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.
The Devil is in the details
The “soul of the Republican Party” is an oxymoron. The GOP can’t even cast a reflection in a mirror anymore. IMHO, it’s even much more than that: They have completely abandoned the principal ideas of the Founders. Basically, they are traitors and anti-democracy.
Well, what is a soul anyway? You can’t see it; you can’t touch it. Go on, sign the contract. Yes, with your blood. Thank you. That will do nicely.
I’m gobsmacked by the naïveté of so many who think “something terrible” has only “recently” happened to the “soul” of the Republicans – as if they’ve had any soul since the f#%king Eisenhower administration! So yeah, nothing sprouted in 2016 that hadn’t been planted, watered and fertilized decades earlier.
Politically now, they are nothing more than a sold-out group of national GOP officials and elected hacks who are only in service of political power. Republican Party leaders: To hell with any moral or ethical standards; just show us the money or the goods. This is a party that has climbed into bed with the likes of election-riggers – foreign and domestic – and accepted untold amounts of dark money from other shady sources. They drive political polarization in the US through dissemination of false information. We’ve witnessed the GOP giving these problems more influence, as they continue to only help intensify it. Republicans do not, as a group, stand for patriotism, or for supporting our troops, or hardworking Americans, or the American Dream, or family values, or Jesus – and you know that.
Their current wall of silence and swampy leadership have now consumed Washington completely. In picking their friends (voting constituency and no-holds-barred statewide political operatives), the GOP’s top consideration should be whether those individuals are also friends of true American democracy. Dear Republican constituency/voting bloc, don’t give me any of that “Don’t Tread on Me” crap while you’re in the process of robbing us of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Republicans hate Social Security
I have been asked if the Republican vote was for or against Social Security when the Social Security Act of 1935 was passed. But first, a bit of history to lay the background for this vote.
Fact: Herbert Hoover, the 31st president, was elected to the presidency in November of 1929. His administration believed that the federal government does not belong in the social affairs of the country, but rather it is to be business-oriented and only business-oriented. It is business that operates the country. He was dead set against federal aid, which would lessen the sense of local government. This was the prevailing philosophy at the start of the Great Depression.
Subsequently, Hoover made little attempt other than business adjustments and concerns in addressing the Depression. Business was important, but he was also aware of public responsibility, but failed to implement changes. And still the Depression worsened, year after year, with millions of Americans out of work, with no food and little prospect of it ending.
By the fourth winter of the Depression, confidence in Hoover was gone; the old regime had run its course. Walter Lippman said, “Give the new president [FDR] the widest and fullest powers, limit congressional rights of debates and amendments; the danger is not that we shall lose our liberties, but that we shall not be able to act with speed and dispatch.” Even Hamilton Fish, a Conservative from Dutchess County and FDR’s archenemy, was initially against any federal involvement. He stated to FDR, “We will give you the support you need to get us out of this and the country up and running once again.” Thus, the New Deal was born.
One of the innovations was the Social Security Act of 1935. The final vote of August 1935 for this act was: 87 percent of the House voted for it and 81 percent of the Senate voted for it (approximately 77 Republicans voted for it, six voted no and 12 didn’t vote). In August of 1935, this act was born.
Opinion: I have stated repeatedly that the Republicans hated Social Security, hated it when they signed off on it and hate it today. Why did they sign off on it if they hated it? Two reasons: One, if Hoover was reelected, they would have four more years of the same; and two, if they did not support FDR, the midterm elections of 1934 would witness both reasons for booting Republicans out on the street with millions of others looking for something to eat.
The New Deal ushered in a number of innovations heretofore unheard of, and the Social Security Act of 1935 was just one of them. The New Deal brought the federal government into the everyday lives of the public with unheard-of programs, which the Republicans have hated since the beginning of the New Deal, knowing full well that once the door was open, the emphasis was not going to be Hoover’s mantra of business and business only, but a reach of the federal government into the lives of millions of Americans for generations to come.
Hurley nominations for supervisor: Irony abounds
The effects of global warming are all around us, and meanwhile, irony abounds in Hurley.
The Democrats nominated Melinda McKnight for Hurley town supervisor. The company she co-founded is a leader in helping residents and businesses reduce heating fuel consumption, save money and improve comfort for occupants based on proven building science principles.
The Republicans nominated Patrick Garraghan for supervisor. He is a third-generation fossil-fuel executive who now serves as vice president of HOP Energy (formerly Kosco/Heritage Energy). HOP Energy is the largest distributor of heating fuel in the Hudson Valley.
Pete Seeger’s legacy at Kingston Town Hall
I was honored to be at the Kingston Town Planning Board meeting of July 19, 2021, where the subject on the table was the proposed concrete/steel plant known as the 850 Project, to hear in person that the board has issued a Positive Declaration determination in the State Environmental Quality Review Process (SEQR) – meaning, in layman’s terms, that the potential environmental impacts of the project were too many to get it “rubber-stamped.” It gave me the feeling of being present at the moment of a significant turning point in the fight to keep Onteora Lake wild, beautiful and pristine.
Although the applicant had his representative there, the rest of the two dozen or so attendees were overwhelmingly opposed to the project. These familiar faces seemed to me a personification of “the better angels of our nature,” a gathering briefly in place of the kind of community members whom the late John Lewis referred to as those ready for “good trouble,” eager to fight “the good fight.” It puts me in mind, finally, of our own Pete Seeger, Hudson Valley’s legendary – and unabashedly “lefty” – songwriting troubadour, when he sang these words in “My Rainbow Race:”
With one blue sky above us
One ocean lapping all our shores
One Earth so green and round
Who could ask for more?
And because I love you
I’ll give it one more try
To show my rainbow race
It’s too soon to die.
The spirit of the ‘60s, of its dazzling if all-too-brief vision of a “green” future for our children and grandchildren, was alive the other night at little old Kingston Town Hall!
A man with a mustache is often dishonest, but a woman with a mustache is always trustworthy.
Oh, the outrage!
A Saugerties Republican/Conservative candidate posted on his Facebook page that the “anti-American” Democrats who marched in the July 4 parade did not wear red, white and blue!
Ironically, I checked and checked and checked for this candidate’s outrage over our American flag being used to lethally and brutally attack the US Capitol Police during his fellow “patriots’” insurrection. Nada; not a single note of outrage for the Blue lives assaulted on January 6.
I am proud to be among our local – and national – Democrats who know that we don’t need false symbols of patriotism. We are too busy working to improve our communities to worry about wearing red, white and blue. And we are also busy standing with the Capitol Police, whose voices are being ignored and disrespected by the “law and order” GOP.
This candidate is not alone in his rhetoric. One of his cohorts posted the most ridiculous conspiracy theories on his Facebook page about numerical symbols that Trump was secretly sending to his followers during a media event indicating support for Q-Anon. Q-Anon, according to the FBI – our esteemed law-enforcement agency – is an American terrorist threat to democracy.
Know your candidates and vote accordingly.
Don’t let antiquated filibuster stand in the way of S1
I was really excited, in spite of the pandemic, with all the ways citizens could vote. I have always taken for granted that voting was safe, secure and an effective way for my voice to be heard by casting my ballot. Then tRump’s insurrection occurred on January 6, which showed me just how fragile our sense of secure voting was. Then the various state legislatures started to put forth measures around voting that were in response to a problem that did not exist.
Now I am fearful of my fellow citizens who live in those states that their voice, their vote will not be counted, because those states are taking the people power away!
Senator Schumer, as Senate majority leader, I urge you to convince your colleagues to join you and not let the antiquated filibuster stand in the way of S1. We need a federal response to ensure every eligible voter’s vote is counted. I urge all who care about our right to cast our ballots to call, text and e-mail your representative to let them know we have their backs on S1. Thank you!
Check your facts, Tim
Tim Hunter needs to learn to read and to check his facts. For one, I haven’t been a member of the Republican Committee for five years. Further, I wasn’t referring to transgender people. I was saying any man can say he’s transgender to gain access to the ladies’ bathroom or locker room. With the case in Los Angeles, all you had was the man’s word he was transgender, rather than a run-of-the mill flasher or even a pedophile. And why was it necessary to expose his genitals? If Tim had bothered to read the story, he’d know that there were minor girls in the locker room who do not need to see male genitals. Maybe Tim can enlighten me on how to tell if someone is really transgender or just a flasher.
I put, in part, the following on Facebook regarding Supervisor McKenna’s resolution to bond his handpicked architect’s $2.3 million design of the Comeau addition at a recent Town Board meeting — a design the Commission of Civic Design has issues with, that was not in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and whose construction cost may increase. I asked: Do you think that the Town Board members should pass the resolution?
Based upon a reader’s comment, Mr. McKenna wrote: “Mr. Harris still holds a grudge because we wouldn’t appoint him police chief, in his eyes I have never done anything right.” The fact is, I never applied for, nor would I have wanted to hold, that position. As far as holding a grudge, ever since McKenna made his first error, the one that has cost Woodstock taxpayers over $40 thousand, I decided to add his missteps to my writings. It is not personal. My writings started a long time before then, it was in May of 2010 when I took on the role as Woodstock’s Gadfly.
Answer: The Town Board did pass the resolution, the estimated maximum building cost rose to $2.99 million and Mr. McKenna has yet to refute my comment regarding his police chief claim.
Hidden history of vaccines
As a regular letter to editor contributor to the past Woodstock Times and now Hudson Valley One, I would like to offer kudos to Ulster Publishing for not being like the corporate-controlled mass media who censors alternative views. It is a credit to this new newspaper that both sides of hard issues are published as they did in the past. Both sides need to be heard for the public to make informed decisions.
It is important to understand that besides the touted accomplishments of vaccines they do have a dark history also.
In 1954, award-winning virologist Dr. Bernice Eddy, who was hired by the NIH, discovered the Salk polio vaccine contained residual live polio virus, which caused the worst polio outbreak in history, leaving 7,000 sick, 200 children paralyzed and ten dead. In 1961, she also discovered that a cancer-causing monkey virus, SV40, had contaminated 98 million polio vaccines. Instead of banning the contaminated vaccines, Merck and Park-Davis continued to distribute the cancer-causing vaccine to tens of millions of unsuspecting people.
In the 1970’s, NIH Dr. John Anthony Morris declared his research team demonstrated the influenza vaccine was ineffective and dangerous. In 1976, he warned about the swine flu vaccine and subsequently that vaccine was discontinued after 500 case of Gullian-Barr Syndrome appeared, 200 were paralyzed and 33 vaccinated people died.
In 1995, CDC hired Dr. Gary Goldman to analyze the chickenpox vaccine. He found that the chickenpox vaccine caused inoculated children to have a 33% higher rate of developing shingles than unvaccinated children. Shingles has 20 times the rate of death than chickenpox.
In 2002, FDA star epidemiologist, Dr. Bar Claussen, linked the Hib influenza vaccine to the juvenile epidemic of diabetes.
As of last Friday, the COVID vaccines has injured almost 500,000 people and suspected of killing 11,000 people.
In July of 2021, it is reported in a sworn affidavit of a whistleblower in a lawsuit filed in Federal Court by “Americas Frontline Doctors,” that the number of deaths after three days of receiving the vaccine are being underreported by the CDC, and are actually five times higher. This would bring the current death rate from 11,000 people to 55,000 people, surpassing the deaths of American soldiers in Vietnam.
The NIH, FDA and CDC in each of the aforementioned cases have attempted to hide the truth about vaccines from the public.
When criticism becomes demonization
When Naomi Allen conditions the ending of her criticism of Israel on the end of Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians, it is clear that what she really means is that Israel itself must cease to exist. Granting the so-called refugees the right of return, which she has stated as a condition for peace, would amount to Israel’s becoming an Arab state, none of which have proved particularly hospitable to Jews. This, of course, is the aim of Hamas, and of the pro-Palestinians rioters in New York City who chanted, “We want it all!” It is also the evident demand of the Palestinian Authority (PA) whose repeated refusals to accept the offer of a state in the West Bank can only be explained by the fear of compromising that unrealistic dream. Indeed, the PA has explicitly declined to recognize Israel.
For those like Allen, Israel is such a disgrace among the nations of the world that its destruction could hardly be lamented. Their criticism has nothing to do with truth and everything to do with portraying Israel in the most despicable light possible. If Israel responds to the rain of 4,300 rockets fired from Gaza, it is not acting in self-defense but committing “atrocities.” If civilians in Gaza are killed or injured because Hamas uses them as human shields, Israel is guilty of “genocide,” a spiteful lie meant to imply that Israel is no better than Nazi Germany. If Israel erects a fence to prevent terrorist attacks, it is engaging in “apartheid,” which specifically means the segregating of a racial group within a country and depriving it of political and civil rights.
This baseless charge, popularized by the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, has no other aim than to link Israel with the horrible injustices that actually occurred in South Africa, but which is totally inapplicable to Israel. The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), for example, spoke with Rev. Kenneth Meshoe, president of South Africa’s African Christian Democratic Party who claimed that, “after numerous trips to Israel, he has yet to encounter apartheid.” And a South African pastor hospitalized in Israel had this to say: “There I lay in an Israeli hospital, a Palestinian Muslim on my left and a Jewish Israeli on my right, with this black South African in the middle. And I thought, what apartheid!?” These two men knew apartheid when they saw it, and they didn’t see it in Israel!
Israel is not immune to criticism, but Israel has historically been singled out for groundless censure. The UN, to take the most egregious example, has condemned Israel more times than the rest of the world combined. The demonization of Israel may be widely accepted, even among Jews, but that does not make it any less anti-Semitic. Overcoming that scourge requires education and a commitment to learning the truth about Israel. Biased historians like Ilan Pappe and Avi Schlaim are not reliable guides — caveat lector!
The press whisperer
After Joe Biden told us “Corn Pop was a bad dude and he hung with a bunch of bad boys,” I thought nothing he could say or do would surprise me. However, his recent “whispered” answers during a press briefing in a very creepy manner put that thought to rest. The following is a song parody sung by MSNBC’s Nicole Wallace on behalf of the rest of her colleagues regarding their true feelings regarding Joe’s “wild and woolly” whispering performance. It works best if sung to the tune of “Whispering,” with the Bobby Darin version in mind.
Whispering though we all can hear you
Your whispering makes us cringe and fear you
Each little whisper seems to tell me
Something is wrong as we can all see
We know it’s true; no one whispers like you!
Whispering that you’ll never leave us
Your whispering only serves to grieve us
Kamala is the one that would replace you
For this reason, we’d rather just face you
And whisper…still…that we love you!
When Trump spoke, he would never whisper
And his words…sure made our earlobes blister
He made our teeth hurt and our eyes sting
His “un-wokeness” made our mushy brains ring
We’re just happy…you’re not him!
Whispering though the border’s open
Whispering though our system’s broken
Each little whisper makes you seem fake
And voting for you was such a mistake
But we’re faking…we love you!
Local source for art supplies needed
Since the pandemic, there has been no place to buy art supplies in Woodstock. Woodstock’s retail establishments now serve artists with framing only. There is no local source of artist paints, artist brushes and other art supplies, as far as I know.
When Sedona, Arizona lost its only art supply store, a local hardware store put in an aisle of artist paints and brushes and other materials for making art. It brought a steady and grateful clientele of artists to the hardware store and saved local artists a trip to the nearest city. Couldn’t have a better win/win.
It would be great if a Woodstock — or Saugerties – retail establishment would start offering a selection of art supplies. A hardware store? Stationery store? Bookstore? Or, or?
Response to Mr. Civile’s letter
This is in response to Mr. Civile’s letter “Risky business.”
Although very humorous, I must highlight some concerns. At 4 a.m., Biden is still “sawing logs.” Of course, he might be on Moscow time, which might then make the call possible. His next problem is he would not remember Barack’s phone number, but most likely he could get his wife to dial for him – after all, she is a doctor. More than likely, he would have his prepared cheat sheet in front of him so he could know exactly what to say.
As to why he overturned many of Trump’s policies, who by the way was some kind of stinkin’ rotten pony soldier, he would probably blame it on, you know, the lady, the speaker person from out West or Baltimore, anyhow, that person, along with the Jewish guy, you know, the one who wears his glasses on the tip of his very big nose, uh, Cryin’ Charlie, I think that’s what they call him. Also, I note the assumption that Michelle and Barack share the same bed, this is unlikely because one of them prefers men.
As to Hillary, Joe remembers when his daddy, who would now be 130 years old, told him about how Hillary conquered Mt. Everest. Joe thought that was funny because he didn’t know the US had ever been in a war with Mt. Everest, and he knows his daddy wouldn’t lie, because liars go to the woodshed, unless they lie as well as Joe does.
As to Joe and ice cream, it’s doubtful he eats it, because as a nearly octogenarian, he is most likely lactose-intolerant, and to eat it would have him spending his nights on the only throne he deserves.
Harry R. Rozakis
Wake Forest, NC
More true facts about Israel
Ms. Allen again spews lies about Palestinian “oppression” (Naomi Allen, “We will stop criticizing Israel when Israel stops oppressing Palestinians,” Hudson Valley One, 07/21/21). Again, the Jewish Federation of Ulster County is ethically compelled to counter with verifiable facts.
Israel receives substantial US aid, largely in the form of military assistance. Successive Democratic and Republican administrations, working with Congress, routinely make a robust investment in Israel’s security, due to vital strategic goals, mutual commitment to democratic values and historical ties since 1948. But our ally Israel has not received the bulk of US aid for many years; that’s our soon-to-be adversary Afghanistan.
The Palestinians receive support from the US and other nations, too, including Israel. Israel launched major construction projects in Gaza despite valid concerns about the diversion of materials by Hamas for terrorist purposes. US aid ends up going to building terror tunnels. In response, the US and Israel have cooperated on developing technology to identify tunnel construction. In just one week this past May, more than 3,440 rockets were fired indiscriminately at residential neighborhoods in Israel from Gaza. Israel invented the “Iron Dome” missile defense system to protect its civilian population from terrorist rocket attacks. The US helps pay for that, too.
Bottom line: Palestinian terrorists squander US and other foreign aid on making war with Israel while Israel provides their water, electricity, health care and other services. Further, it’s no secret US aid monies are diverted to pay stipends to the families of terrorists who murder Israelis. Sports clubs, stadiums and streets are routinely named after convicted terrorists. Since money is fungible, US efforts to curtail these practices – like the Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act of 2018 – have largely failed. And, while some US legislators call for cutting off aid to the Palestinians, Israel has never countenanced it due to the devastating effect it would have on Palestinian society.
Ms. Allen claims the Jewish National Fund (JNF) will “only sell or lease land to Jews.” That’s just false. The US-based JNF she references sells no land to anyone. She conflates JNF-USA with Jewish National Fund –Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael (KKL-JNF), a separate Israeli company under separate management. In reality, Palestinians who dare sell land to anyone but Palestinians are sentenced to death. JNF sells land to Palestinians; the only penalty is high real estate taxes.
Here’s the truth: Arabs living in Israel have the highest standard of living in the Middle East. Arab citizens have full access to every facet of Israeli life. They serve as judges on the Supreme Court and hold high-level positions in Israel’s government. An Arab judge convicted the former president of Israel of rape and sentenced him to prison. Nearly a fifth of Israel’s doctors, a quarter of its nurses and almost half its pharmacists are Arabs. Arab doctors head hospital departments and emergency rooms; one heads a hospital in Galilee. There is an ever-increasing number of Arabs voluntarily serving in the Israeli Defense Force and even an all-Arab unit, Gadsar, with over 500 members. None of that fits with Ms. Allen’s “apartheid” libel, but it’s true.
There is one thing we can agree on: Israel is an independent nation subject to critique of its policies and politics, just like any other. Criticism in that regard is not anti-Semitism. And Palestinians do deserve human rights, as Ms. Allen asserts. But it is anti-Semitic forces in the Middle East, and terrorist actors in Gaza, who have kept the Palestinian people suffering in a state of perpetual refugee status for strictly political reasons, not Israel.
When Palestinians opt for self-determination and the chance to live in peace, Israel will welcome them with open arms. Until then, it would be foolish for Israel not to protect the safety and security of its residents. Even so, a report by the High-Level Military Group (HLMG), made up of 11 former senior military officers from five continents and a former UN war crimes prosecutor, characterized the IDF as “the most ethical army in the world.” Accusations of “atrocities” committed by Israel are utterly repugnant and without foundation. And that’s anti-Semitism, pure and simple.
David Drimer, executive director, Kingston
Rondavid Gold, president, Woodstock
Jewish Federation of Ulster County
Traffic wastes time, fuel
All through the Democrats’ primary, every candidate repeated the mantra that climate change is the existential risk to humanity, yet everyone is driving all over the place to have fun, domestic flights are full and we devote millions of dollars promoting tourism. Mad Magazine: “What, Me Worry?”
Me? Actually, no. Both China’s Communist Party and our national debt worry me, but the traffic is a real timewaster. Time is “my Precious.” Yours too, I’ll bet!
So, what to do? “Build it and they will come.” The movie did not address how badly the farms around that ballfield were harmed (which would not have been entertaining), but our elected leaders do have the responsibility to plan for the traffic or not host the event. Jeez, what a grouch!