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Letters to the Editor: 01.23.20

Wed, 01/22/2020 - 11:32

Rare Landscape
East Hampton
January 14, 2020

To the Editor:

The recent enactment of a federal law that can help preserve Plum Island, off Orient Point, rather than sell it off for development can lead to exciting and important benefits well beyond the better known prospects: that the public may one day take guided walks on the island, visit Fort Terry’s remains, learn about how Native Americans lived on the island years ago, and take in rare wildlife. For example, the schools of fish that teem in Plum Island’s waters support the Western Hemisphere’s largest colony of endangered roseate terns, due in part to the lack of development on most of Plum Island. With more than 100 at-risk species, the island is an ecological treasure for both people and nature.

This rare landscape will be even more important later this century. Scientific studies show that as our seas rise, Plum Island’s freshwater marsh will almost certainly become a tidal salt marsh. Tidal marshes are critical to many bird and marine species that depend on marshes for nesting and foraging.

Over the past 15 months, the Nature Conservancy has been pleased to co-lead a planning process for the future of Plum Island with a key partner, Save the Sound. The final report will be released in the next few months. Our team also advocated in Washington, D.C., for the measure you described in “No Auction for Plum Island” (Jan. 9), staying the federal government’s marketing and sale of the island for one year. Pausing the sale may allow for an agreement to conserve the island.

The Nature Conservancy will continue our work as part of the Preserve Plum Island Coalition to make saving Plum Island a reality. Preserving this special place is important for all of Long Island — for our people, our wildlife, and our unique landscape that stretches to the coasts of Connecticut and Rhode Island. If you’d like to join the effort to Save Plum Island, thank your members of Congress for supporting the conservation of Plum Island through the federal budget process, and urge them to permanently save Plum Island next session.

NANCY KELLY

Long Island Chapter Director

The Nature Conservancy


Small Presence
Amagansett
January 20, 2020

Dear Mr. Rattray:

I will be outside East Hampton Town Hall tomorrow from 9 a.m. until noon, for week four (Greta Thunberg week 75) of Fridays for Future/Fridays for Climate Change.

Week three was the first week a few people came and stood with me and held signs for the passing motorists. Deputy Supervisor Sylvia Overby was outside Town Hall for a while, but it was very cold; wind chills were in the single digits. I was also joined by Jess, Mikala, and J.B. Jess and Mikala stayed for a couple of hours until we stopped at around noon

We made our small presence known, pondered some relevant issues, talked, and shared time. This continues to be a growing global movement, and I invite and encourage everyone to join. The initial goal is to simply raise awareness of the crisis, the issues, and the science. The more people we have aware and making noise, the louder that noise can be. There are many things we need to change nationally and globally.

Every day we fail to act more than

800 billion pounds of carbon dioxide are dump­ed into our atmosphere. Sadly, there are still people who think this is not a problem or crisis. They’re wrong. This is not going to go away by not paying attention to it.

Together we can achieve anything we can conceive. This is about our children’s children’s children. Please stand and be counted on the right side of history.

HARRY LAGARENNE


Available Now
Springs
January 16, 2020

To the Editor:

Look around and you will see California burning. Australia is ablaze. There is drought everywhere and floods everywhere else. Climate change and climate-caused disaster is here today. We don`t have years and years to decide what to do. The wind farm might not be the best solution, but it is available now to help solve our electric power shortage problem. We have to do what we can do now. We cannot afford to wait.

Yours truly,

SUSAN WINKLER


False Narrative
East Hampton
January 20, 2020

Dear Editor,

In the Jan. 16 edition of The East Hampton Star several unfortunate letters to the editor were published from people who are against Deep­water/­Eversource/Orsted’s wind project cable landing at Beach Lane in Wainscott.

The letters were unfortunate because they were inaccurate. To correct the record:

Win With Wind had nothing to do with a recent newspaper ad that called out the Wainscott group for Nimbyism and questioned the funding source of a campaign of negative internet ads all designed to defeat the South Fork Wind Farm.

You can rest assured that if the ad was from Win With Wind, you’d know because in our ads we clearly identify ourselves. You can even find our names at winwithwind.org.

Our recent ad was quite different from the ad incorrectly attributed to us. The title of our ad was, “Don’t be Fooled. Facts Matter.”

And the facts are that a 4.1-mile, underground, onshore route for a cable from Wainscott to the substation at Cove Hollow Road makes less of an impact on the residents of East Hampton Town than a Hither Hills landing site, which would be 11.9 miles and cause significant disruption to the Main Streets of Amagansett and East Hampton Village.

We believe the citizens of Wainscott have been sold a false narrative. First, the wind project would require work for only one winter season in Wainscott, while the Hither Hills route would require two winters. Second, the project would actually improve the landscape on Beach Lane because in the proposed benefits package is a line item for removing the utility poles and burying the electric transmission and communication lines. Remember how important it was for us not so long ago to “Bury the Lines”?

The climate crisis is upon us, and the consequences to our community will be extremely disruptive. The time is late for all of us to face reality and do what is necessary to begin the transition to clean, renewable energy.

Sincerely,

MICHAEL HANSEN


Win With Wind
All the Time
Noyac

January 16, 2020

To the Editor,

It seems to me there is an enormous amount of time being wasted on the controversy over bringing a cable from the proposed Orsted wind farm onto land at a site in Wainscott.

If East Hampton Town truly wants to have a wind farm as a source of nonpolluting energy, all the town has to do is give Orsted permission to bring a cable under the beach, up to a public road, and bury it under the road. Other public utilities do it all the time. Residents do not have to give their permission.

The fact that a few residents are able to stall the whole project is incredible to me.

Yours truly,

JANET GROSSMAN


Cable Options
Springs
January 20, 2020

Dear David,

The vast majority of our residents have demonstrated their support for the South Fork Wind Farm to install 15 wind power turbines serving as another source of clean energy for 70,000 homes. However, the sea-to-shore cable landing in Wainscott seems to have met serious resistance and confusion from that hamlet.

So let’s step back and take a realistic view of the three current public options for the location of the cable route landing.

One, do nothing and stand by with our children and grandchildren to watch the continuing assault of global warming and sea level rise from the continuous use of dirty fossil fuel emissions.

Two, insist that the cable route land in Montauk, blasting through the primary dune system that protects us from encroaching sea level rise. Plow along the fragile low-lying wetlands on the Napeague stretch. Then interrupt pe­des­trians and businesses in the heart of Amagansett and East Hampton villages as the construction is buried along Route 27, disrupting our main travel corridor. This cable route is 11.9 miles and will take two years to complete.

Third, land deep underneath the beach at Beach Lane in Wainscott, bury the cable six feet along Beach Lane until reaching Route 27, then dig the cable under the width of Montauk Highway and extend the cable route along the Long Island Rail Road tracks to the East Hampton substation hookup. This cable route is 4.2 miles, the shortest on-land distance, and will only take one year to complete. For these reasons it is the top choice.

This commitment is one of the most important responsibilities of this century. Once again, our community has been asked to lead the way for a healthy, clean planet. Support the best South Fork Wind Farm landing at Beach Lane in Wainscott.

Sincerely,

DEBRA B. FOSTER


Charging Stations
Brooklyn
January 16, 2020

To the Editor:

Kudos to the Town of East Hampton for approving the installation of electric vehicle fast-charging stations in Montauk!

As a Tesla Model 3 owner, I will be more confident to do the long drive to Montauk knowing that I will be able to quickly charge my car there.

Wider availability of fast-charging stations like this is key to wider adoption of electric vehicles, a necessity to combat the climate crisis. Tailpipe emissions account for over a third of New York State’s total greenhouse gas emissions, more than any other single source. Electricity is already a much less polluting fuel than gasoline, and in the years to come much of the East End’s electricity will be generated carbon-free from offshore wind.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has committed New York to a carbon-free future, but we also need local leadership. As aptly pointed out by Linda James, the former chairwoman of the Town of East Hampton’s energy sustainability and resiliency committee, charging stations “are no longer a luxury item”; they are a necessary contribution to maintaining the town’s transportation infrastructure. Hear, hear!

STEPHANIE DOBA


Emergency Call
Amagansett
January 20, 2020

Dear David:

Once again our town police came to my rescue.

Officer Andrew Nimmo was kind, calm, and so very helpful to this 86-year-old woman (me) in distress and in tears, of course, without heat or electricity on the coldest day of the year.

By the time I called the police for help, I was popping nitros with chest pains. One thing had led to another. (It all started with trying to get the TV to work.) Every fix-it thing I tried made it worse — no electric current, therefore no heat. Only ceiling light worked, no computer, no land phones.

Thank goodness for our town police, who I was able to reach because I had already charged my cellphone. In the over 50 years here in town they were always there when needed. Officer Andrew Nimmo not only fixed it all, but also showed me how to reset things when that happens.

God bless Officer Nimmo, and our town police and the woman dispatcher in the department who took my emergency call, which she had to understand through my loud sobs.

God bless East Hampton Town.

A simple thank-you doesn’t say enough in gratitude.

LONA RUBENSTEIN


Further Research
East Hampton
January 14, 2020

To the Editor,

I am writing regarding the most recent kerfuffle within the British royal family. I am of course referring to the four children of Queen Elizabeth II, Charles, Anne, Andrew, and Edward.

As a student of both ruling families of Europe going back several hundred years, and to a lesser extent genetics, I feel I am qualified to make the following observations. Each of the four children of the current queen has characteristics and behavior that can only be described as out of the ordinary.

You can do your own research as to the romantic and matrimonial adventures of each of the children: Marriages that do not last long and, when they end, they are not amicable, where names such as Fergie and the unfortunate Diana come to mind. The current scandal involving Prince Andrew also is another example of this trend.

Anne and Andrew’s situations call for further research. After consulting with others in the field of genetics of what may happen when cousins marry, the results may skip several generations before surfacing. I believe they will be studied for years to come. I believe the queen realizes this, and for that reason, even at age 93, refuses to step aside and let her eldest son, who is over 70 years old, ascend the throne as king.

KEN SARREL


Alphabetically
Springs
January 21, 2020

Dear David,

As a teenager, I read an article in The New Yorker about living one’s life alphabetically. I have long forgotten the article but I did take it to heart. I arise as each day begins, and go immediately to breakfast.

As for “C,” I have loved cats every day (and not just after breakfast). I cannot remember my original “D,” “E,” or “F,” but a long time ago they became dog, exercise, and, I think, food (it’s my restaurant background). I cannot remember “G” or “H” and God help me if I keep forgetting.

Nor can I remember the “I,” “J,” or “K,” though I often spent time in the kitchen preparing lunch for me and Pamela, my girlfriend (now my wife). Maybe the “I” had to do with the ideas I liked to talk about at lunch, and I did read journals as well. But I went in and out on the academic, and I preferred to just eat Jam in the Kitchen as Pamela often does.

After lunch I still get the mail, which I read just before I take a nap. And for the past two decades I go online after I get up from my nap.

Exactly 50 years ago this week, I met the woman named Pamela Bicket who became my lifelong companion and wife. After meeting Pamela, my alphabetical life changed: All my loves and interests began with “P.”

Philosophy, then photography. Photography became a part-time activity when I bought a piano and practiced night and day. After several years of academic thinking, I realized that philosophy does not solve our problems, so I replaced it with poetry. I still love all the “Ps” I mentioned, but they have always for me been second-place “Ps” to Pamela.

In the last decade, living with Pamela in East Hampton, I decided to enter politics. We wanted to help people. Politics however turned out to be a very complicated “P.”

Obviously, I am stuck on “P,” and it does cause hardships. Since I can no longer get to “Zzzzz,” I do not sleep well anymore. I can never get past “P” to take Pamela on a Quiet, Restful, Summer Trip. Fortunately, we have a passion to visit Paris, where we lived for many years. I do especially love the Parisian pastry. However, I cannot publicly discuss all of my passions with Pamela in Paris.

I still love all the “Ps” that Pamela inspired, especially photography and piano. But my favorite is to be with Pamela in Paris with passion. There, the lunch is superb, but the “L” becomes Love.

ZACHARY COHEN


Very First Step
East Hampton
January 20, 2019

Dear Editor,

On Monday, the world will observe International Holocaust Remembrance Day. The date marks 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Hit­ler’s largest death camp.

A key question facing historians is how could an enlightened society that produced our civilization’s greatest phil­osophers, poets, and composers also produce its most notorious mass murderers? How could it get millions of ordinary citizens to go along? Was the Holocaust a peculiarly German phenomenon, or are other enlightened societies capable? Why are we Americans willing to subsidize unspeakable atrocities in our own factory farms and slaughterhouses?

Jewish Nobel laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer concluded that: “To the animals, all people are Nazis.” His message was that we are all capable of oppressing the more vulnerable sentient beings in our midst, frequently without giving it a second thought.

Indeed, our own enlightened society has translated the arbitrary Nazi dictum “the Christian lives, the Jew dies” into an equally arbitrary “the dog lives, the pig dies.” Only the victims’ names have been changed. The blissful ignorance of death camps and slaughterhouses in our midst remains.

On the long road to end all oppression our very first step must be to drop animals from our menus.

Sincerely,

ELIJAH HANNESBURG


Fishing Ban
East Hampton
January 15, 2020

Dear Editor,

A Jan. 12, 2020, article in The L.A. Times summarized why a federal court continued the long-line fishing ban off the California coast. Like many other decisions regarding long-line bans, the justification was bycatch: leatherback sea turtles, which are one of the many unintended catches of long-line fishing, was the justification for the continued ban in California. Oddly enough, a July 21, 2019, article in Newsday about the Montauk commercial fishing industry promoted local long-line fishing as though it was something to be proud of.

Like long-line fishing, gillnetting is utilized locally even though it has been banned in many states as well as around the world. Gillnetting was banned because of bycatch; it is known to kill many species other than the intended catch. A July 18, 2019, article in The East Hampton Star summarized many of the consequences of gillnetting.

Isn’t it past due for the local fishing industry to voluntarily remove long lines and gillnets from their fishing arsenal? Wouldn’t it be the right thing to do from a variety of perspectives?

RANDY JOHNSTON


Tall Tales
Malverne
January 20, 2020

Dear Editor:

One would think that after reportedly being court ordered to pay $100,000 for making libelous statements against his former employer, a canned hunting facility where Dell Cullum apparently admitted to riling up domestic animals by chasing them with a four-wheeler to excite hunters and fool them into thinking the animals were wild, Mr. Cullum would have learned to stop telling tall tales. However, history seems to be repeating itself, with Dell continuing to mislead the public into believing

domestic animals are wild and again making fictitious statements, this time against concerned citizens and reputable rescue organizations.

 I would appreciate it if The East Hampton Star would stop publishing incoherent rants that serve no purpose other than to spread misinformation and incite lawlessness. Abandoning domestic fowl is a misdemeanor in New York State. This is not up for debate.

Sincerely,

JOHN DI LEONARDO

Executive Director

Long Island Orchestrating for Nature


Standard of Care
New York City
January 20, 2020

To the Editor,

I am shocked at the extent of the misrepresentations and lies within recent articles and letters to the editor concerning the rescue of domestic ducks in East Hampton Village over the past several months. Such statements can be attributed only to ignorance and misinformation at best, and libel at worst.

I am a wildlife rehabilitator with degrees in biology and law. I can assure readers that there is no dispute that domestic and non-native animals should not be introduced into native ecosystems. This holds true from a biological, ethical, animal-welfare, legal, and environmental perspective.

Like our companion and farm animals, ducks and geese were domesticated by humans thousands of years ago. These years of breeding resulted in animals vastly different from their wild counterparts, just as domestic dogs are different from wolves. Bred for either egg or meat production, they have large bodies and small wings, rendering them flightless and unable to escape predators or to find open water or food should the ponds freeze, partially or in full, in winter. Along with the fact they are raised in incubators rather than by their mothers, they have minimal survival skills and readily fall victim to attack from predators. Even if the ponds stay open and domestic ducks are fed, the conditions are still inappropriate.

I have rescued domestic ducks from such situations and they are nonetheless severely underweight, due to their larger body size requiring more than double the calories of wild birds, and they are frequently sick or injured. It is a painful and miserable existence for a domestic duck, no matter how “ideal” the conditions. Domestic ducks often freeze alive in patches of frozen pond, tragically losing their lives or their mates, having to fight every second to barely survive. Their experience is in no way akin to the wild ducks that may also live on these ponds.

The Ladies Village Improvement Society Nature Trail Committee, clearly the pre-eminent authority on domestic waterfowl and their physiology and psychology, claims that these animals are “just fine” and expects us all to listen. Or consider instead Mr. Cullum’s assessment, based on whether the ducks are “smiling!” (For those who may not be aware, ducks do not demonstrate their joy or lack thereof via changes in mouth or beak shape.)

But just because a few local laypersons do not recognize this suffering does not mean it is not happening. By this logic, were a golden retriever dumped by a negligent owner, the dog should be forced to live in the elements, without access to shelter, proper food, or veterinary care. The Nature Trail is not a “sanctuary,” as Ms. Benson brazenly claims in her letter to the editor, and calling it such tarnishes the name of actual animal sanctuaries. Sanctuaries provide indoor and outdoor predator proofing, shelters, and veterinary care to their animals. Appreciating the “pretty ducks” and feeding them “poultry feed” does not a sanctuary make. In fact, this level of care is sheer neglect, even under New York State’s lax animal cruelty laws.

When introduced into nature, non-native species are disruptive to natural ecosystems, which rely on the migratory behavior of wild ducks and geese, as well as the natural recovery period that comes with their absence. Non-native species can also spread disease to the wild birds. Should these domestic ducks and geese breed with wild birds, their offspring will likely be flightless as well, further disrupting the pond ecosystem and exposing the young to the same dangers as their domestic parent. In fact, peer-reviewed scientific studies have confirmed that those invasive birds with the highest negative impact on ecosystems are, in fact, waterfowl, as they have the highest impact on biodiversity and chemically impact the ecosystems in which they are introduced.

The National Park Service has similarly recently documented the threats from invasive species and the critical part they play in the loss of native biodiversity.

Mr. Cullum’s letters to this paper conveniently vacillate between whether particular birds were wild or domestic, depending on the argument he was trying to make at the time. There is no debate that the birds rescued from East Hampton were domestic. I saw the alleged “mallard with melanism.” This was a domestic duck. I am sorry, Mr. Cullum, that you have been deprived of exploiting this animal “as [a] learning subject for children and adults.” But this was your loss, not the bird’s. Ms. Benson’s accusations of dishonest fund-raising were equally meritless — she is clearly not familiar with the cost of veterinary care, where care for a single injured bird can easily cost thousands of dollars.

At least two of the ducks rescued from this location over the recent months were sick and injured, while many others were emaciated. Their prolonged and unnecessary suffering is on the hands of the “The Ladies” and Mr. Cullum, who shamelessly used their positions for their own selfish pursuits and pleasures. Had these birds died, their deaths would also have been on their hands. But then again, Mr. Cullum and “The Ladies” would have concocted another tall tale to continue to distort the truth.

Contrary to allegations, no animal was “hit in the head with poles,” no one was “injured” as a result of this rescue. To allege otherwise is malicious. Shame on those who spoke out on an issue they know little to nothing about, those who in a selfish rage jeopardized a reputable 501(c)(3) nonprofit’s ability to rescue abandoned, sick, and injured animals, and raise vital funding to care for them. Perhaps Mr. Cullum would like to pay any damages he caused when naive readers and potential donors decided against donating to this nonprofit as a result of his published untruths? It requires incredible skill, speed, experience, and strength to catch these animals, but none of this means it was cruel or anything other than the exercise of the standard of care for this work.

This rescue was backed by the police, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and experienced waterfowl rescuers and licensed rehabilitators. Not a single reputable animal welfare, rescue, rehabilitation clinic or other relevant authority has come out against it. It speaks volumes that the only opposition comprises misinformed, resentful, disgruntled locals, who pose as more know­ledgeable than professionals, but in reality just want to exercise total control over this land and enjoy the “pretty, pretty birds,” suffering be damned.

These ducks were not the property of East Hampton, and the community has not been “robbed” of them. These birds were here only as the result of an illegal act of animal cruelty. “The Ladies” and Mr. Cullum did nothing to help them, and worse, opposed their rescue while slandering a reputable rescue group.

Thank you to Long Island Orchestrating for Nature and Ms. Bambrick, who have suffered tremendous attacks at the hands of the minority opposition for putting the lives of animals before their own. These birds now have received the veterinary care they so desperately needed and have been placed in responsible sanctuaries, where they will continue to receive the care they need and be treated as the individuals they are, not as a means of decoration or amusement for a few misguided residents of East Hampton.

JESSICA ZAFONTE


Double Spin
East Hampton
January 20, 2020

Dear David,

Go, East Hampton Village Zoning Board of Appeals!

Your article “A Heated Back and Forth” made for great reading. Over the last few months there have been a few articles on how the zoning board has been pushing back. It’s great to see that there is some local government body trying to keep our neighborhoods in check against the onslaught from the west. Ms. Marigold [Lys] is doing a great service to the village, unlike her counterpart Mr. Goldstein. There was nothing better than listening to the double spin he put on the conversation, and the “feeling in the village” is very important. Those feelings come from the people who live there, not a bunch of part-timers. So, go team.

Yours to command,

JEFFREY PLITT


City Values
Springs
January 20, 2020

Dear Editor,

The New York City Democratic majority in the State Legislature, as part of the 2019-20 New York State budget, passed criminal justice reforms. The reforms are extensive, eliminating pretrial detention and cash bail for 90 percent of arrests, amending the discovery and speedy trial process, and changing civil asset forfeiture.

The proponents such as Khalil Cumberbatch, with the advocacy group New Yorkers United for Justice, cite the restoration of “fairness to a system that treats low-income residents and people of color more harshly than wealthy or white New Yorkers.” Although a snapshot of New York State revealed that  New York State has a lower incarceration rate compared to the average state.

Before the enactment of criminal justice reform, judges had to weigh three considerations: the defendant’s family ties and length of residence in the community, the weight of evidence against the defendant, and the sentence that may be imposed upon conviction.

The new law mandates the release of any person arrested for assault in the third degree, aggravated vehicular assault, aggravated assault upon a person less than 11 years old, criminally negligent homicide, aggravated vehicular homicide, manslaughter in the second degree, unlawful imprisonment in the first degree, coercion in the first degree, arson in the third and fourth degree, grand larceny in the first degree, criminal possession of a weapon on school grounds or criminal possession of a firearm, criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first and second degree, criminal sale of a controlled substance in the first and second degree, criminal sale of a controlled substance in or near school grounds, specified felony drug offenses involving the use of children, including the use of a child to commit a controlled substance offense and criminal sale of a controlled substance to a child, criminal solicitation in the first degree and criminal facilitation in the first degree, money laundering in support of terrorism in the third and fourth degree, making a terroristic threat, patronizing a person for prostitution in a school zone, promoting an obscene sexual performance by a child, possessing an obscene sexual performance by a child, promoting a sexual performance by a child, failure to register as a sex offender, obstructing governmental administration in the first and second degree, obstructing governmental administration by means of a self-defense spray device, bribery in the first degree, bribe giving for public office, bribe receiving in the first degree, promoting prison contraband in the first and second degree, resisting arrest, hindering prosecution, tampering with a juror and tampering with physical evidence, aggravated harassment in the first degree, directing a laser at an aircraft in the first degree, criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, criminal sale of a firearm to a minor, enterprise corruption and money laundering in the first degree, aggravated cruelty to animals, overdriving, torturing, and injuring animals, failure to provide proper sustenance, and animal fighting.

The downsides are fourfold. Thousands of currently incarcerated defendants have been released; the criminal justice system becoming a revolving door where repeat offenders are arrested released commit new crimes only to be re-released; the trampling of victims’ rights, especially in sex offenses, by the disclosure of information, and the unfunded costs passed on to municipalities for the processing of disclosure rules.

As is often the case, strict adherence to city Democratic Party political ideology might work in New York City, but it does not work here. Locally we must resist the push by the New York City and East Hampton Democratic Party to march in lockstep with one party ideology. I believe we can agree New York City values are not East Hampton values. East Hampton is not the suburbs or an extension of New York City.

The East Hampton Republican Committee is the local party dedicated to working families, a living wage, environmental conservation, equality, diversity, and economic development for all. We believe in bipartisan solutions, regardless of financial status or political party affiliation. Access to the government should not be based on what you can afford or how much you donate to a national or local political party. Town government should be fair, equitable, open, and transparent to all.

Come and check us out at our next monthly meeting. We will not judge, nor will we demand that you follow a national, state, or New York City political doctrine. Let us work together for a better East Hampton for all.

MANNY VILAR

Chairman

East Hampton Town

Republican Committee


Just Conjecture
Water Mill
January 14, 2020

To the Editor,

I’m so thrilled to have an editorial writer on the East End that knows more about foreign policy than the president, his cabinet, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“Among his greatest blunders” was the first line of the editorial (Jan. 9). That statement is not only biased, but could take quite a while to be proved true, if ever.

Such downright hatred for the leader of the free world must be all consuming. Facts ignored and just conjecture is the only thing in this person’s favor. Protecting our citizens is the primary duty of the president.

Maybe a therapist should be retained by the writer, as his deep-down misery is clearly a problem.

You do not know what the president does. Let him do his job.

Good luck,

BARRY SMITH


Same Sound Reason
Wainscott
January 20, 2020

Dear David,

You write of “Consequences Feared” related to the killing of the leading Iranian terrorist. You label this a blunder by the president and acting on “impulse”? Did you paint the killing of bin Laden with the same brush? Did the 400 drone attacks ordered by Obama have congressional approval? How would you label Operation Vengeance, on April 18, 1943? What were the consequences feared by that implementation of such an amazing feat? Did not the prior murder of 2,345 Americans require that response? His demise was for the same sound reason.

The history of deadly attacks by the Iranians, the largest sponsor of worldwide terrorism, is long littered with the death of more than 600 American warriors and the thousands maimed by the I.E.D.s that were developed, organized, and implemented at the direction of this savage.

Ask the widows and families and children if enemy generals are fair targets, as their loved ones were?

You fail to mention the 1,500 Iranians who were just demonstrating for demo­cracy who were slaughtered and the beatings administered by his minions on those protesting the killing of the civilians on the Ukrainian Airlines attack. How much of the $1.3 billion in cash, loaded on unmarked planes in the middle of the night and flown to the mullahs? Certainly not for humanitarian reasons. The $400 million paid as a bribe to get the hostages released? No other president ever paid a ransom?

The upward of $150 billion in sanction relief as a bribe to have the “deal,” not a treaty mind you, to be signed? With only a 10-year expiration date? According to a news program in 2016, did not Secretary of State Kerry remark, “I think some of the money may wind up in the hands of the IRGG [Islamic Revolutionary Guard]? “Death to America” was uttered as they put ink to paper.

Blunders? Let us start with Operation Fast And Furious cash payments and the murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry. The massive cover-up and the still “in contempt of congress” of the then-attorney general?

Then we have the infamous “red line” drawn over the gas attacks by Assad on innocent Syrian civilians. The second gas attacks. Despite the so-called red line” drew zero response, leading to rapid growth of the ISIS Caliphate. The idiotic rules of engagement order. Then, with the new administration, a third gas attack brought retaliation and guess what? No more gas attacks.

This was an attack on the U.S. Embassy, a sovereign U.S. territory, and Su­l­ei­mani, who was not even in Iran but seen outside the U.S. Embassy walls during the attack. This vicious murderer was certainly not looking for a Dunkin’ Donuts. It was a surgical strike and this was not going to be another Benghazi that cost the lives of the U.S. ambassador and brave Americans. Yet help was just minutes away. So who ordered the standdown? Who paraded Susan Rice out to all the TV media, with the blatant lies about some video?

Then the cold-blooded Hillary Clinton angrily shouting, “At this point what difference does it make?” Their families will tell you for sure. How was the selling of 20 percent of our uranium production to Putin allowed, certainly not without the approval of the president.

The mullahs were warned that if you kill Americans. The response will be swift, and it was. Our so-called local history writer is hand wringing over the decisive action to eliminate the leading terrorist, drags skin color and religion to defend Iran? Surprisingly, he didn’t insert his often-vulgar vocabulary in this week’s letter to a family newspaper.

So, David, the leftist progressive leanings don’t allow you to give credit where credit is due?

ARTHUR J. FRENCH


Droned General
Amagansett
January 20, 2020

Dear Editor:

Last week the letters section of The Star contained the usual left-wing fluff letter from the prolific writer whose letters appear weekly. He claimed poor Iran was targeted due to skin color and were not imbeciles who would go to war with the U.S.A.

When the flawed Iran nuclear deal was completed in 2015, Iran received $1.7 billion from Obama and well over $55 billion in sanction relief. Was this money used to help the poor people of Iran? No, it was used, under General Suleimani, to foster terrorism in numerous countries in the Middle East and to support the growth of ISIS.

The droned general was responsible for the deaths of over 600 U.S. soldiers by roadside I.E.D.s and the wounding of thousands more. In addition, he was responsible for the murders of thousands of his own protestors. He was deservedly taken out, just as Osama bin Laden was.

The leadership of Iran is composed of Islamic fundamentalists who are way more dangerous than imbeciles. The military has missiles capable of going over 1,200 miles, which blankets many neighboring countries. When they get nuclear weapons in five years (as per the deal) does anyone think the fundamentalist maniacs would hesitate to use them? These barbarians blow themselves up just to murder innocent people — why would they hesitate to use nuclear weapons to kill hundreds of thousands of innocents?

A few weeks ago this same person said the record economy of the U.S. was an “illusion.” In 2019 the S.&P. rose 29 percent, the Nasdaq 35 percent, and the Dow 22 percent. Unemployment is at 3.5 percent, and 401(k)’s are up. Wages are up. Food stamps are down. If this is an illusion, then I’m hallucinating all the way to the bank. No, the only illusion is the distorted history lesson this left-wing Eurocentric writer foists on the readers of The Star weekly and believes is fact.

BOB ELDI

Serious Stuff
East Hampton
January 17, 2020

To The Star:

When Trump announces that he will bring prayer back to school there is a strange twittering in many Christian churches — spasmodic, eye-rolling, de­lir­ium. School prayer is such a sick, demented idea that only Trump and his most deranged supporters think this is not another dumb scam to prey on the intellectual deficiencies of certain religious cretins. Which it obviously is.

Prayer is serious stuff that should not be trifled with by scheming politicians. Jesus told early Christians “that the kingdom of heaven is in all of us.” The institutional church abandoned that idea really fast, seeing it as a threat to their total control of the Christian population. They were, of course, spot on. Direct communication beats dealing through intermediaries. Especially those who tend to rob and rape in the rapture of God.

What attracts U.S. Christian groups to Trump is his total lack of morality and conscience when it comes to making a profit. They would love that simple, animalistic approach to business but they feel constrained by some biblical stuff that tells them that they have to tread carefully: wars, slavery, massacring native Americans, denying rights to women, the death penalty, etc., are no problem, but bloody, boldfaced capitalism is a challenge?

Do we really need to pray in school? We can pray anytime anywhere. Why institutionalize it? Which God are we praying too? How about another moment of silence for 9/11? None of these kids were alive then. Or one moment for the millions of dead Native Americans or slaves would be a good way to teach history? No?

If we really wanted to be better Christians we could stop selling arms to the Saudis, stop mass killings, cut back on our racism. School prayer is just more bullshit. Don’t we have enough?

NEIL HAUSIG


The Pledge
Plainview
January 17, 2020

Dear Editor:

In Nancy Pelosi’s House floor speech, supporting two articles of impeachment, the speaker noted that House members rise and pledge allegiance to the flag every morning they meet and added that “every day, all across America, children in schools” also pledge allegiance to the flag.” She then quoted the 31 words of the pledge: “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

During my 38 years as a teacher, I led third, fourth, and fifth grade in the same pledge aloud more than 5,000 times. It always bothered me that the last five words, “liberty and justice for all” have never been true — not in 1776, when Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence said, “all men are created equal,” nor in 1787, when our Constitution’s preamble promised to “establish justice” and “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity,” nor in 1892 when schoolchildren began reciting the pledge in schools.

Unfortunately, even today, we’re not as “perfect” a nation as we aspire to be; even though we have a president who believes his phone calls, along with everything else he says, Tweets, or does is “perfect.”

RICHARD SIEGELMAN


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