East Hampton Village
January 20, 2022
This situation on Toilsome is a perfect example of: “Just ‘cause you can, should you?” The only people who want this are the property owners, their legal team, and some of the village board who want to expand the business district.
I was always under the impression that there would be no more addresses used as restaurants: that someone would have to buy an existing, operating restaurant and build it within the code’s limits to what they want. If I’m wrong there, please let me know.
The plans, when announced, called for a brewery and beer garden with inside and outside venues. When the owners were met with reality, the restaurant became the lead use. And to top that off, they want to put a “restaurant” where food had never been sold and in the middle of a residential community to boot.
I would bet that there is at least one existing restaurant that could be had that would cover all of the bases that have to be covered to make the beer garden doable. Of course that would make the owner of the furniture warehouse seek other ways to use it to maximize the ultimate value of the property.
I am absolutely opposed to putting even a burger joint on the property at the same time that I realize that a great burger joint would be a needed and popular restaurant in East Hampton.
No Going Back
Tenants Harbor, Me.
January 20, 2022
To the Editor:
I read Bess Rattray’s “The Shipwreck Rose” column, “You might be” (Jan. 13), over and over today, and I must confess her poignant and familiar memories sent shivers up my spine. Coupled with an earlier Facebook post from a Montauk friend, who highlighted a photograph of a familiar home being demolished, I was sent into a melancholic daze. The house, on Edgemere Road, was one of many relocated when the Navy moved to town and established a torpedo testing facility at Fort Pond Bay. It once belonged to the Fougere family, who emigrated from Nova Scotia, as did many of Montauk’s core community. I instantly thought of Alice, their daughter who had challenges and was the best babysitter around. Entire generations of children were nurtured under her wing and taught kindness and compassion by her example.
I am a bit older than Bess, as one of the freshmen who entered East Hampton High School in a sparkling new building in 1970. The state-of-the-art school arose from bleak and barren former potato fields. There was not a tree in sight, we were quite literally adrift upon a sea of desolation. We might as well have been in Siberia, especially when the wind-driven snow howled across the landscape. It took months to install the gymnasium floor and the auditorium seats.
Everyone was lost for the first few weeks, our pre-class routine was to endlessly circle the halls like fish on a mission to return to their spawning grounds. Now, in retrospect, we were probably subconsciously checking out potential mates — there were no distractions from cellphones or social media. It was a time where Iantha McMahon dominated your life and you lived and breathed algebra, Barbara Bologna wowed us in English, and Tony Minardi sported a white lab coat and taught marine science. So many wonderful, dedicated teachers walked those halls. It was also a time where it was common to see the parking lot dotted with pickup trucks sporting shotgun-filled racks in their rear windows. No one batted an eye — “Yes, yes, bub, those Springs boys liked to go duck hunting before school, you know.”
Montauk seemed as far away as Iceland, tethered to the continent by the scruffy pines, sand, and wetlands of a sparsely populated Napeague. We’d ride the bus back and forth delighting to be in the back seat where you had a good chance of becoming airborne and grazing your head on the ceiling when the bus accelerated over the hills west of the Panoramic. To this day if I hear Rod Stewart belt out “Maggie May” I am instantly transported back in time to that bus. After school I worked for the New York Ocean Science Laboratory, which was located in the old Navy base buildings where Rough Riders Landing now stands. Those first-class scientists were true mentors and invaluable with helping to guide me.
Montauk in the ‘60s and ‘70s had a milieu of desertion; the Carl Fisher office building in town was abandoned and flocks of pigeons flew through the gaping open windows, the hulking Montauk Manor was similarly empty and disintegrating, the Surf Club pool was drained and cabanas gone, all reminders of what town was like in its glory days. I was a free-range kid and happily wandered all over B.C. (before cameras). It was a glorious childhood filled with exploration and the thrill of discovery. The Air Force Base was in full operation and those of a certain age can remember a “blip” every few seconds while watching a movie as the massive radar dish rotated.
Amidst the hoopla during the night of our nation’s 200th birthday, July 4, 1976, Chris Engstrom was hit and killed on Edgemere Road while walking home from work. He was deaf and probably did not hear the car approaching. The huge evergreen tree which stands proudly at the entrance of the Montauk Post Office was planted in memory of Chris. Edward Albee spoke at its dedication. Montauk has always attracted celebrities but there was a blending with the locals, a sign of mutual respect.
Your memories; green Schwenk Dairy boxes filled with sweet ice tea “Bonac tonic,” being engulfed in clouds of Temik sprayed on the vast potato fields, the drive-in movie where King Kullen now stands, Snow (the dignified, elderly black farm worker who was always walking along Montauk Highway in Bridgehampton), and the incredible Gertz store in Amagansett, a hodgepodge of buildings and barns filled with treasures, East Hampton’s answer to a mall.
I would give anything to once again drive slowly behind a pickup truck outfitted with a homemade wooden bed equipped with a heavy-duty winch, pulling a dory laden with nets to and from Poseyville in Amagansett. Everyone should have the privilege of watching seiners set and haul their nets from the beach at sunrise. Those were people imbued with generations of fishing knowledge now lost and forgotten — a tragedy we did not see coming until it was too late.
When I moved to Maine nearly four years ago, I knew there would be no going back. The East End has exploded with wealth and development and would be not only unaffordable but my life untenable. I severed ties with the land which nourished my soul and a caring community which raised me. It was a difficult decision but based upon what the late John Cole wrote when he too moved from East Hampton to Maine. He was moving where “change was further in the future.” It was the right decision at the right time, and I could not be happier or more grateful with my choice.
Even though I have attained the age when Medicare kicks in, I still find great delight in exploring and I have spent the last four years wandering around this great state. I will probably end up in the Knox County Jail for trespassing. I know I won’t be able to say, “I know Eddie Ecker” or something with even more cachet: “I grew up with Eddie Ecker.”
Bess, keep those memories flowing, you are wonderful.
Sea Spray Inn
January 16, 2022
I enjoyed your article on the Sea Spray Inn. As one with more than an acquaintance with Arnold Bayley, I can recall my wife and I leaving Guild Hall the night of the fire and actually seeing our shadows on the sidewalk in front of the theater. We were to find out later the source of the illumination.
There are probably many photos of the inn in it’s hey-day around town that I would like to collect and display. One was of the buffet-size table piled high with steamed lobster, which was a luscious noontime treat.
As a part-time employee, I also had a bout with the pigs in the pen bordering Hook Pond. Imagine that today! They were the recipients of the dining room scraps and got excited when the wheelbarrow approached.
It sure was an interesting period in my life, and I presume many others’.
East Hampton Village
January 21, 2022
To the Editor:
I have to admit that I was becoming a bit skeptical that the results of the town acquiring its own airport again were going to address the real problems, but it seems the town board has been quietly at work, and has emerged with some real actions, as well as a useful-in-the-long-run posture on the airport and what we can now hope to be able to consider as its past problems.
I hope that, as usage diminishes, the decisions on the use of a large chunk of the property that becomes available for other uses when the landing of jet planes becomes a thing of the past is as well thought out and resourceful as their work to date. Given that the owners of private jets may well be the source of some of the biggest chunks of property taxes to our municipality I now trust that the board will put the interests of the entire community first.
Once Again, Money
January 26, 2022
To the Editor,
It seems that the latest councilpeople, elected under the understanding that the airport is undesirable, decided to confound the issue by talking about making the airport “private.” I do not know if this was something required by some obscure Federal Aviation Administration regulations or negotiated with aviation interests, but, once again, money, time, and fatigue of process undermine the process of democracy and popular will.
January 18, 2022
To the Editor,
With the town board of East Hampton moving toward a temporary closure of the airport in order to gain better control of its operations going forward, it would be wise for it to make this move permanent.
While the various sources of pollution that this facility creates — air, water, and most noticeably noise — have gotten some attention in the past year, few have really considered the economic potential this site might provide if reimagined. Let’s hope in the year ahead the town will explore the many better uses that this property could be put to.
The town’s consulting reports have shown that currently the airport has very little economic impact, most likely 1 percent. Additionally, it only directly benefits a few hundred residents, less than 1 percent of the population.
Even with reduced commercial traffic, the site would still allow for operations that create 10,000s of noise complaints annually — most don’t realize that almost half of all the noise complaints relate to the small, slow-flying, older recreational aircraft that still need to use leaded fuel.
There have been a handful of suggestions for what the 200 acres of already-cleared land at the airport could be used for if the facility were closed. A new park, an outdoor amphitheater, a community pool, perhaps even much-needed affordable housing. All would provide more benefit for the community.
The best use though for this area would be for a significant utility-scale solar farm in the 25-megawatt range. It would require less than half of the available land while still allowing for the above suggestions. A solar farm of that size could offset 25 percent of the town’s electric generation needs and 7 percent of its overall greenhouse gas emissions.
When combined with the elimination of the 6 percent that occurs from the current airport’s operation, that would be a 13-percent reduction in the town’s emissions — the ones it has set a goal to reduce by 100 percent within eight years. It could also allow for a micro-grid with battery backup that would improve the town’s overall resiliency, an important consideration given that the number, and strength, of storms are likely to increase in the next few decades.
Perhaps the strongest reason for the town to make this move though would be monetary. The town itself would likely get at least $500,000 annually in lease income for renting out the land for a solar farm while still maintaining ownership. Moreover, given the current rules for community choice aggregation in New York State, these facilities must offer all consumers of this power a 10-percent discount to current utility rates.
Forty percent of these savings would be offered to commercial operations and the town, as well as local businesses, could benefit. More important, 60 percent of these savings must go to the residential sector. In our area, that could mean roughly $400,000 in savings annually split among potentially 2,000 local residents, which could be targeted at low-to-moderate-income homeowners.
If the Town of East Hampton fully closed the airport, it would be taking an important step not only to reduce its emissions, but also to help protect its main aquifer that we all rely on. It is already threatened by toxic pollution from past airport operations and has been deemed a federal Superfund site.
Closure could improve the local environment in myriad ways for all while allowing thousands of households to save hundreds of dollars every year. Or the town administration can continue to look out for the interests of a few hundred residents. The choice would seem to be simple. Perhaps though, something as important as this issue should really be put to a public referendum?
Ethical Red Flag
January 22, 2022
I was (initially) pleased to see that our leaders decided to take control of the airport. I live on the south-to-north landing pattern of the large planes that come in over Atlantic Beach, and on summer weekends it can get bad. However two serious underlying issues ruined my vibe:
I guess now it is up to Peter Van Scoyoc to decide who gets to land at his airport and who does not? This is an ethical red flag for him and his board. An independent minded committee of experts should come up with the privatization plan or you can bet it will be an ugly, dirty insider process. Enough said on that.
Stupidly, the same small group of screamers who hate KHTO in any form spent (how much cash?) taking a full page ad in this paper that was long on nonsense and virtue-signaling and woefully short on facts, on purpose or by omission.
They recommend “purchasing Montauk Airport” because the town community preservation fund is flush with cash. And then “make it a park for the community.” What B.S. It is privately owned. I guess they mean eminent domain (again). Making it a park? The fund has no money for that. Example? Look at the land on the ill-conceived 555 project that the town spent $10.1 million to buy. No benches, no jungle gym, no walking track. It is a barren piece of land that nobody uses. Good luck with that line of B.S.
Finally, and so out of touch as to be ridiculous, is that there are “claims of electric aircraft” trying to lump that key fact (not a claim) in with Animal Rescue Fund flights. Folks, we are not stupid; our young generations will be traveling by electricity in cars, planes, helicopters, and taxis. In their zeal to be climate warriors, this group resorts to the same deletion of facts and dissemination of misinformation that they seem to decry. Jokers.
The official purpose of East Hampton Town’s 2014 purchase of the “555” property in Amagansett, was for agricultural open space and recreation; efforts to lease the land for farming have been unsuccessful. The community preservation fund took in $61 million between Jan. 1 and Nov. 30, 2021 in East Hampton; a year-end figure has not been released. Ed.
A Hefty Price
January 26, 2022
St. Peter’s Chapel in Springs signed a lease option six years ago to permit AT&T to build a cell tower on the church’s property pending regulatory approvals. They did this without notifying the surrounding residents. They did this in exchange for the starting sum of $3,000 monthly. When it came time to get the various permissions and variances from the zoning board, the board inexplicably provided the variances needed to build this tower in a residential neighborhood — including a variance of the fall zone and height restrictions.
The residents of the neighborhood organized, voiced concerns, circulated a petition, attended public hearings, wrote letters to The East Hampton Star, and the town board voted to deny approval of the structure. The town acted correctly in protecting the safety and integrity of the neighborhood.
However, here we are two years later, after an AT&T lawsuit against the town for which the town has now agreed to a settlement with AT&T that will allow AT&T not to build the 50-foot-tall campanile, but instead a 70-foot mono-pole right next to the church right on Old Stone Highway, not covered by trees.
I know that cell coverage on this stretch of Old Stone Highway is far from ideal, but keep in mind that this cell tower will not tie into the emergency communications system. It is for AT&T consumer use only. The desecration of the bucolic nature of our neighborhood seems a hefty price for our neighborhood to pay. The willingness of the church to put the lives of the surrounding residents and parishioners who will be within the fall zone of this 70-foot monstrosity all in exchange for $3,000 per month seems antithetical to “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
We ask St. Peter’s Chapel and their parent church, St. Luke’s in East Hampton, to reconsider their priorities. The surrounding neighbors do not want this in our backyards. I suspect if any of the approving board members were impacted by the dangers of living in the fall zone, or viewing this tower or campanile on a daily basis, they would be opposed as well.
Our Springs neighborhood showed up in force two years ago. We circulated a petition signed by almost 500 residents who did not want the tower built. Please make your voices heard. The town needs to find an alternate location. There are new technologies around the corner. There are other ways to improve cell service, starting with turning on Wi-Fi calling at your house. This option will improve your signal without destroying the bucolic nature of our neighborhood and without putting your fellow neighbors at risk of injury.
Look Like Newark
January 18, 2022
We’re all lookin’ for better cell service out here, but boy were my neighbors and I surprised to learn that in the cover of dark, AT&T had strong-armed the town with threat of a federal lawsuit to get a settlement agreement for 70-foot-tall-plus monopole on the grounds of the historic St. Peter’s Chapel on Old Stone Highway in Springs, this after a similar effort was soundly defeated last year. There was no discussion with the citizens who live here about this monopole and no consideration for alternate sites — of which there are many. The Springs firehouse, for one, would love to have this revenue and already has a monopole. Oh, and there’s a 150-foot-tall tower that’s going in at Camp Blue Bay. What gives?
Finally, there are much less unsightly ways for the Springs community to get better cellphone service. For example, SpaceX has launched its Starlink cellphone and internet service, where, for a hundred bucks a month, you can receive high-speed internet and cell service at home and across the globe. Why use old technology that makes our community look unsightly when there are alternatives?
Let’s not make Springs look like Newark with these industrial towers. They should be on sites hidden from view in the least, not placed on our scenic roadways and historic church grounds. My neighbors and I are all in favor of more cell service. Can the town offer up three locations we all can collaboratively vote on? Sounds awfully democratic to me!
January 22, 2022
I lived in Sag Harbor from age zero to 16, and again from age 26 to 28. Now I’m 47. I attended Sag Harbor public schools from 3rd to 12th grade, then got a bachelor’s degree in Santa Cruz, Calif., and a master’s at the University of Massachusetts. Since 2001 I’ve lived in the Brattleboro, Vt., area.
I built my first snowboard in high school shop class and learned to use it on Pierson hill and at a friend’s steep yard in Springs. In 2000 I was living in Sag Harbor when one of my housemates invited me to join him for a trip to Stratton ski resort in Vermont. We got on a bus in Wainscott at 3 a.m. with a dozen or so other people and arrived at Stratton at around 9 a.m. The “snow” was more like ice. The best that can be said for the experience is we escaped serious injury and made it back to Sag Harbor intact late that night. While that experience was extreme, it’s not so different from the experience thousands of Long Islanders endure many winter weekends, driving to Vermont to ski. Sadly, many are seriously injured. Every year, skiers die at Vermont resorts, often by hitting trees.
There is a better way to experience the beauty of Vermont in winter. On Jan. 7, The New York Times published an article headlined “Here’s How Climate Change and Covid Are Transforming Skiing.” The article focused on backcountry (as opposed to resort) skiing in places like Washington State. But people ski up mountains in Vermont, too. Once you have the gear, it’s free (lift tickets at Mount Snow are $150 a day) and there are very rarely any crowds. Mount Snow and Stratton are incredibly crowded on weekends. Snowboarders travel uphill on splitboards.
I urge East Hampton skiers to give backcountry skiing (also called “ski touring”) a try. You can figure out how to do it with Google and YouTube or hire a qualified guide like me to show you.
I was a full-time ski patroller, E.M.T., and snowboarding instructor at Mount Snow for three years, November to late March. I run a local news website, ValleyPost.org (audio versions of our articles air on WXOJ and WVEW) and help on my wife’s vegetable farm, New Leaf community-supported agriculture.
January 24, 2022
To the Editor,
On Jan. 13, a Flanders mother virtually “killed” her 4-year-old daughter (Gracelyn Perkowski) by driving her RAV4 while high on drugs and crashing into another vehicle on Flanders Road in Southampton. Gracelyn, who was critically injured in the crash, died three days later.
Yet even though this grossly negligent mother (Amy Wesolowski) was charged with operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs, endangering the welfare of a child, breaking Leandra’s Law, plus the felony of aggravated driving while intoxicated with a child, her lawyer had the nerve to enter a plea of not guilty to the misdemeanors and a denial to the felony. And the judge had the poor judgment to release (“supervised”) this menace-of-a-mother-and-driver to go free — to possibly cause another deadly accident.
The state police asked anyone with information about the crash to call them, but I’d like to ask them and the lawyer, the district attorney’s office, and the judge for the following information about the crash’s aftermath:
How does the alcohol monitoring bracelet she must wear actually work? How effective is it? What if she cuts it off her wrist?
Exactly who (and how) was “supervising” this drunk driver after her release?
If she tries to rent a car, will her supervisor be able to stop her?
What is the name of the judge who, in his wisdom, released this clear-and-present-danger to the motoring public?
If the judge had wisely kept the driver in jail, would state legislators have had the judge arrested for not honoring their unwise bail reform law?
Have the original criminal charges been upgraded since the little girl died?
Prospect of War
January 23, 2022
As I write this, we move closer to the threat of the first major armed conflict in Europe since World War II. Russia has amassed tanks, planes, artillery, and over 100,000 men along the border of Ukraine. Our “allies” are divided in their response to the crisis, compounding an already volatile situation. And it certainly didn’t help that Old Joe, the leader of the free world, gave de facto consent to a “minor incursion.” Oh, it brings back memories of the Sudetenland circa 1938 - you folks do remember your history, right?
The faux pas was so grave that Biden’s soulless ginger spokeswoman even had to make an appearance on Fox News to try and clean up the mess on aisle 46. In fact, all of Biden’s apologists went into overdrive to clean up his disastrous speech last week. From Ukraine to Taiwan, from police funding to Covid, there were people all over trying to say what Old Joe actually meant, which wasn’t what he said. One thing is for sure: Don’t expect the “resident” to be in front of the press like that again anytime soon. Oh no, they’ll keep Old Joe nice and safe — under lock and key.
The speech was praised by some however; the folks over at CNN liked it, before they hated it. Oh, and those nice people at MSNBC liked it, before they hated it. I saw one pundit say it was great that Old Joe stood there for two hours trying to answer questions, whispering and yelling, like that drunk uncle we all have at the family get-togethers. I never knew that we graded a president’s speech by how long they stood there. Biden’s predecessor gave some really long speeches; they must have been pretty good too by that measure.
But let’s circle back to where we started: the looming prospect of war in Europe. First it would be horrible: death, destruction, terrible images, atrocities, etc., etc. There is a danger things could spiral out of control in the region. Our response could embolden other powers across the globe to behave badly. Stock markets, global markets, the price of oil — all of that could be impacted. You think we have supply problems now, give it a few weeks.
And there, at the nexus of all these events, is Old Joe, our Joe, sick Joe, weak Joe, which should give any reasonable person pause. The truth of the matter is our commander in chief simply isn’t up to the task of commanding anything, let alone our troops in a major conflict, and all this foolish old man is going to do is get a whole lot of good people killed; he already has. Now as much as you may hate him you have to admit one thing: the bad orange man kept the country out of war for four years. Will you be able to say the same thing about Old Joe?
January 20, 2022
The current president of the United States achieved more votes in the history of our presidential elections while receiving more votes in the Black voting districts in this nation’s major cities than Barack Obama, all the while campaigning mainly out of his basement, could not fill a used car parking lot with supporters, and declared this was the fairest election in our country’s history. Question: Why would he and his political party with the sycophantic media now be pushing for election reform?
More than 425 bills intended to restrict voting access were introduced by Republicans in 49 states in 2021. In Texas, for example, new laws would impose stricter signature and identification requirements, reduce the number of polling places, limit early voting, and increase barriers for voters with disabilities. Ed.
Descent Into Ignorance
January 23, 2022
It is almost impossible to write about the issues of today without calling the Republican Party a bag of crap. The pendulum of political crappiness has swung so far to the Republican side that it is difficult to imagine when our system will rebalance.
It’s all about F.D.R. and the New Deal — its creation and its destruction. The Depression was ripping the country to shreds. Without any safety net, insurance, or support beyond their families, people were driven into the worst of circumstances. Almost no one today knows about the Depression and what it did to the country. Our ignorance is the bane of our existence.
F.D.R. was a wealthy, high-end patrician. He looked at the country and saw mass suffering and little if no political will by either party to provide help. The base level of cruelty seemed normal at that time. Government existed to protect the wealthy and their interests. F.D.R.’s New Deal broke with the nation’s history. The response in 1933 was an attempted coup from the American right.
The New Deal broke with established policy in that it believed that the government was responsible for the well-being of the entire population, not just the wealthy. It counterbalanced the capitalist free market theory that the market would take care of the Depression and people’s suffering was part of our freedom. The New Deal interjected the government into the real lives of the population and established an array of programs and policies that provided for the security and health of almost everyone (Blacks excluded).
After the failed coup in 1933, conservatives in the Republican Party began a concerted effort to tear apart the New Deal. It took them almost 50 years, with the election of Ronald Reagan, to begin the process. Forty years later, we observe the fruits of this effort and the ensuing chaos.
The socialism/communism mantra had a little more gravitas back then but was essentially garbage. We were never in danger or seriously threatened. But what grew into a lasting and slightly plausible talking point was the big/small government debate. The key point, despite its spurious premise, was that the market, not the government, should determine how our economic system worked. Big government was bad for business.
The real question (which we still refuse to debate) is not the size of government but the quality. Setting up real standards for determining success and failure was horrifying. Good government vs. bad government is a lot like sex, size really doesn’t matter (always a complication for WASP males).
The primary rift on Biden’s programs is that they are directed to provide support for the bottom 75 percent of the population. Like the New Deal, it was directed to what the country most needed.
So, the question of good and bad government has a simple test. The infrastructure bill, always a winner and desperately needed, got about 33 percent of Republican votes. The voting rights bill which passed the senate 98 to 0 in 2006 doesn’t have a single Republican vote and 16 current senators voted for it in 2006. Is something wrong with the Republicans?
Maybe someone can explain their descent into ignorance and authoritarianism. They don’t even pretend that their lies and fantasies are remotely real. They don’t even pretend to have a program for the country. When Biden asked Republicans what they support or believe in, Mitch McConnell responded by saying, “Once we are in power we will let you know.”
Did Biden overreach with Build Back Better? Did he really believe in a bipartisan process given the current atmosphere? Certainly worth debating. Unfortunately it takes two sides.
January 20, 2022
This is in response to a letter printed on Jan. 9 submitted by the Hamptons resident know-it-all.
His disdain for the 45th president is on full display, describing him in the most vitriolic terms, including “no conscience,” “no sense of shame,” “pathological liar,” and “unempathetic.” Congratulations are in order, as he checked all the tired, liberal talking-point boxes that persuade no one. This leads one to assume he was not captain of the debate team in college and leaves one wondering whether he is capable of an original thought. Regardless, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, slavery, and the destruction of Indigenous people are interesting choices to use as examples of “dehumanizing people to justify extreme violence” (paraphrased).
Candidly, his examples floored me. Talk about leading with his chin! It’s time for a few pithy history lessons:
History lesson number 1: Hiroshima, Nagasaki were justified and perpetrated by the president of the United States. That dehumanizing and violent president was Harry S Truman, a Democrat.
History lesson number 2: Slavery was a horrific, dehumanizing practice. The vast majority of slave owners were Southerners and they were mostly Democrats. Lincoln, a Republican, freed the slaves; 110,000 Union soldiers, mostly Republicans, died freeing the slaves. After the South lost the Civil War, President Grant, a Republican, doggedly pursued the K.K.K. Grant’s actions eventually led to the Juneteenth event that is celebrated annually by African-Americans across our great country. The K.K.K. reconstituted itself under President Woodrow Wilson, a documented racist. Wilson was a Democrat. And in 1964, Robert Byrd, a high-ranking K.K.K. official, filibustered the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Byrd was a Democrat.
History lesson number 3: The Indigenous people of our nation were treated reprehensibly. President Andrew Jackson signed into law the Indian Removal Act of 1830. Jackson was a Democrat. The following president, Martin Van Buren, vigorously enforced this law. The law precipitated the “Trail of Tears” widely regarded as an act of genocide. Van Buren was a Democrat, not to mention a founder of the Democratic Party. Hell, even General George Armstrong Custer was a Democrat!
I’m compelled to inquire why would such a thoughtful, empathic, and intelligent individual such as him supports a political party that throughout history has “dehumanized people to commit extreme violence on innocent populations”?
Skip Paris, go back to school, learn history, and stop embarrassing himself.
S. JOHN PEDERSEN
January 24, 2022
Let me start by saying that Carol Dray wrote a dynamic letter to the editor. She hit a home run, said all the things I believe so many people are thinking. Kudos to Ms. Dray.
Joe Biden went off-script last week, and his administration had to pick up the pieces, Jen Psaki advised the public to have a margarita. Here’s some of Joe Biden’s opinions of Joe Biden: He declared he is doing a tremendous job and achieved more than any other president in history. He blamed Republicans for any stumbles despite the fact that his party controls the White House, the House, and the Senate. What fantasy is this man living in? He’s been in Delaware 28 percent of his first year as president; this must be his basement of fantasy.
Joe Biden believes he has outperformed all expectations in his first year; inflation is not his fault (whose fault is it, you’re president?). He believes he brought down gas prices; last January it was $2.38, today $3.31. America was energy independent until he placed restrictions on the United States market on day one. He cut off pipelines and restricted drilling. Common sense: Open up the pipelines, but I guess there is no common sense.
While appearing on “The View,” Psaki stated she loved working for Oba uh, Biden, so who is running the White House?
A new poll shows 6 in 10 Americans would vote for someone other than President Biden if the 2024 election were held today; 60 percent said they would probably or definitely vote for someone else. What’s that tell you — voter’s regret?
In God and Country
Would Gain Nothing
New York City
January 24, 2022
To the Editor:
Intriguing how the turbulent, international, ongoing confrontations evoke pertinent, germane reminiscences revisits to earlier personal experiences. The current saber-rattling between the Ukraine and Russia, Putin, and the threatening involvement of the United States, take me back to a brief personal encounter with communism, Bolshevism, when still living in the old country, residing next to a communist social club.
At that time, World War II was raging all over Europe, Russia, and the Pacific. On frequenting the club, obviously I was subjected to the typical communist propaganda but also enlightened about some significant consequential Russian history. Later on in life when traveling extensively throughout the Soviet Union very shortly before their “closing time,” coming from the land of rights, freedom, and opportunity, I remember compelling, gratifying, and some belligerent encounters when juxtaposing the two systems. It was fun.
Flash-forward to the 21st century, one reminisced episode related, connected to the ongoing confrontation that jumps to my head is a detailed chronology of Russia assailed, invaded, plundered, burned, dating back 800 years shown to me during one of the indoctrinations, colorful and descriptive. The following are a few picked-out episodes of a much longer list: 1558-1582 Poland, Lithuania, Transylvania invaded Russia; 1570-1572, Crimean Tatar kingdom invaded, besieged, and burned Moscow; 1610, King Gustavo of Sweden occupied Russia for almost a century; 1708, King Charles XII, Sweden, invaded Russia; 1812, Napoleon Bonaparte; 1904, Japan’s empire Port Arthur destroying the Russian navy; 1941 Nazi Germany (frankly, must thank Google for most of the numerated dates, but the personation was detailed and vivid), Putin’s recent related pronouncement.
What the U.S. is doing in the Ukraine is at our doorstep and they should understand that we have nowhere further to retreat to. “Do they think we will just watch idly?” Putin said. Any missiles placed in the Ukraine will be able to reach Russia in under five minutes. May I add some analogous utterances? Is paranoia explicable in this case? A cornered animal is a dangerous animal. Moscow is 550 miles from the Ukrainian border; Washington, D.C., is 1,200 miles from Cuba.
Christmas 1914, World War I: German soldiers played soccer with British soldiers between the trenches in no man’s land, ironically a flash of related realism, sobriety from an unexpected, bellicose, pugnacious commentator, anchorman, and sound, like network Fox News’s Tucker Carlson. “Why do I care what is going on in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia,” Tucker Carlson said. “Why shouldn’t I? I root for Russia! I don’t care if the country is subjugated by Moscow.” Putin just wants to keep Russia’s western borders secure. He doesn’t want Ukraine to join NATO; NATO exists primarily to torment Vladimir Putin.
Whatever his many faults are, he has no intention of invading Western Europe. He does not want Belgium. He just wants to keep his western borders secure. The U.S. would gain nothing in confrontation with Russia. America’s core interests should come first. Right on, Tucker!
Expounding a vast misconception, misconstruing ignorantly or intentionally (ulterior motivated?), exalting the maxim “none of our business,” an episode that should be of serious concern if followed through surely to result in horrendous consequences to us. Incomprehensible that the reality, realism of this issue is not scrutinized, checked out. Repeat, this is not our business! Not one drop of American blood!
A brief elucidation of “ulterior motivated”: This play, charade is a win-win for both. Biden will go through the anticipated threats; Putin will not invade. If he does it will be a lenient incursion; both will emerge strong and emboldened; they both need it. No need to be a political Sherlock Holmes to perceive that the factor compromised carries considerable weight and provides significant leverage in this play. Is it conceivable that we, us, and the rest of the world are wily, craftily being played for motives not so well hidden? Classically schemed by seasoned old pros, Putin, a 45-year survivor, Joe Biden, 53-year survivor? Is it? Add this pertinent comment explaining this conflict, Many of Biden’s closest aides were, are pushing the United States to get involved militarily in the Ukraine crisis. This crisis was largely created by Joe Biden’s own aides throughout all levels of the U.S. government, not a bad attempt, a tryst to salvage, rescue a sinking, deteriorating investment. Biden’s poles at 35 to 39 percent at typing time.
EDWARD A. WAGSCHAL