Anti-Semitism, Fascism, Winston Farm and more letters from our readers

The views and opinions expressed in our letters section are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Hudson Valley One. You can submit a letter to the editor here.


Adding insult to injury

I received in the mail last week (along with most of the rest of the residents of Saugerties) a slick piece of propaganda from the owners of Winston Farm that purports to set the record straight on “blatantly inaccurate public statements” made by “out-of-towners” about the plans for development for that property. The disingenuousness of the mailer is breathtaking! For example:

It claims that the proposal is being reviewed by the Town of Saugerties, but fails to mention that such a review is subject to a lengthy in-depth SEQR investigation by the State of New York DEC to determine the potential for environmental damage and impact on fresh water supply, among other considerations. Approval for development at Winston Farm is not yet in the hands of the Town, Planning and Zoning Boards – not by a long shot. And when the day arrives that it is handed to those bodies, if they dare to make decisions without extensive public input and discussion (not these so-called public hearings where comment is limited to two or three minutes and which seem to intentionally pit groups of residents against each other), their decisions will not be legitimate.

The “fictions” outlined in the mailer are fictional indeed. They are not (or are no longer) the stated concerns of anyone opposed to plans for development at Winston Farm. And the “facts” provided are doubletalk based on faulty assumptions, the principal one being the claims about jobs, housing and tax revenues. But back to the “fact/fiction” list:

1. The fact that the concept plan outline is vague in the extreme is apparently intended as reassurance, but it has the opposite effect. It leaves the field wide open for anything at all to happen.

2. What can it mean that the developers’ “goal has always been to retain as much of the property’s natural beauty as possible”? Possible in what context? This particular “goal” could lead to not a single tree left standing.

3. And why should the developers’ need for the water from the Winston Farm aquifer supersede the needs of the Village (and the Town)? If anything on the planet should be maintained as a communal resource, isn’t it fresh water?

4. As for “sustainable building materials and energy-efficient building techniques,” the owners will “consider” them when interviewing companies the property will be sold off to in parcels! Talk about wiggle room! “Guarantee” or “require” should be the language here.

5. Who cares that the Hudson Valley Development Corp. thinks this location is “ideal for development?” Who is this Corp, anyway? What are its interests? Ditto with respect to the Ulster County Chamber of Commerce. Of course we know very well who they are: a special interest group composed of business owners with the goal of promoting business, not the environment or the public welfare.

6. And the only reason this proposal isn’t being “rammed through” is that the State of New York’s SEQR process puts the brakes on. “Opportunities for public comment” are required for such projects, not dependent upon the largesse of the owners, as they imply.

One doesn’t read such slippery language every day. It insults the intelligence of anyone who reads it. I don’t know what the owners’ intentions are, beyond making as much profit off their investment as possible. It’s widely assumed that because they’re native sons, their motives also include what they consider the well-being of the community. But there is more than one way to look at well-being, and it’s clear to me that their ideas reflect the economics of a world that is rapidly vanishing. Yet many Saugertiesians seem to think that they can continue to live in a bubble which is bursting all around them, not realizing that development of the kind proposed at Winston Farm will only make the disintegration worse (faster and more devastating).

The reason not to develop Winston Farm outweighs any of the misleading, outdated reasons to develop it. Here’s how a wonderful little book* I’m reading puts it: “In order to limit the consequences of the climate chaos heading our way, the honest truth is that, of every decision taken, of every choice made – by individuals, local authorities, businesses big and small and governments – the question must be asked: Is this good for the climate? If the answer is Yes, all well and good. If the answer is No, then it cannot be allowed to proceed.” Environmental and economic concerns aside, it’s clear that turning Winston Farm from a carbon sink into a carbon emitter by developing it in any way makes the answer to the question a very big No.

*An Inconvenient Apocalypse, by Wes Jackson and Robert Jensen, available at the public library.

Janet Asiain
Saugerties

PTA fundraisers

Thank you, Duzine/Lenape PTA of New Paltz Central Schools. You have introduced a new fundraiser I can really get behind! Pies, just in time for Thanksgiving, fresh-baked by our local farmers at Wright’s Farm, with ways to send a check directly to the PTA, including having the child hand=deliver the check to his teacher. My grandson will be part of the whole process. A win/win/win/win for a local business, our PTA, our community and our kids.

Another grandchild in another local district had a link that was sent to the students’ parents to send out to relatives and friends, where the child gets a “prize” determined by people buying cheap and overpriced plastic toys, giftwrap, candies, kitchen supplies – all done online to an anonymous company, with no student participation. And worse: no sales, no prize. So, of course I’ll buy something, even though it is a third-party company that I know nothing about, because if prizes are handed out, I don’t want him feeling left out.

Both school districts are using children to earn money for the PTA, but to me, the difference is clear. When my grandchild in New Paltz passes by the local farmstand, his parents can say, “Hey, look, there is where the pies came from to help support the PTA.” They might even stop in and buy some apples.

Karen Cathers Peone
New Paltz

Making a difference

Hey, Supreme Court: a few more irrational, anti-human decisions, and you may manage to destroy the Republican Party!

Sparrow
Phoenicia

Why leave?

New York State has teamed up with Connecticut, Massachusetts, Ohio, Illinois and California for the last ten years of a massive outmigration to Southern states like Tennessee, Texas and Florida where the costs of living, especially income taxes, are lower. How many of those “leavers” encumbered Northern states with record debt, I wonder?

When your Village is unattractive because it costs too much, “Houston, you have a problem.” Except in this case, Houston’s climate is worse today than the worst forecasts for how Albany will be 80 years from now, with massive hurricanes, flooding, heat and humidity.

People are moving to Florida where the air is as thick as Grandma’s pea soup; it’s like they want to experience climate change now.

Rising income taxes, a falling property tax base and population loss right now, not off into the distant future, is a “clear and present danger.” What the other changes are that will come with a two-to-four-foot rise in the tides 80 years from now should at least be a part of the doomsday conversation (hey, they all use the phrase existential risk).

When the pirates are coming over the starboard rail, why are we so damn concerned about those storm clouds off our port side? The election is over. I hope you all voted for a good person who cares more about us, the led, than the booty available from being a pol.

As sure as I am that mankind will be able to thrive whatever the climate is in 80 years, I am uncertain about the economic health of New York City, the Hudson Valley and that great chunk of farms, lumber and wilderness recreation just to our north and west.

Next on the ecofreaks’ target list: attractions that motivate people to get in their cars and drive someplace. Close the Bronx Zoo? Ban the crafts fair? Mandate working from home to stop the commuter carbon footprint? Fine (tax) Florida vacations?

If you do buy into the climate alarmists’ story, why are you so interested in a Viking cruise up the Danube River?

Paul Nathe
New Paltz

The GOP Shinola show

A red “trickle” and the truth, or a clarifying moment for democracy? The king has no clothes, which hammers a point home like a nail going into the wall. It cost them winnable elections. It’s time to eat your “L.” I won’t laugh too hard at Republicans when you choke a little on the losses. Hah hahaha! It was a real rejection of the toxicity, the hate, the vitriol – and most importantly, Trump.

Whatever he touches turns to losses. His candidates struggled in their midterm performance. Yes, these wannabe politicians who denied or questioned the 2020 election and echoed his bullshit talking point of a “Big Lie” (voter fraud and conspiracy theory) have lost their races. They completely f–ked up!

And now, with the midterms in the rearview, many Republicans are blaming Donald Dump for their midterm failure. LOL. He is the party’s biggest loser! He has led Republicans into one political fiasco after another. Maybe this political party will finally learn from this epic loss. It is easy to see he poisons his own movement.

The understatement of the year: It could have been so much worse. “Almost every one of these Trump-endorsed candidates you see in competitive states have lost, and it shows that [Trump’s] political instincts are not about the party, they’re not about the country. They’re about him.”

Many silent conservatives are no longer quiet, as they point their finger at Trump after his GOP’s underwhelming election results: He’s never been weaker. He, toxic Trump, is the most profound vote-repellent in modern American history. They created the mess for backing Dump.

Now the GOP’s Trump hangover is sparking calls to reject his MAGAt movement. That’s what the Republicans do best is blame each other. So, the Republican Party has a problem heading into 2024.

Yes, it’s a mess; the MAGAts are in retreat. This was supposed to be a shellacking. They expected to take at least 35 seats in the House. They expected to flip state seats. They literally expected a Red Wave. We kept them from it – in a midterm with the president’s approval rating underwater.

Americans vetoed Trumpism. We need to recognize that. Own that. Celebrate that. And then set about absolutely obliterating it.

Smart Republicans see what a dangerous man Trump is, even though he is a Republican. A lot of people can’t. That is why he has gotten away with all that he has. Still hard to see that so many people are going for an authoritarian lifestyle with how they voted. It has all to do with education and emotional intelligence; we’re talking “gullible” if not educated.

Tomorrow is never promised; nevertheless, the voters foiled the plan. Let’s laud the American people that voted smartly. They screamed “Consequences count” and “No right-wing fuckery!” with its countenance of violence. Just because they call themselves the “right” doesn’t actually mean that they are right.

A “Red” nosebleed and a bashing punch to the political gut? Thank goodness! It wasn’t only about the orange guy and the F-word. It turns out women and young voters are super-motivated to keep their rights and voted accordingly.

There was a big pushback, especially from Gen Z who participated. These young people showed up in larger-than-anticipated numbers in this year’s midterm elections, providing the margin Democrats needed to blunt the GOP’s much-ballyhooed Red Wave. They punished Trump-backed candidates with a red stop sign. The new voters are a force to be reckoned with. Good work, kids. And let’s hear it for “Team Normal.”

Also, I do believe that women had a lot to do with this! The overturning of Roe fired up many women, and the Republicans were talking about codification of their anti-abortion stance. This is what happens when you mess with women’s bodies and attempt to silence a woman’s voice.

Hopefully, Trump is in self-destruct mode. Oh, and one more thing: Thoughts and prayers to whoever is responsible for cleaning the walls at Mar-a-Lago these past few weeks. Maybe they can wipe the leftover ketchup and “special sauce” off the walls with some good bread and eat it.

Neil Jarmel
West Hurley

Where was The New York Times?

You won’t find this in The New York Times, although they were alerted: on Monday, November 14, Veterans for Peace action at the Isaiah Wall, across from the UN. Garett Reppenhagen, executive director of VFP, Jim Rine, Elliott Adams, a whole crew from New York City VFP, CODEPINK, eXtinction Rebellion, Raging Grannies and others held banners, chanted and heard speeches and, most photogenically, set up an “observation tower” to let the UN know that we are watching to see if they will take any real action to include military emissions as part of the data when creating climate agreements. No wars, no warming! There are photos with captions telling the story here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/Ae8xxuwSPoXkg9Lo8.

Tarak Kauff
Woodstock

Thanks for water grant from Ulster County

Thank you, Ulster County executive and Ulster County Legislature for selecting our project and granting the Village of New Paltz $500,000 to help replace old failing pipes in our conveyance system! This helps New Paltz provide safe and affordable drinking water to SUNY New Paltz, our K-12 school district, local businesses and residents in the Village and Town water districts.

Mayor Tim Rogers
Deputy mayor Alexandria Wojcik
Trustee Michele Zipp
Trustee Stana Weisburd
Trustee William Wheeler Murray

Right under his nose!

From the day he was elected president, the government apparatus of the losing party attacked Trump. Among their disreputable acts were pretending he won with the help of Russian collusion, voter suppression (Jim Crow 2.0) and voting machine manipulation. The Dems allies in the media never let up. CNN shrunk to a small fraction of its once-mighty self when Trump lost to Biden, still playing on the deck of their homemade Titanic.

Two weeks before Biden beat Trump, the New York Post, an actual, Big City reputable newspaper, ran a feature story about Hunter Biden’s laptop; it painted an ugly picture that made the case that while President Biden was vice president to President Obama, he led a group that actively, lucratively sold access to the White House.

No one has ever claimed Obama knew anything about the hundreds of deals Hunter, his dad and his Uncle Jim sold to China for many millions of dollars. Fifty top-ranked retired top security experts yelled “foul” and called it more Russian disinformation. While Trump had won the popular vote, our Founders’ wisdom creating the Electoral College correctly gave the presidency to Biden. Had the truth of the laptop story been left intact, it is improbable that Trump would have lost reelection.

Gradually, the media learned enough from FBI leaks about what was on the laptop to proclaim that the original New York Post story was correct: Joe, Hunter and Jim had been running a lucrative scam right under President Obama’s nose for years. Most informed citizens do not know that Ms. Valerie Jarrett was the second most powerful person in the White House for all eight years of the Obama administration, coming to DC with the Obamas from Chicago, where her family are longtime machine politicians. If Barack didn’t know about Joe’s felonies, how did the Bidens pull it off? Inquiring minds want to know!

Geddy, I loved your Ryan headline: Landslide! I suggest you save “Earthquake” for two years from now (unless Congressman Ryan gets a better offer in the meantime).

Paul Nathe
New Paltz

Flim-flam men

Not since George C. Parker successfully sold the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty and Grant’s Tomb to gullible immigrants, arriving at Ellis Island in the 1920s, have we seen so many “suckers born every minute.”

Donald J. Trump, the modern day flim-flam man and false prophet, has a record of bankrupted businesses and ongoing criminal investigations and continues to bilk decent Americans of their hard-earned dollars. For one who claims to be “really, really rich,” he has conjured up a multitude of ways to solicit other people’s money. His go-to Art of the Deal is playing the victim card when, in fact, he is the predator.

Unlike Parker, who swindled weary and vulnerable passengers for hundreds of thousands of dollars, this former president has pilfered millions of dollars from his hoodwinked supporters. Whether or not you believe his incessant lies and pathetic cries for help, stop sending him money! It’s all about him, and he has no intention of making your lives better or concern for your household savings. Ask yourselves why his non-disclosure agreements and a flurry of counter-lawsuits are so vital to a man who claims to be innocent of any and all charges lodged against him.

In 1936, George Parker died in Sing Sing prison while serving a life sentence for his illicit schemes. In this day and age, Trump makes Parker look like a fledgling flim-flam man.

Paul K. Maloney
West Shokan

Impact of Winston Farm

I was quietly concerned about the plans for Winston Farm until I got a flyer from the owners referring to “out-of-towners” blatantly spreading misinformation about the project; this “out-of-towners” reference seemed to me dishonest and manipulative. As a Saugerties resident of 40 years, I recognize the letter-writers, openly worried about this project, as neighbors. So, I looked at winstonfarm.com and I see what their worries are about. It appears that, aside from water/environmental issues, the plan will create enormous traffic problems on Routes 32 and 212, not to mention getting home at Exit 20/Thruway.

It also seems to me that it will create a competitive “village” (see “Commercial” in their proposal) which will hurt Saugerties Village. The three businessmen who are behind this project are not located in the Village, although they do depend on the goodwill of our residents. So I join my fellow Saugertiesians who are concerned about the impact that this project may have as currently planned and ask the Zoning and Executive Boards of the Town to carefully study the impact of the proposal as if it were a proposal from “out-of-towners” and not have a favorable leaning for “local businessmen” who, of course, as businessmen, would like to profit from their venture.

Meyer A. Rothberg
Saugerties

A big sign

Jim Quigley, the GOP candidate for Ulster County executive, showed Ulster County voters that they made the right decision on Election Day. Rather than offer a gracious concession after Jen Metzger thrashed him at the ballot box, Quigley seethed: “We ran a campaign on the basis of integrating and getting the Towns to work closer with the County, and we now have a County executive who has absolutely no operating experience. So, God bless the United States.”

What happened to the tradition of losing political candidates making a self-deprecating joke about receiving a beatdown and then wishing their opponent well? Quigley should publicly apologize for his rash, bitter remarks.

David Wallis
Bearsville

Church Road contamination

“I don’t know what they expect the Town can do. Because we won a lawsuit, we have the ability to turn around and force a cleanup and bill it back to him… But we can’t just go in there with a bulldozer and start cleaning up. We have to go and get a court order to get permission to go in there.” The answer to the question about what they expect the Town to do is to “get a court order to get permission to go in there.”

Howard Harris
Woodstock

$8.4 million in water, sewer projects since 2015

We may still need help from the water grant gods (applied five times since 2017 and received just one award for $3 million), but the sewer-grant gods have New Paltz’s back.

Yesterday, governor Kathy Hochul announced $33 million in 54 Community Development Block Grant awards to municipalities across New York State, including $867,450 towards a $914,450 project on Prospect, South Chestnut and Harrington Streets in the Village of New Paltz.

Since 2015, the Village has applied eight times and received seven awards to repair sections of our sanitary sewer system using Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds via the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program. These seven awards will have funded nearly $5.4 million in Village of New Paltz sewer projects.

We have been addressing inflow and infiltration problems caused by our sewer infrastructure that dates back to the late 1800s. We are trying to eliminate sewage overflows from maintenance hole covers that occur during heavy rains at Water Street, Prospect Street, Mulberry Street, Broadhead Avenue and Huguenot Street.

There were three Mid-Hudson Region awardees announced yesterday: Town of Wawarsing, Town of Ulster and Village of New Paltz. Thank you, Governor Hochul and Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council.

Mayor Tim Rogers
New Paltz

Neilsplaining

The following silly Civile song parody (good to hear from you, again, Meyer) is a commentary on the present-day state of “wokeness.” It is written in light of Neil Jarmel’s recent letter in which he Neilsplained the word “woke” and called for Neil-minded Americans to reclaim the word that even folks like AOC, Bill Maher and James Carville now hold in near-contempt.

It should be noted that “woke” is a slang term that has eased into the mainstream from some varieties of a dialect called African American Vernacular English (AAVE). From this view, “awake” is often rendered as “woke,” as in “I was sleeping, but now I’m woke.” “Woke” has been used as a byword for social awareness. People like Neil Jarmel who consider themselves “woke” believe that those who aren’t woke are hindering the battle against injustice, and that only woke people are empathetic to those suffering social injustices and therefore only truly qualified to define and identify them and determine the proper way to eliminate such injustices.

Because AOC recently criticized the use of the word woke as outdated – only used by James Carville and people of his generation – the reader should imagine the song being sung by an irritated and sarcastic AOC to Neil Jarmel in response to his appeal to reclaim the misunderstood word from the dastardly mega-MAGA types who have distorted its true (as defined by Neil) meaning. And Meyer, I’ve been told it’s fun to sing my silly parodies, so don’t fight the urge.

“When You’re Woke” (to the tune of the Doors’ “When You’re Strange”:

(Stanza)

Woke is the word some use quite often

When you’re enlightened being woke’s good

Woke people don’t know they are sleeping

They’re stuck in a nightmare of relative truths

(Bridge)

When you’re woke

A Spartacus moment’s not rare

When you’re woke

You think only woke people care

When you’re woke

When you’re woke

When you’re woke

Woke people rail against all injustice

But injustice can’t ever be colorblind

Reason and logic they are unwanted

Good can be evil fairness unkind

(Bridge)

When you’re woke

Conservatives are never right

When you’re woke

A racist can only be white

When you’re woke

When you’re woke

When you’re woke

(Stanza)

So many people living in woke land

Too many people living a lie

Woke folks imagine no hell below us

Above us they think there’s only sky

(Bridge)

When you’re woke

Absolute truths are not real

When you’re woke

The truth comes from things that you feel

(Stanza)

Woke people think the press should be biased

As long as the bias supports all their views

They want “unwoke” news to be censored

By all of the people giving the news

(Bridge)

When you’re woke

All gods must answer to man

When you’re woke

A “true” god is your biggest fan

(Stanza)

So many people defending wokeness

Even the Air Force is hip to that scene

If you won’t use words like two-spirit

You’re just a bigot

And you’re just mean

(Bridge)

When you’re woke

You think that Neil Jarmel is keen

When you’re woke

Rebecca Wilk isn’t so mean

When you’re woke

When you’re woke

When you’re woke

George Civile
Gardiner

Upcoming lecture on anti-Semitism

Elting Memorial Library’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, collaborating with the Jewish Congregation of New Paltz, has embarked on a series of programs designed to examine with the community the dangers and causes of hate-filled bias, discrimination and violence.

On December 1 at 5 p.m. at Elting Memorial Library, rabbi William Strongin, rabbi emeritus of Kehillat Ahavat Achim, the Jewish Congregation of New Paltz, and director emeritus of the Jewish Studies Program at SUNY New Paltz, will present a lecture: “The Roots of Anti-Semitism.”

On October 22, the Library was pleased to host “A Celebration of Diversity,” a reception for the opening of Elting Memorial Library’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion collection, held in the Elting Reading Garden, with speakers as well as music by the Resisterhood Community Choir.

On November 10, Kenneth Stern, director of the Bard Center for the Study of Hate, presented a well-attended lecture, “Understanding Hatred in Order to Counter It.” An award-winning author and attorney, Kenneth Stern’s op/ed columns and book reviews have been featured in The New York Times and the Washington Post, among other newspapers, and he has appeared on such news programs as CBS News, Dateline and Face the Nation. This lecture was co-sponsored by the Louis and Mildred Resnick Institute.

We are excited by the prospect of “Combating Hatred/Fostering Change” as an ongoing initiative that will continue to focus on different communities that have had to confront hatred. We hope these events will spark a community dialogue about these very serious problems manifesting themselves in our society.

Hope to see you on December 1 and at future programs to be announced.

Lewis Brownstein
New Paltz

Education, censorship and hatred

I was watching a local Town Board meeting when a member of the conservative group Moms for Liberty got up and addressed the Board (see video at 18:30), stating “Teachers and librarians cannot be trusted to make decisions on materials being made available to children.” She also addresses the fact that in the past year, a book had been banned from our local high schools in the Wappingers Central School District, and I am sickened that I live in a school district that has upheld a book ban. This is not what I would have expected, and truthfully it breaks my heart.

I am a retired teacher who taught in this district for 18 years and lived in this community for most of my life. In my years of experience. I had the good fortune of working with some of the best educators in our state, and have always been proud of this district with its supportive parents, high graduation rates, extracurricular activities and a music program with a national reputation.

I am extremely disappointed, disturbed, insulted and angry at the Town Board that did not stop this person from maligning our librarians and educators. As a retired teacher, I strongly believe we need to trust teachers, librarians and all other public school personnel to do the jobs they were trained to do.

Our community needs to know what’s going on. People in our community need to know that when you do a little bit of research, you can easily see that the Moms for Liberty is a hate group. I believe our Town and School Board of Education should speak out in a single voice, saying that hate has no home in East Fishkill and the Wappingers Central School District!

Allyson Rubin
Poughkeepsie

Commentary on life

Nan, biscotti, matzo, garlic knots. OMG, my ever-expanding waist has been donated to the Wurts Street Bridge to be used as a support beam, in keeping with my continuing positive impact on our community. My worst to the Wurts!

If you get lost driving and ask for directions, the worst answer you can get is, “Oh, no, you are on the wrong side of the river!”

To all you Black Friday (every day) stores: What happened to layaway? You are missing out on many customers short on cash, and overdone on credit. Just do the right thing!

On relationships: My buddy Jill asked her friend Jack for “friends with benefits.” He got her ADT, a Medicare Advantage Plan and unlimited visits to Big Moe’s Massage Parlor.

Have a happy turkey or hilarious ham. Ta-ta, I am late to my spot as guest speaker at the Granny No-Botox Coalition.

Myrna Hilton
Ulster Park

Golf tournament an overwhelming success

As we celebrate Thanksgiving, I wish to give my many thanks, along with my sincere appreciation to all the sponsors, volunteers and players who made the Saugerties Athletic Association’s (SAA) 31st annual Sawyer Motors/Sawyer Chevy Golf Tournament an overwhelming success.

The tournament was once again a sell-out and a financial success for the 31st consecutive year.

Many thanks to our tournament lead sponsor Bob and Larry Siracusano for their tremendous show of generosity to the SAA.  Both are truly remarkable individuals.  We are most fortunate and lucky to have both of them as part of our great community.

Additionally, John and Sara Smith, proprietors of Rip Van Winkle Country Club, the venue host.  Their current show of support and generosity continues to be unprecedented, as it has been for the past 31 years, from the Smith family!

The combined hundreds of businesses, organizations and individuals who have taken various levels of sponsorship each year, along with those who have donated and contributed prizes, gifts, etc. and the 76 players, some, who have participated since year one. Thank you for your continued support and generosity.

My many thanks to the Tournament Committee, along with the other volunteers who play vital roles and work the tournament, the day of.  To all of you, your tireless efforts, dedication, support and generosity has been unprecedented.  I, nor any one person, could ever do without each and every one of you.

None of this would be possible if it were not for all aforementioned, all for the benefit of the SAA, our youth and community.   I can never begin to extend the amount of thanks and appreciation equal to your support and generosity.

I wish everyone a very happy, healthy and safe holiday season, along with hopes you are able to enjoy the season and the wonders of Christmas to its fullest with family and friends. May 2023 be the year you are blessed with happiness and good health, along with being your best year yet.  Thank you all, again, and all the best to the best!!

Greg Chorvas, Chairman
SAA Golf Tournament
Saugerties

Why insurrection?

Compartmentalizing is a long word describing how I and many others get through our days and nights in today’s world. We place unresolved issues, uncomfortable media news, the grief of losing a loved one, our upset for no time for compassion for strangers, questions of our government’s morality and waves of triggered anger all get placed like trunks in our psychological attics and basements. Unfortunately, this is our culture, where politicians and businesses intentionally generate confusion and fear so that the masses cannot unpack all the issues they compartmentalize.

But, woefully, because we personally box up so many unprocessed sentiments and negative behaviors, they begin seeping into our dreams, and unwanted spontaneous actions expose our private thoughts and feelings. Some call these “Freudian slips.”

I say this because it should not be a surprise that our politicians use compartmentalizing issues that they feel jeopardize reelection. Many lawyerist tools, such as restricting the terms and requirements of voter registrations, unfounded claims of voter fraud and showing proof of citizenship, are examples. The primary delay tactics are to make all processes too complex for public attention that they cannot be understood by the press and anyone without a team of attorneys. I see this as the political attics and basement where human needs get repressed. This issue is addressed late at night, months or years later, when newer topics have replaced the public’s awareness. So, the original case gets placed back into the basement or attic, and no politician has to be seen, avoiding making difficult decisions.

No one living in America is absent from a relationship with our government and society. However, when life-threatening and life-altering issues are repressed by government policies, we all pay with spurious government allocations and loss of freedoms.

Political decisions such as going to war, minimizing health care and bending laws for the wealthy get passed, compartmentalized and stored in the attics and basements of our decision-makers. Today the press is compromised or has limited access to these stacks of compartmentalized attic boxes. Perhaps this is why some of “we the people” have slipped into unexplainable behaviors, like the insurrection. It might explain how many have become blind to the excessive use of the world’s natural resources owned by the wealthy.
At the very bottom of all the labeled compartmentalized boxes in the attics and basements of Congress and the Senate, the oaths of office each politician took, rest and are no longer used. Instead, the new reality of revolution and fascism is at our front doors. So it may be time to go into our basements and attic to find what we’ve stored there.

Larry Winters
New Paltz

Neofascists identify themselves by their statements

According to Wikipedia, “Fascism is a far-right, authoritarian, ultranationalist political ideology and movement characterized by a dictatorial leader, centralized autocracy, militarism, forcible suppression of opposition, belief in a natural social hierarchy, subordination of individual interests for the perceived good of the nation and race, and strong regimentation of society and the economy.”  For further information, see “The 14 Characteristics of Fascism,” by Lawrence Britt, which include scapegoating of racial and ethnic minorities, rampant sexism, obsession with national security, obsession with crime and punishment, political exploitation of religious dogma and an end to the separation of church and state.

I hope other readers are not misled by deliberate distortions and unfounded nonsense from far-right Trump cultists, whose own statements identify them as neofascist.

John Butz and George Civile’s first-name references to strangers, in the context of derogatory headlines and remarks, are a minor issue which I mentioned only because it is potentially misleading to other readers.  However, I concede that this false familiarity is not gender-specific, as Butz and Civile apparently use it to express contempt for anyone who disagrees with them.  More disturbingly, these right-wingers equate political opposition with “derangement” and mischaracterize people who reject their dogma as “lost,” “losing it,” “confused” or otherwise mentally defective.  Anyone who requires “specific examples” can see their previous letters.

I thank Neil Jarmel and Meyer Rothberg for interjecting much-needed sanity.  Alertness and awareness are strengths to be proud of, while repetitive right-wing diatribes and hymns to Trump are nothing but tiresome.  Fortunately, most voters have rejected election deniers and opted to preserve American democracy.

Rebecca B. Wilk
Woodstock

Nice try, Neil

In his letter of 11-16-22, Neil Jarmel tries to go to incredibly extraordinary lengths in an attempt to redefine the term “woke” and “wokeness,” for all of us.

Unfortunately for Neil, the ORIGINAL and REAL definition of “wokeness” was the alert to all rational Americans of an awareness of all references to the atrocious ideologies and agenda of Biden and his progressive left that have been dragging our wonderful country into a dark abyss.

Unlike NEIL”S “wokeness”, the REAL woke people are gravely concerned with:

Objections to legitimate voter ID.  People of any color can easily get proper voter ID if they truly want to.  Obviously, in 2022, there is no refusal to give voter ID to any minorities of any kind.

The gross overreaction to George Floyd’s murder by “the system,” as if the majority of roughly 660,288 police officers in the U.S.A. are racist rather than just an extremely small minority of bad apples who need to be identified, fired and/or prosecuted if they’ve committed any crimes against minorities, or anyone else for that matter.  This grossly distorted perception of racism in the police ranks has paved the way for the coinage of the politically created term of “systemic racism” by the left and their associates in the cancerous liberal media.

The deepest divisions ever caused by a party or a President, in our lifetime.

An out-of-control border, for nearly two years now, causing the potential for future dangers to U.S. citizens of all colors and all political parties in the form of a record influx of illegal and unvetted immigrants, felons, terrorists and lethal drugs, say nothing of the thousands and thousands of “gotaways.”

CRT, with the government trying to take away the basic duties and responsibilities of parents in teaching their kids about the most sensitive and personal topic of sex education as well as, in an exponential increase of frequency, sanctioning genital mutilation of children along with the accompanying drugs and, astonishingly in some instances, without the knowledge and consent of the parents!  And this is what parents of all races want for themselves and their children?

Our worse economy in 40 years.

A disastrous, incompetent, and deadly withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The clear demonstration of extreme foreign policy weakness to all of our allies and enemies, alike.

The destruction of our energy independence with the condemnation of fossil fuels while not even being remotely close to suitably tested and proven alternative energy sources ready for immediate replacement BEFORE weaning us off critically needed fossil fuels.

Watching a record increase in crime and doing nothing about it while allowing Soros subsidized incompetent DA’s to bastardize our judicial system, allowing and encouraging recidivist criminals to be back on the street the day of or day after their “arrest” so that they can resume their criminal behavior.

Sitting back and watching and even enabling big tech to deny our Constitutionally guaranteed 1st Amendment right to free speech while, in the process, cancelling many conservative voices with phony and biased “public interest concern” algorithms and policies.

NEIL’S “wokeness” would, therefore, actually support and even encourage all the above negative forces that are tearing our country apart.

Neil states that “‘wokeness’ is merely a slang expression that means alertness or being perceptive about facts versus opinion.”  Based upon this assertion, I’d say that that Neil has completely confused himself with what is fact and what is opinion.

John N. Butz
Modena

Open season to switch health insurance plans

The open session is upon us, a period during which seniors can switch health insurance plans. Seniors are receiving solicitations to join Medicare Advantage plans with promises of huge money savings, perks like gym memberships, vision and dental coverage and more. They are trying to lure seniors from government-run Medicare into private, for-profit plans. Medicare Advantage plans maximize profits to reward their stockholders. Traditional Medicare limits what physicians can charge and keeps their overhead to less than two percent. Some Medicare Advantage plans are cheaper than straight Medicare, but provide less coverage. There are many indirect ways to reduce coverage including obstacles to obtain authorizations, size limited panels of doctors and as many ingenious ways as they can create. Their major goal is profit, not health care. The main goal of traditional Medicare is health care, not profits. With straight Medicare one can see most any provider and never be denied care by a clerk administering the rules of the company. It is the plan for those who want to be sure they will get what they pay for.

Hal Chorny
Gardiner

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