Letters (4/11-4/18)

Words without action

Liberals have a love affair with words. Obama’s private school and Ivy League education has made him a master of rhetoric. He can repeat the words of Martin Luther King while committing war crimes around the world. A former professor of constitutional law, he can praise human rights while murdering US citizens abroad, without charges and without trial.

Obama’s acceptance speech for the Noble Peace Prize will be used in future textbooks as the perfect example of 21st Century sophistry. Yet many liberals couldn’t keep from crying during it. Martin Luther King’s words spoken by a black president was all they experienced.

President Clinton used to be the nation’s best flim-flam artist. He talked about fighting for the good of the people while he slashed the social safety net, liberated big banks and accounting firms from most regulations, oversaw the corporate consolidation of the media, waged war in Yugoslavia, and starved millions of Iraqi children because their US imposed dictator “was building weapons of mass destruction.”

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Not bad, but Obama will do him one better: for the US war machine, for the major corporations, and for the oil industry. Obama may even succeed in destroying Social Security and Medicare for his major backers on Wall Street. He will dismantle public education, the post office if he can, and destroy what’s left of our unions.

Only a fool keeps believing in pretty words over substance; in media-driven elections over popular resistance. Now is the right time for liberals’ tears.

Fred Nagel
Rhinebeck

 

Don’t trust the utilities

Whatever happened to good old-fashioned trust? It’s time to stand up for our values. Here is a good chance to show your faith. In January, Central Hudson Gas & Electric (CH) announced its intention to sell out to Fortis, a Canadian multi-national energy corporation, with holdings in five Canadian provinces, the Caribbean, Belize, plus hotels and real estate in Canada. The announcement boasts these words: includes substantive customer benefits and protections.

With a promise of such benefits and protections, it would take a real willy-waggy to be suspicious. Forget that it was the board of directors and shareholders, not the employees or customers, which made the decision to sell out and provide us with all those substantive benefits and protections. Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be, business as usual? Don’t you agree that those employees, our neighbors, the ones who are part of our local economy, the ones whose jobs will be protected under this agreement for a whole 24 months, the ones who did the work during Hurricane Sandy, those stakeholders, are not qualified to make such important decisions? Where is your trust?

And don’t let yourself be misled by the so-called information in the Ulster County Legislature Resolution No. 82 which passed 17 to 0. That resolution tells us that the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) “staff recommended $85 million in community benefit funds for the affected areas, to which Fortis initially offered only $20 million before settling for less than $50 million for our area.” And besides, even if/when Fortis ties up some large part of that money in the courts for years and years, there are still all those benefits.

For example: (1) Fortis guarantees a rate freeze for an entire 12 months which, by the way was in effect, regardless and (2) Fortis is sticking with good old natural gas, the clean pollutant, and has no commitment to those Johnny-come-lately, hippy alternative energy sources like the one they tried to block in Canada. (See www.bit.ly/RRatZh.)

To voice your opinion, contact the PSC: Comments must refer to “Case 12-M-0192 – Central Hudson/Fortis Merger”. You can email Hon. Jeffrey C. Cohen, Acting Secretary, at secretary@dps.ny.gov or you can call the Commission’s 24/7 Opinion Line at 800-335-2120. You can even write to the PSC at Empire State Plaza, Agency Building 3, Albany, New York 12223-1350.

Rosalyn Cherry and Steve Kohn
New Paltz and Highland 

 

Hazards of new meters

On Friday, April 19 at 7 p.m. at the Woodstock Community Center, 56 Rock City Road, there will be a screening of Take Back Your Power: The “Smart” Meter Agenda Unveiled by Josh del Sol. I urge you to attend!  Smart meters are being installed on your homes with very dangerous levels of electromagnetic frequency radiation that affects the health of you and your family. These devices are being installed, without the consent – and sometimes against protests of the property owners. This film uncovers alarming issues about health hazards, increased utility rates, privacy, property rights, and vulnerability issues inherent in the “smart” grid. There will be a panel discussion and Q&A session following the movie.

Joan Apter
Woodstock

 

Post Office union angry

Last week the United States Postal Service notified the Mid-Hudson Processing Plant in Newburgh that they were beginning the process of moving mail 96 miles away to Albany to be worked. The latest notice says that the USPS will have this done by Sept. 30 2013. In an attempt to save Mid-Hudson and the community in general, the local APWU has initiated a formal complaint to the Postal Regulatory Commission(PRC). We are seeking the PRC to enforce the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) and make the USPS revise all Area Mail Processing (AMP) studies and give complete and un-redacted copies to the union. We are also requesting a new public hearing, as the AMP study for the Mid-Hudson P&DC is over two years old.

On Wednesday, April 10 we will be sending employees from the plant to the PRC meeting with hopes of trying to get the USPS to see that what they plan to do will ruin mail delivery nationwide. The meeting will be taped and will be available on the PRC’s website the following day. Since the AMP study there have been many changes to the plant including many retirees and a new cost savings where the APWU contract allows for the hiring of support employees at a lower pay scale. They have hired over 24,326 support employees nationwide. We are seeking to persuade Congressional members Sean Maloney and Chris Gibson to support the House of Representatives bill, HR 630. We are seeking public support on this issue. While we appreciate Senator Gillibrand’s support in signing on to the Senate’s bill, S 316, we are seeking Senator Schumer’s support on this as well.

Debby Szeredy
President, Mid-Hudson Local American
Postal Workers Union
Newburgh