sincerely,
    JIM NICOLETTI
    President
    Hall of Fame Committee


Lima Lovers
    Amagansett
    September 23, 2012
To the Editor,
    The only trouble with lima beans is that I can no longer find them in our immediate area. Pat Struk used to sell them quite reliably and in her final years actually sold them hulled — how spoiled could lima lovers get? Now the only reliable source for limas is the Green Thumb in Water Mill.
    Limas are best when simply boiled, then doused with butter, salt, and snipped chives. A lot of people are scared of limas. Don’t be! They are worth the hunt and the shelling!
    From delicious beans to dreadful people:
    Who is this Bill Henderson who is so delighted with coyotes who eat fawns, cats, dogs, and children? I presume Mr. Henderson thinks he is funny. Killing is not funny, but I wonder how he intends to introduce coyotes from Maine to our environment.
    We already have our coyotes in summer, Mr. Henderson. They drive rented cars at 60 miles per hour down our once-peaceful roads. We don’t need one more coyote of any kind!
    Sincerely,
    EMILY COBB


Feral Cat Poem #41
They sent the Calico.

She asked me why I got so huffy
to learn they’re being fed by neighbors.

We’re only feral, you know.

I asked her in.
She smirked.
I asked her how about some milk?

She said sure,

The last time I said no to a drink,

I misunderstood the question.
ED HANNIBAL


The Culvert
    Springs
    September 14, 2012
To the Editor,
    I own a house directly south of the narrowest part of Accabonac Harbor. On various maps it is identified as “The Narrows.”
    Going back to 1964 as today, I have spent my summers there annually. There was always a beach and a solid marsh in front of the property. From the time the culvert was dug north and east of my cottage, the beach has mostly washed away; the extent and length, as well as the undersides of the marsh, have eroded.
    There used to be a plethora of mussels growing along the robust banks of the marsh, but they have completely disappeared, their habitat destroyed. Additionally, there is silt swept in from Gardener’s Bay, resulting in at least the doubling of the sandbar to the west and south of the culvert. This adds to additional concerns including the blockage of vector ditches increasing the mosquito population.
    Given my affinity for the harbor and its health, I initially thought the culvert was a great idea, but now recognize it is a threat. Let’s work to have it closed.
    My best,
    PHILIP WEYHE


All for Spraying
    Napeague
    September 22, 2012
To the Editor,
    As a longtime resident of Napeague, whose home abuts marshland, I am appreciative and thankful of the vector control professionals. Their on-land and aerial spraying made for a safer summer.
    Deborah Klughers, speaking for herself and not the board of trustees, doesn’t “think a few cases of West Nile warrants spraying of our marshland” because of environmental concerns.
    I live in the marshlands, my children and grandchildren spend much of the summer here. I am a physician, have read considerably on the topic, and will have to live with the potential benefits and dangers of spraying. I am all for spraying.
    Despite my profession and considerable readings on the pros and cons of aerial spraying, my knowledge is relatively small compared to the Health Department and vector control specialists. I will happily leave the decision making regarding what is the safest and most-effective spray material to use to those charged with protecting the public health.
    Notification of spray when possible certainly seems appropriate. Spraying at 4 a.m. is clearly an attempt to avoid unneeded contact with spray.
    The avoidance of inoculations against childhood diseases because of unsound fears of autism and other dangers are a sad example of what happens when well-meaning but not trained or knowledgeable people make public pronouncements that sometimes lead to poor public policy.
    Sincerely,
    GERALD LUTZER


Poised to Poison
    Amagansett
    September 24, 2012
To the Editor,
    I am writing to encourage the Town of East Hampton to work with concerned citizens and experts to purchase critically important land in the Stony Hill woods to protect the community’s water resources. The town should have purchased the Stony Hill land that was recently for sale and bought by the Wright family. A private group is trying to accomplish that now.
    Experts have repeatedly warned the Town of East Hampton that the Stony Hill aquifer is of critical importance to the community, which also means the value of real estate. There are many examples throughout the Northeast and elsewhere where complacency led to harmful development.
    Whether it’s greed or ignorance, damaging ancient aquifers devalues the community’s reputation and land values. East Hampton’s neglect of its responsibility to sufficiently protect the Stony Hill aquifer is harmful to the town’s best interests, reputation, and future.
    At the rate we are ignoring experts’ warnings about something as important as this aquifer, the tipping point is here right now. Are we actually poised to poison this aquifer?
    Today I began a personal project: the seasonal changes of the renowned Signature Tree, which is the crown jewel of the Stony Hill woods, which protect the aquifer. I had tears in my eyes thinking that a historically important tree like the Signature Tree would prematurely die, according to arborists’ reports, because of the lack of respect to the aquifer. The premature death of this magnificent tree is the canary in the coal mine.
THOMAS H. BERENSON


Quigley Knew
    Springs
    September 23, 2012
Dear David,
    It is unfortunate that Councilwoman Theresa Quigley’s recent aggressive press release blames Town of East Hampton professionals and the Suffolk Planning Commission for the current stalemate over drainage and the removal of valuable preserved farmland soils owned and paid for through the public’s taxes.
    What is clearly a breakdown in communication on Ms. Quigley’s part has resulted in a lose-lose for taxpayers and the residents of the Hansom Hills subdivision’s drainage problem. It is not the effort to help those residents that is troubling, it is the lack of respect for process, regulations, and the law, shown repeatedly by Ms. Quigley and Supervisor Bill Wilkinson when they set out to get something done that causes problems.
    Even though Ms. Quigley knew that Suffolk County approval was required for a drainage proposal, as the town board point-person on the project, she never followed through with staff to see that approval was obtained, resulting in a stop-work order. The county is concerned because taxpayers paid millions to protect those rich agricultural farm fields along the Route 114 and Long Lane corridor. The town, without the county’s approval, made a deal to give away this valuable resource to Keith Grimes, the highest private bidder. He, in turn, trucked the valuable soil (the best in New York State) off the Route 114 site right before the stop-work order.
    What is called for now is a mature effort on the part of Mr. Wilkinson (who is not returning the county’s phone calls), Ms. Quigley (who is publicly admonishing county and town employees), and the county planning staff to communicate with respect and reach an outcome so that objectives are met and the law is followed.
    It is not the process that needs to be “turned on its head,” according to Ms. Quigley’s missive. What needs to be turned on its head is Ms. Quigley and Mr. Wilkinson’s responsibility to do their homework, and to stop consistently ignoring the law and putting the blame on other professionals.
DEBRA FOSTER



    Ms. Foster is a former East Hampton Town councilwoman. Ed.


No Nastiness
    Springs
    September 17, 2012
Dear David:
    Now that the silly political season is with us in earnest, I would like to extend a plea to all would-be partisan letter-writers: Can we please refrain from gratuitous nastiness? Everything can be said, even forcefully said, in a civilized manner. This is far from being the case, and, I regret to say, most of the nastiness comes from one side, as anyone perusing your paper’s letters to the editor can ascertain. (Attn: Mr. T.S.)
    Again, no nastiness please. Whatever you have to say should stand on its own merit.
REDJEB JORDANIA


This Week’s Parade
    East Hampton
    September 23, 2012
Dear Editor,
    It certainly has been a week for exposing bigotry. Paris Hilton finds gays disgusting, chooses to blame them for the AIDS epidemic, and insists she was having this discussion with her “friend” who is gay. Trust me, “gay,” she is no friend to you. For someone who is well known for years for notorious promiscuity and drug addiction, she certainly has shot herself in the foot with this cheaply superficial discussion. Duh. She is cheap and superficial — and a bigot!
    I am delighted to finally get to know Mitt Romney up close and personal. He is so secretive and deflective that I began to wonder if he felt any responsibility to the United States or her citizens, a debt of gratitude for the life they have provided him and his family. Would he ever condescend to answer our questions, respond to our demands for full disclosure? Thank heaven for the technology that allowed us this insight into the true nature of this secretive, self-absorbed Republican candidate. There is no doubt in my mind (or in the minds of numerous others I have discussed this tape with) that I know him!
    With ever-growing numbers, from a rapidly expanding cross-section of citizens and taxpayers plummeting into the “47 percent,” he chooses to kick a dog when it is down.
    The smarmy sarcasm of this week’s media blitz is a blessing for American voters as it is the only true indicator of how he thinks, who he is, and how dark a soul he possesses. The contempt dripped from his words and tone — vile in hushed tones in which he delivered his dark intentions. Who cares that he doesn’t pay his share of taxes? This sound bite portrays a man so deranged with narcissism that he is one dumb thought away from creating governmental ghettos for us lazy, useless leeches. Thanks to the media for this shot across the bow. Now, with this info, it is beyond comprehension that anyone should be voting for Mitt Romney, a bigot.
    Sadly, included in this week’s parade of ugly bigotry is a local entry that seems almost a culmination of the Paris Hilton-Mitt Romney philosophies. Just this past few days, my dog and I were hiking a long-established trail running parallel to the Long Island Rail Road tracks in North Wainscott. As we passed the police station, Living Waters Church, and LTV, things were tranquil and charming. As we continued just west of those places we came upon a pile of rubbish covered with black plastic. It blocked the trail, and so I thought I might remove it.
    Bigotry lurks in odd and unexpected places. As I pulled the plastic back I was shocked by the nature of what lay beneath it: burnt logs mainly. My heart jumped and then sunk as there in the mess was a piece of blue cardboard. The message painted on it in childish black scrawl was, “Kill (so and so).” A dangerous bigot! It was punctuated with a black swastika. What appeared to be a form of drug paraphernalia also littered the site. Police are investigating.
    It was a big week for exposing bigotry!
    Thank you,
    MICHAEL DICKERSON


Made America
    East Hampton
    September 20, 2012
To the Editor:
    Following is a diatribe I wrote in a fit of pique, and following the revelations of the past few days, I wanted to share it with you.
    Here are some of the things that made America great:
    Public education: From its beginning in the 19th century, it has guaranteed free 12-year schooling to every child in the nation, something that no other country had ever done, and that many still do not.
    Unions: Against overwhelming odds they fought for — and won — a living wage, the five-day work week, collective bargaining, and the foundation of a robust middle class.
    Women’s suffrage: Women finally, after decades of struggle, won the right to full citizenship, and a say in their government.
    Social Security: Retired persons and those unable to work were assured enough to enjoy a life of dignity. By the way, they pay into it from their earnings; it is not a government handout.
    The G.I. Bill: This wonderful program allowed every member of our returning armed forces to attend college, and thus made it possible to improve their families’ lives and strengthen the burgeoning middle class.
    Civil Rights Act: At long last, all people, regardless of race, shared all the same rights and freedoms. Obviously we have a long way to go, but this historic bill is certainly a step in the right direction.
    Voting Rights Act: Jim Crow is dead. Or is he? The poll tax is gone. Really? This all-important law must be upheld and vigorously defended regardless of party politics. The right to vote is the cornerstone of democracy.
    Medicare and Medicaid: The elderly and the indigent can afford good health care.
    Environmental Protection Agency: We cannot, quite literally, live without clean air and water.
    Affordable Care Act: Proudly known as Obamacare to Democrats, this act, imperfect as it may be, will make sure that many thousands of heretofore uninsured Americans will have access to preventive, as well as urgent, health care.
    What do all of these things have in common? The Republicans want to obliterate them. All of them, and then some.
    “Education? Who needs it. Anyway, better-educated people are more likely to be liberals. And all those greedy teachers. Which brings us to unions, a communist conspiracy to make manufacturers pay fair wages and benefits to their rapacious employees.”
    Maybe they can’t take the vote away from women. But they are doing their damnedest to make women second-class citizens by denying them basic health care, which, obviously, would benefit the entire community. What may be left after the sticky-fingered Congress raids.
    Social Security is certainly too much to pay out to those lazy old freeloaders who didn’t have the luck or connections to have high-paying enough jobs to keep them in luxury after retirement. Never mind that it’s their money that they paid into the fund for 40 or 50 years. The hell with ’em. As to veterans, there seems to be party-wide amnesia.
    All of the above, of course, severely affects those of low, and even middle income, but who cares? “We don’t worry about the poor.” As to the voting rights act, “Well, we can’t let voter fraud go on.” Six cases in the last 50 years (some astronomical figure like that), especially if it prevents folks from voting for the other guys. Citizens United is a huge voter fraud, of course. Clean air and water? Hey, if you have enough money. . . . Wait a minute! Money won’t do you any good after you are poisoned.
    The recent Romney video begs the question: Does G.O.P. stand for greedy old putzes?
    Let’s call it what it is: E.S.C.: evil, stupid, crazy.
PATRICIA AYEARST


Not Be Tolerated
    Montauk
    September 9, 2012
Dear Mr. Rattray:
    I must say that I was very troubled to find out that our own East End congressman, Tim Bishop, had his daughter ask a constituent for a donation to her father’s re-election campaign in exchange for a favor from the congressman. The intervention that was requested seemed fairly standard. A congressman should help out a constituent when asked — if they can help at all. However, this helping out should not be tied to an exchange of money. But, that seems to be exactly what Mr. Bishop did.
    Now, I read the letters to The Star and a number of people are sticking up for Mr. Bishop. They say that asking for money in exchange for services is no big deal, and this type of thing happens all the time! That may be true, but it doesn’t make it right.
    I find it hard to believe that these same people (who are defending Mr. Bishop) would be so forgiving if they found out that any one of our Republican town board members did such a terrible thing! Asking for a “donation” in exchange for doing your elected job is always wrong, no matter who does it or why. It is stunning to me that anyone would defend Congressman Bishop, who, in my opinion, was apparently asking for a bribe by way of his daughter. I also think it says more about his defenders and their defense rationalizations and values than it does about the situation.
    There is a simple solution to this matter. It is time for Mr. Bishop to go and for him to be replaced by Randy Altschuler. Let’s send a message to Mr. Bishop and his supporters. His bad behavior will not be tolerated. Vote on Nov. 6 for the alternative to the man who votes with Nancy Pelosi 97 percent of the time and who supports President Obama’s terrible tax-and-spend policies.
    Vote for Randy Altschuler for Congress — not Tim Bishop!
    Respectfully,
    FRANCES CARROLL

Continues to Win
    Amagansett
    September 23, 2012
To the Editor
    Politics on Long Island over the years makes interesting reading; however, it does not always have the Suffolk County voters’ well-being as its first concern.    People supporting the election of Republican candidates tell us what is wrong with the Democratic candidates and what is good about their Republican candidates. What are the facts about politics in the First Congressional District? There are about 30,000 more registered Republicans than Democrats. A Republican candidate elected to this Congressional seat should have no trouble in keeping his or her seat.
    Now some history: Democratic Rep. George Hochbrueckner represented the First Congressional District from 1987 to 1995. In 1995 Mr. Hochbrueckner lost the election to Michael Forbes, a Republican. In 1996 the Democrats chose Nora Bredes to run against Mr. Forbes. There was a debate on cable. Someone did not like what Ms. Bredes was saying, and that night had her campaign headquarters in Setauket totally emptied out. Her staff arrived the next morning to a totally empty storefront. Mr. Forbes won.
    In 1999 Forbes switched to the Demo­cratic party, saying that the national Republicans were “tone deaf to the needs of average Americans.” Mr. Forbes lost the 1990 Democratic primary to 71-year-old Regina Seltzer. Ms. Seltzer lost to the Republican candidate, Felix Grucci. Felix Grucci had a problem, toxic chemicals from his fireworks factory were showing up in the neighborhood drinking water wells.
    In 2002 the Democrat, Tim Bishop, won the election. The reason why Mr. Bishop continues to win re-election in this overly Republican First Congressional District is simple: He has been working in Washington for all the people in his district, not just Democrats. Protecting the public’s interests has been his work. It sure beats same-old-same-old Republican politics on Long Island.
    Respectfully,
    ARTHUR KALISKI


What to Say
    East Hampton
    September 23, 2012
To the Editor,
    I would like to ask our congressman, Nepotism Tim (if he comes out of hiding), what he thinks of President Obama’s failure to beef up security at our embassies and consulates in Libya and Egypt when, according to a CBS news story dated Sept. 17, the State Department had two days’ warning on the attacks. I would like to know how Nepotism Tim explains that away.
    Now we know the Egyptian government knew two days in advance of the attack on our embassy, and did not beef up security. How does Nepotism Tim explain why Mr. Obama says Egypt is not our enemy? If not Egypt, tell us, Nepotism Tim, who is our enemy?
    Does Nepotism Tim think that Mr. Obama’s failure to speak out forcefully on the actions in Egypt will lead to more attempts on the lives of our diplomats in the Middle East and, like Jimmy Carter, see our embassies stormed and our diplomats made hostages?
    When Senate Republicans asked the secretary of state for a briefing on the timeline of the attacks on our diplomats in Egypt and Libya, they were rebuffed by Hillary Clinton while the Obama administration was at the same time giving that information to the press. I would like to know from Nepotism Tim if he thinks members of both houses of Congress should be briefed on Egypt and Libya by the White House and the State Department, or should congressmen and senators be happy just to read about it in their morning papers?
    Nepotism Tim still has not explained why the Obama administration has outsourced so many jobs, like aid to China to help that country develop a commercial airline to compete with ours by building their own jet liners to compete with Boeing and encouraging General Electric to be an outsource partner. Two years ago, the Obama administration used $450 million of stimulus money to a consortium of Chinese and American companies to build turbines in China for wind farms in Texas. How does the alleged enemy of outsourcing, Nepotism Tim, explain the use of our tax dollars to outsource all this business to China?
    Maybe Nepotism Tim’s staff has not briefed him on what to say as they are too busy having his daughter collect their I.O.U.s in the form of campaign contributions to know what is going on in the real world.
    Respectfully,
    TIM SULLIVAN


Back to the Issues
    East Hampton
    September 17, 2012
Dear David,
    If I were a fly on the wall at Randy Altschuler’s campaign headquarters, I’m sure I would hear him and his staff saying, “Now we can avoid the issues that count by making fireworks with the fireworks. We don’t want people to be thinking about Romney and Ryan’s plan to voucherize Medicare. And, we can take attention away from the fact that under Obamacare people are covered regardless of prior existing conditions, not subject to a cap on coverage, which in a catastrophic illness could cause them to lose their houses, have continuous coverage if they change their jobs, not required to lay out money for care of their children because they can be covered through age 26, entitled to nursing home care without having to sell their houses. We must never let them know that Congressman Ryan proposed doing away with nursing home Medi­caid benefits for the middle class, vital health care for women without co-pays, including Pap smears, mammograms, and birth control.”
    It has been written in our local newspapers that Tim Bishop took an illegal contribution. Actually what happened was an everyday legal occurrence. A grateful constituent offered after the Bishop congressional office took action on his behalf, which they did unconditionally. It was not a quid pro quo — get me the permit and I’ll give you the money. That is not the way it happened. And, what part did the long-ago defeated congressman and Tim Bishop’s predecessor, the very manufacturer of the fireworks, play in creating this bogus story? You tell me!
    Let’s get back to the issues that affect our vital interests, even if Randy Altschuler would prefer to do otherwise.
DAVID J. WEINSTEIN


Let’s Ask
    East Hampton
    September 24, 2012
Dear David,
    In the 1950s the marginal tax rate for people with top incomes was 91 percent and our economy boomed. Now we are told that the middle and working class must do without life-sustaining and economy-boosting programs while people with enormous wealth must not have a marginal income tax rate of more than 30 percent, and still less for capital gains, because a higher rate would shatter their “confidence” in the economy and “discourage” them from investing in the country’s future.
    Let’s ask what no “serious” columnist, such as David Brooks and Tom Friedman, asks, how many millions or billions of dollars it is necessary for one individual or family to own when the country is presumably on the brink of a financial calamity that will destroy some 250 million American lives and billions more throughout the world?
    Let’s also ask why being extremely wealthy is so important to people who are. Is the food that much better? The sex? Is the deference you obtain really that gratifying? The Jackson Pollock on your wall or the presence of the ocean past your dunes? And why, when we ask such questions, we are not greeted with reasonable discussion, but with accusations of harboring unpatriotic motives and of waging “class warfare”?
    We in East Hampton should especially ask these questions.
    Sincerely,
    RICHARD ROSENTHAL


Filed Late
    Wainscott
    September 24, 2012
Dear David,
    The scrutiny of a presidential election is phenomenal. Earlier this summer, Governor Romney advised that if he paid more taxes than were due, he was not qualified to be president. This advice from the governor came to the fore because his claimed average taxation rate was 14 percent. To understand United States taxation is to realize there are many different taxes that don’t cross over to each other. The governor pays a 14-percent tax rate because more of his money comes from capital gains — 15 percent and a few deductions.
    He filed late this year and has now disclosed that first, his tax rate is 14 percent, and second, he “didn’t take all his deductions” because that would have reduced the rate to under 10 percent. He paid $500,000 in taxes he didn’t have to. (Please carefully reread the first paragraph.)
    Every slob, including me, who works for himself pays 15.3 percent payroll taxes before we arrive at our income taxes (and perhaps as many deductions as the governor). The governor also says that people, including people subject to payroll taxes, are not accountable to themselves.
    I heard that his disclosure of his 2011 taxes came from Governor Romney’s houses in California, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Utah, and his offshore banks in the Grand Caymans and Switzerland, a regular guy who gets it.
    Talk about a pirouette! Could his paying taxes over his requirement be socialism? Agreed, though an aberrant form on the contribution side.
    On to Congressman Paul Ryan, who filed his tax return and inadvertently forgot to declare some $60,000 in trust-fund income. (Each of us understands. It would be uncharitable not to, though the bishops found Mr. Ryan’s tax policies uncharitable). You never worked for it. Why should you have to pay taxes on something you never worked for? Gosh, golly gee.
    However, as a vice presidential candidate, Mr. Ryan noticed the inadvertent mistake. I guess he read it after he signed it, and an amended return has been filed. Running his marathon in under three hours was Congressman Ryan’s announcement of hubris; is his inadvertence another sign?
    The small guys, the little women and men, need the president. The entrenched and rich have Congress more readily. A president for the people is vital.
    The governor is not an answer; nor is his numbers wonk a running mate (cautiously running for re-election to Congress). Not since L.B.J. can I remember a vice presidential candidate running for his House or Senate seat while running for vice president.
    Very truly yours,
    WILLIAM J. FLEMING


He Disrespects
    East Hampton
    September 23, 2012
To the Editor,
    If my father were alive he would take his tire iron from under his car seat and whop Mitt Romney upside his head. My father worked from the age of 13 until he was 87. He paid his taxes for 74 years but not for the last 8 years of his life. He believed in the fairness of life and detested political fakery. He verbally assaulted John Lindsay (and a group of his advisers known as Lindsay schmucks) on the boardwalk in Far Rockaway, Queens, because they transferred large numbers of welfare families into his middle-class community. He voted for John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan.
    We took away the tire iron when he was 80 and then the car at 87. It was safer for everyone. He was the center of our very large family. Every night, until his phone ran out of battery, he would talk to different family members who felt it was necessary to hear his voice and uplifting laughter. His cup was always half full at worst.
    I have no doubt that he would like to see Mitt taken out back and have his lights punched out. Not because he is an elitist pig or a slimy lowlife (most politicians are one or the other), but because he disrespects a huge swath of the American people who work their butts off to survive in a very tough world. A lot of people who worked real early, who didn’t have daddy pay for school or help him find a job or set him up in business. Not everyone who hasn’t had a paying job in 13 years still makes $13 million a year. Or do they?
    My father would have some issues with the Democrats because they didn’t kick ass on the Republicans who screwed the economy. But he would praise Mr. Obama because we got out of the depression in two years and the last time it took 13 years and a war. But, at worst, the Democrats are not the same level of elitist scum as the Republicans. They almost get it.
    Mitt Romney’s 47-percent observation is simplistic and simpleminded. In real numbers, the bottom 20 percent and the top 20 percent pay the same proportion of taxes relative to their incomes. State, local, payroll, and sales taxes are not federal income taxes but are still taxes. This crass, condescending sound bite paints a perfect picture of our next potential leader.
    So, Mitt, my father would like you to take your head out of your ass and take a good look in the mirror. You are the problem. You represent everything that is odious and contemptible in our country. Forty-seven percent of the population will vote for you, too. Does that make them self-loathing, brain-dead buffoons? Not in the least. They are simply a little misguided. No disrespect intended.
NEIL HAUSIG


Should Be a Negative
    Springs
    September 20, 2012
Dear Editor:
    This presidential election is unique in that each candidate’s position is diametrically opposed to each other. As a conservative, I cannot understand how anyone can support Barack Hussein Obama for another term.
    I did some analysis. Newspapers and TV virtually all support the president. They do not report the news fairly. For instance, Mitt Romney reported that 47 percent of the electorate depend on the government to survive in this country. Actually the fact that so many depend on government services, like getting paid for not working for such a long time, should be a negative for the president. He should help generate jobs. An eighth grader could write that headline. And the fact that they voted to eliminate God in the Democratic platform got swept under the rug — along with the issue of Jerusalem and Israel.
    Now what about the redistribution of wealth for Americans that Mr. Obama encourages? He said it, and it is recorded on video. He does not deny it. As a matter of fact, he is proud of it. He has changed the criteria for getting unemployment insurance; one need not even have worked. Get a college degree or even a masters and pick the best state to live in. Mr. Obama is a socialist. What is the next step, the C word? I am sure this pleases the people who have drunk the Kool-Aid.
    I have done a mini-survey of one question. I have asked supporters of Mr. Obama the following question: Would you vote for him if he was a Republican? Is it the party or the man? Don’t lie to yourself if you choose to answer.
    I guarantee you that most of the supporters of Mr. Obama do not even know what he proposes because it is not reported. As I write this I see on a conservative TV station that another 6 million people not counted originally will be taxed under Obamacare because they will not have medical insurance. Reason is they will not be employed.
    God Bless all here.
    DAN GEELAN


A Lie Repeated
    East Hampton
    September 23, 2012
Dear Editor,
    Letter writers to The Star and The Independent continue to convey the following falsehoods:
    1. President Obama has apologized for America.
    2. President Obama has taken over $700 billion out of Medicare.
    3. President Obama has issued an executive order eliminating the work requirement from the welfare-reform bill. 
    These letter writers understand well two principles of propaganda: People are very willing to believe a big lie sooner than a little one, and a lie repeated often enough sooner or later will be believed as truth.
    President Obama never apologized for America, nor has the State Department. As for the cuts in Medicare, well, Paul Ryan himself endorses them in his signature budget plan — the same plan Mitt Romney has said he would sign as president if it reached his desk. The $700 billion comes in savings, not in reduction of benefits. Those Medicare savings — achieved through reduced provider reimbursements and curbed waste, fraud, and abuse, not benefit cuts — appear in the House Republicans’ fiscal year 2013 budget, which Mr. Ryan authored.
    Work requirements eliminated from the welfare reform bill? In this case the Obama administration responded to a request from the states to modify requirements, not eliminate them. The Romney campaign TV ad claimed, “Under Obama’s plan, you wouldn’t have to work and you wouldn’t have to train for a job.” That claim is not true.
    Robertson Davies said, “There is no nonsense so gross that society will not, at some time, make a doctrine of it and defend it with every weapon of communal stupidity.”
    Vote against a candidate because his words and actions are antithetical to your beliefs, just be sure to filter out the information that comes from those who peddle lies.
    Thank you,
    ARTHUR GOLDMAN


People as Pawns
    Wainscott
    September 15, 2012
To the Editor,
    How unfortunate — no, ultimately dangerous — it is when a well-intentioned visitor makes sweeping statements which appear to have the ring of authenticity but convey none of the facts on the ground. Such is my first and lasting reaction to the “Guestwords” column written by Leila Maw Strauss (Sept. 6), replete as it is with accusations and finger-pointing, which neither encompass the full story nor lend any learned commentary on what is a historically sad and ongoing situation.
    When leaders opt to use their people as pawns, when these same leaders choose to remain as heads of diminished states so as to garner sympathy and, yes, untold millions, there is the resultant recipe for a diminished and unfulfilled people.
    Such is the case with the Palestinians, though there’s not a scintilla of understanding of this basic political reality in the column. Where is there reference to a people directed by their leaders to leave their homes in 1948 with assurances that they would be returning, to a people kept as refugees dwelling in camps both in Lebanon and Jordan for lo these many years? It was eventually realized by the likes of Dennis Ross, after Yasir Arafat refused in 2000 — as he’d done in countless prior instances — that a) he had in no way prepared his people for the realities of compromise, and b) that he would rather continue as eternal “victim” and hero of his people than be the leader of a country that would then have to deal with the more mundane aspects of community, like collecting garbage and building roads.
    Where is there understanding in the column of the ongoing inability of Abu Abbas to arrive at the bargaining table without those preconditions which in themselves are nonstarters? Where is there reference to the on-again-off-again rapprochements between Fatah and Hamas (United States-recognized terrorist organization), an organization with the stated goal of wiping the State of Israel off the map?
    Did Jane and John Doe learn anything about facts as they present themselves?
PHYLLIS LEVENTHAL


Radical Times
    Sag Harbor
    September 24, 2012
To the Editor,
    These are radical times! I may be appropriate by responding in kind.
    Over 800,000 of our men and women have been deployed multiple times in Iraq and Afghanistan, with pockets full of drugs. Contrary to our government’s misinformation, most of our soldiers will return with post-traumatic stress disorder; it’s just a matter of time, the degree, and when you know you are a victim.
    Just one example of thousands of others: A friend, Chuck, was a medic in Vietnam and lived a so-called normal life. After three of his children matured and left home, about 40 years later, his wife identified that he too was a victim of P.T.S.D. and he has now began treatment and is on drugs.
    Today their vast numbers raise the questions will there ever be enough facilities and secondarily at what cost?
    Other questions emerge here: Are there crimes against our own soldiers and crimes against humanity? Has the so-called glory of war begun to fade in the midst of perpetual war? No one held responsible!
    Just four lines by the poet James Agee that politicians would have us forget:
    “We soldiers of all nations who lie killed
    Ask little that you never in our name
    Dare say we died that men might be fulfilled.
    The earth should vomit us against that shame.”
LARRY DARCEY