June 23, 2021
To The Editor:
I am writing in support of the baymen in general and in response to the article about “Truck Beach” on Napeague. I have lived in Amagansett since 1981 and have watched disgusted as the smalltime local fishermen, the baymen, have been slowly legislated nearly out of existence. In my opinion they are one of the best things about this community. Leave ’em alone!
Pantigo Ball Field
June 28, 2021
I’ve never agreed with Charlie Whitmore about anything, but for once in his life, he’s correct about the Pantigo Place ball field. Leave that precious diamond alone.
June 28, 2021
I am grateful to Supervisor Van Scoyoc and the East Hampton Town Board for supporting our petition for a vehicle-weight limit on residential Accabonac Road between Collins Avenue and Floyd Street.
The raising of the trestle on Accabonac Road has resulted in high-decibel, polluting, and dangerous heavy-truck traffic. Up until three years ago, alternate routes were used for these trucks, and, with the addition of the raised trestle on commercial North Main Street, there are now additional routes in place for these heavy trucks. Residential Accabonac should not be an option.
Again, I thank all of the East Hampton Town leadership for their support.
BARBARA MUNSON STRONG
Time to Organize
June 28, 2021
“As far as they know,” according to officials of the East Hampton Town supervisor’s office, the placing of American flags throughout the town on specific holidays is the function of the local veterans’ groups. As of yet, those veteran groups have yet to respond and offer an explanation about why the flags were not on display on the new federal holiday of Juneteenth.
Our own research and investigation indicate, in fact, the responsibility does lie in the supervisor’s office to notify the veteran groups. That was not done, as far as we know.
This kicking the can down the road in terms of responsibility is embarrassing and unacceptable to all fair-minded East Hampton residents. We all were cheated of being able to fully participate in this holiday. The bottom line is that the flags were not flown, should have been, and we still don’t know why.
Perhaps this is a time for citizens of the town to organize an independent and proper celebration of their own to honor this important new holiday?
SILVA THOMPSON JR.
Pastor, Calvary Baptist Church of East Hampton
A Leading Role
June 24, 2021
To the Editor:
I present the following in the hope of promoting racial harmony. When I hear folks explaining the historical details of “Juneteenth,” I find a disturbing whitewash of the facts. The omission is an Irish hero of the days after Lee’s surrender, ending the Civil War. Gen. Phillip Sheridan played a leading role in forcing Gen. Robert E. Lee to surrender at Appomattox after defeating his armies in several battles.
In 1865, General Sheridan ordered the reading of a proclamation that informed enslaved Texans that they were free men and women.
As military governor in Texas after the war, Sheridan was not just following General Grant’s orders, he was determined that former slaves would never be exploited again, that white supremacists would be removed from powerful positions, and that the black man had the right to vote. To emphasize that point he fired the racist governor of Texas and the mayor of New Orleans.
He ordered Gen. Gordon Granger to proclaim the slaves free in Texas on June 19, 1865, what is now regarded as the Juneteenth holiday in the U.S. In part, the Juneteenth proclamation read by General Granger in Galveston reads, “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor.”
Sheridan was so determined to push equality through that President Andrew Johnson, a Democrat and rebel supporter, had him removed contrary to General Grant’s objections.
Irish-Americans must be reminded of what we have in common with the oppressed of the world. The General Sheridan story is a great illustration of that theme, following the example of Daniel O’Connell, the Great Liberator, who kept his vow not to step foot in America until we ended slavery, in spite of the millions of dollars he would have raised here for the Irish cause in the 1800s.
This remains a great inspiration for today, for all white Americans, not just Irish, to be selfless allies in the tradition of Pete Seeger and the Jesuit Berrigan brothers. Support your local N.A.A.C.P.s or A.C.L.U.s, whatever group fits your political bent.
My source for this info is a column written by Niall O’Dowd, publisher of The Irish Voice, June 26, 2020, who writes frequently about fighting oppression all around the globe as an Irish tradition.
Think global, act local
Causing the Problem
East Hampton Village
June 27, 2021
Dear East Hampton Star,
We are yet again in the throes of the Summer Invasion and this, as always, brings out the bicycles. I have made my reasons clear on why I believe cycling in the Hamptons should not be encouraged and, for reasons of public safety, should probably be banned on most of our roads. What I have to say this year is short and directed at the cyclists in the hope that they are a bit less hard of hearing than the drivers of cars.
You can admonish drivers all you want about keeping an eye out for bicycles but it won’t do any good. For one thing, most are too busy ignoring speed limits and stop signs to be bothered about a flimsy thing on two wheels. Those rare few of us who are willing to share the road and would like to be watching for bicycles unfortunately need all our attention to keep from getting into accidents with drivers like the ones just mentioned. It’s just a simple truth. Also, most of us are unused to sharing the road with bicycles. For much of the past eight months I haven’t encountered any bicycles on the roads. Then, in the last week, they have popped out of the woodwork and many of them act as if they own the roads. It’s an adjustment, and I do my best to accommodate the ones who at least make the effort not to be a traffic hazard.
If you feel you really must ride out here, please keep in mind: Most roads in our area are not laid out for sharing, despite what signs may indicate. Most have no shoulder and are quite narrow and have ragged edges rife with potholes and sandy spots. These roads often are just wide enough for two-car, two-way traffic. Even though most of the back roads have a speed limit of 25 miles per hour, most drivers exceed this by at least 15 m.p.h. If you cannot ride at this speed, their perception (which is wrong, by the way) is that you are in their way and they will do their best to make your life miserable, possibly forcing you off the road or into an accident. They make it plain that my car is in the way whenever I’m going anywhere under 40 m.p.h. Possibly the most important thing to remember is that even if their attitude is wrong, most drivers need to use the road to get to work and if you are getting in their way by riding two or three abreast instead of single file, you are the one causing the problem.
It would be nice if it were as easy as saying, “Let’s all just share,” but as is so often the case, it is one thing to say it and quite another to put it into practice. Let’s all try to be safe out there.
As an addendum: Those flashing LEDs many cyclists use in order to be seen are blinding and could themselves cause an accident. I find them to be painfully bright. Incandescent would be better.
As always, thanks for reading.
June 21, 2021
To Whom It May Concern:
I read your article about the proposed balloon ban in the Town of East Hampton. I am a resident of the Town of Southampton and went to Cooper’s beach (in Southampton) this evening to jog. What I found there was disturbing. As I proceeded down the beach, I noticed a shocking number of deflated old balloons — balloons in the piping plover nesting grounds, balloons stuck in seaweed, and balloons in the dunes.
What started out as a quick jog turned into a massive beach cleanup. Over the course of two miles, I picked up a total of 75 balloons. Many still had air (which I deflated) saying “Happy Father’s Day,” “Happy Birthday,” “I Love You” (St. Valentine’s Day), and some no longer had color. I deflated them all and then poured them out to count them. One photo I took even shows a dead bird next to a Little Mermaid balloon. I also ran into a good Samaritan picking up balloons. She easily had 30 balloons in her hands.
As a resident out here, I deeply respect our waterways, community, and beaches. To see balloons infiltrate our community and put our animals and environment at risk is so disappointing. I hope you can help bring additional attention to this issue and ultimately we can pass into law a ban on balloons out here. Thank you!
June 21, 2021
To Whom It May Concern:
Upon reading your article about the pizza places in East Hampton I was a little bit confused. You mentioned every single pizza place in town from Wainscott to Montauk except Springs Pizza and Sausages Pizza.
Sausages pizza, located in the heart of Montauk, has been my favorite pizza place for as long as I can remember. Family owned and run by Barbara Schultz and her son Hunter Kelsey, the place puts out amazing pizza and food. They are possibly the hardest working group of staff and are always pleasant to be around. I do not understand why if you were doing an article on the pizza places these were skipped over? Sausages Pizza’s motto is “We Feed Our People.” Thank you, Sausages, you are the best!
Take It Outside
June 28, 2021
To the Editor:
If there is one universal “good” from the Covid pandemic in our area, as well as around the world, it’s that we modern-day humans finally started to appreciate and even need the great outdoors. The global lockdown made air quality, allowed for enough quiet for the appreciation (and noticing) of wildlife; and “forest bathing” became a thing that people do to calm down and get healthier mentally and physically. Practically speaking, many of the only moments I and my kids got to connect with friends and loved ones happened outside.
Beginning last spring, tables lined every Main Street in the Hamptons, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who utilized them, even when huddled under a blanket in my down coat whilst clutching a hot cup of coffee. Two economists, Sam Cai and Stacey Vanek Smith, explained recently on NPR that there is an economic term for our sudden acknowledgement and love of blue skies: experience good. An experience good is a good for which a buyer cannot determine the total value and total cost without actually purchasing the good (as per Philip Nelson’s economic theory).
Our Hamptons experience good is outdoor seating, which has facilitated business operations, enabled socialization, and transformed the aesthetic into the much-beloved European model of cafe life (or outdoor pub life, in the case of the U.K.). So what took us so long?
By November of 2020, there were no fewer than 50 outdoor eateries on the East End. Before that? Not many at all. Strict permit regulations, which can be a good thing, imposed irrational rules on setting up tables either on main shopping streets or adjacent patios, alleys, and lots. Covid changed that with temporary measures to allow outdoor seating in almost every town and city in the U.S., including East Hampton Town.
In April, the town passed a measure to implement a permit process to replace the one set up temporarily last year as a means of helping restaurants and food stores during the pandemic. Businesses will be allowed to operate outdoor dining areas annually between April 15 and Nov. 15. Why not all year?
And to all East End towns: Why not abolish the permit fee (or take it down several notches)? Sag Harbor: Remember that Green Initiative passed in 2007? The one that made the village more pedestrian and bike-friendly, and more outdoor-friendly in general? For those who do not remember this, it was the 2008 financial crash that upended those initiatives, swept them under the proverbial rug, never to be taken up again.
The town building inspectors currently and in the future could be given authority over permit approval to regulate the design, layout, and appearance of the dining areas, and should also work with village fire marshals on safety. There is little reason, we now know, thanks to our good experience — that outdoor dining and seating should not be a total automatic and permanent given in our two South Fork townships. If it’s not a blizzard or northeaster or hurricane: Take it and serve it, outside. There’s not a single good reason for not doing this — not for businesses, not for patrons, not for the planet itself.
A Little Skunk
June 26, 2021
David Eagan’s letter was eye-opening. The teeth-on-fire movement to incorporate Wainscott, with the Edlichs at the forefront, seems to have a little skunk in the woodpile.
They have not one, but two variance applications in progress — certainly not for a few feet or inches but for 758 square feet more than allowed by the town code.
A good question is when did they know it exceeded the limits and was this the real reason behind the damn the torpedoes full-steam ahead to incorporate? Now who would have appointed the regulatory departments in the fiasco? Guess who.
No wonder they tried to ram it through. Did Peter Van Scoyoc not raise the issue of a material false statement that was allegedly filed in his decision? Why wasn’t this fact not examined further? Remember what they say in Brooklyn about “big ones”: Of course “they” don’t have to obey the codes like the rest of us regular folks — or do they?
ARTHUR J. FRENCH
Support the Work
June 28, 2021
I am beyond grateful to the folks that came out and voted in the Democratic primary held on June 22. It is especially rewarding to see that our voters support the work that is being done and the progress that is being made.
Our team remains focused on the important issues at hand and rolling up our sleeves to get the job done. Just this month we moved forward with implementing water quality improvement projects in Springs and the Villages of East Hampton and Sag Harbor, bringing back the popular Hampton Hopper in Montauk, preserving iconic farmland in Amagansett, leading a thoughtful, deliberate process re-envisioning the airport in Wainscott, striving to improve cellular connectivity throughout the town, saving our beaches and beach access, and soliciting proposals from architectural firms to design a new, larger senior center on seven beautiful acres on Abraham’s Path.
Let us continue to move our town forward ever mindful of our core values: hard work, family, compassion for one another, and respect for our natural environment.
East Hampton Town councilwoman
It’s Not Over
June 28, 2021
I am thankful for the support I received from town residents in our recent primary; it was a close race with a low turnout — and it’s not over.
The essential issues of public ethics — and of civility and candor among public officials — were put before the voters on June 22, and will again be on the ballot on Nov. 6; my name will appear on the Independence Party line as a candidate for East Hampton Town supervisor. Also running on that line will be John Whelan, Rick Drew, and other candidates.
My term as a councilman shows a solid record of real results, embraced unanimously by the town board. Here are some examples:
I fought for and obtained unanimous board support to protect Wainscott residents from contaminated drinking water, even while waiting for the installation of public water mains.
I united the farming community and Amagansett residents behind a new law to prevent wind erosion on farm fields, and stop dust storms. Again, the proposal was unanimously approved.
The entire town board also backed code changes I wrote to ensure that the planning board, zoning board, and architectural review board had continuing review power to preserve open views across lands previously purchased with millions of preservation dollars.
In my role as liaison to the Housing Authority, the town board agreed with my suggestion for a $25,000.00 grant, and an “affordable housing overly,” letting us move forward with a new Housing Authority plan, soon come to fruition.
I also found state law cases confirming our right to ban seaplanes from town waters, and our board unanimously adopted a needed prohibition against such use.
As the airport liaison, I am leading a fair process to objectively consider the future of the airport property.
There are also times when a councilman must speak out against improper and unethical conduct. I criticized the Duryea’s back-room deal, and guided the board to challenge and win an order stopping a settlement we never read or approved. I declined to accept lavish hospitality from a private business regulated by the town. (In an unprecedented letter, the town’s board of ethics stated it had been arm-twisted into an ill-considered decision and criticized board members who ignored its admonition against attending with unpaid guests.)
I entered the race for supervisor believing voters understand the need for an independent voice to speak to them clearly and candidly about what they want from local government. I deeply believe that good government begins with listening to the people. Although I may sometimes seem to be plainspoken to a fault. I believe in compromise; I have never been a “my way or the highway” guy. Any good idea matters to me, whatever the source.
I ran for and serve in office for one reason only: East Hampton is my home, our home, and I want to protect it. All voices are welcome in our campaign as we move toward the general election in November.
Good Things Happen
June 28, 2021
“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy” — R. Tagore. This was recited at the memorial service for Betty Mazur, by her beloved grandson Ross.
Thank you, East Hampton Democratic voters, for voting in last week’s Democratic primary. Voting is how we preserve our democracy. Thank you to those voters who put their trust and support in Peter, Kathee, our trustee slate, and me. A heartfelt thank-you to the East Hampton Democratic Committee: 37 neighbors in our community, who volunteer hours and hours of their time to support good leadership in our town government. You will find them volunteering in many not-for-profit organizations too. Thank you to volunteers, friends, and supporters who got the word out. Good things happen when we work together.
Finally, thank you to Betty Mazur, who taught us all how to be advocates and to work for the good. We will not let you down.
Served Town Well
June 28, 2021
I was surprised and disappointed by the negative comments that you have been writing about Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc. I had attended many town board meetings before the pandemic, and have read all The Star’s coverage of the issues involving the town board. In my opinion, Peter has served the town well, and has many concrete accomplishments during his administration, which I will not list here. I am not the only one with these feelings. The letters to the editor in the June 17 edition of The Star were overwhelmingly in support of Peter, rather than his challenger.
On the editorial page of that edition, you wrote about “his preference for back-room deals and deference to the ultra-wealthy”, with regard to Duryea’s in Montauk. I would like to refer you to the letter to the editor in that June edition by Laura Michaels of Montauk’s Ditch Plains Association, titled “Matter Politicized.” In it she states clearly what really happened, and that the fault lies with the former head town attorney, and not with Peter. If you have reason to dispute what Ms. Michaels is saying, it would be appreciated if you shared that with your readers.
As far as the challenger of Peter getting under his skin, I don’t disagree that this might have been handled better, although you described him as “an acrimonious lawyer.” I feel that the board members need to be able to work together respectfully, but have not seen evidence that all must march in lockstep to the supervisor’s wishes. Differences of opinion and reasonable discussion and debate seem to be encouraged. I am pleased that Peter has won the primary, and feel confident that he will continue to serve the town well if he is re-elected.
Depositions in East Hampton Town’s lawsuit to get out of a legal settlement with Marc Rowan, the owner of Duryea’s Lobster Deck and several other residential and commercial properties in Montauk, were reported in the May 27 Star. Statements under oath by Mr. Van Scoyoc, Mr. Rowan, and others described a series of events at odds with the rogue-attorney hypothesis in Ms. Michaels’s June 17 letter. These included a 2018 meeting in Town Hall during which, Mr. Rowan said, Mr. Van Scoyoc suggested he sue the town as a way to facilitate a settlement to resolve the Duryea’s land-use issues. In an early 2019 town board meeting, Mr. Van Scoyoc criticized Councilman Jeff Bragman for not “working hard enough” on the settlement, contradicting the subsequent narrative that the town attorney acted alone. Mr. Van Scoyoc later said that he had misspoken. Ed.
June 27, 2021
I write this letter as a private individual and not in any of my professional capacities.
Regarding The Star’s recent endorsements in the Democratic Party primary, I wanted to correct an omission within, regarding the Quiet Skies Coalition’s 2017 town board endorsements. While I am no longer officially affiliated with Q.S.C., I know that the organization did indeed endorse Councilwoman Kathee Burke-Gonzalez and now-Councilman Jeff Bragman, but also endorsed Peter Van Scoyoc in his bid for supervisor.
Thanks for the opportunity to clarify.
Has Been Tradition
June 28, 2021
I write with concern about the recent tendency of The Star to make editorial proclamations that are based on factual inaccuracies and lack of understanding of the political and legal environment. Last week The Star suggested that the East Hampton Democratic Campaign Committee (Campaign 2021) was benefiting from a so-called “cash loophole” by receiving contributions of more than $1,000 from some individuals, suggesting that that was only permitted because of its being a political committee (by which I believe you meant a constituted committee, or PAC, for which there are higher donation limits than for individual candidates). That in fact is not true and The Star’s lack of understanding or laziness in investigating the facts is apparent. The contribution limitations per candidate in East Hampton local elections are that any individual can give up to $1,000 per candidate for the primary and $1,000 per candidate for the general election.
As has been the tradition of the East Hampton Democratic campaigns from at least 1983, Democratic candidates run as a team and aggregate their contributions through a multi-candidate campaign committee. Typically, in local election years, approximately 16 to 17 candidates run for local office. Given the $1,000 limitation per individual per candidate, that means that an individual can give $16,000 to $17,000 for the general election and an amount equal to the number of candidates who are facing a primary times $1,000. This is the same system that Mr. Bragman was the beneficiary of when he first ran in 2017. The Star apparently chose to editorialize about a so-called “loophole” being utilized without recognizing what the facts are, what the law is, and that the loophole that they thought was being utilized was not.
This is not the first time The Star has opined based on false pretenses. On June 10, 2021, an editorial carrying out the editorial staff’s vendetta against Supervisor Van Scoyoc suggested that a vote for Jeff Bragman for supervisor would help alleviate acrimony on the board because if he won the primary, since he was going to be on the general election ballot anyway, this would eliminate Mr. Van Scoyoc as a candidate. What The Star failed to realize was that just as Mr. Bragman has a second line on the general election ballot, so too does Mr. Van Scoyoc, who has been endorsed by the Working Families Party, as have many other Democratic candidates. As we now know, Mr. Van Scoyoc resoundingly defeated Bragman in the Democratic primary despite The Star’s oddly rationalized endorsement of Bragman.
The editorial writers’ lack of factual consistency or understanding has become disturbing to the point at which Star editorials will have to be taken with a grain of salt and fact-checked to remove fake news and other inaccuracies.
Some also find it ironic that The Star is now competing with our local charities and not-for-profit groups in seeking contributions, but not disclosing the amount of the contributions it is receiving and from whom it is receiving them. For a company that decries the lack of transparence in government and politics (when ironically political campaigns must disclose their donors on a regular basis in filings with the State Board of Elections that are available for everyone to review online), it is the height of hypocrisy that The Star makes no such disclosure so that the readers can know whose contributions may be influencing the editorial choices of The Star. What dark money does The Star collect that would give context to its opinion pieces? I urge the readers of The Star to keep these factors in mind as they read the editorials and the choices made by the editorial staff.
Donations to The East Hampton Star during the Covid-19 pandemic went to help cover salaries, printing and distribution costs, and related functions, such as utilities and heat. In addition, the newspaper secured close to $500,000 in federal Paycheck Protection Program funding. The Star most emphatically does not practice any form of pay-to-play journalism. Ed.
June 25, 2021
To the Editor:
The delivery of food to the senior population of East Hampton was provided by Suffolk County Office of the Aging — not Supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc and Kathee Burke-Gonzalez. They provided the preparation of the food and delivery to the seniors. This kept the staff at the center employed, for which we were glad. We have not heard as to when senior transportation may resume.
Mentor and Inspiration
June 28, 2021
When my husband and I moved from New York City to settle in our Amagansett “summer house” it was a snowy day in April 1996. We found Betty Mazur at our door with voter registration forms. Like many others, we signed and became part of the town’s history.
From then on Betty was my friend, mentor, and inspiration. When I became chairwoman of the Democratic town committee, she was the indispensable vice chairwoman, no job too big or small.
Betty had done many important services as a volunteer on the East End in addition to working, through politics, to preserve our unique community. Having myself had only modest involvement with the committee, I relied heavily on her deep knowledge of local issues and of the key players, who all respected her dedication and savvy.
Betty acted out of conviction and dedication, never for office or reward. She was a fierce and loving fighter for what she believed was right. I hope that her example will resonate widely. I know many will miss her terribly. I will miss her every day.
June 28, 2021
I am once again grateful to the East Hampton Democrats who voted for me in the primary last week. I am always honored to have your confidence and support as one of the East Hampton Town trustees and take my responsibilities and role as steward of our waterways, beaches, roads, aquaculture, community outreach via events, and so many other pertinent projects to heart and with serious thoughtfulness.
With your continued support, I look forward to the November election with a commitment as a member of the East Hampton Town trustees to continue to endeavor to preserve and protect our natural resources and East Hampton’s exceptional beauty now and for the future generations to come.
SUSAN MCGRAW KEBER
June 28, 2021
To the Editor:
Nassau County’s plan to send $375 one-time cash payments to households with incomes of up to half a million dollars for their supposed “experience of a negative impact from the pandemic” is financially unjustifiable. Better to divide up the $100 million pot among families earning only $50,000 than giving any of it to families earning $500,000.
Families with $500,000 incomes direct-deposit over $40,000 a month, almost $10,000 per week, and over $1,000 every day and obviously don’t need an extra $375!
Since the Treasury Department says that “cash transfers must be reasonably proportional to the negative economic impact they are intended to address,” payments could follow some sliding scale, such as $1,000 for $50,000 families, down to $10 for $500,000 families.
When Evlyn Tsimis, Deputy Nassau County executive for economic development, said, “We’re looking for some clarification in order to get to some higher income levels,” was she hoping to give $375 gifts to million-dollar families, and to the Mets owner Steve Cohen, despite his personal wealth of $14 billion?
Their Liberal Freedoms
June 28, 2021
Dear Mr. Editor,
I hope you’re working on your varnish. July the Fourth is upon us, Independence Day . Memorial Day, June 6 — D-Day — and June 7 — Midway — have come and gone. As I gave thanks to those who made the ultimate sacrifice, I can’t help but to think of your left-wing writers like Colbath, Hausig, and the likes, you know, the ones who constantly bash the U.S.A., along with the Republican Party. I wonder how much thought they have given to the fact that their liberal freedoms are the result of countless conflicts worldwide and here at home, remembering the men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice so they can be free. So, I have come up with a self-test for them and we will do it by the honor system.
Please stand in front of the mirror and ask yourself the question, “Can I name the five beachheads from D-Day in Normandy?” If you can, great. If you can’t, live with yourself as a fascist pig.
As always, best regards,
June 29, 2021
According to the Tax Policy Center, middle class workers would also suffer from President Biden’s tax cut plan. About three-quarters of middle income households would face a tax increase averaging about $300, all would be a result to those higher corporate taxes. Thank you, Joe Biden. Need I say more, except he stated many times, “I will not raise taxes on the middle or lower income citizens.” Just another Biden lie.
For the People Act is the biggest crock of garbage. Its infringement on states’ authority to conduct their own elections was meant to ultimately benefit Democrats. Thank the Republicans for seeing through this bill and making sure they stalled it. How stupid does Schumer think we are? I wrote to him about this bill and the bull. The letter he emailed me was so full of him and Pelosi, it does nothing for the citizens of America.
Thank you, President Sleepy Joe Biden, for the attempt on the bait and switch: You got caught.
In God and country,
June 28, 2021
More than 600,000 people have died in the U.S. from the pandemic and at the current rate another 60,000 people will die by the end of the year. If not for the politicization of the pandemic and the ensuing incompetence on the part of the government, it is estimated that the death toll would be closer to 200,000. The task at hand was clearly beyond the capability of the Trump regime. Yet, with the numbers still rising, new variants arriving weekly, and the uncertainty of the long-term effects, large segments of the population are refusing to recognize the seriousness of the problem.
When 9/11 happened the country went completely batshit, and 3,200 people died. Nine-eleven was a government screw-up, a head in the sand moment that we paid a price for. We have spent trillions trying to rectify the problem. Compared to the pandemic, 9/11 was a tiny bleep on our radar. The pandemic, which we didn’t cause, decimated every part of our basic existence — work, school, health, care, food, and our mental health. Fear and uncertainty, abetted by the government, was the predominant mood of the country. Mentally, we took a beating.
Talking to dozens of friends and family, they are often experiencing a disconnect from the reality they once knew. Physical, emotional, and psychological effects that are associated with P.T.S.D., as if we had gone to war, and the war was fought here. We are trapped in a reality that seems substantially unreal and we are at the mercy of that reality. A road filled with buried mines and we don’t have the necessary equipment to clear them away.
While the damage from the pandemic has exponentially multiplied the negative effects, the diseased political atmosphere of Jan. 6, election fraud, Covid-19 deniers, and anti-vaxxers has pushed us over the edge. Layer upon layer of additional bullshit is designed to eat away our resistance and destabilize our capacity to deal with the problem.
Anxiety is the new norm. There is a sense that we are okay. That we are recovering from the disaster. That all we need to do is get people back to work and the problem will get resolved. Yet, like P.T.S.D., something we know and kind of understand, our psychological foundation is cracked and leaking. We are celebrating the recovery everywhere, yet we are a long way from being recovered. It’s almost impossible to treat the problem if you haven’t identified what it is.
Biden’s idea to redistribute wealth to the way it almost was is remarkable. The resistance to sharing that hard-earned and schemed-out wealth is unsurprising. Our national delusion is that we aren’t delusional.
The difference between delusion and denial is that the latter implies a higher level of consciousness. An adult-like awareness of what’s really happening. With P.T.S.D. there is no delusion. The banging inside your head is real and frightening.
Is anybody home?