Figures don’t lie
While much of what Ralph Childers wrote caused me to laugh out loud, the inaccuracies necessitate a response. Regarding the “job growth” under Obama, the facts are this: The number of breadwinning jobs — full time positions in energy, mining, construction, manufacturing, white collar professions, business management & services, information technology, transportation/distribution and finance, insurance and real estate is still 1.7 million lower than it was in 2000. The job growth has come in part time positions for bartenders, waiters, bellhops, etc. Most of those slots generate work of about 26 hours a week, and pay around $14 an hour, or $19,000 a year. The big lie was Obama’s recent statement that manufacturing has added almost a million new jobs. The fact is that not one “new” manufacturing job has been added during Obama’s presidency. The 12.3 million manufacturing jobs is still 10 percent lower than levels of December 2007.
Since 2000, real average income (not adjusted for inflation) has gone from $57,724 to $53,657, or over $4000 less. Income is down, and the dollar value 38.3% lower. Our labor participation rate…or the number of people working has gone from 66.3% in 2008, to 63% today. Only a government justifying it’s policies could actually say that the unemployment rate is lower. As my favorite college professors said, “figures don’t lie, but liars can figure.”
The debt Obama has amassed is directly related to the above facts, plus the economic morass due to the collapse of sub prime mortgages which began in 2005. The laws that changed who could get a mortgage were co authored by Andrew Cuomo, and signed into law by Bill Clinton…laws that were in place following the Great Depression. There was no shortage of greed by all people involved but the public took it on the chin, and continue to. Blaming an additional 11 trillion dollars in national debt on Iraq is ludicrous. Oh…and Donald Trump was against that war…when Hillary voted for it.
I reiterate Bernie Sanders’ words that he is a self proclaimed democratic socialist. The fact remains that is exactly what Fidel Castro and Adolf Hitler called themselves. Socialism has been tried here in America, and failed miserably. My ancestors, which include native Americans, saw the nonsense of socialism almost wipe out colonists at Plymouth. To equate the influx of Muslims who overwhelmingly fail to integrate into non Muslim society to those who left Europe for a new life of freedom, is beyond naïve. Who has performed most acts of terrorism in the past 16 years in this country? Let people come here, but let’s vet them first.
I am very disappointed in the language quoted in your issue of 4/14/16, Nunez Murder Trial. I feel it is a lowering of standards and unnecessary.
I don’t find this language in national newspapers that I read.
I will not be renewing my subscription when it comes due if I see more of this in your future issues.
Calling Democrats to work for political change
In the April 19, 2016 Democratic Party Primary roughly two-thirds of the Democrats in Ulster County who voted (11,572) voted for Senator Bernie Sanders, including in Saugerties. The Sanders Campaign relied upon volunteer groups that had formed in late 2015 to promote Bernie’s candidacy and to collect Petitions to place him on the ballot. During the weeks leading up to the vote, those groups canvassed their communities looking to identify Democrats who had found Bernie’s message appealing and were inclined to vote for him. The reception the canvassers received in their day-long efforts was extremely encouraging and portended the outcome that did materialize. “I feel the Bern” was echoed throughout the County and throughout our Town.
While Senator Sanders did not win the State, he gained many delegates, and is determined to either win the nomination, or demonstrate to our country and the world that millions of Democrats and independent voters, especially youthful voters, across the country are ready to stand with him for a constitutional amendment barring Big Money from the political process, for vigorous efforts to reduce global warming, to expand medicare to all of us, to offer free public college tuition, to end discrimination against the LGBT community, to fight for racial justice, and criminal justice reform, and to work for many other progressive causes.
In Saugerties the Democratic Committee (SDC) in 2015 adopted a Statement of Values that echoes much of Sanders progressive message. Our Statement of Values shares concerns for immigration rights and a path to citizenship, fair wages, sustainable environmental practices so that we can all enjoy Clean Air and Clean Water, as well as other enlightened goals.
In June the SDC starts to re-constitute itself. If you want to work through the political party structure for a safe, healthy and environmentally protective agenda in our Town and County, and to continue the Bernie-inspired effort to make the national Democratic Party a more progressive political force by supporting issues and candidates that care about social and environmental justice in our country, and abroad, please let the Committee know by contacting its Chair, firstname.lastname@example.org, and by joining the Committee.
Lanny E. Walter,
Saugerties Democratic Committee
Refusing military service in Israel
I was 23 and just married in 1963 and at that time, it was possible that my husband’s draft number would come up and he would be called to serve in Viet Nam. At the start of the war, all names of American men of draft-age were collected by the Selective Service and when someone’s name came up, he had to report to his local draft board. To avoid this possibility, my husband and I enrolled in the U.S. Peace Corps and served for two years as teachers in Nigeria, West Africa. Other refusers were conscientious objectors; many burnt their draft cards; some emigrated to Canada; others were imprisoned, etc. Anything to avoid this profoundly wrong military engagement.
I am interested in what people are doing in other countries where military service is compulsory. This Sunday, May 1, 2 p.m.-4 p.m., Woodstock Town Hall, Yasmin Yablonko and Khaled Farraq will explore the refusal movement in Israel, where conscription exists for all citizens over 18 years old. Why are people refusing to serve in the Israeli military? What is it like for these people refusing to serve and can we learn from each other’s experience? “It won’t end until we refuse!”
Say no to Pilgrim Pipeline
As the Hudson Valley bursts with the incredible colors and aromas of springtime, we celebrate the earth and our efforts to protect, embrace and care for her.
Just in the last couple of weeks, we have seen two pipelines which were to carry fracked gas through New York — the Constitution and the NED stopped in their tracks. In part it has been the loud and consistent work of communities throughout New York which have said no to these new pipelines which would carry fracked gas and yes to building infrastructure and capacity for safe, sustainable and renewable energy for our future.
Our voices continue to grow loud and larger as we say no to the proposed Pilgrim Oil Pipelines — which would carry Crude Oil which is fracked in the Bakken Shale Fields of North Dakota down the New York State Thruway Right of Way to refineries in New Jersey and then refined products up north, threatening our communities with volatile and hazardous oil and threatening our future and our children’s future.
On this May Day we will stand near the Thruway exits, in New Paltz, Exit 18, in Saugerties, Exit 20 and in Catskill, Exit 21-to say No Pilgrim Pipelines, symbolically, right now, standing in the way of pipelines on our Thruway. Please join us!
In Saugerties we will meet in the “Big Lots” parking lot at 1 p.m. In New Paltz, folks will meet at the Park and Ride at 3 p.m. In Catskill folks will meet at Exit 20 at 1 p.m.
What a wonderful way to celebrate May Day and Springtime. I hope that you can join us.
Coalition Against Pilgrim Pipeline
Little League kudos
Hats off and Kudos to the Saugerties Little League for the extraordinary job, this past Saturday, with its Opening Day Parade, Ceremonies and Festivities!
From the Color Guard of American Legion Post 72, leading the parade, to the many hundreds of players, all decked out in their spiffy uniforms, to Stanley the Stallion, to the High School cast of Cinderella, to the dignitaries, all made for a very impressive lineup. As the parade concluded, all “marchers” took their place on Thornton Field # 3 and Greg DeCelle did his usual superb job serving as Master of Ceremonies, during the opening festivities. Toping it all off, the High School cast of Cinderella put on a mini performance…It was awesome!
The day and the festivities did not end their as games took place on the six Little League fields throughout the day and all players had their pictures taken. Events throughout the day, including Face Painting, Kids Expo and Rodeo, etc.
It was very evident a lot of planning and preparatory work took place, by many, to pull off such a fun filled and highly successful day.
We are so very fortunate to have so many caring and dedicated volunteers that give up their valuable time and energies for the betterment our Youth, the Complex and Community, along with quality of life enhancements. Thank you for making the sports complex and Saugerties, what it is, and for a job exceptionally well done!
Greg Chorvas, Supt.
Cantine Sports Complex
Parks & Buildings