Letters to the Editor: 08.14.14

Our readers' comments

To the Drivers
    East Hampton
    August 11, 2014

Dear David,
    As the anniversary of my car accident approaches I find myself hypersensitive to the drivers on our roads. Every time I look in the mirror I am reminded of the metal plate and four screws that are permanently in my neck from a giant yellow truck at the corner of Stephen Hand’s Path and Route 27. I could no longer stay quiet, so please understand the following:
    To the driver of the black Range Rover: I understand that you failed both staying within the lines and sharing in kindergarten, but you are an adult now. The double yellow lines that are placed down the streets of East Hampton are there for a reason. You stay on your side and I will stay on mine. After three head-on collisions in our town last year, I would think you would pay more attention.
    To the drivers of the BMWs and Mercedeses: Stop signs are placed at corners for a reason. Stop rolling through them. You are not entitled to go first. Stop signs have been placed strategically at corners with high accident rates for a reason. My accident occurred because someone was not paying attention at a stop sign.
    To the drivers of the Audis and Lexuses: Learn to use your signals. It is a New York State law that you signal when you turn. Stopping in the middle of the road is also a big no-no!
    To the drivers of the Italian and German sports cars: This is not the Autobahn. Most of the streets in East Hampton have a speed limit of 30 miles per hour. If you want to do 80, go somewhere else.
    To the drivers of the Mini-Coopers and Fiats: Stop pulling out into traffic and cutting off large trucks that can hurt or kill you, especially when your children are in the car. These trucks cannot stop as quickly as you would like to believe, and a small car is no match against the giant 18-wheeler.
    To the bicyclists: Because you are not in a car does not mean you do not follow the rules of the road. You must stop riding through stop signs and red lights. Also, riding two abreast is not acceptable. You also need to signal so drivers know where you are going.
    Finally, to Chief Chris Sarlo of the East Hampton Town Police Department: I cannot understand how you are able to control the additional amount of cars in our town in the summer months without additional help. I give you and your entire department an enormous amount of credit for trying to control the out-of-control. I wish the town board would wake up and realize that this town needs additional police officers during the summer to help this overworked department. Thank you for everything that you do for us. We do appreciate you.
    Please remember: Get off your cellphone, stop texting, and pay attention.

    Respectfully,
    ILISSA MEYER

Dog on the Beach
    East Hampton
    August 5, 2014

Dear David,
    When the East Hampton Village Trustees were discussing a ban on dogs on the beaches, there was long and loud opposition by dog owners. A compromise was finally reached and dog owners and their groups promised to be responsible for their pets. The village law restricting dogs on the beaches was modeled after the East Hampton Town law, although less restrictive.
    A perfect example of the need for responsible dog owners occurred at Indian Wells Beach on Sunday, Aug. 3, during the Junior Lifeguard tournament. My grandson was bitten by an unleashed dog whose owner picked up the dog and walked away, leaving a scared child and no communication with the adults around as to the dog’s vaccine record. Consequently, my grandson had to go to the emergency room at South­ampton Hospital to have the wound treated and to have the necessary shots.
    The telling of the circumstances surrounding the dog bite was done by a frightened 8-year-old, and it is possible the owner was not aware of the incident. However, the fact that the dog was unleashed and on the crowded beach during beach hours was inexcusable and against the law. Accidents do happen, we know, but this is one accident that would not have happened if the dog’s owner had been responsible and obeyed the law.

    Sincerely,
    MARY SISKA

Irresponsible Owners
    East Hampton
    August 3, 2014

Dear David,
    This past weekend, while attending the junior lifeguard tournament at Indian Wells Beach, my grandson was bitten by a dog. Even though he had asked, and was given permission, to pet the dog, it is still considered a provoked attack. So be it.
    My issue here is the dog was unleashed and should not have been on the beach at that time. The worst of the matter is that after the dog bit my grandson, the owners leashed the dog and disappeared, despite the efforts of the town police and Marine Patrol to locate them. Not knowing the status of the dog’s immunizations meant a trip to the emergency room, where the frightened 8-year-old had to endure the shots and vaccination protocol for rabies.
    He is fine because of the immediate attention and care he received by the E.M.T. and lifeguards at the beach and the E.R. doctor and staff at Southampton Hospital. My sincere thanks to all.
    But, to the irresponsible owners of the dog, I say, shame on you!

    Sincerely,
    ANNE CANTWELL

On Borrowed Time
    Amagansett
    August 6, 2014

To the Editor:
    This summer, after witnessing transcendent incantations at Lalibela’s churches in Ethiopia, we went to witness the great tuskers in Kenya. Satao, one of the most superb elephants to have ever lived, had just been killed for ivory trinkets and the ongoing genocide of the most fabulous land mammal on earth. Sixty people were killed on the coast. Kenya, like much of Africa, is in convulsions. It is no longer time to simply go on safari and take pretty pictures and continue business as usual. An entire order between the natural and man-made world is unraveling.
    Let’s be clear here. It is 100 years after Worth War I. While humanity’s desecration of the natural world continues unabated, we don’t need to engage in another human catastrophe starting in Eastern Europe. Native elders have said that the dominant society will have enough to contend with with the earth changes, and they loom large. But the much larger conflict humanity has imposed on itself is its woeful ignorance of the law of nature and nature’s god, as is stated in the Declaration of Independence.
    No country, until perhaps China of late, has terrified nature more than the United States. We are the number-one culprit in climate change. Our carbon emissions are fantastic and instead of enacting a Marshall Plan for the environment we conduct business as usual. Along with the Russians we have embarked on calamitous oil explorations in the Arctic. Fracking destabilizes and poisons the ground. We all but lost most of our forests and the great, great buffalo herds. For what? Discounts at Walmart and Target?
    Obama, probably under pressure from Big Oil, has opened up an area the size of two Californias to oil drilling off the East Coast. The whales, their ears will be shattered. We now know that their feces help the plankton blooms, which in turn give us half our oxygen. What are we delivering to the next generation? Cultural distractions like violent feature films from Hollywood, Disneyworld, Legoworld, and lavish insults to the eye like the flippant art parades of Miami Basel, where the selfish and posh 1 percent vaunt their fur handbags before the desultory eye-and-ear candy of contemporary culture. No wonder we are so violent and kids are on drugs, digital and non-digital. We have lost our ballast and the meaning of life.
    Not long ago, by the ocean, I met a poet of life, Peter Matthiessen, whose works were dedicated to the miraculous. A few years ago I called him in a state of lamentation to announce that the Chinese river dolphin, the baiji, had gone, forever. And he responded, “I’m afraid the first of many more to come.” Recently, before his passing, he said that his children would see little of what he saw, and their children, nothing!
    Indeed if we really love our children our civilization has to act now. The glaciers are melting and Big Oil has everyone by the neck. As one elder in New Mexico once told me, “We are living on borrowed time.” What exactly has to happen on earth for humanity to wake up? In a generation a quarter of life could be gone forever. The Vanity Fair article we inspired, “Agony and Ivory,” written by Alex Shoumatoff, has finally helped galvanize the world. But the slaughter of the innocent continues. If humans should lose this being, equal to humanity in many ways, we will have lost our place on earth forever.
    African nations need help. The wasteland that would befall an entire continent without the soul of the elephant is too unfathomable to imagine. Africa is where humanity began. It may well be the place where the destiny of the human race is played out.
    So what are our priorities as a species? To make cultural distractions that will have no relevance a year from now? Is it really enough to make millions of dollars? Is not the blasphemous disparity between the haves and have-nots a major cause of the world’s problems? Millions won’t bring back species from extinction. Humanity is losing the very species children have grown up with at school, learning about nature. Millions won’t bring back the elephant herds or the whales or the rainforests. What indeed are our priorities as adults? What will children have to look forward to?
    At the end of his magnificent book F. Scott Fitzgerald says that at one time we stood breathless before the majesty and possibility of this continent. Where have we gone? Where indeed are we going? This summer came and went, but I sense it is not like any other summer. It is the razor’s edge of another epoch. Either we finally realize why we are here as a supposedly sentient species and try an alternative way of living on earth, or this is the summer when everything we have ever cherished starts to fade from memory.
    The bioluminescent phytoplankton at Vieques in Puerto Rico recently went off! Let us hope it is just a phase or a cycle. Big business as usual, the corporatist usurpation of what’s left of Planet Earth, or holding on to this rare gem called Earth? More floods, more carbon pollution, more radiation leaks, more fracking and fracturing of Earth’s life force, the loss of bees worldwide, and birds and the green world and the oceans. Because we won’t find anything like Earth in outer space, despite what Hollywood tells us.
    How will the children look up to us in a generation? What are we educating them for if marvel and awe and the life force is drained from the very fabric of existence? “Darling, I made all this money for you,” you will tell your children. And they will laugh and then they will cry inconsolably for generations to come, trying to imagine what a frog, an elephant, or a whale, or a forest, or a coral reef looked like!
    The decision to turn the ship around before it is too late is ours, and we have to make it very soon indeed. Earth is not a resource, it is not a commodity to be traded and plundered on Wall Street. The 1 percent of the world at the top and the business elite, driving the world into the Titanic of tomorrow, had better understand. If they truly love their children . . .

CYRIL CHRISTO

Code Enforcement
    Montauk
    August 4, 2014

Dear David,
    As I have written previously, I am concerned about a nearby house that has been rented eight times for short-term rentals (less than two weeks) since May. This is a code violation — times six.
    Today, Monday, Aug. 4, I was visited by Christian Sanchez and Aldi Binozi, code enforcement officers. They have taken this case very far and are close to bringing action.
    I encourage all citizens who are concerned about their community in the Town of East Hampton to do the following: Google “Town of East Hampton” and fill out the simple complaint form, or call 324-3858. If an officer is in your area, he will respond on weekends and overnight.

DAN BRIGANTI

An Ongoing Feud
    Montauk
    August 4, 2014

To the Editor,
    This is a response to a letter to the editor on July 27, “Noise Bombards Us.”
    Words taken from that letter to describe us include disgusted, rude, inconsiderate, incessantly yapping dog, and neighbors who have ruined your lives. There has been yelling and screaming almost every single night with college baseball players practicing baseball in a backyard, constant raucous behavior, and crude music.
    We are called repeat offenders who have robbed your legal right to a quiet enjoyment of life. You have called the police many times over the past years. The police force and/or code enforcement have not issued a single citation or summons. This is where the Montauk Mustangs baseball team lives.
    Does someone have a tissue?
    My turn. Yes, there is an ongoing not-so-neighborly relationship that exists between two families that reside in close proximity. Also, please understand that we have a handful of other neighbors. The Police Department is not the entity, agency, or organization to teach someone how to co-exist. Sorry, that trait comes from within. To write a letter to Dear Abby or the editor is a last ditch effort to cry wolf.
    Yes, it’s public record you have called the police an extraordinary amount of times over the past 7 to 10 years. Yes, they have taken noise readings, and yes, there have been no citations or summons issued. Maybe, just maybe, because we have not violated town ordinances or broken any laws. Let’s be honest — you have called the police at 2 p.m., 3 p.m., and 4 p.m. in the afternoon in June, July, and August because we were in our backyard trying to enjoy our lives. To drag a bunch of college scholarship athletes into an ongoing feud between two neighbors is, to say the least, unfair.
    We did house these student-athletes and they were an absolute pleasure to have around, and yes, they played whiffle ball and Frisbee. This is America and they were being boys. Most important, they were where they were supposed to be, home, with their host family, not meandering around town acting in any bad or disruptive manner.

ROBERT ASPENLEITER

Golfing Activities
    Amagansett
    August 8, 2014

Dear David,
    They have been hitting the Pimm’s cup over at the South Fork Country Club! Some persons thought it a dandy idea to annex the public Amagansett Farm’s property. Oh, they’d pay a whopping $300 per acre a month, sans maintenance. They would host golfing activities and a nice lettuce patch. I have no doubts that they’d send the lousy golfers out to aerate the soil.
    The South Fork Country Club plan does not include bees, which is a shame. Is not golfing high on our list of community needs?
    Full disclosure. I have negligible interest in inanimate balls. But the variety sported by the South Fork Country Club must be huge.

    All good things,
    DIANA WALKER

Noise Raining Down
    East Hampton
    August 4, 2014

Dear David,
    The noise impacts of East Hampton Airport have been harder on the public than they have in any season in memory.
    Noise-affected residents are beleaguered by the noise raining down on them day and night. They are frustrated and angry as they sacrifice yet another precious summer season to intolerable aircraft noise. Noise, especially that of helicopters, which ruins yet another day to garden, barbecue, or otherwise enjoy the out-of-doors.
    The need for reasonable access limits to this airport has never been more evident than it has this summer.
    The town board-appointed airport planning committee and its subcommittees continue to work to support the board’s efforts to legally diminish the impacts of airport noise while continuing to operate a safe airport. We now know, as a result of the thorough analysis of airport finances conducted by a subcommittee of the business and finance advisory committee, chaired by Arthur Malman and presented by Peter Wadsworth, that the airport can be financially self-sufficient and safely maintained through airport revenues only.
    This is an essential piece of information for the noise-affected, because the town will only be able to enforce its legal rights as airport proprietor if it allows the current obligations to the Federal Aviation Administration to expire as scheduled on Dec. 31. After that date, the town will be able to legally enforce reasonable access limits to our airport, including an enforceable curfew and hours of operation, limiting numbers and concentrations of flights, and banning the noisiest aircraft.
    All of these actions, however, must be supported by aircraft noise-complaint data as well as reasonable assessments of the costs of limiting aircraft at our airport. The subcommittees are hard at work assessing these needs and balancing them with the needs of the community for the peaceful enjoyment of our homes and properties.
    Access limits are the solution to the aircraft noise problem that ruins the peaceful nature and rural character of communities on the East End of Long Island as well as communities up west. In order for the town to effectively impose these access limits, aircraft noise-affected residents need to continue to log their complaints at 800-376-4817, or online at planenoise.com/khto.

    Sincerely,
    KATHLEEN CUNNINGHAM
    Quiet Skies Coalition

A Rotor Beat Away
    Sag Harbor
    August 11, 2014

Dear Editor,
    There is no place to hide. The deafening sounds of large numbers of aircraft have drowned out natural sounds. This past weekend aircraft noise was at its most horrendous for residents suffering under ever wider flight paths, yet apathy reigns among those not yet impacted by noise and pollution from East Hampton Airport.
    Where is the community spirit and support for our neighbors? What will it take for those not yet assaulted to realize that their homes are but a rotor beat away from being similarly bombarded by helicopter or low-flying seaplanes and jets, that emissions from jet fuel and Avgas (toxic leaded gas used by many piston-powered engines) are spewed over our farm fields and recreational areas, homes and gardens, villages and waterways; that we are all impacted by this scourge, that stress causes harm to children, adults, and creatures alike, and that the World Health Organization, among others, has documented a variety of potentially very harmful health impacts to those subjected to frequent aircraft noise and pollution.
    Our politicians must act now to protect the residents and not those profiting from this polluting “industry” and the inconsiderate passengers they ferry back and forth to save an hour of their precious time. Now even Wolffer Estate is promoting helicopter getaways to the city! When will it stop?

PATRICIA CURRIE

Hard to Understand
    Amagansett
    August 11, 2014

Dear David,
    I had been away from East Hampton since the original proposal was made to adopt formula (chain) store legislation. A friend told me that the absolute prohibition of formula stores in historic districts contained in the law as originally proposed was eliminated. Instead, formula stores would just be required to apply for a permit to be sure that their exteriors were compatible with the neighborhood architecture. That seemed reasonable to me.
    I returned and reading the Aug. 7 Star was pleased to learn that a majority of the town board will vote for the revised law. However, I was disappointed to read what Kathee Burke-Gonzalez said regarding her decision not to vote for the law. Her explanation that she is “not looking to put additional burdens on the business community” is inconsistent with her statement that she supports the law’s purpose. The only “burden” in this law is to show, in application for a special permit, that the facility will comply with the local architecture. Ms. Burke-Gonzalez’s further statement that she wants “more specificity” is hard to understand. The law is quite specific in its provisions to protect the rural qualities of our community by requiring formula stores to have building facades that look like the surrounding buildings.
    It seems to me that Ms. Burke-Gonzalez is abandoning the principles that those of us who supported her thought she believed in, namely, upholding the East Hampton Town Comprehensive Plan, which calls for retaining the traditional qualities that make our community special and desirable for most of the people who come here and stay here. I hope that she reconsiders between now and the time that the law is to be voted on.

    Sincerely yours,
    JILL DANIS

Weigh the Evidence
    Amagansett
    August 11, 2014

Dear David,
    At the town board’s Tuesday work session, discussion of the revised “formula store” legislation, each board member spoke to the issue. I was baffled, however, by Councilman Overton’s response and puzzled by his contradictory conclusion: He could not support the law.
    First, he mentioned the traffic study requirement, which he disagreed with. But in the next sentence, he admitted that the study could be waived, which made it okay with him. Then, he pointed to the concern of a Wainscott mall owner that the provision allowing only one formula store per lot would be unfair to him. But Mr. Overton admitted that the newest revision of the legislation takes care of that problem, so he’s okay with it. Finally, Mr. Overton declared that he hadn’t heard as many voices of support from the community as he had from the business interests who were opposed to the legislation, and that was the reason why he could not vote for it.
    But surely the councilman heard the many speakers at the public hearings and the public portion of the board meetings leading up to the most recent hearing. And it is most likely that he has read the many formula store letters to the editor over the past several months. And he was indeed present when, last week, petitions with 230 signatures of community supporters — including small-business owners — were handed in to the town board.
    When it comes time to vote on this matter of such importance to the character and continuing economic viability of East Hampton, one certainly hopes that Mr. Overton will weigh fairly the evidence of community support.

LARRY MARCUS

PSEG’s Future Plans
    East Hampton
    August 11, 2014

To the Editor:
    On Tuesday, Aug. 26, at 5 p.m. at the Emergency Services Building on Cedar Street, Governor Cuomo’s handpicked company, PSEG-LI, that has raised your monthly utility bills and invaded East Hampton with total disregard for town and village residents’ health and safety and has destroyed the character of neighborhoods and the scenic vistas of many roads in its quest for “redundant” power, will hold a public meeting outlining its future plans for the South Fork of Long Island.
    This is our opportunity to ask PSEG — and hopefully Governor Cuomo and other elected officials who are up for reelection and will be asking for your vote and campaign money will be in attendance and show concern for our issues — why PSEG (with the governor’s blessings) ran high-voltage transmission wires along a more than six-mile route through some quiet, once tree-lined, neighborhoods, when an existing underground route that was over two miles shorter and would have been eligible for federal funding at no additional costs to all the ratepayers of East Hampton Town was never explored and utilized.
    We should know where the additional $290 million in monies for undergrounding transmission wires and upgrading substations along the South Fork will be spent in East Hampton. We should ask why it took almost six months and not a matter of weeks — as the PSEG-LI C.E.O. David Daly told a meeting of town and village officials, town and village residents, and members of the organization Save East Hampton this past spring — for PSEG to finally divulge its long-term plans for the South Fork.
    We should ask why PSEG-LI continues to do aboveground wiring in East Hampton, an area where power outages are caused by frequent storms and high winds that take down trees and branches that block the one and only evacuation route for the residents. We should ask why PSEG is not investing in the safe, uninterrupted, protected delivery of electrical power to the residents of East Hampton by not burying all new transmission lines. All new subdivisions that are constructed in East Hampton are required to bury the lines by town code! Why not PSEG?
    PSEG was able to undertake this new aboveground project because when it was last presented it was not made clear as to what we were really getting: monster poles in additional size and width, and extremely high-voltage wires, all at the expense of our health, safety, and scenic vistas.
    Mark your calendar, Aug. 26 at 5 p.m. in the Emergency Services Building on Cedar Street. (Please note that the new monster poles and high-voltage transmission lines run in front of this building, and in case of a storm the wires may come down and access to this building by the public as well as fire, police, and emergency personnel may be blocked.) Don’t miss this opportunity to hear what Governor Cuomo’s handpicked utility has in store for our future!

RICHARD JANIS

Always Willing to Help
    Springs
    August 10, 2014

Dear David,
    I was honored to interview Representative Tim Bishop on my LTV show.   Since I became a regular member of the East End Veterans Show, I have become keenly aware of the price of war and its effect upon combat veterans. War, I have found, is not like it is portrayed in most movies. I therefore centered my interview on his admirable record of a powerful commitment to veterans’ affairs.
    It was Mr. Bishop who was instrumental in the establishment of a satellite facility for veterans’ affairs in Riverhead so that East Enders did not have to go to the V.A. in Northport unless the situation warranted. Both Long Island facilities function well, by the way. He fought for the bill that just recently passed and became law, which allows veterans to go to their own private physicians and will also allow the V.A. to hire more medical staff. He has helped many veterans who had difficulty getting a claim recognized to secure services, including the host of the E.E.V. show, the Vietnam vet Joe Giannini. Mr. Bishop has a task force of veteran advisers, which is how he became aware of burn pits, the Agent Orange of Iraq and Afghanistan.
    I personally have my own reasons for being grateful to Tim Bishop. In the aftermath of Sandy, my house was surged by LIPA. I lost everything electrical in my house, save three appliances that had internal surge protectors. The cost of replacing everything, from lightbulbs to my stove, was staggering. I submitted a claim to LIPA that was promptly denied. They told me to go to my insurance company. I went to Tim Bishop instead. After hearing from his office, LIPA paid. 
    As a Southampton-born and raised man, from a working-class family, he is acutely aware of the struggles ordinary people deal with and is always willing to help when he is able. Thank you, Tim, for helping me and all those veterans.

    Sincerely,
    PHYLLIS ITALIANO

Paralyzed Government
    East Hampton
    August 5, 2014

Dear Editor,
    Our imperial ruler and chief is likely on a path to vastly transform immigration law in this country, and not for the better. Not that he can be blamed for once again taking matters into his own hands since our do-nothing, dysfunctional legislators are utterly incapable of getting anything accomplished in a timely fashion, or in any fashion for that matter.
    The Senate goes on a five-week vacation doing nothing and the best the G.O.P. Congress can do is initiate a bound-to-fail lawsuit that is destined for the same circus atmosphere as their impeachment of President Clinton, which is probably why they are suing this time instead of impeaching. They very well may be saving the impeachment card for President Obama’s next decree by fiat of de facto amnesty for millions more illegal immigrants. This does not augur well for our partisan paralyzed government.
    The Republicans are commonly viewed as intransigent and unwilling to compromise, but many in that party are more than willing to cut an amnesty deal, but they simply want to secure the borders first, which seems like a perfectly plausible and, indeed, practical first step. Look at what the last amnesties have brought us. Reagan reset the amnesty clock and Obama’s “dreamers” decree by executive order simply enforced the implicit notion that all you have to do is make it into the U.S.A. and lay low long enough and you’ll get a green card and a path to citizenship.
    Our president is most likely about to make this come true once again without any consideration for preventing this from reoccurring every generation. Instead of putting the Central American governments on notice that there is no implicit guarantee of protection for those who enter our country illegally and also offering assistance in trying to remedy the violence in those countries, he has already opened the floodgates by welcoming the dreamers.
    The Democrats will look at all this as a humanitarian crisis, which it is, but it is of their own doing. There are well over a billion people on this planet with a humanitarian crisis; we cannot solve them all. Put more succinctly, it is simply unsustainable. We are already drowning in debt and can’t take care of our own country’s poor. Over 15 percent live in poverty, yet this administration is about to take on an even greater burden for our taxpayers. How many poor and mostly uneducated people can we continue to indulge before we exceed the capacity of our resources?
    Congress after Congress and administration after administration, both Democrat and Republican, have refused to come up with an effective system to secure our borders or follow through on a system to check for illegal immigrants who have overstayed their visas. President Obama requested $3.7 billion to deal with this present crisis; the Republicans offered a billion-dollar proposal with assurances of border security. This was not good enough for the president, even though it makes perfect practical sense.
    Rather than return this newest wave of immigrants, he wants to distribute them around the country, creating an ideal opportunity for a viral outbreak; house them, school them, and put them in a judicial system that will takes years to decide their fate. Who would ever send them back at that point after the judicial process is over? No one! This is exactly the point for the intransigence on the other side of the aisle. We get to spend $4 billion on a program that is designed to generate an even greater alien invasion that the Republicans are going to be vilified for being heartless for not sanctioning. Again, this is simply unsustainable and irrational.
    If Obama should grant amnesty, he will have in one stroke removed the other pressing issues of this election cycle: Obamacare, the Veterans Administration, Benghazi, the I.R.S., a dismal and pathetic foreign policy, and a staggering national debt, to name a few. His base will simultaneously be extended by millions of grateful Latino voters and future voters. At the same time, a Republican lawsuit will make a mockery of the problem, fail to bring about a solution, and guarantee that Obama’s campaign to become a transformational president shall be realized, for good or for bad.

    Sincerely,
    JOHN PORTA

Cycle of Violence
    Sag Harbor
    July 30, 2014

Dear David,
    I sat on this letter for a long time and had no idea where I was headed. Suddenly the light broke through. Why has no one yet questioned this very young “American Experiment”? Has it failed the test of time? How many more wounded warriors must we tolerate coming downstream from a never-ending war? The American Experiment is in big trouble.
    Every so-called terrorist we kill gives birth to many others. We are caught in a cycle of violence out of control throughout the Middle East. An addiction to war. Do you have any grasp on how many? We haven’t won a war since World War II but have promoted many, many civil wars around the world.
    We have had a foreign policy called by the Pentagon “low-intensity conflict” — train foreign soldiers to fight our wars to keep our body count down so as not to arouse our public. This has not been too successful in Iraq and Afghanistan, but we repeat the mistake till this day.
    A group of West Point cadets has questioned our strategy in these many wars and I don’t believe it was worth the outcome. Even Secretary of Defense Gates’s last speech to the West Point cadets mentioned that we are in an age of war without winners, Korea the perfect example. He followed up the remark by saying it would be insane if we ever try to topple another regime.
    Of late so much has been said on religion. Politicians love playing God and often look like fools to gain a little status. From what I’m aware of, Jesus never forced religion on anyone, but did say forgive them for they know not what they do. I suggest we continue to monitor this still young American Experiment.
    I would like to end with a short prayer. “The greatest prayer for humankind is not victory but peace.” We are still on the wrong track but there is hope.

LARRY DARCEY