Start of the Day
May 17, 2021
To the Editor:
In this year of stasis I’ve developed a few habits that seem to suit me. I often get a good coffee and drive to one of our beaches where it is often possible to park with a direct view of the surf, and it makes for a fine start of the day. I also use my car sometimes as a personal concert hall, finding it a nice concentrated way to listen to music. And I sometimes read in the parked car. If the outdoor temperature is either too warm or too chilly the heating or air-conditioning systems in the vehicle can solve that. Of course using either entails keeping the engine idling.
I was in a spot to which I often gravitate recently, and a woman in the next vehicle asked if I could turn off my engine. I explained that then I would need to open the windows and the sound of my music would be heard. She quite reasonably asked why she should have to listen to my music. Of course she was right on all counts, and I moved to another slightly more remote spot.
I thought about this a bit and realized that simply serving my own desires was not the most constructive way to behave. I carry the bumper sticker that says, “We are all in the same boat.” Perhaps I should have put that sticker on my dashboard and have it as a reminder to myself rather than a pronouncement for others. And I’d like to say to that woman, “Thanks for the wake-up call.”
Above and Beyond
May 17, 2021
To the Editor,
My husband and I just got our first Covid-19 vaccination at the playhouse. I feel I have to thank all the workers who made this possible. What a helpful, friendly crew! Our special thanks to Dr. Richard Ashley, who went out of his way to assist my husband. Dr. Ashley went to my husband, who is disabled, and administered his injection, then he walked him to the elevator and stayed by his side till he left the building. Above and beyond attention. Thank you.
My vaccination was administered by Dr. Genereux, who said I’d feel a pinch. I ended up saying, “What pinch!” It was that painless.
All in all, this was a very thoughtful service and a million thanks to all involved.
May 17, 2021
I want to personally thank every individual who made the installation of Concerned Citizens of Montauk’s floating wetlands in Fort Pond possible this past weekend. Forty volunteers, including many residents living in the Fort Pond watershed, planted 7,200 plants into floating mats that are now anchored at two locations in the Pond. Their hard work will ultimately reduce the nutrient level of and address the seasonal harmful algal blooms in Fort Pond.
I’d also like to thank the East Hampton Town Police and Marine Patrol, East Hampton Town hatchery, Mickey’s Carting, Gurney’s Resorts, the Montauk Surfcasters, the Montauk Community Garden, BeeMats Floating Wetlands, and the East Hampton Town Community Preservation water quality improvement fund for their assistance. Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc, Councilman David Lys, and Kim Shaw, the director of the East Hampton Town Natural Resources Department, were all on site helping out and cheering us on. Everyone involved in the planning through to the installation went above and beyond and we are so incredibly grateful for the support and enthusiasm we have garnered in the Montauk community.
Concerned Citizens of Montauk
Collect and Link
May 15, 2021
This could drive one straight into the arms of Amazon.
May 9, 2021
To the Editor,
On Nextdoor.com, I see neighbors asking for recommendations for tick control companies. I totally get their desire to kill ticks, ugly and noxious critters as they are. But folks are operating under a dangerous illusion: Not only does spraying for ticks not work, it is threatening our very ability to grow pollinated crops (70 percent of the fruits and veggies we eat).
When you spray for ticks, you kill everything: bees, butterflies, and all manner of beneficial insects. We are in the middle of a major collapse in the foundation of our food web — insect populations have crashed by 75 percent worldwide.
When was the last time you had to clean off your windshield of insects? It’s been decades in my memory and that terrifies me. Think about what this means: Pollinator populations are dwindling; if you want to eat in the future, stop using pesticides. Also, got birds? Maybe not for so much longer. Three billion birds in North America have gone missing in the space of one lifetime. One big part of that is pesticides. And applying pesticides to the outdoors doesn’t work! No pesticides, including organic ones, control ticks, because ticks are the hardest to kill. They may be knocked down momentarily, but then they stroll right back in (and evolve quickly to resist pesticides).
Studies have shown that tick control does not, in fact, lessen the risk of a homeowner’s getting Lyme or other tick diseases. The best way to protect yourself (and our food system and the birds) is to treat yourself, not the outdoors. Apply picaridin to yourself and treat your outdoor clothing (shoes, socks, bottom of pants) once a season with permethrin. And do a tick check every time you come in from the outdoors. It’s cheaper than hiring a tick control company, way more effective — and will help keep our food chain intact for us and generations to come.
May 15, 2021
It’s the beginning of a new fishing year. The fish are migrating inshore and into the bays in great abundance, as I’m sure they have for thousands of years, to obey life’s function to feed and spawn. Fishermen are taking advantage of that abundance, as I’m sure they’ve done for hundreds of years.
May, June, and July is a good time for trappers, gillnetters, inshore trawlers, and sportfishermen, along with ospreys, terns, dolphins, seals, and everything else dependent on the bay. In August and September fish just hang out in the warm water lazing around exactly like the Hamptons tourists. Then in October, they gather and migrate offshore and fishermen do well again. It’s the natural rhythm of things. Except for the past few years, the October migration hasn’t happened. The ebb and flow of nature has been disrupted. Something caused the die-off to near extinction of the scallop and drove the fish from the bay. Oysters, in their millions on oyster farms, might be the tipping point.
We’ve been lied to about the absolute and unending environmental advantage of the oyster and told we can rely on the oyster to do it for us, but in reality, they don’t do as advertised. As a matter of fact, in the wrong place they’re an environmental hazard. But don’t ask me for credentials — I have none. Read for yourself. Here are two places, among many, with contrary opinions: blog.umass.edu, “How Farming Oysters Impacts the Ocean,” about a National Audubon Society lawsuit, and, closer to home, a University of Rhode Island master’s thesis by Chelsea Duball.
Describing Chelsea Duball’s master's thesis as a “contrary opinion” may be a stretch; her thesis analyzed nitrogen and carbon deposits in the soil below oyster-aquaculture sites, observing an increase in “opportunistic species,” such as marine worms, in those locations. The authors of the University of Massachusetts blog post noted studies, in part, showing a relationship between declining seagrass and oyster growing. They called for the establishment of marine-protected areas to offset these effects. Ed.
May 15, 2021
To the Editor,
The recent presentation by Harris Miller Miller and Hanson to the town board, on May 11, regarding flight operations and complaints at East Hampton Airport, showed an incomplete picture and a misleading conclusion. This annual presentation focused on the highest-volume months of the year, and in 2020 the report encompassed July 2 to Sept. 30, which showed large decreases in flight operations and complaints in 2020 vs. 2019 that were attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic. Limiting the presentation to the three busiest months of the year was never ideal and in a year like 2020 leads to less-than-useful results.
However, the consultant also submitted an analysis of the “Shoulder Season” (September and October) to the East Hampton Town Board (available on the East Hampton Town website) but for some reason did not reference this in their presentation. Operations for the two-month period jumped from 4,972 to 6,299, which is a 27-percent increase, and complaints grew from 11,736 to 15,159, which is a 29-percent increase. This seems to indicate that the decrease in July through September was a downward aberration due to Covid-19.
A further analysis of information gathered by the airport management advisory committee (and available on the East Hampton Town website) shows this upward trend in operations accelerating in the off-season, with total operations in the October through April period growing from 6,642 in 2019-20 to 10,906 in 2020-21, which is a 64-percent increase. Off-season operations in 2020-21 exceeded the totals in 2018-19 by an even greater number: 78 percent (6,126 in 2018-19 to 10,906 in 2020-21). Helicopter operations were 23 percent of the off-season 2020-21 total and showed an 81-percent increase from the prior year.
The monthly numbers may be smaller compared to the bulk of airport activity in July and August, but they point to a dramatic increase in the volume of activity and complaints at the airport for this summer and beyond. It is critical that the town incorporate these alarming trends as they contemplate the airport’s future.
No Mention Made
May 17, 2021
To the Editor,
The East Hampton Town Airport Economic Impact Closure Analysis presented at the May 11 town board meeting was noteworthy in lacking major cognizance, relevance, or objectivity. Future town board-planned diversion studies accepted and considered, the major purpose, as emphasized in its very title, was to assess the economic impact of airport closure on the entire Town of East Hampton. A thorough, unbiased. all-inclusive report on the total economic consequences to the entire geographic political structure, rather than concentrating on a preferred selection of airport locales and neighborhoods, while ignoring the major negative and economic issues that will affect more distant, but legitimate, areas of East Hampton Town Board responsibility.
While rhapsodizing on future parks, open spaces, and natural attractions that closure will bring to the local neighborhood, absolutely no mention was made of the opposite negative effects Montauk is sure to suffer.
Rising local airport-adjacent property values, all but guaranteed, though obviously related subsequent declines, for far more Montauk property owners, were conveniently ignored. Promises of present and future claimed airport-related health, ecological, and pollution issues now suffered by airport neighbors would all go away but, somehow, Montauk’s future inevitable susceptibility to these very same transferred problems were deemed [to have] unnecessary relevance.
The study confidently states closure will only have a relatively minor negative retail effect on the economic structure of the community. Accepted, but should not a townwide major, objective economic evaluation, include, or at the very least recognize, the very negative economic consequences to the dozens of Montauk hotels, motels, retail establishments, marinas, and thousands of tourist guests that can potentially occur if closure does happen, especially so if there is factual information recognizing the viability of that future occurrence? Even more important, should not a town board-sponsored report have the responsibility to recognize the potential damages that can occur to all major geographic segments of the legitimate taxpaying, voting population the report claims to represent?
The depressing and disappointing lack of comment by any of the five attending town board members in recognizing the absence of Montauk’s presence within the above presentation was also very apparent.
Could Be Strengthened
May 15, 2021
To the Editor:
Noise pollution caused by deliberately modified (souped-up) cars, trucks, and motorcycles is a national problem — a health and social problem just beginning to stir legislative, regulatory, and police responses. My letter last week might have framed horrendous noise from cars and trucks as a problem located at the intersection of Route 114 and Stephen Hand’s Path. Not so. Yes, cars and trucks, all day and night, roar out of the intersection accelerating to high speeds and with engine and muffler noise from a racetrack. But The New York Times reports: “For many other New Yorkers (apart from Mr. Rodriguez, a happy car owner earlier cited) — those trying to put babies down for the night [have] outdoor diners … anyone alarmed by tailpipes [modified to] sound like gunshots — the uptick in the roaring cars seems to compound the already frayed emotional state of the city in the wake of coronavirus.” (“Inside York’s Insanely Loud Car Culture,” Oct. 16, 2020.)
Under a headline, “The loudest cars ever tested from every segment,” Car and Driver (Feb. 20, 2021) explained that manufacturers are deliberately creating these cars to appeal to a culture among young male drivers. (How responsible is that?) Noise complaints aimed at modified cars and trucks driven like race cars have doubled and doubled again in the city — and in state after state.
Now, drag racers and spectators assemble not at racetracks but in parking lots and along less-traveled city streets. A messaging network is used to switch location at the last moment if the police get word of it. In New York City, more than 1,000 official complaints of drag racing were made over six months of last year — a nearly fivefold increase over the same period in 2019. (“Street Racing Surges Across US…,” Associated Press, May 14, 2021.
Some noise comes from car owners using modified straight tailpipes, which can make an exhaust system sound like gunshots. Others remove their mufflers, which loudens engine sound. (Daily Mail.com, October 19, 2020.) A video producer living in New York City, Stephen Parkhurst, 35, commented: “We are all in this [pandemic] together and then there are a bunch of people that don’t really seem to care and are causing people’s lives to be just a little worse.” A lot worse. Quiet homes along East Hampton traffic arteries are quiet no more, day or night. Do those thrilling to racetrack driving ever notice houses beside the road? With people upon whom they are other drivers inflict nerve-jarring noise every few minutes?
People routinely describe the problem of the cars and trucks as “noise terrorism.” Not quite, but other descriptions are “obnoxious,” “scary,” a “sort of horror,” “completely out of control,” and an “insult.” Reports appear in state after state, but heavily in California, Arizona, and New Mexico, with new influxes of immigrants.
A National Highway Traffic Administration report as early as September 1995 “attributed many of the unsafe roadway behaviors to habits that new arrivals bring from their countries of origin.” The report gave vivid examples of differences between driving in the United States and in source countries of origin. One comment was that “driving in Mexico is viewed as ‘survival’ of the fittest” and far more Mexican drivers ignore traffic lights, right of way, and other signs and signals … and bring their habits with them to the United States.”
Residents of New York City and nationwide complain that police departments act as though indifferent to noise problems. (Some people attribute that to the thinning of police forces resulting from Mayor de Blasio’s budget cuts, under pressure from factions like Black Lives Matter, to reduce law enforcement.) Since the 1970s, there have been federal laws against noise pollution, with quantifiable definitions of violations, but no apparent serious enforcement. In response to today’s unprecedented problems (including here in East Hampton), Senator Andrew Gounardes (D-Brooklyn) in S.9009 would set a 95-decibel limit for motorcycle exhaust and mufflers or 60 decibels for car mufflers and exhaust systems. Police vehicles would have to be equipped with a decibel reader. The maximum fine for loud exhaust would rise from $125 to $1,000. That might get attention — if enforced.
We are not talking about poor young fellas just driving their new, hard-earned cars. These are car and motorcycle owners who modify their vehicle to increase noise and other pollution levels. Other states are sponsoring legislation, too. The health effects, including damage to the hearing system, but also stress-related illness, anxiety, depression, and insomnia, for example, have been documented.
It is a health issue but also a matter of individual rights. Noise of the level we are discussing is an assault with measurable consequences. (Environmental Health Perspectives, Jan. 2005) Part of the problem is that we face a conflict of cultures. Some of that conflict reflects clashing national cultures (and not only Latino); other conflicts are between middle-class America and its indigenous countercultures. I hope that East Hampton police take the initiative, here, without waiting for the pressure of legislation and public anger to force action. New legislation is brewing, but laws already are on the books.
Also, East Hampton ordinances, which could be strengthened. What leaders in our town government will act, at last? Worried about the budget? Then how about just some signs? “Fines for Excessive Noise.” “Do Not Create Engine Noise Disturbance.” “Do Not Rev or Race Your Motor.”
East Hampton Village
May 17, 2021
Dear East Hampton Star,
Well here comes another summer full of noise and headache. As if it weren’t bad enough that we have city people here now year round thanks to Covid, and the bad behavior on our roads is worse than ever, the rampant construction goes on unabated. I have already complained via this space that there are two large additions to existing homes under construction on adjoining properties across from mine causing huge amounts of noise, not to mention a parking problem.
One project is within the existing footprint of the house but the other is almost doubling its footprint. Or that’s what it looks like. It’s as if they are building a second house onto the first one. The problem with this is that Egypt Close has a flooding problem. The village and town addressed this back in the early 1990s, but since then they seem to have forgotten why certain pieces of land should not be built on and that there was a stipulation that if a house was demolished and rebuilt, its footprint could not be enlarged. Three such projects have been undertaken since 2000 in my immediate vicinity and from what I can tell the footprints definitely exceed what was originally there.
The problem is one of runoff. When we have moderate to heavy rain, there are three dips in the road which flood badly. We are very close to the water table here and though all properties have had dry wells added for runoff, it’s just not enough. Dry wells still allow the water to return to the environment and no matter how slowly, it still contributes to the flooding. The land on which all the homes on Egypt Close were built was once a potato farm. Back in 1968 when our house was finished, there were only five houses, most of them small, and the road still flooded badly.
My mother often tells me about meeting the farmer whose family had owned the land before it was developed and he mentioned coming down to the dip by our house to feed the ducks which were swimming in the giant puddle. Actually, ecologically speaking, it’s what’s called a “vernal pond,” meaning that it was once a pond which formed only in spring and was once used by frogs, toads, and salamanders (including the endangered tiger salamander) as a place to mate and lay eggs. That was destroyed when the road came through and the pond was paved. Though it was still filled, the chemicals from the asphalt and the cars running over it made it toxic to any amphibians which might try to breed there. I don’t remember seeing any in my lifetime.
The problem is that nature is difficult to shrug off (Covid 19 is another example). Some years back, the village added to the drain system below the road bed and it worked for a while. But with all the new construction going on, the problem is back. The only reason it has not proved to be more troublesome is the change in weather-patterns caused both by loss of trees (trees actually attract and help clouds form) and the wider problem of climate change.
In short we have not had enough significant rain to cause the kind of flooding which I remember from my first 30 years of life. But climate change has another more insidious addition to the problem — the average sea level around the world is rising thanks to melting glaciers, primarily in Greenland and Antarctica. This means that our water table is constantly rising, meaning that it will take less and less water to trigger the flooding.
When it comes right down to it, I really couldn’t care less if the road near me floods. My home is on a rise which is high enough to keep it out of harm’s way. My neighbors may not be so lucky. The houses that theirs replaced used to have terrible problems with flooded basements even if the road itself did not flood badly. I’m waiting for a really bad storm to dump a real soaker on us to see if the new basements are as watertight as the builders claimed. I really don’t think they understood what the home would have to deal with. On one occasion when I was 7 or 8 years old, we had a week of solid, drenching rain. There was so much water in the road that a friend and I were able to take an inflatable boat and paddle around the houses on either side of the road. The water level was above the foundations and the basements of both homes were completely flooded. One house belonged to Gen. Harry Willard and his wife, Anne. I remember Anne seeing us from the kitchen window and asking us to bring her a zucchini and a couple of tomatoes from Harry’s garden (which was also under water).
Even before all this construction the road has been flooding badly enough to prevent leaving this end of the cul-de-sac. I’m not looking forward to hurricane season (then again, who does).
What also bothers me about the demolition I woke up to this morning is that the house being demolished has been rebuilt twice in the past 10 years! The first time was when new owners intended to rent the property to the summer crowd. The first renters were terrible neighbors as their kids left bicycles all over the road and were shocked when someone took them. They were also angry because two days after they moved in, the house next door underwent demolition beginning at 6 in the morning (this was before the noise ordinances were strengthened). Finally when one of the toilets backed up and caused a damaging flood, they simply abandoned the property, leaving the landlord to clean up the mess. The house had been so badly damaged that the entire inside had to be gutted and rebuilt. This all took place while two other rebuilds were underway — the one which annoyed the renters and the one directly across the street.
Last summer, I had to put up with two other construction sites, which, though not right next door, still affected my way of life deeply. One of these was the controversial new home off Egypt Lane, which was built on a lot which was subdivided from another property. Incidentally, I have a picture of that property from about 10 years ago when it was flooded badly enough for ducks to be able to swim comfortably.
By the way, I would like to take time to thank Krupinski Construction for being sympathetic to my feelings in terms of noise and parking problems. Of all the people who have done construction work on this street over the years, they have been the only ones to understand the impact they make on neighbors.
So in addition to the noise of gardening and lawn equipment, I face another summer of endless construction noise. It begs the question: Will I ever have a quiet summer again?
As a final note, I want to thank the village police for responding to my complaint this past Saturday of yardwork and construction continuing after 3 p.m. I think it’s shameful that the people making the noise either ignored the ordinance or didn’t know it existed — it’s been in effect for at least four years!
As always, thanks for reading.
May 14, 2021
You cannot make this stuff up! Every once in a while, elected officials are so clueless that they openly show their disdain for the very people who support and elect them. Last week Suffolk County Legislator Bridget Fleming, running for re-election to the Suffolk County Legislature this year, announced her candidacy for Congress next year. That’s right, while she is attempting to get re-elected, she has already announced she has no intention of fulfilling the term of the office she is running for; talk about a big “screw you” to everyone who voted for her!
This brings us to our local elections. We have a town board that underperforms day in and day out. One member lives in Florida more than East Hampton and has no plans to open a town hall to the community despite the reopening of New York.
Of course, as with every election, incumbents suddenly roll out proposals one after the other. So intricate are these solutions that they can only figure them out every election year. Oh, brother!
On Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Clubhouse, the East Hampton Town Republican Committee has a Campaign Kick-Off event with special guest Congressman Peter King. If you’re interested in attending call me at 631-324-0528 or email me at [email protected]. In this election, residents will have a natural choice to elect a town board that understands economics. It is time to vote for Ken Walles for supervisor, George Aman and Joe Karpinski for town council. Ken, George, and Joe understand that financial security is the foundation of a secure enlightened community that supports our young families, cherishes our seniors, is benevolent to those in need, and financially secures residents who need economic opportunities.
East Hampton Town
May 16, 2021
Last week, Councilman Jeff Bragman made three public declarations about his decision to leave early from a May 7 event at the Clubhouse featuring a performance by Jon Bon Jovi. The event recognized frontline workers and donated a large amount of money to Meals on Wheels and Project Most.
Mr. Bragman asserted that he left before dinner and the concert to avoid the appearance of being influenced by expensive gifts from the private sector. He first publicly raised this concern on May 9, when he posted about it on his campaign Facebook page, Jeff Bragman for East Hampton Town Supervisor. Then on May 10, he wrote a letter about it to this newspaper. And finally, he spoke about it at length during a town board work session meeting on May 11 that was live-streamed on LTV.
Taken together, these declarations unfortunately create the appearance that Mr. Bragman has co-opted the news about this wonderful event for his own political agenda. His public statements about the event were sadly filled with baseless innuendo about corruption and stepped right up to the line of disinformation about his fellow town board members.
But even in our post-Trump, fake news-laden world, facts still matter. And it’s important to note that although Mr. Bragman, an attorney, professed his concerns in three public forums, he chose not to privately raise those concerns with his fellow town board members prior to the actual event. If he had done so, he would have learned that the town board had gotten an interpretation and a ruling from the town attorney and from the ethics committee in advance of the event that cleared them to attend. Further, at the May 11 town board work session meeting, Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc was fully transparent when he responded to Mr. Bragman’s concerns by publicly offering to share a hard copy of the ethics committee ruling with any member of the public or press who would like to see it.
Mistruths are not always outright lies. Some are suggestions born out of the omission of facts interwoven with strategically posed questions. This second type of mistruths is insidious and can grow roots if not fact-checked. When we look past Mr Bragman’s political theater and at the actual facts surrounding the town board’s attendance at the Clubhouse event, a sad picture emerges of a political campaign moving in an all too familiar direction of negative attacks and disinformation. I hope that Mr. Bragman will reconsider his campaign strategy and focus instead on letting voters know what he has accomplished for the Town of East Hampton as a councilman for the past four years and what he will get done if elected supervisor.
‘You Built, They Came’
May 14, 2021
“Overdevelopment,” Mary Waserstein’s letter last week, was spot-on. Adding 50 more houses on Three Mile Harbor Road in such a densely populated busy area is not sensible. It’s curious why so much of the affordable housing in the town is relegated to a two-mile radius north of the highway. We have no sidewalks, just a broken-down foot path on one side of Three Mile Harbor Road and Oakview Highway, down the road apiece. You take your life into your hands going for a walk, strolling your babies, or cycling to work. Even though the neighborhoods around here are filled with kids, you don’t see many out on bikes because it’s too dangerous.
We just got some new Stop signs in Whalebone, which is neat. Now we need a few on Oakview to slow those speeders down. Maybe a crosswalk to get to the footpath on the other side of the road. What is the aversion to sidewalks, anyway? Too citified? This ain’t Poseyville, anymore. Sorry to wake you up. You built, they came.
And speaking of building and sand in particular, why is the C.C.O.M., which was always a good environmental steward, pushing for beach revetment with what isn’t even beach sand? And why would they not support protecting the drinking water and the aquifer above endless dumping of pit sand and at the cost of the townspeople? How long does it go on? The sand mine Ms. Waserstein referred to in her letter is in the middle of a residential neighborhood. It has grown into a behemoth and the owner is drilling down 100 feet to create a lake. In the aquifer. No one in their right mind could be for this.
You want to save your beach? We want to save all of our water. What good is the beach when the aquifer is polluted? What good is building housing that people can afford and need when they can’t walk safely about in their own neighborhood? How about when you close the airport in East Hampton, you put affordable housing and shopping there? Plenty of room. Montauk airport is too small for jets to land there.
I don’t know what the answer is, but something’s gotta give. How much more are you going to build? The roads can’t handle the bumper-to-bumper traffic, now year round. And the sole source aquifer cannot sustain this overgrowth. This is not The Truman Show, real people live here, we don’t hide come tourist season and we need to be able to exist safely and sustainably.
I’m all for affordable housing, I am lucky to live in Whalebone. That said, is the new affordable housing complex for locals? Or is it headed for what happened to the Whalebone Apartments, when someone dropped that ball, and wound up being for Section 8 from afar? Do tell.
May 12, 2021
The current national Republican Party has often been described as an “old white man’s party.” This is not true. For starters, there is no longer a Republican Party; it has been replaced by the Trump Cult whose membership is composed of neo-Nazis, white supremacists, Klansmen and Klanswomen, anti-Semites, Q-Anon wackos, and sycophantic Republican politicians whose litmus test is their fealty to Donald Trump.
The cult leader, Donald Trump, is a mentally ill, pathological liar whose worldview is that of a bizzarro alternate universe that promotes and condones perverse conspiracy theories. Trump knows that he lost the 2020 presidential election by more than 7 million votes. He knows that Covid-19 is not a Democratic hoax. He may or not believe that an injection of bleach will destroy the virus. He does not believe in democracy. He worships dictators. His encouragement of the stormtrooper thugs who attacked the Capitol in an attempt to murder Vice-President Pence, House Speaker Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer on Jan. 6 is emblematic of his view of American democracy.
Rather sadly, millions of Republican Americans believe everything he says. If tomorrow he stated on a Fox interview that the Earth is really flat, millions would be convinced that the Earth is flat. If Trump said that the pyramids in Egypt were actually built by green men from Mars, Republicans would believe it. For me, this resonates with the lyrics from a song by Pink Floyd titled “Another Brick in the Wall.” The lyrics, sung by a huge chorus of schoolchildren, are: “We don’t need no education. We don’t need no thought control.”
Most Trump cultists are true believers in his alternate reality, although some are good people who do understand reality and facts. One can only hope that Trump never asks for his followers to drink his special Kool-Aid.
As for the future, I have little doubt that Trump will be the Republican candidate for president in 2024. His ego will demand it. DeSantis might be his running mate — but only if he gives the sweetest kiss to Trump’s rather large buttocks.
May 17, 2021
Dear Mr. Editor,
One of my favorite sections in The East Hampton Star is the letters to the editor. Amazing the thoughts people have and what they believe. My current dilemma is the writers who still bash ex-President Trump. The one who got my attention last week is Bruce Colbath and the Covid so- called vaccine.
Now, President Biden was in his basement during Operation Warp Speed, spearheaded by then-President Trump. I believe the first vaccines came out at the end of November, December. That gave Trump approximately a month to get the vaccine out to the public. So Biden has had five months to distribute the vaccine.
It doesn’t take much of a brain to figure Biden got more people vaccinated because he had triple the time. Then, of course, he rambles on about the other nonsense. He even manages to get the white factor in there, which is what the Dems push daily. It’s becoming boring rather than informative.
An old garage mechanic friend once labeled someone as “a man with a paper asshole about to sit down on a blow-torch.” That shoe seems to fit Colbath.
As always, best regards,
May 13, 2021
One would think that the congressman from our district should stand up and say how he voted in the somewhat uncourageous voice vote to remove Liz Cheney from her senior position within the Republican Party. If Lee Zeldin indeed has his sights set on the governor’s mansion, shouldn’t his vote be transparent?
May 17, 2021
In a fit of pique, the House G.O.P., including our congressman, Lee Zeldin, has punished America. In an effort to facilitate the development of so-called “orphan drugs” for the treatment of rare diseases, the House took up the Fairness in Orphan Drug Exclusivity Act. Simply put, the act requires developers of such drugs, which could enjoy seven years of market exclusivity (i.e., no competition), to show that there is no expectation that the developer would recover its research and development costs through the drug’s sales. If this showing cannot be made, the drug would not qualify for market exclusivity.
When introduced in the last Congress, the act had overwhelming bipartisan support. Given that level of support, House Democratic leaders recently introduced the bill through a procedure that would streamline passage. This would require a two-thirds majority to pass (which the bill previously enjoyed). Turns out the House G.O.P. sank the bill and the benefits it would have conferred on us all.
Why the change of heart? Hurt feelings, plain and simple. A Georgia G.O.P. representative wanted to be listed as a co-sponsor together with the Democrat who proposed the bill. This request was denied because the Georgia representative was one of the House Republicans who voted to reject the outcome of the 2020 election. This perceived slight hurt Republicans’ feelings, so they killed the bill out of spite. And yes, our congressman, Lee Zeldin, was one of those whose hurt feelings stood in the way of a law that would have benefited all Americans.
And now the spiteful Mr. Zeldin (who also objected to the results of the 2020 election) is looking to be New York’s next governor. Spite has no place in Albany, so let us all make sure there is no room there for Mr. Zeldin.