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Letters to the Editor for June 2, 2022

Wed, 06/01/2022 - 11:57
Durell Godfrey

Standing Ovation
East Hampton
May 30, 2022

To the Editor:

A standing ovation in the John Drew Theater for Guild Hall’s board of trustees.

ADRIENNE KITAEFF

 

Mindful Stewards
East Hampton Village
May 28, 2022

Dear David,

I would like to publicly acknowledge and commend the actions of Andrea Grover, director of Guild Hall, and her board of directors. Although I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Grover, I’ve been aware of her taking the helm at Guild Hall and initiating what I consider to be some wonderfully positive things for this community. 

I’ve been reading about Guild Hall’s proposed renovations with interest. When I read Ms. Grover’s letter to the editor last week explaining her board’s decision to step back and take a breath and the reasons why, I thought . . . now that is “community.”

When a leader like her steps up and does the right thing, I believe such action warrants public recognition and acknowledgment of what a valuable asset she, her board, and Guild Hall as an institution are to this community. Their leadership sets an example for other organizations and businesses to realize that we are all one family and East Hampton is our home.

We should never act in haste to do what may never be undone. Slow and steady always perseveres. We need to work together as stewards of this community to preserve this gem of a village for generations to come, if not leave it better than we found it.

So thank you, Andrea Grover and Guild Hall board members, for being mindful and proving yourselves to be responsible stewards of the most beautiful community on earth.

Very respectfully,

RALPH DAYTON

 

‘Brokerbabble’
Amagansett
May 27, 2022

Dear David,

I was pleased to read Jaine Mehring’s letter in the current issue of The Star on the absurdity of real estate broker-speak (“brokerbabble,” as some call it) and particularly to the tendency to refer to land or properties with houses likely to be torn down as a “blank canvas” on which the buyer can play out all his or her dreams. This is only the most egregious example of the rhetorical excesses of the real estate profession these days, but as Ms. Mehring properly points out, it is one that is all too revealing of a certain attitude of disrespect for the land, disrespect for history, disrespect for ecology, and the notion of a year-round community that has built the character that these potential buyers and builders would so gleefully obliterate.

Our land is precious, not only because it is in increasingly short supply, but because its many varied, complex, and compelling qualities have truly shaped what the South Fork is. It is the absolute opposite of a blank canvas.

On a related note, it was good to see that the Amagansett citizens advisory committee has begun to discuss the unfortunate tract housing development on Handy Lane in Amagansett, where acres of woods have been decimated in favor of enormous houses shoehorned into tiny lots in a misguided attempt to fool innocent buyers into thinking this dead-end cul-de-sac off Route 27 is the equivalent of the much-loved lanes of Amagansett. It is a project that should never have been approved, and while any discussion of it now is obviously a case of locking the barn door after the horse has gotten out, at least we are beginning to face the consequences of this kind of mediocre suburban development. It is contrary to everything Amagansett has always represented.

With best regards,

PAUL GOLDBERGER

 

Hijacked the Process
East Hampton Village
May 30, 2022

Dear David:

Nothing our mayor does surprises me, but I have to note that in the letter to village residents (and included as a multipage advertisement in The Star, also paid for by village taxpayers) seemed to cross the line on the use of public funds in private political campaigns. On page three, after lauding the village staff and employees he adds, “They should be appreciated and thanked for their hard work, Instead [sic] of being ridiculed by a candidate for trustee in newspaper ads weeks before the election for his own political benefit.”

No one appreciates the village staff and employees more than I do. The ridicule the mayor references was ad copy that read “Who do you want setting policy for the village? Elected board members or appointed department heads?” The mayor has hijacked the decision-making process in our village by using his weekly department head meetings to determine policy for the village.

The right way to set such policy is to have the department heads advise the entire board, who then would discuss these policies at a work session, come to a resolution, and then schedule a public hearing. The elected officials should set village policy. The current process forecloses open discussion and since the current department heads have all been appointed by the mayor, it is not clear if there can be an open dialogue covering the new policies with risks identified and alternative solutions considered. The mayor does not like public discussion, consideration of alternative solutions, or public criticism.

The mayor can say whatever he wants in a paid advertisement, but a village-funded letter to residents and a village-funded newspaper ad should have no overtly political commentary about any candidates.

The mayor tried to disqualify me from the ballot by claiming that my petition signature collection was tainted by fraudulent activities and threatened further legal action. When I stood up to those charges, the mayor and his legal team dropped the action, claiming “printing deadlines.” This is clearly a bully strategy that had no chance of working against me.

When you head to the polls or fill out your absentee ballot, please think about the actions of our mayor and his party. Honesty and integrity, and transparency are crucial to our village governance. Think about who epitomizes those ideals and perhaps who does not. Please vote that way on June 21.

Best,

ARTHUR “TIGER” GRAHAM

 

Not Buying It
East Hampton Village
May 30, 2022

Dear David,

I’m not sure how best to characterize Mayor Jerry’s “The State of the Village” six-page Star insert. Spurious, hyperbole, or alternative facts would be generous, but outright fraud, deceit, or lying are more accurate. Jerry’s pronouncements defy rational logic. He lives in an alternative universe. To paraphrase the great, late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan: You (Jerry) are entitled to your opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts.

Jerry, I’m perplexed about a number of your comments. Some examples: How do nine new zoning code amendments increase revenues? Explain what you mean by your “firm belief that within certain parameters set forth by the zoning ordinances, the government doesn’t know better than you on how best to use your property”? When referring to year-round residents, do you mean homeowners, renters, or both? Please detail all the increased services you’ve provided to the residents.

You claim to believe in open dialogue, transparency, and communication? You’ve got to be kidding. You’ve publicly acknowledged you prefer virtual rather than in-person board meetings. You’ve eliminated monthly work sessions. Hearings and public discourse are nonexistent. You do not attend constituency meetings and public comments are scoffed at. There’s a total lack of transparency and accountability. Freedom of Information requests are ignored. Jerry, I’m not buying it.

How Jerry names names in his six-page insert is revealing. What’s just as revealing are names not mentioned, Trustees Brown, Melendez, and Graham. Is Jerry planning on dropping Ms. Melendez from the ticket? Moreover, his public scolding reference to Trustee Graham is classic Jerry — vindictive and bullying — and have no place in a taxpayer funded advertorial.

Jerry touting his transparency by instructing to make the board packet available alongside the meeting agenda is genuinely laughable. New York State’s Open Meeting Law enacted in 1977 required these materials to be available not later than 72 hours before a meeting. So, Jerry is finally following the law. What is still missing are the minutes from the board meeting and actions taken during Executive Sessions. Jerry?

Jerry must have skipped high school civics. His understanding of a mayor’s role is untenable. Contrary to “Residents elect Mayors to lead, and leading is decision-making.” In addition to an incorrect noun form, the statement is Putinesque. The village is not the Politburo. Except for Trustees Graham and Brown, everyone serves at his direction and pleasure. Too bad it is morally corrupt.

As the budget was not on the website and taking Jerry at his word, I emailed Jerry. No response. I called and received a voice response from Jerry indicating he’ll be out until April 18. Guess it’s been awhile since he answered phone calls “first thing in the morning.”

One of the biggest mysteries is Jerry’s East Hampton Village Foundation. Jerry appoints the board and executive director. To date, they refuse to release their financials, particularly the donors. Mmm. Wonder why?

DAVID GANZ

 

Sounds
East Hampton
May 27, 2022

Dear Mr. Editor,

Hope your spring commissioning is going well. I have been waking up a little earlier than usual lately, actually just before dawn. With the windows open this time of year, I hear a magnificent chorus of bird calls, so many I can’t count them.

By daylight, I have mourning doves, rabbits, blue jays, squirrels, and others at the bird feeder. I feel like I am in the middle of a nature preserve. Then I ponder what kind of calls, sounds, and activity are coming from the 14 acres of land cleared by Van Scoyoc’s Army for the housing project off of Three Mile Harbor Road.

As always, yours to command,

JEFFREY PLITT

 

How Many More?
Wainscott
May 28, 2022

Dear David;

The town board had tried to find a solution and bent over backward towards the pilots. As usual, the aviation people showed their sheer arrogance and disregard for the danger, pollution, and havoc they alone have heaped upon us for decades. They used the ploy of having several plaintiffs to inflict the litigation costs for each suit. Like a petulant child, they get their knickers in a twist and throw crap against the wall, hoping some sticks. How many more instances of spitting in our face do we need?

Each suit requires a separate defense, so much money has to be wasted. They don’t have to pay the legal fees to defend each suit, just to file. Vindictiveness toward the residents who have and still suffer and have funds diverted from worthwhile projects that benefit the entire town.

These selfish ingrates forget that we, the taxpayers, own that land, not the town board. There must be some way they can be countersued and have their deep pockets emptied to defend.

Nothing has changed and they still fly low. In addition to violating rules, town codes have been violated, ignored, and not enforced. There are some hangars that have illegal bathrooms and additions that lack building and Health Department permits and inspections, despite the sole source aquifer being underneath. I have raised this issue repeatedly

My friend Sheetrocked many of the bathrooms in the hangars and another has seen and used them. Why has this been ignored over the years? The town should order an inspection of all the leased hangars and, where violations are found, force their removal and levy fines. Why has this been ignored, yet people who had half-inch violations brought to task? Why was this permitted and ignored by the town and various agencies within?

This latest onslaught should be answered with one thing: Close the whole airport down period! Save the millions in litigation costs and return some sense of normalcy!

Respectfully,

ARTHUR J. FRENCH

 

Wounded Dune
Amagansett
May 28, 2022

To the Editor:

The citizens advisory committees of the town’s hamlets typically observe a profound respect and civility to each other, which was egregiously breached when Loring Bolger arranged for the Springs advisory committee, which she chairs, to intervene in the affairs of a single street in Amagansett, Dolphin Drive.

Ms. Bolger supports parking, which will drive foot traffic over a wounded primary dune in a neighboring hamlet over which her committee has no jurisdiction. She very likely put the item on the agenda at the request of David Lys, a conservative Republican, who for reasons never clearly explained, sits on the town board as a Democrat. Ms. Bolger is a loyal member of the East Hampton Town Democratic Committee, and Lys has announced his intention of placing Dolphin Drive parking on the board’s agenda in the near future.

This is the third time this issue has come up; the previous two, the town board considered the issue diligently and rejected it, for a variety of cogent reasons including the narrowness of Dolphin Drive, the town’s policy of not permitting parking anywhere on narrow residential streets that dead-end at the beach, and, most important, the impacts on fragile dunes abutting the road.

The last time Dolphin Drive parking was debated, in 2014-15, the ferocity of its advocates was surprising to everyone else. At board meetings they screamed in the faces of the smallest, most elderly residents of our neighborhood, libeled us in the press as thieves of the beach and of town land, threatened the board that they would replace any one of them who voted against Dolphin Drive parking with a Republican at the next election, and even arranged for the “No Parking” signage on Dolphin Drive to be illegally removed early one morning.

One of the leaders of the anti-Dolphin Drive charge at the time was a far-right Republican, Reg Cornelia, later town Republican chairman and a Donald Trump supporter. Mr. Cornelia once wrote The Star calling me a “Stalinist,” after I quoted Dr. Martin Luther King at an affordable housing meeting, and in March of this year told The New York Post that “the theft of the 2020 election is the greatest crime in American political history. I worked for the Suffolk County Board of Elections for 15 years and I can name 10 ways Dems and their accomplices perpetrated the theft.” Mr. Cornelia attended Loring Bolger’s wrongheaded meeting and, consistent with his other rhetoric over the years, called me and my neighbors liars within the first 15 words of his comments.

Are David Lys and Loring Bolger now making common cause with Reg Cornelia against the people of my neighborhood (and allowing him, inevitably, as the loudest voice in the mix, to set the rhetorical tone)? Is Dolphin Drive parking an official project now of the town board and the East Hampton Democratic Committee? That would raise the spectacle (or specter) of the Democrats throwing my neighbors, mainly members of the classic Larry Cantwell Democratic base, to Reg and the MAGA residents of our town as red meat. Aside from the fundamental issues of democracy, fairness, dune protection, and legality involved, this would be a huge strategic error, as people who think Democrats “perpetrated the theft” are never going to vote for (for example) Cate Rogers or Kathee Burke-Gonzalez in future elections.

JONATHAN WALLACE

With regard to political party, Mr. Lys’s voter registration is “blank.” Ed.

 

Even More Important
Amagansett
May 30, 2022

Dear David,

Although the East Hampton board has twice decided against allowing parking on Dolphin Drive on the Napeague stretch, a board member is planning to propose parking again. Nothing has changed, and the reasons against parking are even more important today.

Beach access is important but allowing parking on a narrow road in front of a large primary dune on the Napeague stretch, which is the narrowest point on Long Island, flies in the face of flood protection. If the Napeague stretch floods, Montauk would become an island.

Beach access that doesn’t endanger a fragile primary dune already exists at the parking lot on Atlantic Drive, a block away from Dolphin Drive. There is also access to the beach on Dolphin Drive via a road and a path that was never created by the town but by people using them through the years. We already see people climbing on the dune to take pictures or even roll down the hill. Parking on the land in front of the dune would increase foot traffic and danger to the dune.

If this proposal is presented and passed, it would negate the well-reasoned decision, made twice in the past 10 years, to not allow parking on Dolphin Drive.

Sincerely,

JOAN EDWARDS

 

School Safety
East Hampton Village
May 28, 2022

Dear David,

Thank you for Christine Sampson’s article “Officials React To Mass Shooting in Texas.” In addition to reporting on the Uvalde mass school shooting, her article included important statements on school safety from East Hampton Town Police Chief Michael Sarlo and Adam Fine, East Hampton School District superintendent. Students’ parents are certainly aware of the town’s commitment to the safety and the resources, including counseling, available for their children.

It is also important our local community be made aware during this time of reflection, of the safety of the town’s student population and school facilities. East Hampton students are the legacy this community offers to the town’s future.

I just wish the article was not tucked away on page 14. It deserved better exposure.

LINDA JAMES

 

Our Own Worst Enemy
North Haven
May 27, 2022

Dear David:

I am truly mystified. The U.S.A. is a brilliant and powerful nation, but we seem relegated to sitting on the sidelines, to watch manifold absurdities and atrocities, while we bicker among ourselves for obvious selfish reasons.

Our government once practiced democracy, but now favors partisan winner-take-all goals, as if running a nation is a competitive sport. No one in this country should be officially branded, or treated, as a loser. Unfortunately the current right-wing party line does exactly that.

How else can one explain media saturation with the likes of Tucker Carlson and his ilk? Broadcast media, social media, and even a few of our own local letters to the press boldly display a good dose of fact-free lying and rumor-mongering.

Roger Ailes and others like him perfected using fear and conflict to gain profitable ratings. The so-called patriotic Republicans have taken fear and conflict to the extreme for their own power-hungry purpose. They knowingly use conspiracy theories and boldface lies to amass a rabid following, politely referred to as their “base.”

How base can they/it get? Remember Jan. 6? Remember Covid-19 labeled as a hoax? Remember Ukraine, once called a corrupt mess, while Putin was called a fine friend? The political ashes of this destructive politics are all around us. At home we have become our own worst enemy with rampant gun proliferation and misuse. Power politics refuses to allow any reasonable remedy to this lethal threat to ourselves and our children. We have even witnessed our own citizens and politicians physically and lethally attack our Capitol while it was in session!

These past years have been difficult for all of us. Grief, pain, loss, illness, and disappointment have been widespread — even as a select few wallow in untaxed riches and extraordinary profits.

The perpetrators of lies now act surprised and angry. Many wish to trash the very leadership now trying to fix things. Cooperation and democracy among ourselves, and in government, is definitely lacking.

Our home here on the East End of Long Island is an environment that we cherish. Often referred to collectively as “The Hamptons,” it has been treated as a cash cow, a joke, a symbol of ugly excess. In reality, it is still one of the most beautiful and natural places to live — and be among a creative and culturally vibrant community. We need to preserve that as best we can.

World-renowned artists, playwrights, novelists, actors, designers, and masters of agriculture, aquaculture, and landscape design have made this place home for many generations.

LongHouse Reserve is a significant piece of this puzzle. It is one of those places that was home to a brilliant artist of design, fabrics, landscape, and numerous cultural traditions and items. Jack Lenor Larsen made it his personal commitment to share all this with our community and its children via the LongHouse gardens he created with an army of dedicated likeminded assistants.

As with the rest of the world, nothing stays the same forever. It’s true that Jack Lenor Larsen would often state, “Onward,” as his instruction to overcome obstacles and keep on track. His ability to maintain focus in all sorts of adversity was amazing. We should try to do the same.

This week I received a sweet letter of invitation to the LongHouse Reserve summer benefit and must wonder how it is going over there without Jack and all the people who understood his program for almost 30 years, but now are missing. I noticed the use by the new management of his word “onward,” which leaves me wondering where is it going onward to? Ultimately, as a nation, I wonder where are we all going onward to.

Remember Rodney King, the Black guy viciously beaten to near-death by Los Angeles cops way back in 1991? Remember what he said afterward, during the riots? I’ll remind you: “I just want to say — you know — can we, can we all get along? Can we, can we get along? Can we stop making it horrible for the older people and the kids?”

Well said 30 years ago, so I ask today:

Can we?

Why not?

Let’s try!

ANTHONY CORON

 

The Wrong Path
East Hampton
May 25, 2022

Dear David:

Less than two weeks ago, 13 Americans, including 11 Black Americans, were shot and killed in a Buffalo supermarket by an 18-year-old white supremacist. Yesterday, at least 21 Americans were shot in an elementary school in Uvalde, Tex., by another 18-year old. The radically right-leaning governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, has today given the back of his hand to the need for stricter gun laws, yet offered nothing in the way of governance that would help stem the tide of gun violence. Over the course of his tenure as governor, Texas has loosened gun restrictions to the point of a lack of restrictions at all.

The leading Republican candidate for governor of New York, Lee Zeldin, has been caught on tape advocating positions that would make Governor Abbott envious. In recent campaign comments, Mr. Zeldin advocated for the abolition of gun-free zones, areas around certain facilities like schools, within which guns are prohibited. One can debate the efficacy of gun-free zones but eliminating them altogether certainly looks like the wrong path to take.

In his remarks, Mr. Zeldin also advocated for the restriction-free issuance of gun permits; instead of permit issuance being permissive within the discretion of the issuing agency, Mr. Zeldin urged that it be a mandatory issuance process. Ostensibly, it appears that Mr. Zeldin opposes the idea of background checks of any kind. He also supports the right of New Yorkers to carry weapons anywhere without restriction. Not surprisingly, Mr. Zeldin proudly bragged about his A rating from the National Rifle Association — indeed, that association helped fill Mr. Zeldin’s campaign coffers.

Like almost every other G.O.P. lawmaker in the thrall of the N.R.A., Mr. Zeldin often emphasizes the need for better mental health care so as to identify those he perceives as not qualified to possess a firearm. Yet in the same breath, Mr. Zeldin decries New York’s “red flag” law as threatening the gun rights of law-abiding citizens.

New York’s red flag law is, among other things, designed to allow law enforcement to identify persons who pose so serious a danger to themselves or others as to allow a court to decide whether that person’s firearms should be confiscated. The triggers for such protection include mental illness, evidence of domestic abuse, and similar antisocial behavior.

So, while on one hand arguing that the mentally ill should be prohibited from possessing a firearm, Mr. Zeldin’s positions on the campaign trail evidences a view that indicia of dangerous propensities should not prevent gun ownership. Indeed, Mr. Zeldin opposed an action by the Obama administration that would have restricted gun ownership to anyone diagnosed as sufficiently mentally impaired to be eligible for Social Security disability benefits.

Ironically, while couples often cannot decide on a car color, almost 90 percent of Americans support some kind of gun control. They all know that the purpose of rational gun control is not to confiscate weapons from law-abiding Americans. Yet, 50 G.O.P. senators refuse to even hold a vote on gun control measures that have already passed the House, and Mr. Zeldin is among the G.O.P. House members who have almost without exception opposed efforts to increase gun safety.

Knee-jerk resistance to gun control appears to have become a litmus-test for G.O.P. candidates. Time and again, we hear G.O.P. lawmakers lament that massacres of school kids is the price to pay for freedom. I would love to hear just one of these lawmakers tell this to the parents who have just lost a child to such senseless, preventable killings.

This November, every American eligible to vote will go to the polls to elect their congressional representatives and, in some states, new senators. In the wake of these massacres, I can only hope that all voters will use another litmus test: A candidate should deserve their vote only if they support rational gun control. A civilized society deserves to reject gun ideologues like Mr. Zeldin. Let’s do it for the kids.

Sincerely,

BRUCE COLBATH

 

Shall Make no Laws
Plainview
May 28, 2022

To the Editor,

The deaths of the 19 Uvalde, Tex., 10-year-old fourth graders has stolen more than a combined 1,000 years of future life from them — meaning that they collectively will be missing more than: 1,000 Memorial Days, 1,000 Fourth of Julys, 1,000 Halloweens, 1,000 Thanksgivings, 1,000 Christmas Eves, 1,000 Christmas Days, 1,000 New Year’s Eves, 1,000 New Year’s Days, 1,000 Valentine’s Days, and 1,000 Easters, not to forget their 19 wedding days, the births of their own children and grandchildren, plus countless other days, weeks, months, years, and decades.

However, this latest tragedy almost became understandable to me when I imagined the following mash-up of our Constitution’s First and Second Amendments: “Congress shall make no laws respecting the right of people to keep and bear arms, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, which shall not be infringed.” At least this seems to be the way our cowardly Congress has (mis)read our First and Second Amendments ever since the slaughter of 20 Sandy Hook 6 and 7-year-old first graders 10 long years ago, which now again feels like yesterday.

RICHARD SIEGELMAN

 

Gun Crazy
East Hampton
May 30, 2022

Dear David,

If I hear Second Amendment one more time . . . it’s asinine at this point, insulting at the very least, and does not apply to what has happened in Uvalde, Tex., nor since people lost their minds around guns. Mental illness and gun control do not go hand in hand. Do psychos kill people with guns? Yes. Are all gun owners mental? No. So if the owners of AR-15s get a burr up their butts, happen to have violent tendencies for whatever reason (learned or trauma-induced), been bullied or shamed and cannot bear it one more minute, they, in too many cases, reach for their rifles and ammo.

The sheer capability to decimate with those weapons is beyond terrible. No one but a soldier in war should have one. It is not a video game. Those are not benign, either; one in particular is a playbook on how to shoot as many people as you can. Not real, you say, no, but for the very young and unformed minds, is this necessary?

Let’s face it, we’re gun crazy. There is no warning, or no one takes it seriously. The would-be killer goes on social media and makes a veiled threat, a “wait and see” kind of boast. It is never caught in time. Not normal behavior, any of it, but our new normal apparently. No one is fixing the gun problem. We have become comfortably numb. Just thick as a brick, echoing that “Second Amend,” my cousin has on his license plate, his right to bear arms. What about the dead children’s rights? Why do you need an AR-15, tell me the truth. I don’t care for your glib answers. We’re burying too many kids.

In Australia, after a massacre by assault weapons, former conservative prime minister, John Howard, made a ruling and took back the guns. The gun industry is culpable. Some were sued. You don’t get to profit from these killings, which in essence these huge gun companies are. Sell the AK-15s to the government. They’re meant for use in war, or by SWAT teams against criminals with the same weapons. They should be taken off the street, as too often children and passers-by end up as collateral damage. Is this okay with you? Fifth Commandment, anyone? Thou shall not kill. Be more worried about the talking of innocents who are already living and breathing, instead of zygotes. I can’t help but think if the AR-15 murderer in Uvalde weren’t born, those 19 children and two teachers would be celebrating the beginning of summer today. I care about children. They need love, care, guidance, parents, grandparents, an aunt or uncle, a mentor, somebody to give a damn if they veer too far in the wrong direction.

Children need a chance to become healthy adults in all the senses. They don’t need indoctrination into gun culture. We have all failed if one of us fails. Have you violent or unstable or misguided miscreants in your family? It’s not a sin or a shame, but it is a responsibility; make sure they don’t own or have access to guns. Everyone has rage potential but everyone won’t pick up a gun and kill because of their anger. Before 21, the brain is not fully formed: impulse control, thrill-seeking, no fear of dying, etc. Why would you give or sell an automatic killing machine or any gun to an 18-year-old? There is where the insanity lies. You want everyone armed to the teeth? Start letting any Jack or Jill conceal-carry, we’re doomed. Look who’s suggesting this, a useless ass who will be hiding in his bunker when the bullets fly. Stop listening to a sham.

The argument for us defending ourselves or the kids just got proved wrong. Why didn’t they storm the school? Big men afraid of one shooter? Betcha if their own kids were in there, they’d have gone in hell bent for leather. Almost an hour for a SWAT team? You got to be kidding.

Braying about the border ad nauseam isn’t fixing our obsession with guns. Your rights are infringing on the rest of us. I wish there was a time machine to send all you damn fools back to the days of muskets and cannons. You deserve to wake up in a world you don’t recognize; I don’t recognize this one.

Moms and grandmamas, let’s unite and fix this once and for all. The boys on the Hill and in the dale have failed and done enough damage.

I’m glad my mom died before this latest massacre of children. Her dying wish was, “please help and love the children.” Remember the 19 children and two teachers who were massacred. They didn’t deserve to die. You all who love guns allowed this to happen. Your laws let a young man buy an automatic weapon as if it were a burger and fries. Shame on us. Memorial Day has new heroes to honor, The 19 and 2 who never signed up for war.

Saddened and disgusted,

NANCI LAGARENNE

 

Outright Lies
Amagansett
May 30, 2022

Dear David,

Joe Biden’s approval rating stands at 40.4 percent, disapproval rating is 54.8 percent, while Kamala Harris approval rating is 39.7 percent, disapproval is 51.3 percent. Both rack up the gaffes ahead of the midterms rapidly approaching. For whatever reason, the Democrats, instead of being honest, still get on television and sing their praises, insisting they’re the best and it’s everyone’s fault except theirs. Listen to Ms. Harris, she repeats the same statements over and over, while the president just outright lies, as to where he’s been, who he knows, and it goes on and on. Ask him how many times he’s been to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Biden wants desperately for Americans to abandon gasoline-powered cars and adopt electric cars at $40,000 a shot. Biden and all green-climate advocates don’t realize or don’t know 80 percent of electric vehicles’ volts come from natural gas (38.3 percent), nasty coal (21.8 percent), and nuclear (18.9 percent); only 20 percent flow from windmills (9.2 percent), solar, and (2.8 percent) renewable. How does one not understand this?

Lithium is scarce. This key E.V. component prices rocketed 438 percent in one year. The Biden administration has banned the Twin Metals copper and nickel mine in Minnesota, important metal ingredients for electric autos.

We have a president who is incapable of making a statement without blaming Republicans or ultra-MAGAs for all the self-inflicted problems that plague his presidency, despite the truth the Dems control the House, the Senate, and the White House.

Biden promised normalcy after the Trump years. Instead, America’s sadist in chief pumps pain, poverty, and policy incoherence by the tons. This man has destroyed oil, gas, coal, and now he’s after the fisherman. No porgies going on your dinner plate, he plans to ban all scup.

In God and country,

BEA DERRICO

 

Soul Search
East Hampton
May 24, 2022

David,

Too many bizarre out of mind and body things happening over such a short time overwhelm the senses and addle the mind. The weight of the endless crap, from Alito’s memo, to the Southern Baptist Convention reveal, to the shootings in Buffalo and on, begins to feel like business as usual. The normalization of the worst extreme. Just another day in the U.S.A.

The shootings of children are part of our accepted lifestyle. We do this with a certain ease with little or no conscience, oblivious to the obvious or, worse, too tightly wrapped around our gun devotion. What does someone do with 375 rounds when he doesn’t hunt? He kills kids. Sometimes.

We will agonize and tear our hair out for a week or so and return to life as usual — drama queens for a day or a week. Even killing white kids doesn’t get more than a few weeks. The 27th school episode this year aiming to break last year’s record of 42.

Guns have changed since 1787. We used to fight wars with muskets. All the rules and the guns are different. If the militia section of the Second Amendment is untrue, then all military-issue arms violate the law. Our D.N.A., which we didn’t measure then, is compromised, badly. Guns designed for killing lots of people at one time can’t exist in our society. Maybe in China or England but not here. Alcohol is to alcoholics as guns are to Americans.

There are no acceptable gun control arguments, even though every argument is clear and logical. As long as one party sees guns as a hot-button issue that energizes voters in their direction, they will benefit from the issue. No matter how many people die or how much misery and pain ensue, they will remain steadfast in their opposition to gun control.

The agony of the Southern Baptist Convention is more soap opera than morality play. They are pissed off because they got caught: the endless story of religious leaders abusing and defiling the flock. If people hadn’t complained, nothing would change. Too late to ask forgiveness from Jesus. Keeping with the violent nature of the church, hara-kiri seems more fitting.

Religion in the U.S. is about power and money, as it is in most of the world. Our homegrown brand of religious violence is like our structural domestic racism. The framers of the Constitution lied to the public. They said religion was okay as long as it remained separate from governing. It’s not and has never been okay. I’ve worked with amazing priests and ministers and people of faith but they knew deep down that their institutions sucked. The framers did as well.

Imagine being a young trans Black kid in Texas or Idaho, where every fiber of your being is at risk and no one will protect you. On NPR, someone called it genocide. Or is it replacement theory part two — living in a Christian hell?

The sickness in the U.S. starts at the top with our politicians. They don’t care about, guns, God, or abortions, they just want to stay in power. They don’t need to change because there is no pressure from below. If we look at abortion as a problem like, say, immigration, solutions are much easier to develop. If the root of the abortion issue starts with the male sperm, which it clearly does, then it seems logical that in order to curb abortions, we need to get the sperm under control. Logically: no sperm, no abortion. So, it would make more sense to punish the creator of the problem than the vehicle that carries it? The only way to make the problem go away is to attack it at the source. Castration has been practiced by the church for 2,000 years, so it will be doctrinally correct, not that it matters.

Replacement theory touches on guns, abortion, racism, homophobia, and religion. What they share in common is that they are free; giving people something to hate and to attack is so much easier than jobs, education, housing, and health care. No-brainer vitriol replaces the wealth that is and has been stolen from working-class Americans. The right to hate is like a no-interest mortgage.

We now associate Republicans and Fox with hatred and violence. Hating has replaced happiness as their political goal. The dead kids are collateral damage. They don’t really give a shit. Don’t even pretend to care. We need to replace the soulless scum that are mucking up our country.

NEIL HAUSIG


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