Letters to the Editor: Trump 02.02.17

Our readers comments

True Americans

Springs

January 30, 2017

Dear David,

I attended the party for Donald Trump at the American Legion Hall. I had a great time. The atmosphere was so calming, no window-breaking, no fights, just true Americans partying. The food was outrageous, had a real hard time stopping myself from going up for thirds. Thank you, everyone who made this happen.

I can’t in my brain fathom what happened to America, all these protests, all these Washington people lying through their teeth, yes, you, John Lewis, who “never missed an inauguration,” selective memory, you didn’t go to George Bush’s either, doesn’t believe Donald Trump is an elected president. If the Democrats didn’t win, then no one is legally elected. Stop crying, lying, and grow up.

President Trump has hit the ground running. He has done in eight days more than President Obama did in eight years. Liberals have a one-way track of thinking. Notice when one person makes a statement all follow through, e.g. they start out with “20 million people now have health care.” Here’s a question for you, what about the millions that lost their insurance when the insurance companies (that started up with Obamacare money) went bankrupt and had their customers scrambling for insurance? Yes, they closed down because their companies lost millions.

Hollywood, I don’t need your opinion, I don’t need to see your movies or watch your TV shows. Pray that what happened in Germany (rapes are up since Merkl let all the Syrians in) never happens here. Thank you, President Trump. Maybe the U.S.A will be somewhat safer now.

In God and country,

BEA DERRICO

Guilt by Association

East Hampton

January 23, 2017

Dear Mr. Rattray, 

Having been in politics all my adult life, I can honestly say your biased and slanted editorial last week, “Not a Role Model,” attacking your fellow East Hampton residents and claiming them “unfit” because they support our new president is one of the most tone-deaf things I have even seen from a responsible person. It is unprofessional, boorish, rude, and just plain uniformed. Just for the record, Trump didn’t win by Republican votes alone. The evil characteristics you assign to President Trump are highly debatable, but to use a guilt-by-association accusation against those you disagree with is just pure childishness.

In all the years I have read your newspaper I never recall you, or any of your staff, holding Obama, either of the Clintons, Cuomo, Schumer, or any other Democrat to such a high standard of selective moral outrage and then applying that negative bar to those who may have merely voted for them. I guess wide paintbrushes only apply to Republicans.

You owe your Republican readers, advertisers, and fellow residents an apology for drawing such a disgraceful analogy and slurring them the way you did.

Very truly yours, 

JACK McGRATH

Had More Dimensions

Montauk

January 26, 2017

To the Editor:

That cutout of Boris Trump on the front page of The East Hampton Star Jan. 26 edition had more dimensions to it than the real thing.

Sincerely,

PAT LUKASZEWSKA

Front-Page Photo

Springs

January30, 2017 

Dave,

Last week I enjoyed your front-page photo of Reg Cornelia, a man with a paper asshole standing next to a minority cardboard president!

KEN RAFFERTY

Call From Overseas

Amagansett

January 25, 2017

Dear David, 

I share the gist of a call from overseas:

Friend: What on Earth did you people in the United States of America just do?

Me: Are you talking about our recent presidential election?

Friend: I certainly am. Well?

Me: The children in my village are refusing to go to school. They reason that if the American president is a mendacious, tribal bully, they will accent that one plus one equals three!

Me: One plus one can equal three, without family planning.

Friend: You’re going to have a lot of that.

Me: Don’t you think the newest wife is pretty?

Friend: How much weight can the woman carry on her head?

Me: She’s not thought of as a practical wife.

Friend: Who are those Americans who voted for that orange pudding?

Me: Some really nice good folk who wish it were 1950.

Friend: Let us pray.

Me: Amen!

DIANA WALKER

Without Warrants?

Springs

January 30, 2017

Dear Editor:

As an attorney and resident of a section of East Hampton with a large immigrant population, I am extremely concerned about what appears to be the willingness of local officials to employ extrajudicial enforcement of Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant executive orders.

The following issues must be addressed: 

1. Will law enforcement detain individuals without warrants solely based upon their appearance absent any evidence of their criminal activity as was done in Arizona with disastrous results?

2. What is the definition of “criminal activity” for the purpose of this order? Are law officers left to their own devices to make such a definition since none has been offered to date, even by “tweet”? 3. Will minor traffic violations be elevated to the level of criminal activity, contrary to New York law, as a pretext for detention of individuals who appear to be immigrants?

4. Will law enforcement seek legal support under Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s guidelines for noncompliance with the executive order? Local authorities must consider the considerable cost of legal action they will inevitably incur should they attempt to comply with this executive order which is extremely unpopular among many of our constituencies. The executive order offers no financial aid to compensate local governments for such litigation costs.

5. Will law enforcement resources in our communities be sidetracked away from their real duties to implement an arbitrary partisan political policy that has not been vetted, reviewed, or even clearly defined by any federal, state, or local legislative body?

Our communities and our law enforcement personnel deserve answers to these questions before this policy can be constitutionally implemented.

Very truly yours,

GALE FIELDMAN

Countries of Concern

Westhampton

January 30, 2017

Dear Editor,

Trump’s executive order on refugee policy targets Syrians specifically by saying, “I hereby proclaim that the entry of nationals of Syria as refugees is detrimental to the interests of the United States and thus suspend any such entry until such time as I have determinedthat sufficient changes have been made to the [United States Refugee Admissions Program] to ensure that admission of Syrian refugees is consistent with the national interest.”

Critics are attacking Trump for selectively choosing the seven “Muslim-majority” countries mentioned in the media because of his “sprawling business empire” which both Forbes and Bloom­berg have pronounced and take issue with Trump for not including Saudi Arabia in the executive order solely because of his business dealings. I agree that Saudi nationals should be included in the order if it is to be instituted at all, given their involvement with 9/11, however, if you actually read the order none of the seven countries are actually mentioned specifically except for Syria. So, what is this Muslim ban and how did it come about? Fake news? Alternative facts?

These seven countries have been deemed “countries of concern” for the last couple of years now by the Department of Homeland Security under the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, and in February 2016 D.H.S. announced it was continuing its implementation of this program when it added to the existing list Iran, Iraq, Sudan, and Syria. In other words, Trump did not select these countries of concern, which previously included only Somalia, Libya, and Yemen. All seven nations considered countries of particular concern were selected under the Obama Administration. And yet, the mainstream media has been completely negligent in bringing this to the public’s attention, because it does not fit their narrative. It was already U.S. policy to restrict and target people who been in these countries on or after March 1, 2011, with certain exceptions for military and government individuals. These “nations of concern” were already a part of Obama’s policy.

Trump did not invent this policy; it was created during Obama’s time in office, and there was no public outrage then. But because the press has already been preparing for their own narrative now for months, they do not even bother with their own due diligence to report this news accurately. Facts are thrown out the window, either through selective journalism, bias, or simple indifference to facts. 

Trump acted on a campaign promise to ban the refugees — I paraphrase “until we can figure out what to do with them,” a caveat universally lost in the media narrative. I will readily grant that the profoundly egotistical Trump is an easy target for the media; however, perhaps there is something behind his claim of a deliberate liberal media bias against him, since they cannot be bothered with the most fundamental research before making their attributions and vilifications.

JOHN PORTA

 

A Scary Time

Amagansett

January 26, 2017

To the Editor:

How is it that we are allowing someone in his position to tell us that we should start listening to “alternative facts” or disagree with the facts; how is someone allowed to call all news that doesn’t praise him fake news? He has chosen to close the investigation of Flint water but has decided to open an investigation on voter fraud simply because his ego won’t admit he lost the popular vote. This is how propaganda starts, this is a scary time for all of us.

Why are we allowing him to build a wall? It’s 2017; we are supposed to be building bridges, not walls. People who have come to this country to work and raise their families have done so with the belief that opportunity does exist, that if you work hard things actually happen. Immigrants are not coming here and asking for handouts — as a matter of  fact, if you don’t have a Social Security number, you have no access to Medicaid, Social Security, Medicare, health or life insurance, food stamps, housing assistance, or financial aid for higher education, so the people using that system and benefiting from it are U.S. citizens, not immigrants. 

My parents are immigrants. If you would like to know more about how “easy” their life has been, please visit. I’m sure Mom and Dad would be delighted to chat over some hot chocolate.

How is he allowed to threaten a state via Twitter? Yes, Chicago like many other cities has a violence problem, but is “sending in the feds” really going to fix it? How about working on the underlying issues and proposing actual solutions like putting more money into education, job training, and addressing gun laws.

Repeal and replace the A.C.A.? How about using the work already done and improving on it. How about actually caring for the thousands of people who will end up without any coverage at all.

Why do people still believe he stands for America? Look at his cabinet: nothing but billionaires who hold their interest first and above all. He says he cares but plans on privatizing Social Security and Medicare. He approved pipelines, for jobs he said. Three quarters of the Earth’s surface is covered with water;   however, less than 1 percent of that water is drinkable. Water is not a commodity but a necessity. This is no longer the survival of the fittest but the survival of the richest.

And why are people upset that three million people — men, women, and children — marched on Jan. 21? Why did we march? For equality, for love, for kindness, for a future our children can enjoy, because humans are not illegal, because men and women should be able to marry who they choose. The march was not about abortion, it was about choices, but if you are against abortion, please take a moment to speak to rape and incest victims, to a mother who is carrying a pregnancy that will put her life in danger and leave her other children orphans. How is defunding Planned Parenthood going to eliminate abortions when they are the only place women can turn to for affordable birth control and care? It’s 2017 — this should not be up for discussion.

We are seeing this unfold and take a life of its own. Please don’t ignore the signs. Protect and love your neighbors. We cannot let him change who we are and what we stand for.

YESENIA G. QUICHIMBO

A Minority Party

Montauk

January 30, 2017

David, 

My brother was trying to explain to me why the Democratic Party is taking to the streets in protest around the country. His explanation is that the Demo­cratic Party has become a minority party in the United States of America. 

He tells me that since 2009 when Barack Obama became president, that between 1,100 and 1,200 Democrats have lost elected positions around the country, from local town boards like ours to state legislators to governorships to Congress, all the way up to the president. I guess that means that Barack Obama has caused the Democratic Party to become a minority party. 

He goes on to tell me that the only way the Democratic Party can appear to be a legitimate party is to take to the streets and make it appear that they are still relevant. They are getting lots of air time on TV but enough people in the U.S. have had enough of liberalism to vote it down with each election since President Obama took office. 

I say it’s time for the people of this town who have the leadership skills needed to sustain a republic to step forward in the upcoming election in town and send all our liberal elected officials packing. 

God and country,

VINCENT BIONDO

Undoing Net Neutrality

East Hampton

January 26, 2017

Dear David: 

Say goodbye to net neutrality and higher prices to access the internet. The Trump administration’s agenda includes higher costs for internet access and to permit your internet experience to be subject to the whims of your internet service provider (ISP), such as Optimum or Verizon. Until now, rules effectively made net neutrality the law of the land. That’s about to change.

First, what is net neutrality? Basically, as its name indicates, net neutrality guarantees an internet that is a free and open platform. Users are able to use their bandwidth however they want and internet service providers cannot discriminate (through increased cost or better access) in favor of any particular website. Rather, an ISP must give each website equal footing in reaching their users.

Now, President Trump has tapped Ajit Pai, an outspoken critic of net neutrality, to become chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, the agency responsible for enforcing and promulgating rules governing the internet. Commissioner Pai opposes consumer protection, from the net neutrality rules to consumers’ rights to online privacy. His basic position on net neutrality is that enforcement of net neutrality rules is unfair to internet service providers, and he has an agenda to undo those rules.

What does this mean to you? First, don’t be fooled by laws touted as providing “internet freedom,” as was tried in the past. Undoing the guarantee of net neutrality will allow ISPs to deliver content differently, depending on the service, by, for example, creating tiers of service that would have consumers (you and me) pay for priority access instead of bandwidth speeds. Suppliers also would be free to charge high-bandwidth content providers (or more popular sites), like Netflix, more to carry their content, or they could charge users, like you and me, extra to access Netflix.

Ultimately, the effect of undoing net neutrality rules will make internet access more expensive. Over time, one can only assume that websites (like Netflix) will pass on to us the costs they may pay for high-speed access. In addition, it would become more difficult to view websites that can’t (or won’t) pay for high-speed access.

You can do something about this. Contact your Congressional representatives and tell them that you don’t want to pay any more to your cable company or telephone provider for supplying what is now a necessary utility, just like your electricity service. If you live in the First Congressional District (which includes the East End), call Congressman Zeldin’s Riverhead office at 631-209-4235.

BRUCE COLBATH

Alternative Facts

East Hampton

January 24, 2017

To the Editor:

President Trump is acting like the child who pleads that the dog ate my homework. A clear falsehood that the parent identifies to the child but does not force the child to acknowledge.

The child eventually learns that the parent is humoring him or her and the parent is merely giving the child room to grow in learning how patently obvious many lies are.

Trump is a 70-plus-year-old-child who has never learned that lesson.

We the people accept Trump as the president elected by a minority of voters, but we hope and pray that he will mature into a person who can accept the truth even if it is inconvenient.

This Trump universe of “alternative facts” is delusional and dangerous. I am embarrassed by my president.

I am a Democrat and want to work with all in our community to create jobs, affordable housing, and to protect our environment. I care about our community and I don’t care about your political party. Let’s get together and work to help our community.

JEREMIAH T. MULLIGAN

Orwellian Future

Montauk

January 30, 2017

Dear David:

As we continue to march back to our Orwellian future, it is interesting to note that we are already at the point where the presidential administration espouses the mantra that Lies Are Truth, Bigotry Brings Peace, and Torture Is a Family Value.

Our Republican leaders in the Washington swamp are way too gutless to point out that our president is a narcissistic, mentally unstable, pathological liar. Their response is, “It is only Trump being Trump.” 

Wake up, folks! One day it will be way too late to say that.

I am very much afraid that Mr. Dylan is right on point when he predicts “A hard rain’s gonna fall.”

BRIAN POPE

Release Tax Returns

Wainscott

January 30, 2017

To the Editor:

In these politically divisive times, there is one issue on which the vast majority of Americans agree: President Trump should release his tax returns. Since 1980, every presidential nominee, Democrat and Republican, has voluntarily done so. It is an important norm of our system, observed out of respect for the public’s right to know whether or not their president’s decisions are being affected by his financial holdings or relationships. 

It is outrageous that Mr. Trump continues to offer groundless excuses for his refusal to disclose his returns. As confirmed by the Internal Revenue Service, and contrary to the president’s assertions, a taxpayer under audit is free to release his returns, and in 1973 President Nixon actually did so. (Actually, it’s not even clear Mr. Trump is under audit, as he has offered no documentation of such.) 

During the campaign, Trump promised if elected to release his returns, but now erroneously claims the public isn’t interested in them. According to a recent Washington Post-ABC poll, 74 percent of Americans, including 53 percent of Republicans, want his tax returns made public. 

We are left to ask: What is the president hiding? 

The public will learn the answer if Congress adopts legislation introduced by Senators Murphy and Wyden that would require all presidents, including Mr. Trump, to release tax returns. At least where future candidates are concerned, we don’t have to wait for Congress to act. Under a bill (S-26) recently introduced in the New York Senate, and aptly named The TRUMP (Tax Returns Uniformly Made Public) Act, the names of presidential candidates would not appear on the New York ballot without the previous disclosure of tax returns. Other states, including Hawaii, Massachusetts, California, and New Mexico, are also taking up this cause. 

As the public continues to demand that the president release his tax returns, I hope we will also urge our state and federal legislators to act on the bills previously mentioned. An informed public is the hallmark of a healthy democracy. 

AMY TURNER

 

Focus on the Realities

East Hampton

January 29, 2017

To the Editor:

The first week of the Trump presidency had a surreal quality that baffles the perception of normalcy and comfort. Unnerving as they were, the variety of executive orders, tweets, and papal pronouncements demonstrated a level of incomprehension and overt racism that staggers the imagination. If we pass on the obsession with the crowd size, the tweets about S.N.L., the senseless bravado at the C.I.A., and focus on the realities of Mexico, Russia, NATO, immigration, and trade, surreal becomes very scary.

Trump’s executive orders leave the distinct impression that he and his cohorts are recent escapees from an institution for the mentally impaired.

The “wall” is all about race, and is a complete fake. Mexicans returning to their homeland far outnumber those coming to the United States. Building a wall won’t stop illegal immigration, as per every living authority on the subject. It will be a symbol of stupidity, arrogance, and racism. Who pays for it is egotistic drivel. The 20-percent tariff guarantees Americans will pay for it and destroys the economic relationship between the U.S. and all of our neighbors built up over the last century (always to our advantage).

Conceptually, it is a moronic and irrelevant issue, designed as a sedative for people who live with their heads up their butts — an oxycodone moment.

Russia and sanctions again boggles the mind. Trump’s obsession with the megalomaniacal dictator is weird. With the huge uproar around Russian hacking and interfering with the election, why would the question of sanctions be raised, unless it was a payback for something? Russia fabricated the Chechnya fiasco (pure racism); aided in the Syrian genocide, and took over Crimea, and we are going to reward it by lifting sanctions? It’s like giving your kid a new car for burning down the garage.

NATO is our most important ally. We created it to protect ourselves from the Soviet Union. As NATO expands eastward, it provides a bigger barrier. The more countries it encompasses, the less likely they will go to war with each other. If we make NATO 10 percent stronger, it makes the U.S. 30 percent safer, a real simple deal to understand. War is always a disaster. No one ever really wins. Talking about NATO dues is a simpleminded exercise in pulling ones pud.

Trade is an incredibly complex issue that has taken centuries to establish and is constantly in flux. We are affected on every level, and so we tend to look at the aggregate, or macro, benefits of trade. Long-term effects and how they are dealt with is always the question. NAFTA, for example, is a huge positive for the U.S., and also for Mexico and Canada. Yet without the mobility of the labor force, certain groups were disadvantaged by the pact. If NAFTA didn’t exist, the negative effects of trade would have taken more time before they took place.

By the time NAFTA passed, the U.S. economy was well into the process of marginalizing groups of workers. From Reagan through Bush, this was viewed as collateral damage. Obama’s attempts to alleviate the pain were thwarted by the Republican Congress. Jobs gone from trade or technology aren’t coming back. Talking about NAFTA is like treating cancer with aspirin. Again, simpleminded crap for people who don’t know better.

The Trump ban on Muslims from seven countries, supported by Republicans, is so profoundly and unnecessarily stupid that it makes everything else seem negligible. In the most vetted immigration country in the world by 10 times, one that has had no internal attacks from foreign nationals since 2001, Trump executes an executive order? Trump’s executive order has no basis in reality, outside of showing the world that we are a nation of dumb racist pigs and we are bloody proud of it. What has changed in the past week that merits this action? How bloody sick are Trump and his co-conspirators?

There is a growing concern that our new president is psychologically unstable, bereft of common sense and real intuition about how the world functions. His first week in office confirms these observations and raises the question about taking the appropriate steps to deal with this internal threat to our nation’s security.

NEIL HAUSIG