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Letters to the Editor for May 26, 2021

Wed, 05/25/2022 - 17:44

Decided to Pause
East Hampton Village
May 23, 2022

Dear David,

Guild Hall is the cultural heart of East Hampton. For nearly a century, we have showcased an abundance of artists, from the community’s youngest to its most internationally recognized, often bringing both ends of the spectrum together for education and sharing. This inclusive approach to honoring creativity is what makes Guild Hall unique. We present over 22 artistic disciplines, including those that intersect, overlap, and sometimes defy definition. Our team is exceptional at saying yes to artists and figuring out the most complex and pioneering visions that we share with a wide range of audiences on the East End. We listen, learn, respond, and evolve.

In the last three months, The East Hampton Star has published four articles, one editorial, and more than a dozen letters on our planned improvements. The passion for Guild Hall that our friends and neighbors hold is evident and moving. We have received both positive and critical sentiments about our plans — from those who want us to have exceptional facilities for the arts, to those who think we’ve gone too far with that vision — specifically with the proposal for the theater.

We have heard our community’s voices and taken measure of how we can incorporate the feedback while still accomplishing the vital goal of time-proofing our institution and returning to the art as soon as possible. As such, we have decided to pause and reflect on the upgrades to the John Drew Theater. This work is time consuming, complicated, and costly for a small nonprofit.

While we reflect on the best way forward for improving the theater and meeting the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s artists and audiences, we would like to thank those who continue to support us. We invite the whole community to attend our season’s offsite events with our extraordinary partners to experience the art and artistry of Guild Hall. We encourage those who have taken the time to express themselves so passionately to become active members, and help sustain this rare and beloved enterprise as we listen, learn, respond, and evolve.

On behalf of the board and staff, we look forward to sharing our progress in the near future and welcome everyone to experience all that Guild Hall has to offer, this summer and beyond.

Sincerely,

ANDREA GROVER

Executive director

MARTY COHEN

Chairman

Guild Hall Board of Trustees

 

Unity in Action
Noyac
May 17, 2022

Dear David,

On May 10, a deer and my car intersected on Route 114 westbound. Grace Peterson of the East Hampton Town police responded quickly and efficiently, relieving the deer of further suffering. The woman in the car behind me stopped to help. Another woman walking east came across 114 and offered help.

In a world where we seem to be surrounded by divisiveness, anger, and separation, it is important to acknowledge our oneness, demonstrated here in the form of an offering hand, compassion, and kindness. Truly unity in action. May we all remember and respond with open hearts and kindness.

Thank you to the East Hampton Town police for their prompt action.

Sincerely,

KARIN AUWAERTER

 

A Joy to Read
Northwest
May 21, 2022

To the Editor,

It is a joy to read Christopher Gangemi’s poetic observations on birds. Looking forward to one day having the pleasure of a compilation of his writings. Thank you for the sunlight he brings to the written word in this ever-so-dark universe we live in now.

Joy to all winged lovelies that he embraces so beautifully.

JOAN LAUFER

 

Two Months Plus
Springs
May 23, 2022

Hello,

I just read the Montauk apartment-scam article. The same exact thing happened to me at 85 Norris Lane in Bridgehampton two weeks ago. I filed a report with the police. “Parker Clare” was renting his cottage in his yard and took two months plus a security deposit from me. I had rental receipts and everything.

When I showed up to move in, the homeowner said this was the second time this had happened to his home.

I hope this can help in some way.

Thank you,

JACLYN FALEK

 

With Open Hearts
Springs
May 17, 2022

To the Editor,

Last month we gladly welcomed a Ukrainian refugee family into our home, and the support of the community has been incredible. Businesses have donated food, toys, theater tickets, and even a car for their use. Thanks to Provisions, The Wharf Shop, Bay Street Theater, and Strong Insurance Agency. Friends and First Presbyterian Church of East Hampton members have donated clothing, food, and restaurant gift cards, and provided support and friendship. The Springs School welcomed the 6-year-old boy into school and he is making friends and adapting to the new environment.

And then there is Ross School’s camp. Our children have attended Ross Camp during the past few summers and are going for a few weeks this summer. We asked the camp if it would allow their son to attend during the limited time our two girls will also be there. After a week to consider the request, they responded with a “discounted rate” of $2,000.

For a family who cannot return to their country, who are working to keep their business running at 10 percent capacity and have relatively few resources here in the United States, the lack of compassion shown by the Ross School is a shame. Fortunately, Project Most has graciously allowed their son to attend camp this summer at no cost.

We want to thank everyone for their continued support and are thrilled to be members of a generous and caring community that has welcomed this family with open hearts and arms.

ADAM POTTER

 

In Jerry’s House
East Hampton Village
May 23, 2022

To the Editor,

The sheer magnitude of the rampant dishonesty and abuse of power remains unchecked at Village Hall. Any transparency or accountability quickly vaporized upon Jerry Larsen and his minions’ arrival.

Due diligence, transparency, and public discourse do not exist in Jerry’s house. Decisions are preordained before every board of trustees meeting, and the village administrator carefully curates board presentations under Jerry’s tutelage. Village taxpayers are now stuck with a Putinesque mayor making decrees without considering their implications. There have been so many. Here are a select few:

In 2020, our village administrator came to the board with a philanthropic offer from Saunders Broadcasting to install free Wi-Fi at village beaches. The administrator assured the board there would be no branding or sign-in requirements. So, after a few carefully choreographed presentations, the branded “free Hamptons.com” Wi-Fi was up and running, where an email was required to access the network. Unbeknownst to the users, they’re automatically subscribed to the weekly Hamptons.com newsletter by providing an email address, where they sell advertising sponsorships. As there is no confirmation email, I suggest that everyone use the mayor’s email address to access the network — [email protected]. I’m sure Jerry would appreciate the attention.

Four years ago, the village paid almost $1 million for an Osborne Lane lot. Last Spring, Jerry and the board of trustees decided to freely hand it over to Tesla to install 12 proprietary electric-vehicle chargers. (You may have missed the Tesla Stadium ribbon-cutting a few weeks ago.) Tesla negotiated a 15-year renewable lease at no cost. I’d love to know Jerry’s rationale for handing over a $1 million property to a $62 billion corporation at the expense of the residents’ best interests.

At the May 20 board of trustees meeting, Jerry trotted out representatives from the International Padel Federation. They indicated Padel was the world’s fastest-growing sport and would welcome the opportunity to convert a tennis court at Herrick Park to build a four-walled glass court to promote the sport. While it may be the fastest-growing on a percentage basis, the aggregate number of enthusiasts is minimal compared to any other racket sport. Jerry embraced the concept and asked Vinnie, the village attorney, to work out the details. The court will include a sponsor advertising and be closed two to three hours a day to accommodate Padel professionals. Also, the professionals will be offering lessons for a fee. I’d be curious if the village code permits advertising on village-owned property? And the court’s taxpayer benefit is. . . ?

I want to close this out with one last example for now. Contrary to Jerry’s public and social media comments, the village has no record of procuring the 16 benches and 8 tables in front of Hampton Chutney. Unfortunately, the village code specifically prohibits picnic tables and benches. If Jerry wants to keep them on village property, the code needs to change to allow incremental seating capacity for outdoor dining. I’m not against the seating, but they do not meet the village code. If Jerry gives alternative facts for tables and benches, what else is there? Jerry, change the code!

Up until Friday’s meeting, there has been no adherence to the New York State Open Meetings Law enacted in 1977. The law requires that agendas and materials are no later than 72 hours before a meeting. I welcome the administration’s intent — after all, it’s been 46 years. Thank you, Jerry.

More to come.

DAVID GANZ

 

Sorely Questionable
East Hampton Village
May 23, 2022

Dear David,

Given all the very questionable voters in the last mayoral election, Mr. Larsen should be the last person to challenge Tiger Graham’s petition. One thing Mr. Graham is known for is honesty, ethics, and community outreach — something sorely in question with the current village administration.

Does Mr. Larsen want no challengers, nor a balanced board? Is that the only way he can guarantee his plans are implemented hastily without forethought?

The continued failure to restore Town Pond to its original lovely environment, the sudden appearance of a Tesla charging parking lot with a 15-year lease that serves as advertising for Tesla, his disbanding of the planning board, pushing through approval for alcohol at the Main Beach concession stand, installation of eight picnic tables in front of Hampton Chutney without design review board approval — does he simply believe he is a one-person show “enlivening” and commercializing a residential village?

If Mr. Graham had the administrative staff and legal counsel paid for with village taxpayers’ money, his minor oversight would have never happened.

Sincerely,

MAUREEN BLUEDORN

 

The Big Lie
Wainscott
May 18, 2022

Dear David:

It would have been fun to have been in the United States Eastern District Court of New York last week to watch a dozen or so aviation industry lawyers and their helicopter company clients stain their whitey-tightys when an attorney for local HTO fixed-base operator Sound Aircraft Services stood before the judge and un-masked the big lie that is the Friends of the East Hampton Airport.

A little background: The plaintiffs in this lawsuit are the Friends of East Hampton Airport, Analar Corporation, Associated Aircraft Group, Eleventh Street Aviation L.L.C., Helicopter Association International Inc., Heliflite Shares L.L.C., Liberty Helicopters Inc., Sound Aircraft Services, and the National Business Aviation Association Inc. The defendant? The Town of East Hampton!

With the exception of the Sound Aircraft principal and perhaps one or two 1-percenter local jet owners and renters, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone paying taxes in East Hampton Town and in some cases, the State of New York. The plaintiffs are a collection of carpetbaggers from elsewhere in the truest sense of the definition.

And the big lie? It’s actually a collection of smaller ones espoused by paid lobbyists from Nassau County, Florida residents with bad manners, crowdsourcing billionaires, career renters, fuel suppliers, and one earth-polluting fellow masquerading as an environmentalist.

“You shouldn’t have bought near the airport.”

“If the airport closes, East Hampton will die. Nine-hundred-three local jobs will be lost.”

“Medevac helicopters won’t be able to land in East Hampton.”

“Only a few people are complaining.”

“Electric helicopters will make everything okay.”

“The airport is actually a nature preserve.”

“Every other airport on the East End will be deluged with air traffic because of a few small restrictions at HTO.”

“Automobiles and trains are the real problem.”

And the winner: “We sympathize with the people we assault on a daily basis.”

As a member of a noise abatement committee during Larry Cantwell’s administration a while back, I wasted two years sitting in weekly meetings attempting to find a real compromise that would lessen the horrific impact the East Hampton Airport showers on folks, not just on the eastern end of Long Island, but all across Long Island, Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and parts of Westchester and Connecticut.

At the time, it became apparent to those of us on the committee that many true local pilots did actually sympathize with the noise-affected and possessed a true dislike for the carpetbagger commuter helicopters, seaplanes, and jets. Unfortunately they were swayed by much of the bullshit listed above and chose to side, somewhat reluctantly, with the plaintiffs listed above.

Last week, a true local pilot, lifelong East Hampton resident, and a fixed base operator at HTO for 30 years, who admittedly had just paid his yearly $1,600 dues to the National Business Aviation Association said “Enough!” to the carpetbaggers seated with him at the plaintiff’s table.

The attorney for Sound stated that Sound supports the Town of East Hampton in its plan to temporarily close the airport in an effort to get control of the dangerous physical and environmental disaster HTO has become.

Even the judge recognized the irony here and opined that perhaps Sound was seated at the wrong table.

True local pilots, the ones who’ve kept their planes here since long before the carpetbaggers and their shills came to town are seated at the wrong table. If the airport actually closes sometime in the future it will not be because of complaints by people not associated with HTO. It will close because of the greed of outsiders raping it.

Thank you, Steve Tuma. Thank you, East Hampton Town Board.

Best regards,

TOM MACNIVEN

 

With No Controls
East Hampton
May 19, 2022

Dear David,

It is obvious to me that the commercial interests — with deep pockets — have every intention of keeping our airport open, with no controls of any kind.

There is no negotiating in good faith and there will be a continuing string of lawsuits to delay our having control over our airport.

Bring on the bulldozers.

PENNY HAYS

 

Keep It Closed
Springs
May 17, 2022

To the Editor,

Blade Air Mobility, East End Hangars, and the Coalition to Keep East Hampton Airport Open won a preliminary injunction “enjoining the town from deactivating or closing the airport on Tuesday or any date thereafter.”

There is no room for reasoning here; I suggest using all efforts to win the right to close — and just keep it closed. There is way too much bad will here to be overlooked.

Don’t set a precedent that every operator can just use the courts to beat the town residents of East Hampton. We are better than that.

DANIEL FRIEDMAN

 

Build a Bridge
East Hampton
May 23, 2022

Dear David,

It seems “a bridge too far” is the theme locally, and globally, these days. The airport closure is at a stalemate, since the judge can clearly see there is a, dare I say, arrogant attitude in the prevailing winds on the part of the airline owners. They want it open, no matter the effect on the community. Not a good idea. You cannot hold a town hostage or force your agenda down its throats. This is not Miami or the Vineyard, no matter how hard they insist.

We seem to be in the “build, build, build” mode again, protection to our water be damned. “Lake Montauk needs love,” is more than just a good idea for a slogan on a hat. Just as our beloved Montauketts were sold a bill of goods, and Miami East was tried here many moons ago and shot down, luckily, and with great good work and caring by Hilda Lindley and the formation of the Concerned Citizens of Montauk, let’s not be the ones who damn our beautiful lands and water once again.

We had my Mom’s funeral this past week. She “drifted off to blissful sleep,” as her hospice aide, Rose, a goddess-send, said and we hoped for. As we began the grieving process, we saw many of our long-lost cousins and family members reappear. One at the wake remarked we maybe could do a reunion instead of meeting every 10 years at an elder’s wake. We are looking into that. Misunderstandings, falsehoods, and the proverbial sins of the fathers or grandfathers can damage familial relationships down the line. We’re building a new bridge.

The country, as I read the room, hasn’t a sprinkler’s chance in hell to come together, as it stands. It’s like a man refusing to dance though he took lessons and bought the new clothes and asked a date to the shindig. Are you going to hold that stubborn stance forever, dude? It’s not living, man; it’s merely existing. All ya gonna do is complain about everyone else? We’re over you.

Can’t we at least start by admitting there’s a middle ground and, instead of railing at what’s far left and far right, we attempt a sane and sensible meeting-place alternative? No one is pristine, no one without the ability to improve. We aren’t stupid, and we’ve had some long years to look at our errant ways. Why not try to see the country we love (we do love her, yes?) as a level playing field of growing closer, not further, apart. Or are we that bridge too far?

Someone gave me a prayer bowl in lieu of funeral flowers for Mom. It’s beautiful and comes with prayer cards to make an intention for someone or a trouble to alleviate. I’m not religious, more spiritual. I’m a realist but a dreamer, too. I believe we can unite as a people that any country, bar the evil, doomed ones, would be envious and proud of. But first we have to get our priorities straight, put down the guns, and take up the spade. Let’s build a bridge.

Sincerely,

NANCI LAGARENNE

 

Out of the Blue
Amagansett
May 20, 2022

Dear David,

For the past 15 years, I have been a consistent watcher of town boards and other administrative board meetings. My experience gives me a long history to evaluate those who promote the best interests of the community and others motivated by personal interest or re-election hopes.

At the May 10 East Hampton Town Board meeting, Councilman Lys announced that he had a plan for adding five parking spots for beach access on the right of way on Dolphin Drive. He hadn’t spoken to other board members, and said he would email this plan to the board for their support.

At the May 17 meeting, residents of Dolphin Drive expressed strong opposition to the idea. In response, Councilman Lys declared that there was no plan and that this was all new to the board and was his initiative alone.

Inexplicably, Councilman Lys used the words “public safety” to justify the additional parking spaces. It’s hard to know what those words mean, as he did not offer any evidence of a public safety problem.

Words and candor matter. Mr. Lys has a history of advocating beach access as a priority over environmental issues and the need for quiet natural open space. He was the president and co-founder of Citizens for Access Rights.

The issue of parking at Dolphin Drive was previously rejected four previous times after many battles that energized the neighborhood against disturbing the tranquility of the preserve and the neighborhood. Why is Mr. Lys again raising this unnecessary and damaging idea? Certainly it is not because he is listening to the community.

Perhaps anticipating community pushback, the supervisor stated, “There is no plan,” and the roll-out of this idea shows little preparation, with Mr. Lys tossing out frivolous words to justify a proposal that wasn’t based on any planning concerns or community input.

Finally, the Dolphin Drive location is particularly vulnerable to sea level rise. Mr. Lys consistently promotes recreation, regardless of environmental issues. Could it be he wants to turn South Flora into a swinging recreational beach? He is up for election next year. He may think this idea out of the blue will show that he is doing something, but it had nothing to do with the real issues or what the community wants.

RONA KLOPMAN

 

Last Seen in 2015
Amagansett
May 23, 2022

To the Editor:

The proposal for Dolphin Drive parking, which would drive increased foot traffic over the fragile, wounded primary dune that saved all our houses during Hurricanes Sandy and Irene, was last seen in 2015 as a far-right-wing initiative intended as much to troll the Democratic majority on the town board as to accomplish its goal. The Democrats on the board then rightly voted against it unanimously.

Three of today’s town board members were on that board and one who wasn’t yet wrote a letter to the others eloquently and compassionately explaining why the proposal was unacceptable — especially because it was clearly addressed, then as now, to political goals, in derogation of environmental protection and public interest.

The fifth current board member is David Lys, a conservative Republican who switched parties at the supervisor’s invitation. Mr. Lys is leading the renewed attack on our primary dune and for the same reasons and utilizing the same tactics as the then-Republican chairman, Reg Cornelia, a former champion of the plan. It remains to be seen whether the four other Democratic board members will back Mr. Lys’s play — but if they do, by all appearances our town Democrats will be currying favor with the MAGA base at the expense of the people who actually voted them in to replace the Wilkinson board.

I feel fairly certain that would never have happened in Larry Cantwell’s day, and I hope it still can’t.

JONATHAN WALLACE

 

Parking on Dolphin
Amagansett
May 23, 2022

To the Editor,

Last Tuesday, the East Hampton board met, and there was a usual open session prior to the meeting. Many neighbors showed up to complain about a statement we had heard about by David Lys pushing a revival of the plan to make parking on Dolphin Drive.

There were pictures of the primary dune adjacent to our community  — the only thing that protects our neighborhood, at the thinnest point of Long Island in between the bay and the ocean. Parking would drive foot traffic across the dune and destroy it. Increased traffic would be dangerous for children and pedestrians and increase car accidents that are frequent at the point where cars enter and leave the neighborhood onto 27. People called in and repeatedly talked about the dangers. Even a listener from Springs voiced support for us.

Following all this information and clarity about why the last town board rejected the project, David Lys reiterated that he would be pushing for the parking even though Mr. Van Scoyoc said this is not on the agenda, there hadn’t been any discussion yet, and they would not want to harm a primary dune.

How can anyone at this point and time, after the Coastal Assessment Resiliency Plan and other scientific reports are calling out for protection of our primary dunes and coastline communities from global warming and hurricanes, ignore these concerns?

MERI WALLACE

 

Has No Money?
Springs
May 22, 2022

To the Editor,

Thank you for your informative article about the potential of using four-poster deer feeders to reduce the tick pollution in our area. Studies suggest we have one of the highest rates of Lyme in the state, so such a program is much needed here. It is good to see that other towns in our area like North Haven are trying to make progress in this area. Hopefully the state reconsiders its new more restrictive rules for the use of these practical tick reduction stations.

Sadly, I was not surprised by the comments by the East Hampton Town representative in your article since I had reached out to him about three months ago about this very issue. He had also told me it would be too expensive to install four posters, but your article quotes the cost as perhaps as low as $6,000 per station, which sounds like a bargain and money well spent. The other issue however is that is hard to find land parcels large enough to install four-poster stations given new state regulations.

When I mentioned the Girl Scouts Camp in Springs, he said that might make sense, so hopefully that is an avenue that is explored further. I also mentioned using smaller community preservation fund properties, where the required surrounding homeowners might sign off on its location to meet Department of Environmental Conservation requirements. I believe in the area where I reside there would be interest due to the extent of the tick problem.

Given the town’s track record in terms of taking appropriate steps to address serious community problems, I’m not optimistic much will get done with four posters. My guess is maybe in four or five years the town might do something, but even that is unlikely.

Why I am so negative, one might ask? Well, that has been my experience with a handful of important issues that this town faces. I’d gone to the town over four years ago to complain about the terrible cell service in Springs and the serious safety issue it presents. This was long before the pandemic, but several years after the town had decided to sue the Springs Fire Department over the placement of a cell tower.

Almost three years ago, I’d suggested the Girl Scout camp as a logical alternative since there was already a 60-foot-tall tower there. Finally last fall it was decided that this was an appropriate choice, but instead of moving ahead with installing it, they are now bogged down with a “temporary” tower in another location.

Moreover, as I read about the new projections for serious beach erosion and flooding in many parts of our town that will likely unfold in the next few decades due to climate change, I had to wonder why so little of an effort has been made to at least try to reduce the town’s own greenhouse warming emissions? I’ve gone to the town many times over the last five years trying to get it to upgrade the local streetlights over to LEDs to save taxpayer money and reduce emissions. Why is it the town doesn’t even know how many streetlights it controls and why can’t it figure how to take this simple step? Most responsible towns did this years ago.

I’ve also gone to the town multiple times over the past five years to suggest it finally put solar on its own buildings and open spaces where it makes sense — the village did this at least four years ago. To date, they have only installed a 75-kilowatt political-patronage project when 30 times that amount is possible. Given the high cost of electricity in our area, this once again not only makes sense from an environmental standpoint, but also from a fiscal one — the town would likely save 50 percent on its electricity costs in the long run.

In addition, I’ve suggested multiple times that the town pursue a community solar program at the airport to help hundreds if the airport remained open, if not potentially thousands if it were closed, of low to mid-income residents to go green and lower their utility bill by 10 percent. The town has done nothing to pursue such a project, and our supervisor has said it was impossible just last fall while Southampton just closed on a 4.7-megawatt community solar project.

Given all the drama surrounding the airport, perhaps it is finally time to at least close the airport temporarily for one summer to see if it really matters to more than a tenth of 1 percent of our population — the town’s own study showed 40 percent of the people landing at KHTO were not even staying in our town.

As I’ve pointed out in the past, at least $1 million in lease revenue could be generated annually by leasing half the open land at the airport to a solar developer, as opposed to worrying about the never-ending lawsuits from local pilots and companies like Blade and its clients.

Lastly, two years ago I asked why the town wasn’t being more proactive about the growing pine beetle problem and, as usual, was told it was too expensive and nothing could be done. I would like to think they now realize this is creating a significant fire hazard that needs more attention.

What is the common denominator with most of these issues from my experience — the town always claims it has no money? The reality is we live in one of the wealthiest towns in the state, and the town administration has to start acting like it cares about the 99 percent of people who live here and start allocating resources accordingly.

BRAD BROOKS

 

Appeasement Apparent
Amagansett
May 22, 2022

To the Editor,

We’ve willfully been robbed of our rights. One of the neighbors has said, at a town meeting, they’ve built across the road and, when questioned, it’s everyone who lives here’s rights. Their lawyer goes from years ago saying it’s a footpath to now today says it’s a road. Some government agencies try to help, the ones who could do something don’t.

A town council member has let us know they are aware of this situation and are trying to “accommodate” everyone involved. I’m sorry that email just gets worse by the day. Our rights are willfully, knowingly, continuously violated. The response, instead of enforcing the law, is to accommodate. But then again, we know why that’s their answer. It’s blocked by the town board’s liaison, consultant, member of the Montauk beach preservation committee. 

The problem won’t magically go away. Perhaps the wish is to see one of the residents restore their rights by cutting open those cubes. Commit vandalism? Sorry, town board, it’s your responsibility. It was your responsibility to have a resolution to block the road in 2018. You didn’t pass a resolution that anyone has found. It was your responsibility to enforce the law all these years. It’s your responsibility to not be complacent.

Here’s to the fifth summer. Memories can’t come back, with the town board’s willfulness to “accommodate.” Now that they’ve made their appeasement apparent.

They willfully endanger people who visit Napeague State Park and leave to the residents an eight-foot drop. What a bunch of feckless, lazy, elected politicians. The unwillingness to do the lawful things shows they should all resign or be removed from office.

Still here,

JOE KARPINSKI

 

‘Legacy’ America
East Hampton
May 22, 2022

Dear David:

As the radical right across the country wages war on reproductive rights, forcing by law women to carry any pregnancy to term regardless of the woman’s circumstances, they wrap themselves in the banner of being pro-life. But there is nothing pro-life about this careless crusade. The G.O.P. forgets that it has done nothing to support either the mother or the child either during their pregnancies or after birth. They have blanketly opposed every type of social support that would help the women who are the target of their abortion policies. So, there is nothing pro-life about the radical right’s war, it is pro-birth, and the policy ends there without any further care for the mother and child.

Let’s look at Mississippi, where abortion will become illegal immediately if Roe is overturned. It has the highest rate of child poverty in the nation and recently rejected efforts to extend postpartum Medicaid coverage.

In Louisiana, which has a similar “trigger law,” maternal mortality rates are among the worst in the nation.

For the last week, the G.O.P. has been fuming at accusations that it is endemically racist but they themselves can’t help but confess to it. In discussing Louisiana’s mortality rate, G.O.P. Senator Bill Cassidy claimed in an interview with Politico that the mortality rate is not as bad as it seems — if you subtract the deaths of Black women. Explaining that because Black Americans have a higher incidence of maternal mortality, if one corrects for race, the U.S. is not the mortality outlier that it otherwise appears.

In his statement, Senator Cassidy, who also advocates for defunding Planned Parenthood, embodies much of the radical right’s racist and misogynistic trope. First, he admits that the maternal mortality rate in the U.S. is excessive, but is hell bent on denying pre-birth protections that could protect mothers in risk. Then, even worse, he buys into the right’s “replacement theory,” hook, line, and sinker. Let’s just not even worry about Black Americans, caring not a whit that in the U.S. Black mothers are three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause than white mothers (and in Louisiana, the rate is four times higher). To Cassidy, the mortality statistics for Black American mothers should be ignored. In other words, long live “legacy America.”

In a couple weeks, we will vote for the Democratic candidate for our congressional seat, being abandoned by Lee Zeldin.  I urge everyone to support that candidate more likely to be a steadfast supporter for the rights of all Americans and who will not abandon anyone in the obscene quest to create a “legacy America.” It is hard to believe that any G.O.P. candidate will be able to check that box.

Sincerely,

CAROL O’ROURKE

 

Think Very Carefully
Montauk
May 23, 2022

Dear David,

If you’re finally having second thoughts about voting for Joe Biden for president, please think very carefully about giving the Democratic nomination to the woman who will do anything, which includes lying, paying a fortune to discredit her opponent, and any other illegal means to destroy anyone in her way.

We have plenty of really honest and true women in America who wouldn’t turn to this atrocity. One that comes to mind is the very graceful Condoleezza Rice. She is a true patriot and an all-American. She’s intelligent, honest, and needs a push to run for office.

Instead of being “party first,” think “country first,” as we look at the damage this sitting lame duck fool of a president, Joe Biden, has done to America.

In God and country,

BEA DERRICO

 

Screwed Economically
East Hampton
May 23, 2022

David,

Numbers tend to be real in economic analysis. To understand economic growth during the Trump presidency, one only has to look at the numbers; what Trump said was meaningless. The numbers told the story. For those of us who don’t understand the numbers, don’t read about them, there is our own experience. Do we have more money or less? Are we more secure? Is life enjoyable?

Inflation is real, for us and the rest of the world. Eight-point-three percent is real. If we did everything perfectly in the U.S., it would still be close to 8 percent. We helped create a global system and, while we reap the benefits, we also have to live with the downside.

In a logical, rational world it wouldn’t be necessary to repeat the inflation mantra, assuming that we are too dumb to know that it exists. It would require solutions. Ideas on what to do and how to do them. Whining is wasted energy, and noisy. Bring what you have to the table.

So, in the economic and social universe, we often take proven historical realities and alter them to fit our beliefs. Adding a zero or moving a comma can turn negative results to positive. Altering established history to redefine a current contrasting concept works in an ahistorical universe. Distorting historical reality as normal, instead of aberrant. Replacement theory is the poster boy for historical deviance.

The story of U.S. workers has been documented and proven ad nauseam. In 1980, under the stewardship of Ronald Reagan, the U.S. abandoned the New Deal of F.D.R. for a free market trickle-down policy, convincing people that the benefits of the New Deal, essentially the development of the middle class and all its economic, social, educational benefits, etc. (that didn’t exist before the New Deal), needed to be replaced with a system based on capital and world markets rather than on worker productivity and consumption.

Unions were eliminated in favor of “right-to-work” policies. Jobs were sent overseas to utilize cheap labor without protections and benefit costs. Income was replaced by credit cards and debts. American workers got screwed in the process. The screwers were Ronald Reagan and the Republican Party.

Screwed economically is defined by a 30 percent to 40 percent loss of purchasing power by 80 percent of Americans between 1980 and 2020, during which time gross domestic product increased four times.

Replacement theory takes the narrative and replaces the screwer with minorities and immigrants, shifting focus from the real screwers to someone else, guaranteeing that the problem can never be solved and that the real perpetrators will remain unscathed. Altering the narrative guarantees that U.S. workers will remain in the crapper eternally. They will continue to vote for the people who screwed them and some will do what they did in Buffalo.

What happened to U.S. workers is absolutely real. They weren’t simply replaced, they were discarded, aborted in essence. The 2009 crash finished them off literally. The federal minimum wage is less than $8. Every attempt at unionizing is battled to the death. Resistance comes from one direction. Only the Democrats try to improve working conditions. Most of them.

There is a narrative for undoing the pain that U.S. workers are experiencing. It doesn’t include killing minorities and immigrants. It begins by going to the polls. Reworking our tax codes. Supporting unions. Raising the minimum wage. Redesigning the American dream so that life is fun, comfortable, and secure.

Retooling our racism doesn’t alter our reality. Strangely, or maybe not, the source for “replacement” is the same for the Republican pedophilia obsession: deviant satisfaction that will never really satisfy, a sickly deranged belief, based on an alternative reality, designed to generate anger and violence. Deviance flourishes in a culture because people allow it to happen. Silence is complicity.

NEIL HAUSIG


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