Letters to the Editor: 01.26.17

Our readers comments

Emergency Room Site  East Hampton

January 17, 2017

Dear David,

In response to your editorial of Jan. 12 concerning the new Southampton Hospital annex, we, the board of trustees of the East Hampton Healthcare Foundation, wholly support not only the addition of a “satellite emergency room” in our town, but also the site that has been chosen on Pantigo Place.

As you may know, the East Hampton Healthcare Foundation planned and established an urgent-care facility which is located approximately halfway between East Hampton Village and Amagansett (currently operated by Meeting House Lane Medical Practice). This facility is presently serving approximately 8,000 patient visits per annum. When the new emergency department is established, the urgent-care facility will be merged with it. The 17,000 patient-visit number should be easily attained, based on current statistics of E.R. visits from East Hampton Town ZIP codes.

The proposed site location in the very center of town is most important, in order to serve not only East Hampton Village residents, but also those who live in Northwest, Montauk, Springs, and Amagansett. The Child Development Center of the Hamptons is at the very west end of our township. Patients traveling from the east would have a much longer trip versus coming to a Pantigo Place facility. On any given summer day, it could take upward of an hour and a half to go from Montauk to the current emergency department. As you know, in the summer the population in the township can explode upward of 100,000 on any given day. By placing the new facility on Pantigo Place, it will mitigate some of the heavy traffic headed west toward the hospital. 

As to fund-raising, the East Hampton Healthcare Foundation will play a large part in soliciting donors to help finance this important facility. I strongly hope you will reconsider your position on the siting.

HENRY L. MURRAY

Chairman

A ‘Lethal Zone’

East Hampton

January 23, 2017

Dear David,

I think it would be interesting to know that last week a vehicle ran the stop sign at Egypt Lane and Dunemere, crashing through the wooden fence and ending up on the Maidstone golf course. 

Not anywhere near the bridge crossing Hook Pond, where the Maidstone Club wishes to make a safer passage for its members and guests by erecting an environmental disruption and visual disaster, but rather back where I previously wrote was a “lethal zone” that should be addressed with more priority than the proposed golf cart bridge. Turns out I was right on the money. 

The car splintered the wooden fence where, just six feet to the east, was a crosswalk and 15 feet to the west was another unmarked entry-exit in the fencing, leading from the golf course directly into oncoming traffic from Egypt Lane. Again, speeding and failure to obey a stop sign is the obvious cause. 

Just prior to 6 a.m., work vans fly down Dunemere to work locations east of the golf course. I watch houses on Further Lane, which I check every morning, and I see these speeding work vehicles constantly, some doing twice the 25-miles-per-hour speed limit. I suggest that this issue gets addressed before there is an accident and someone is killed. 

DELL CULLUM

Share the Harvest

East Hampton

January 22, 2017

To the Editor:

I was wondering why there was no mention of Share the Harvest Farm, formerly the Food Pantry Farm.

Please look at their website: sharetheharvestfarm.org.

Thanks,

LOUISE BERGERSON

On Cedar Street

East Hampton

January 22, 2017

Dear Mr. Rattray:

It’s encouraging to hear that the East Hampton School Board is finally talking with the town and Supervisor Larry Cantwell about the feasibility of locating their school bus depot-fueling station in a nonresidential area off the high school campus. We hope that these discussions are serious. 

Although the school board has often claimed to be working with neighbors regarding siting their proposed bus depot-fueling station on Cedar Street, those claims devolved into the board telling the neighbors what had already been decided, with board members actually saying to scores of residents of Cedar Street: “Well, we don’t expect you to like it,” and “Not everyone is going to be happy about this,” and “You shouldn’t have moved near a school,” and “Who was here first?”

To bring some facts to the table, Cedar Street has always been an A5 residential neighborhood; whether we personally were always in our houses is not the real issue. (Vito Brullo of our committee has lived in his house since the 1940s!)

Board member Foster, instructing us neighbors about how we should deal with his planned bus depot-fueling station next door, told us that when he first purchased his house in East Hampton, he didn’t have any neighbors. But then a plot near his backyard was purchased, and the owner built a house on the land. Soon after, these new neighbors had the audacity to play music that Mr. Foster could hear from his yard! So he built a fence! Foster actually equated hearing music from a neighbor’s yard to the disruption and health issues accompanying building a bus-fueling complex on Cedar Street! 

Residential walls on Cedar Street would have official height limitations, and anyway couldn’t be built high enough to mitigate clouds of poisonous diesel fumes that the buses regularly spit out on a daily basis. Comparing music to a crippling increase in traffic, poisonous diesel fumes, and the noise of buses pulling in and out dozens of times a day and beeping in reverse? For a board member to seriously make that kind of comparison is to reveal a lack of comprehension, and to declare having lost touch with not only the neighbors, but with the reality of our town.

The board claimed they listened to neighbors when they and their architect decided to move the entrance-exit point from the east side of the narrow band of their property abutting Cedar Street to the west end of the band. A first-year architecture student or even a landscaper would know that state regulations would require them to move that entrance 100 feet farther away from the already busy and dangerous intersection of Cedar Street and Hand’s Creek Road. Furthermore, because Cedar Street is so narrow, sight lines needed for buses to pull out into oncoming traffic will be a major issue. Cedar Street simply does not provide the amount of space that buses would need in order to turn in or out, regardless of where the two-way driveway is placed. 

In addition, the board claims to have ordered a reliable traffic study, which started on Dec. 13, with results to be extrapolated to reflect the reality of May and June traffic on Cedar Street. Really? If what the board claims is true, and it has known about this bus depot-fueling-station-on-Cedar-Street decision for two years, why wasn’t the traffic study done at an appropriate time, in May and June, if it truly wanted accurate results? 

By the way, the board must be aware that the “trackers,” the traffic-counting strips, were placed across Cedar Street to measure the traffic at about 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 13, and were ripped up less than 48 hours later by a snowplow, early in the morning on Thursday, Dec. 15. Curiously, those traffic-counter strips were never reset! Are the data collected on a Tuesday in December the numbers that the board plans to use for the draft environmental impact statement-SEQRA report? If so, how can this criminally incomplete measure possibly deliver anywhere near an accurate gauge of the level of Cedar Street traffic during the busy months of May through June and September through November? 

Lastly, it’s the taxpayers’ money, and we await a detailed, research-based, user-friendly cost analysis for every option. Do we want another Sandpebble?

Reader, you be the judge. It’s your town, your street, and your money. Stay tuned, pay attention, and be prepared to vote No on this bond in May. 

JOHN T. COSSENTINO

Common Ground

East Hampton

January 23, 2017

Dear David, 

At the end of last year I saw the film “Hud,” which starred Melvyn Douglas as a crusty old Texas rancher and Paul Newman, his son, as Hud, a hard-drinking, womanizing, unscrupulous character who worked with his father running their cattle ranch. The father was a man of good character — totally the opposite of his son — but both shared an unfaltering resentment of government interference with their lives in any way whatsoever. Government interference came down on them in the harshest but most necessary of ways when their herd of cattle was found to have hoof-and-mouth disease, which is highly contagious and therefore a threat not only to their cattle but all the cattle in the area. Accordingly, their entire herd had to be destroyed, and they had no choice but to go along with the government’s requirement or face fines and jail as well as the destruction of the herd.

Their conviction about the wrongness of government interference was not deterred by the reality of the circumstances.

After watching the film, I thought to myself that the Hillary Clinton campaign should have watched this film six months before the election. I made this pronouncement in the Q&A portion of the film class. Afterward, a man came over to me and said, “You got it.” I said, “What do you mean?” He told me he was an anthropology professor at Columbia University and that he was giving a talk on the anthropological roots of the outcome of the election. 

Unfortunately, I had a conflict and could not attend his lecture. Nevertheless, the gist of my conversation with this man was that people do not always vote in their best interests. The cattle would have died anyway and would have caused the deaths of cattle many, many hundreds of miles beyond the ranch.

I believe that we Democrats in East Hampton (I am a Democratic committeeman in the town) have an obligation to reach out to all East Hamptoners, and by all I mean Republicans, Independents, and Democrats, and deliver the message of how what we believe in serves the best interests of all residents, regardless of party affiliation. This requires hard work, including creating public meetings to discuss the issues facing the town, writing letters to the press, and supporting our East Hampton Town board in its quest to improve the quality of our lives. We also have to support candidates who promote legislation to protect our town in the ways described below.

The current town board, a majority of whom are Democrats, has gone a long way in this regard, including successfully amending by referendum the community preservation fund so as to allow the funding of water quality improvement programs (including a provision to help people who cannot afford to update their waste disposal systems); adopting a law requiring planning board approval under defined conditions to monitor the construction and operation of chain stores; proposing a law, still pending, to limit the size of new houses in relation to their lots, and limiting flights in and out of East Hampton Airport so as to reduce noise pollution. I live in Springs, which is not affected by airport traffic noise; however, I played tennis this past summer at East Hampton Indoor Tennis adjacent to the airport and found the noise horrific.

The town board has also restricted building on land adjacent to our bays so as to prevent their pollution; agreed to limit spraying of insecticides, which can have catastrophic effects on the health of our young; endeavored to preserve the downtown Montauk coastline in cooperation with the Army Corps of Engineers; vigorously enforced laws prohibiting the number of unrelated persons who can live in the same house; passed a rental registry law so as to limit transient occupancy of houses and thereby reduce the huge numbers of people who converge on East Hampton on the weekends during the summer season, and, finally, limited the development of large tracts of land such as the horse farm in Amagansett, one of the most beautiful and largest open tracts of land, which the former Republican administration was about to rezone for condominium development.

Each and every one of the above matters dealt with by the town government would be appreciated by some residents and opposed by others. This is so because people have different interests and objectives for their lives. Everyone has a proverbial herd of cattle they want to hold on to. 

One of the more controversial issues in the recent presidential campaign was the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare. Many people vigorously oppose that law. Yet if you ask many of those who oppose it whether they would want to give up the inclusion of their children under 26 years of age, the right to coverage of prior existing conditions, or the unlimited, or uncapped, coverage required under Obamacare that prevents people from being bankrupted by their medical problems, most people would say they would not want to lose those protections. Likewise, those in our community who object to laws governing the size of houses or the number of people who can live in them, or the rental registry law, might not be opposed to government regulation if they were convinced that the traffic jams we face on the weekends would be reduced by controlling the population.

Accordingly, it becomes the responsibility of those who appreciate laws that govern our use of our property to bring to the attention of those who may not so readily accept such limitations, that the limitations benefit them. At the same time, we must be open to hearing the objections to regulatory action by our government, and wherever possible meet the needs of those who object to such regulation. We can do this by meeting with and talking to as many people in the community as possible so as to reach common ground. 

All of this will take time and effort as well as good will in the process of delivering the message.

DAVID J. WEINSTEIN

Wind Power History

East Hampton

January 22, 2017

Dear David,

With the new administration closing down the White House Climate Change website, the science community scrambling to maintain a data feed at a time when 2016 was declared Earth’s hottest year on record, hundreds of thousands marching worldwide including my families with my grandchildren, East Hampton is on the very tipping point of returning wind power to its 350-year history. 

Under Governor Cuomo’s direction, detailed in his State of the State address, LIPA trustees were ready yesterday to approve its contract with the developer, DeepWater Wind, for an offshore wind farm 30 miles over the Montauk horizon. Now let’s see just how mighty the president is in stopping the wind from blowing, or at least denying it does indeed exist, with the capacity of providing clean energy to 50,000 homes on the East End. 

LINDA JAMES

Acting Chairwoman

Energy Sustainability Committee

Town of East Hampton

Who Fact-Checks?

Montauk

January 13, 2017

Dear David:

Two errors on your commentary page in the Jan. 12 issue. In “The Mast-Head” you said you were “waiting for the traffic signal to change to green at Wainscott Stone Road.” That traffic light is about a half a mile west at Wainscott Northwest Road.

The second is in your editorial column — “the stakes are much higher for school districts, where voters are asked to approve budgets each year, and a two-thirds majority is required to exceed the cap.” It is only 60 percent, not two-thirds.

Who fact-checks the editor, or who edits the editor?

Sincerely, 

ED ORR

Not in My Backyard

Montauk

January 17, 2017

To the Editor, 

In the Jan. 12 issue of The East Hampton Star, David Gruber and the East Hampton Airport Planning Committee, a group of airport-neighboring property owners, announced a solution to their long-term suffering caused by the outrageous activities of the East Hampton Airport. The plan is in response to what the committee has continually deemed an intolerable and dangerous affront to mind and body, an intentional all-out attack on the environmental habitat, an Armageddon to the character of the town, a destroyer of property values, a tool of the rich, and a moral insult at a level of physical and mental psychological outrage that no one should be made to suffer.

What is the committee’s solution to all of this emotional grief and hardship? What is the answer to their proclamations regarding the airport’s unfair, unhealthy, and immorally disgraceful assault on a segment of town property owners whom they represent, while continually and constantly reminding us of our townwide moral obligation of supporting the righteousness of their property interests? To all this, the East Hampton Airport Planning Committee has a breathtakingly simple effective solution. They want the town to buy the Montauk Airport. That’s it. Problem solved. Case closed. The committee’s reasoning is impeccable: Why should we suffer all of the above when we can pass it off on Montauk?

In terms of airport-vicinity-property-owner logic, it is indeed an extremely awesome proposal. Buy the Montauk Airport, and, in a flash, neighboring East Hampton Airport property owners’ woes, problems, and miseries become Montauk’s woes, problems, and miseries. And if that were not enough, the committee graciously has undertaken to solve any worrisome issues that may arise over funding of the above plan. Easy — use East Hampton community preservation fund money. Additional comment unrequired.

Even disregarding the immorality, selfishness, and all-out hypocrisy of such a scheme, there exist countless physical and real-world reasons why Montauk Airport would be a nightmare in terms of implacability, safety, management, and physical size. It also would be a total unmitigated disaster to the economic, ivic, and private-property ownership of the Montauk hamlet, which represents a real, factual, economic base, population center, and voting block far larger than any unproven, undocumented group that the East Hampton Airport Planning Committee claims to represent. However, if we ignore the standards of group responsibility to one’s own problems, civic good-citizenship, and the ethics of responsible planning, the East Hampton Airport Committee’s idea is indeed an effective solution, as indicative in the above proposal, to what has always been their primary goal: “Anywhere, but not in my backyard.”

Citizens of Montauk, beware.

TOM BOGDAN

Montauk United

Wrong Advice

East Hampton

January 23, 2017

Dear David:

Kudos and gratitude to Councilwoman Sylvia Overby for saying publicly, from the rostrum in Town Hall, what all of us who know something about it have known for a long time: The town has been extremely poorly represented by its aviation counsel, Kaplan, Kirsch & Rockwell. And that is an understatement. 

Wrong advice about the Federal Aviation Administration-sanctioned process for changing the airport fee structure. Wrong advice about how airport fees can be structured. Wrong advice about the process for converting a former runway to a taxiway. Wrong advice, just a couple of months ago, about tree clearing needed to comply with F.A.A. regulations. Atrocious advice to forgo defending the settlement agreement with the F.A.A. from legal attack by the helicopter companies. Indeed, I am hard pressed to recall anything Kaplan, Kirsch has gotten right. But it gets worse:

Egregious behavior in gratuitously and publicly disparaging, directly to the F.A.A. no less, contrary to the interest of the client, the Town of East Hampton, the highly favorable opinion obtained by Congressman Tim Bishop from the F.A.A. that the town did not have to comply with the federal Airport Noise and Capacity Act in setting airport access rules if it did not want to obtain any future F.A.A. funding.

Whether such compliance is required was the very question the town just lost before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in the suit by the New Jersey helicopter companies for them to control airport access rather than the government elected by the citizens of East Hampton. 

Outright betrayal by Kaplan, Kirsch in introducing into the record of decision before the court Peter Kirsch’s own email to the F.A.A. disparaging the F.A.A.’s favorable opinion. That amounts to telling the court that the town’s own counsel, Peter Kirsch, did not credit the legal position that he, Mr. Kirsch, was then defending on behalf of the town. Doesn’t that sound ridiculous: Mr. Kirsch himself defending East Hampton from Mr. Kirsch himself?

Mr. Kirsch’s disparaging comment to the F.A.A. was then cited by the Second Circuit in ruling against the town. Still, some claim that Mr. Kirsch’s public expression contrary to the town’s interest on the very question before the court did not make a difference in the outcome. (That is about the dumbest thing I can imagine.)

Put yourself in the judges’ shoes; if you had received from a party’s own counsel a copy of a letter saying that that party’s counsel didn’t believe the legal position of his client on the very question then being litigated before the court, do you think your judgment might be affected? Of course it would. And we merely have to observe that the court went out of its way to cite Mr. Kirsch’s letter to the F.A.A. in ruling against us?

The mystery is this: Why is Kaplan, Kirsch still working for the town? 

Do the town board members who just voted to retain it again this year (not including Councilwoman Overby, who voted no) have the slightest reason to believe that Kaplan, Kirsch will now be defending the interests of the town effectively despite its awful track record up until now? Based on what? And why continue to bet on a demonstrated loser and loose cannon? 

The relationship between this town board and Kaplan, Kirsch & Rockwell is odd, to say the least.

Sincerely,

DAVID GRUBER

Petulant and Childish

Springs

January 23, 2017

To the Editor:

Last week’s splenetic Star editorial berating the East Hampton G.O.P. for hosting an inaugural ball (a Deplora-Ball) was petulant and childish and missed the point of the event.

As stated in my letter of last week, we celebrated not only the victories of our candidates, Trump and Zeldin, but also the American tradition of a peaceful transfer of power from one political entity to another. President George Washington himself admonished us that a proper reverence for the constitutional process by which we choose our leaders was essential to good governance.

I even offered to buy a drink for anyone who opposed Mr. Trump but wanted to stop by to toast this wonderful tradition. Fortunately for my wallet, only Henry Haney took advantage of my offer.

We are a political party, not a TV show. We support Mr. Trump not because of his personality or because he has a nice family, but because we believe that his policies and principles of governing are far superior to those of Hillary Clinton.

The Star editorial feared that our event would help promote Mr. Trump as a role model. Even if that had been our focus, would The Star really prefer to support instead a person with Hillary Clinton’s record? Enabling her husband’s sexual predations by attacking his victims, innumerable lies, serial incompetence, and corruption (note that the Clinton Foundation has closed its doors now that there are no political favors to sell)?

The Star described our support for Mr. Trump as “sad.” Supporting Hillary as a role model for our young would constitute child abuse.

Our nation faces serious problems. The East Hampton G.O.P. is focused on helping our new president resolve them. The Star should do the same.

REG CORNELIA

Chairman

East Hampton Republican Club

Cheered With Pride

Springs

January 22, 2017

Dear Mr. Rattray:

On the evening of Jan. 20, over 150 citizens, from East Hampton, South­ampton, Sag Harbor, and New York City celebrated the inauguration of Donald J. Trump, the 45th president of the United States.

Tweens, teens, gorgeous and handsome millennials, seniors, octogenarians, Republicans, Conservatives, Independence party members, blanks, and, yes, Democrats, danced, feasted on lovingly and specially made food, chatted with old friends, made lots of new friends, and just had a great and fun time.

We whooped and hollered as the 10-foot TV screen broadcast the swearing-in of the new secretary of defense, Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis. We oohed and aahed as the new president escorted his stunning first lady to the dance floor as they whirled in the inaugural festivities. We cheered with pride as the first couple danced with members of our beloved military.

As an organizer of this wonderful party, I want to thank all who attended for making the evening so much fun. I am always looking for an excuse to dance, and these partygoers happily indulged my wish.

 A big thanks goes to American Legion Post 419, who allowed us to transform their party space into a beautifully ballooned, festooned, confetti-strewn, patriotic atmosphere. A big and special thanks goes to our local small businesses, who supported our endeavor with their kindness. Since I don’t want to subject them to the types of reprisals inflicted on performers and companies that wanted to be a part of the national inaugural celebration, I will not name them. But you know who you are, and I hope you know how much you mean to our local community. And a huge thank-you goes to the Gherardi family, who provided the extraordinary food. 

As we usher in this new administration, I know the spirit that was generated at our local party will carry over into our local elections. The East Hampton Republican Club looks forward to many more celebratory events.

CAROLE CAMPOLO

 

Callous Power Grab

New York City

January 17, 2017

To the Editor:

House Republicans have passed legislation that would if enacted dramatically alter the way our laws are implemented. This legislation, the Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act, would require federal agencies to obtain congressional approval for “major” rules, namely including rules having an annual impact on the economy of more than $100 million. Absent such approval, rules may not go into effect. While the bill’s sponsors claim it will improve regulatory policymaking, the REINS Act is not well considered. The act inevitably will have unintended and significant adverse effects on the economy and society at large.

In assessing the utility of the REINS Act, at the outset it is important to understand that historically, government regulations have delivered important benefits that greatly exceeded their costs. As an example of regulations that could have been subject to the REINS ct, in response to the Deepwater Horizon explosion and resulting oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Department of the Interior proposed new offshore oil and gas regulations that strengthen requirements for everything from well design and workplace safety to corporate accountability, and were designed to help ensure that the United States can safely and responsibly expand development of its energy resources. These needed regulations will cost the industry hundreds of millions of dollars over the next 10 years. These regulations were harshly criticized by the Republican Congress. Passage of the REINS Act would ensure that Congress could thwart the efforts of the executive branch to implement Congressional enactments.

Benign and appealing from the surface, the act offers Congress an avenue to achieve a government shutdown. More perniciously, it seeks to replace a regulatory process heretofore based on expertise, deliberation, and transparency with one cloaked in political maneuvering, corporate clout, and secrecy.

Of course, a fundamental problem is the act’s constitutionality. The Constitution obligates the executive branch to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” A statute is constitutionally infirm if it “involve[s] an attempt by Congress to increase its own powers at the expense of the executive branch.” The legislative history underlying the REINS Act suggests that diminishing the power of the executive branch may have been the intent of the bill’s sponsors. 

We should not applaud the zealousness of the House — and Representative Lee Zeldin — to pass what can only be viewed as a callous power grab. Hopefully, the Senate will be more circumspect as it exercises its review of the act.

BRUCE COLBATH

Universal Health Care

East Hampton

January 21, 2017

To the Editor:

My children were born in Paris in the 1970s. Clinique Marignan, where our doctor worked, was off the Champs Elysées, up the street from Christian Dior. Dr. Palmer was well known. A close friend of our New York doctor, he was considered the foremost expert in the world in his specialty. Everything went really well. We never saw the bill. Our health care premiums were half of what we paid in New York.

The essential difference between France and the United State is that the French have a philosophical basis of universal health care and we are primarily concerned about cost. So in France, there are no pre-existing issues, age issues, sex issues, P.T.S.D. issues, wealth issues, religious morality issues (should AIDS patients be covered). Health care is one all-inclusive bag that is a basic right.

Sometime in the middle of the 19th century, health care provided by the government reared its lovely head. It went nowhere until early in the 20th century, when workers and businesses got together and began to set up programs. From Roosevelt to the present, almost every president had some notion of universal health care. 

Unfortunately, presidents were far ahead of their Congresses, especially conservative members, and from 1965 to 2009 very little got enacted despite lots of conversation. The simple logic of universal care was always in place. Much of Europe had developed single-payer national systems run by the central government. These systems were as good as or better than ours and cost less than half the money. Any fourth-grader would call it a no-brainer.

Yet we fought the idea tooth and nail, and around the battle grew a series of lies that permeated every conversation. It would cost too much, socialized medicine was evil and would deprive people of their rights, big government could never get it together. But the biggest and most blatant fabrication centered around free-market competition. Let the market deal with health care and everything will be done efficiently and cheaper.

There is no free-market, private, for-profit health care system anywhere in the world, for the simple reason that profit and universal care are mutually exclusive. For-profit systems can’t include seniors, disabled people, soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder or long-term physical damage, pre-existing conditions, et al. In the world of public health care, profit equates to cancer.

When conservatives propose health care accounts, competition between hospitals, and similar ideas, it is only about cutting costs. Yet negotiating drug prices, regulating insurers, and exclusive market deals are major areas to reduce costs which are never proposed. The essential problem with all the conservative ideas is that they don’t believe in universal health care, which means that the only good health care is cheap health care. As long as we don’t have to pay too much it’s okay, but people are only worth so much, and they will decide how much. Yet the underlying facts never change. Every market-based, for-profit health care system has failed.

So the Republicans will repeal the Affordable Care Act for the 316th and last time. In seven years, the only health care proposal they put forward was repeal — not a single idea to improve or modify the A.C.A., a spotless yet brain-dead record. (If they were remotely serious about health care, they would have proposed even a couple of bills to try and improve the system. But they didn’t.) The most intellectually deficient group of pols in our nation’s history will never come up with a workable plan. Will they go after Medicare and screw our seniors (help them to die sooner, a Republican wet dream)? Will they raise the Social Security age to 68 and give nonunion blue-collar workers a taste of conservative bile? A senior health care bloodbath.

Going back to Paris doesn’t overtax the imagination. Doesn’t stress out the creative, innovative psyche. Doesn’t have to mean that the private sector is a bunch of losers because they are incapable of fashioning an acceptable health care system. It’s not about ego and philosophical stultification. Get over it and adopt the logical option, and in a few years we won’t remember the old system or the extraordinary incompetence and buffoonery of our political operatives.

Mr. Trump makes fun of the disabled and the weak. With health care, which he will own in 10 days, all he will have to do is look in the mirror to find an appropriate target. The defective.

NEIL HAUSIG