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.
Following the flow
Did you ever notice on some rainy days the torrents of water rushing down Mill Hill missing the various catchbasins? Someone noticed that our supervisor, who believes the drainage system “works just the way it was designed to work,” does the same thing. He was recently seen entering Woodstock on Mill Hill, and by Bradley Meadows, he drove into the eastbound lane and, like the rain, missed the catchbasin.
Library should go through proper reviews
The Woodstock Library must follow the rules of the Town of Woodstock and New York State with regard to zoning, planning and environmental reviews.
The Library is not an independent municipality. As an educational institution, it is afforded a presumption that the benefits outweigh the risks to the residents of the Town. But they must go through the proper reviews.
By trying to avoid proper procedures, the Town opens the process to legal challenge.
Former chair, Planning Board
Your body’s best friend
Years ago, I had a colonoscopy and had a terrible allergic reaction to the anesthesia I was given. We were given a sheet of possible side effects one might experience from the drug. I had all of them. It was very scary, but after two days and a major purging, my fever went down and my body was on the mend. I never forgot that.
Last week I found myself about to have another procedure, this time an endoscopy. So, I’m lying on the stretcher in hospital garb and the anesthesiologist came by to talk to me about the drug he was planning to give me. Uh-oh! It was the same drug that I had years ago. So, I told him that I had an allergic reaction and did not want that drug. I was taken aback when he tried to convince me that my reaction years ago couldn’t have been from that drug. I stayed strong and clear, listened to him some more, but insisted that he use another drug. He appeared frustrated, then left.
I waited for about half an hour until another anesthesiologist came over to talk about using the same dreaded drug. I listened, and then, once again, calmly insisted that they use another drug. She then tried to convince me that I must have gotten sick from something else. She then said that she would bet that the drug wasn’t the culprit back when I had the colonoscopy. I couldn’t believe it, but I continued to insist that they use another drug. Eventually, they did use another drug and my endoscopy went smoothly, without a hitch. After the procedure I was a little tired for a while, but recovered relatively quickly and had a very good rest of the day.
I’m writing about my experience to encourage all of you to work toward being your body’s best advocate when you find yourself in a vulnerable position. I was alone, with doctors trying their best to convince me to allow them to use the drug that they preferred. My insistence in asking them to use another drug obviously was a change they were not expecting. But wasn’t the interview happening exactly because they wanted to make sure the drug they were using was going to be okay for me? Amazing.
I believe they meant well and had no intentional desire to harm me. But for one reason or another, they had a very hard time accepting the information I gave them about my allergic reaction to that drug. How could they tell me that it wasn’t the drug that was the problem? They were not there, years ago, when I had that scary incident. But I was! They were obviously intellectually in disbelief about my information. And when three different doctors are trying to convince you to let them use their drug of choice, well, let’s just say that it was intimidating. I do not know where I got the courage and confidence to stay strong and calm under such pressure. But I did, and as I write this, I am smiling and feeling pretty good about myself and my ability to be the best advocate I could be for my body.
Please remember that your body is precious, and really needs you to be a conscious and thoughtful advocate. Your body is depending on you to speak up when it’s important. It’s good to trust in doctors, but it’s also crucial to understand that they make mistakes on occasion, despite doing their best.
In 1999, I went to a workshop and a well-respected doctor talked about the medical profession. He stated that in 1998, despite all the good that hospitals did, there were 98,000 people who died needlessly that year, due to being given the wrong drugs. I was stunned to hear that back then and never forgot that fact.
We need NYS regulators to do more
When our Village water/sewer billing system or meter readings seem odd, our staff triple checks arithmetic and regularly asks me to review and ensure that a bill makes sense.
I find it hard to believe Fortis/Central Hudson executives sent these egregious bills without knowing that what they were doing was harmful and dishonest. Were they hoping customers wouldn’t notice which rates were being used and they could just quietly enjoy the windfall profit?
After he contacted Central Hudson numerous times because of his $2,000 bill, my neighbor eventually received the note below. He is being offered $50 for the “inconvenience” and told they will recalculate his bill using rates from the time he used the kilowatt hours instead of the extra high rate of $0.19641 per kwh.
Subject: Ticket: X Billing Inquiry
I have sent your bill inquiry to be reviewed. We obtained an actual reading (YY) on 3/X/2022 and have billed your usage. However, due to the many months of estimates, there was a lot of usage unaccounted for from previous billing cycles that had been under estimated. This usage shows up in the March reading. The market price increased in February and March which is causing the usage of XX kwh (on your March bill) to be billed out at a rate of $0.19641 per kwh. I have requested a re-allocation of usage based on the history of your account. This will re-distribute the usage and create a more blended rate. You will receive several revised bills in this process. Ultimately the XX kwh will be distributed and charged in a more balanced manor. I have also applied a $50 customer courtesy credit to the account for the inconvenience.
(Central Hudson rep)
Tim Rogers, Mayor
Remove EPR from NYS budget
The time for passing the budget for New York State is fast approaching. Included in the budget is a proposal for new Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) legislation to reduce packaging. Unfortunately, there are serious flaws in this, which will set our state back years if passed in its current form.
The governor and Legislature need to fully address packaging pollution with a strong EPR bill and an expansion of the Bottle Bill deposit law, which after 40 years of success should cover more beverages, such as alcohol bottles, and the deposit should be increased from a nickel to a dime.
I call on Assemblymember Tague to oppose doing EPR for packaging as part of the budget and instead, encourage him to support passing Assemblymember Englebright’s bills on EPR for packaging and an expanded Bottle Bill during the regular legislative session.
Here we go again
In this letter I will not reference the former occupier of the Oval Office or the previous administration. However, I will critique our card-carrying right-winger John Butz, and in doing so kick his “you-know-what.” So, here goes; but before that, a wise man once said, “It’s inevitable in life that at some time you’re going to be an asshole. The challenge for Mr. Butz then is not to make it a permanent lifestyle choice.”
Poor John Butz, clearly you suffer from partisan derangement syndrome. Sad. So many lies –from white lies to whoppers – told out of ignorance, laziness, recklessness, expediency or opportunity. I might as well be watching a movie about a galaxy far, far away. Who are these people like Mr. Butz?
IMHO, he’s a QAnonservative – in other words, a lowly, primitive cave-dwelling Neanderthal who scratches his conspiratorial imagination and narrow view of political punditry onto the Hudson Valley One letters page. For him, there is no such thing as truth. Nor facts. Everything is fungible. It’s all a matter of one’s own opinion, even at the expense of reality. He’ll say, “Do you have facts? Good for you.” They, these QAnon types, have completely different facts that are every bit as valid in their minds, or maybe even more so. He’ll double down with, “Do you have experts? How nice.” They have their own experts who will tell you that “Your experts are full of shit and lying to you.”
In Hudson Valley One land, and in a broader sense, he’s been promulgating an amalgam of blather, which often translates to what I call “fragmented propaganda from a recurring reactionary ideology: His facts morph very quickly before the reader’s eyes into a mountain or a “huge, repulsive, quasi-radioactive, spectacularly inept, borderline-troglodytic pile of high-density, lowbrow on your shoe piece of dog shit.” Am I mischaracterizing here? I think not!
As a matter of fact, others who write letters/opinions have also railed against his deeply rooted myopic views and off-putting politics; his support of a malignant perception by his political party affiliate (the identity of interest) and all aspects of their governance usually (and negatively) impacts on the majority of our citizenry.
He is basically, IRL, a “disinformation” troll with the usual “false claims” messaging – and is easily caught up in his own MAGA guru game when singling me out in this very public and at times political forum. He’ll often state unequivocally of a made-up/imaginary derangement syndrome that he’d wish I would have, because he has no real answers to counter my acumen or relevant charges when I rail against undemocratic ultra-right positions.
In doing so, he showcases bullshit talking points, which form a lumpiness of bottom-line alt/right, backwards and meandering red-meat conclusions. Give him a hand. He mouths and/or puppets his favorite TV newscasters’ brain dumps routinely. Aren’t you worried that your own brain will be turned to tapioca by the IV drip of network bandwidth from Fox News TV and other similar programs that you’re constantly watching and listening to, Mr. Butz?
I’ve said it before: “You can’t fix stupid,” and that one can never argue with an ignorant person like John Butz. For they will beat you with experience every time. I can’t wait for his pushback with his own “Ifs, Ands & Butz” logic. Just maybe his laughable attempt at hitting all the fringe or “right” buttons will be witnessed to support my narrative here.
Name this book
It’s sold over 1,000,000 hardcover copies since November. It’s on what is arguably the most important subject of our time, certainly of the last two years. It’s filled with “controversial” statements that have proven to be true. The author is a public figure with a multi-decade track record of integrity and public service whose work has provided significant specific benefits to our region. It’s been endorsed by Luc Montagnier, the Nobel Prizewinning virologist who discovered HIV, and dozens of other scientists, practicing physicians and researchers with relevant credentials.
Not enough information to make a guess? More clues.
Many local area libraries refuse to carry it, even though there have routinely been at least 30 patrons on the Mid-Hudson Library System queue waiting for a copy. The New York Times and Washington Post refuse to review it. Many local bookstores will not sell it, and a few won’t even take special orders for customers. When you ask for the book from these people, you’ll receive evasive and sometimes downright dismissive answers. Answers I’ve heard from the book censors: “There is little interest in books of this type.” “We have no room on our shelves.” “It’s my store and I’ll sell what I want.”
Need more info? Last clue:
The author is Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who was the featured speaker at the 2007 annual conference of the American Library Association. Then he was being honored for his work as chief counsel for Riverkeeper, an organization largely responsible for restoring environmental integrity to our region. He also led Pace University’s Environmental Litigation program. Time Magazine called him one of their “Heroes of the Planet.”
However, when he targeted corruption in the pharmaceutical industry and government agencies like the CDC, FDA and NIH, he himself became a target – all the more so when he started challenging the dubious science behind COVID-related lockdowns, business, church and school closures and compulsory vaccines.
His book is The Real Anthony Fauci. Ask your local librarian, booksellers and media outlets why they’ve chosen to be part of the program to censor it. (Kudos to librarians in Woodstock, Kingston, New Paltz and Saugerties who have chosen to serve their patrons and not join in this modern-day version of book-burning.)
Support Steven Englebright’s bills
The Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) proposal in governor Kathy Hochul’s budget is deeply flawed. It is supposed to be aimed at holding the producers of plastics and paper packaging responsible for their disposal, but it is a weak and ineffective proposal. I applaud the concept, based on a policy approach, also known as “polluter pays.” Nevertheless, the governor’s proposal fails to set requirements which would hold the companies that make the plastics et cetera accountable. To me, this is akin to putting the cigarette companies in charge of non-smoking laws. Really?
Another egregious error in the governor’s proposal allows what is called “chemical recycling” of plastics. This is just a misleading name for burning.
Since Day One of plastic production, it is we, the consumers, taxpayers and municipalities, who have had the burden of disposal of these products. It’s time to change that. And we can. There is an alternative bill being introduced in the New York State Legislature by assemblyman Steven Englebright. He is also introducing a revamp of the 40-year-old Bottle Bill to include additional beverages and to increase the deposit to ten cents. After 40 years, it’s about time.
Every year, 15 million more tons of plastic enter the oceans. Eighty percent of US voters want something to be done about single-use plastic pollution. Englebright’s EPR and bottle bills are a promising beginning to solving the pervasive problem of plastic pollution. Please contact senator Mike Martucci and Assemblyman Kevin Cahill (or your legislators) to urge them to support Englebright’s bills and not the flawed EPR proposal in the governor’s budget. The vote is April 1!
Follow-up on Social Security
Previously, I remitted to the paper an article the AARP sent to me – actually a bulletin. This bulletin dealt with the Social Security that millions of us are now drawing that we paid into so many years ago. Social Security is 86 years old and has been a staple of the American economy for these years. Staple in the sense it has kept many out from below the poverty line and allowed them to purchase items needed to survive. It is the best and longest-serving program for the seniors and the disabled. This is called the OASDI (old age survivors and disability insurance). This was mentioned previously.
This letter addresses something that has been on this writer’s mind for over six years and impacts greatly upon our benefits. And that is the effect of the 45 POTUS, Donald Trump. He is the first president since Herbert Hoover who believes, feels the government should not be involved in the social affairs of the government and, most important of all, wants to and will do something about it, if given the opportunity. The reason I say that is, according to Trump, the current benefits we have now are all part of the “deconstruction of the administrative state,” which he will address if given the opportunity – namely, the presidency in 2024. (This “deconstruction of the administrative state” is a phrase Trump stated in August of 2016 when he was running for president. This interpretation is that the existing government programs are going to come under attack and be eliminated.)
If the 2022 midterm elections witness the Republicans maintaining control of both chambers of Congress, then Trump will run for the presidency. When he was president, he issued a “Payroll Tax Cut Executive Order” that would reduce revenue going into the Social Security Trust Fund. Without these payroll taxes, there is no Social Security! If he is reelected, all seniors drawing benefits and those still paying into the system will witness the Social Security system as we now know it disappear. In its place will most likely be “privatization.” This term means no longer will the government be involved in the system of collecting and distributing Social Security funds to the seniors as we know it now. Instead, that money is ours – our money to invest accordingly for our retirement. How many of you seniors will put money into a 401 or similar such account for your retirement? I have no way of knowing, nor do any of you reading this article.
The reasons are, there is always something to spend the money on: college funds for a grandchild, roof on the house, medical bills (Medicare and Medicaid are included in this “deconstruction of the administrative state” as well). There are numerous reasons not to save. And if one does save and invests accordingly, there are always those pitfalls where one’s money can take a big hit, perhaps wiped out. And those pitfalls are recessions, depressions, downfalls which can and will arise, wiping out one’s savings in the blink of an eye.
I, for one, am not familiar with the stock market, nor do I have any interest in it. I never did. I grew up in the 1940s and 1950s and was automatically enrolled in the Social Security program at age 16 and had no choice. I went from job to job, and always money was taken out by the employer (FICA) for my future savings. If Donald Trump is reelected, with both chambers of Congress Republican, that process will come to a halt.
So, it does not matter whether you are Republican, far right, Democrat, socialist, communist, non-political or Green Party. If you are drawing Social Security now, that will go by the wayside.
At my age of 83, I cannot stand by and watch an attack on these benefits of 86 years in operation (Social Security), Medicare and Medicaid, (57/58 years). Medical bills alone are catastrophic for a serious illness, and many persons are also on Medicaid, keeping them off the streets and in the nursing homes.
Our children and most specially grandchildren will not have it as good as we have had it. So, all of you “oldies” drawing benefits today, be advised: Pay attention to what the Republicans are attempting to do with our benefits. More will be said about this aspect shortly.
Telling as it is
I fired my dominatrix; now I just watch CNN.
Blow of high gas prices can be lessened by carpooling
We are all greatly saddened by the unprovoked war in the Ukraine. We are all worried about the repercussions of such a war. We are all here in the United States concerned about inflation and the rise of gas prices.
However, with regard to the rise in gas prices, we do have a collective solution. It is called carpooling: sharing rides with our neighbors and close-by friends, as well as sharing the costs.
I remember the OPEC embargo after the Iranian revolution. We got up early to get in line for gas. The price for a gallon was truly budget-breaking that colleagues of my husband put up signs, “Want to Carpool?” This is what we did, and when the gas bills arrived, to my happy surprise, we were paying less for gas than before the crisis.
We are in a global crisis now, which is an understatement, but we need not complain about higher gas prices at the pump; we need instead to call a neighbor, a friend or post on our bulletin boards at work, colleges and schools. If COVID is a worry, we can ask that participants mask up and can keep the car windows open.
Let us collectively reach out to our immediate community and ask: Hey! Want to carpool? E-mail, or call… Two to three people in a car will make a big difference, I can assure you, as I did for our family in the 1970s.
Money = War = Death = Money
This equation has been present from the beginning of civilization. Still, with the advent of the Industrial Revolution and computers’ dominance, humanity and morality have been steamrolled into flat sheets of history archived next to unread biblical texts, kicked-aside philosophical insights and filed-away moral codes for humane living. As a result, we are left Money = War = Death = Money as the primary guiding force of our governance.
Our political structure in the United States is nothing more than a gathering of constitutional loopholes. Great universities have educated attorneys and politicians for generations to make backdoor and backroom deals by complicating simple language into rats’ nests of legal confusion.
If the United States democracy were a boat, it would be sinking, our ability as a nation to patch the hole in its bow and hand out life jackets lost in a morass of power-hungry capitalists who will fight to sell the patching materials. Yet, we are beginning to feel the freezing water at our necks.
We have a political structure that allows the president to step over Congress to declare war. All because of the efficiency of the 911 terrorist attacks, we have handed one man a giant gun. Our democracy and our current attorney general are proving to be wholly incapable of exposing the corruption within our leadership. The careers of politicians in our government are more important than the death occurring in our democracy.
Capitalism, not human life, remains a priority in making international decisions. Humanity and morality carry few dividends for our leadership’s political gain. Politicians are blocking the corridors of change, afraid that if the population dominates the vote, they’ll lose their place in line. Those political leaders are drilling holes in the USA boat while selling life vests to the drowning, hoping this action hides the truth in the legal imbroglio.
From the perspective of a veteran, I know men’s lives that have been taken in our nation’s unjust wars. I swallow with palpable disgust their sacrifice for Money = War = Death = Money. But unfortunately, the majority of our political leadership never sacrificed their safety and comfort and now pays a legal army of attorneys to ensure they will never have to.
Ukraine offers the stark reality of how the money and power of a tiny group of power-hungry wealthy will sacrifice the lives and destinies of millions of people. Many United States politicians and our rich appear envious of the role of the oligarch. However, the definition of the oligarchy is “a government in which a small group exercises control especially for corrupt and selfish purposes.” Therefore, it is time to identify the oligarchs in the United States.
Do we need a Zelensky showing up in our bunker with a new equation, Life = Humanity = Environment = Life?
Every time you buy gasoline, you are getting 10 percent of that fuel from corn. True story: See that little sign, “Contains ethanol’? Your brainwashed, craven-for-votes-and-money hired guns in DC mandated this brilliant move before the drilling industry learned how to create enormous increases of oil and “natural gas.” All that ethanol comes from the shrinking farmlands of America, once covered with amber waves of grain – now, parking lots, highways, housing tracts and, in New Paltz, a blacktop hiking path. Black absorbs heat, by the way, instead of reflecting it back into space, and the parking lot is often full; so, to get people to hike, bike and ski, we encourage them to drive hundreds of miles a week (cumulatively).
Want to be elected? Give the people what they want!
As for the starvation our president has forecast, “Let them eat cake?”
Trump: America’s biggest sore loser
I’m not a huge fan of Joe Biden. One would have to admit that he’s not a gifted communicator and he lacks charisma. But following Jim Clyburn’s endorsement in South Carolina, he swept the remaining primaries and achieved a convincing popular and electoral victory in the general election. He wasn’t my first or even second choice among the Democratic field, but he was the popular choice, and he turned out to be the right candidate to beat Trump. And he’s our president.
His ability to deliver on a very ambitious agenda has run head-on into the brick wall of Joe Manchin, Kyrsten Sinema and the entire Republican Party: politicians first and public servants in name only. Biden has been unable to budge the needle on immigration reform, climate, gun control, minimum wage, access to abortion, corporate accountability, voting rights; the Democratic agenda has stalled or is in retreat. But I never regretted my vote for Biden. The alternative was too frightening to contemplate: the end of our admittedly frayed but idealistic attempt at self-government.
Had American voters returned a known pathological liar, malignant narcissist and con man to power, what part of the American ideal of representative government could have survived? Our current president is not all anyone would have wanted, but he’s a fundamentally decent person with a functioning moral compass: two qualities which Trump, in his disarming knack for saying the quiet stuff out loud, never even pretended to have.
Because the rule of law in this country could not have survived a second Trump term, I find it distressing to read the rabidly anti-Biden letters in your paper. Does that mean that these letter-writers failed to see Trump’s obvious unfitness for public service, his all-encompassing narcissism? Did they not hear his effusive praise for Vladimir Putin and disrespect for our European allies? Did they not see his installation of his son-in-law into a hugely powerful position? Did they not notice his revolving cabinet door? Were they absent for his bizarre and dangerous COVID messages to the nation? Did they sleep through his unprecedented two impeachments for cause? Do they not sense the damage he has inflicted on our country by his refusal to admit that he lost the election?
He will go down in history as America’s biggest sore loser. Can there be a question in anyone’s mind that he had no use for constitutional checks and balances to guard against tyranny? When these letter-writers lash out at Joe Biden for failing to accomplish this or that, under our flawed system, they should probably consider the alternative.
Support Living Harp art project
Join the Barning Man Arts Collective at Snug Harbor in New Paltz on April 3 from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. to support the Living Harp art project! We’ll have live music, tasty food, a silent auction, a gently used costume sale and drink specials!
Come dance to and enjoy the musical talents of Snowbear, Trailer Swift (acoustic) and Patrick Six7. Food will be for sale and includes grilled cheese, chili and baked goods. The silent auction will feature local art, private yoga class, hula hoops, trapeze class, voice lessons, mindset coaching, HeartMoves Hearts and a True Mirror.
The Living Harp is a giant string instrument designed to lead you into the heart of the universe. When standing beneath the strings, you feel as though you are inside an instrument and are bathed in peaceful, healing and grounding vibrations. The strings are anchored on one end by an 18-foot-tall, 24-foot-wide wooden heart that lights up at night. The strings are anchored on the other end by the True Reflections Palace, an eight-by-eight-foot cube with a platform on top where the performer stands to play the instrument. Inside the palace are mirrors that show you your true self. These elements come together to encourage a deep inner-knowing of the self.
The door charge is “pay as you wish,” and we’d love to see you there!
Ariana Basco & Melissa Pelino
Facilitators, Let’s Be Friends
Spectrum senior citizen discount
I just called Spectrum, and found out, after 18 minutes on hold, that the citizen senior discount (a free 12th month of service if you’ve paid the last 11 months on time) is available only in some localities. Neither Kingston, New Paltz nor Woodstock is included. But Tim Rogers advises that, although the franchise agreement between the Town of New Paltz and Spectrum has expired, they are still legally obligated to provide this service to New Paltz senior citizens.
Monelle Malkine Richmond
Keep it natural
Do people fall off the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail (WVRT)? It seems that OSI is concerned about the possibility. A very sturdy fence was erected on the trail between the boat launch parking and Water Street in New Paltz. It is high enough to interfere with viewing the river for a smaller adult, say 5’3″. I fear this will be continued south to Gardiner — any place where the embankment is high.
Last year, the trail was widened by a full-sized road grader. Intruding saplings get beaten to death. Native plants are scraped up and replaced by invasives like poison ivy, garlic mustard and mugwort. Some of the funds available should be used to hire a naturalist to walk and observe what is there before damage is done. The trail is very bike friendly now. They go really fast and quiet. Do they appreciate the scenery? Let trees and shrubs continue to flourish on the embankment, prevent erosion and keep us from falling off the WVRT.
There are facts to be discussed concerning the Woodstock Library
It has come to my attention that the Woodstock Library board is once again spending tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars before getting full and firm approval from taxpayers. The amount they spent in the past on failed plans amounts to over half-a-million dollars. Are you all aware of that? Do you not find it outrageous?
There will be a bond vote on May 10. If you don’t know all the facts, please don’t vote. Don’t place any ignorant votes just because we all love libraries. There are facts to be discussed.
Stop the biggest threat to Medicare
The corporate grab for Medicare (taxpayer) money continues in the shadows. A pilot program called REACH, initiated by the Trump administration through the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, contracts with third-party insurance and private equity middlemen to “manage” care for seniors enrolled in traditional fee-for-service Medicare. For unnecessary and obstructive “management,” these middlemen can take 40% of the money that traditional Medicare provides directly to health care services.
Seniors, plus the millions of Americans about to turn 65, have never heard of REACH nor its inevitable transformation of Medicare from a much admired and efficient citizen benefit to one “managed” by Wall Street investors, which rations and restricts care for their own benefit and profitability. You may already be quietly enrolled in Realizing Equity Access in Community Health without your knowledge or consent, since it is not required nor is Congressional oversight.
Now, while REACH is still a “pilot,” is the time to say NO to this corporate heist.
Call your congressional representative and Centers for Medicare. Write to AARP. Talk to your Doctors. Tell your friends.
Neil’s in outer space … again
Rather than stand up to my Biden challenge, Neil Jarmel couldn’t muster the strength to defend Biden’s outlined decision-making fiascos so, instead, chose to insert himself in the lineup as a pinch hitter for Steve Massardo and shout from the mountain top his off-the-wall opinions of Fox News, especially those regarding Tucker Carlson.
Is every journalist accurate and on point, all the time? Of course not. But, few at Fox stray very often, at all. However, this biased straying is the daily standard of operational procedure at CNN, MSNBC, et al. Neil is extremely adept at exaggeration and spin, as evidenced by his choices of cherry-picked phrases from a Russian media leak such as … “Carlson ’sells’ Vladimir Putin’s invasion and war against Ukraine,” “Carlson steadily spews misleading misinformation,” “Carlson is anti-democratic and anti-free speech when it involves anyone he doesn’t agree with.” Neil is very confused on the last quote because he just described many Democrats, liberal “peaceful” protesters (most recently, the whiz kids at Yale University Law School … our future “leaders” and lawmakers, God forbid!), the main stream media and, last but hardly least, the big tech masters of censorship and cancel culture.
Then, in a weak attempt to put an exclamation point on his delusional allegations, he goes off the rails with his middle school meltdown, summoning his x-rated vocabulary.
“Stunning how many idiots work at Fox,” per Neil. Again, being totally out to sea, mentally, Neil still doesn’t seem to grasp the fact that if all his assertions against Fox were accurate and true, Fox would be at the bottom of the ratings heap if not completely off the air while, at the same time, his faux champions of honesty, integrity and objectivity … CNN, MSNBC, et al……would be ruling the ratings roost. Maybe on another planet but, definitely, not here on earth.
It’s funny how 95% of Neil’s allegations against Fox actually mirror nearly all the “news” trolls at CNN, MSNBC, et al.
Finally, and again, did anyone notice that, in Neil’s rantings, he completely “forgot” to address my challenge to him last week to ONLY address the many listed Biden dangerous failures that are currently demoralizing ALL Americans which, obviously, includes a host of unhappy Democratic voters as well?
John N. Butz
Not all masks are being ditched for the NPHS musical
I can’t wait to see my daughter in her school play, so was deeply dismayed by the headline on the article about the upcoming performance in your publication. It claims that student actors are ditching their masks for the New Paltz High School musical The Theory of Relativity. For the record, my daughter isn’t ditching her mask. She can’t. She has to keep it on to protect her little sister who is recovering from cancer treatment. Nancy Owen, the director, specifically mentioned in the article that some kids were keeping their masks on, even as she shared her excitement for forward movement within the community. But your reporter liked her story idea, so while she quoted Owen, she glossed over this nuance and went with the fact that it was a “great relief” that masks are coming off.
When the mask mandate at the school was dropped, our school superintendent wrote New Paltz families and specifically asked for respect for masks or no masks. This was similar language that was in many local school district’s adopting mask optional policies. “We ask for everyone’s respect for individuals who choose to continue wearing masks at school. None of us know the health concerns of our students and staff or of their loved ones and this personal choice should be respected by everyone.”
This story lacks respect for the actors working very hard to enjoy their own performance — and also remain masked. It doesn’t take more than a sentence acknowledging that mask-off is now possible, but is not a universal option for all of the student actors. And the headline really cries out for a rewrite. I reached out to the writer to share my reaction and she told me not to take it personally.
Protect bail reform
Three cheers to the Hochul administration for standing behind the budgeted hundreds of millions in funding for excellent youthful offender and mental illness programs. Kudos for going along with that, even if it’s not a billion. But some of her new proposals would roll back needed changes in criminal justice legislative reforms already passed. Bail is supposed to make a financial disincentive for accused suspects of major crimes who otherwise might fail to make their court appearance to escape prosecution. It’s not supposed to punish you for being a suspect.
If you are separated from family and job when you’re still not proven guilty, that’s harsh, especially on people struggling anyway (like at least half of us). So now judges would get to set bail if you’ve had outstanding warrants for any failed appearance in the past, or for a crime like mere possession of an unregistered firearm or a crime in a subway. You can lose your freedom and livelihood at the judge’s discretion even if you’re innocent, or only guilty of not showing for a ticket. That’s wrong, even if you’re not a young black male caught in a stop-and-frisk.
And if you’re contesting your case, she wants to make an exception to the important new rule that prosecutors have to let your lawyer see documents in their original form as evidence before trial. That way they could convict you before the court would see what might have been concealed in evidence. It’s not like that doesn’t ever happen! She (or her legal scribe) even adds the description of such cases as “reasonable under the circumstances” to imply that it doesn’t.
Thank you, Governor Hochul, for balancing the Democratic ticket with your “moderate” upstate opinions on criminal procedure reforms. Let’s get on with justice.
Biden redux in 2024
Recently, The New York Times admitted that the Hunter Biden laptop story that emerged during the 2020 campaign was true and not Russian disinformation, as 50 dishonest partisan anti-Trump former intel officials suggested when the New York Post story first appeared. Of course, the anti-Trump media ignored or censored the story.
With this in view, despite his low poll numbers, POTUS Biden insists that he’ll be “running it back” or going for a second term. Alarmed at the news, Joe’s former primary rivals and potential 2024 candidates Bernie (hey, he’s young for an octogenarian) Sanders, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar decided to discourage such a Biden bid. For this reason, they held a press conference in which they sang the following song (inspired by the Bee Gees’ “You Should Be Dancing”) titled “He Should Retire.” With Mayor Pete singing the Barry Gibbs falsetto lead and Sanders and Klobuchar background, the trio sang to the karaoke music of the Bee Gees’ original tune using all appropriate and necessary disco dance moves for full effect.
Joe’s now approaching midnight
Been in politics too long
We think he should retire
That’s the message of this song
Joe says he wants to run it back, aah
Seems he really wants to run it back, aah
He should retire, yeah (retire, yeah)
Joe wants a second term now
He needs Barack’s support
When asked if he’ll endorse him
Barack gave this retort
(Repeat chorus from above)
Since Joe left Afghanistan
It’s in a downward slide
His pullout was so reckless
Those 13 soldiers died
(Chorus sang here)
Joe, that was a really bad mistake, aah
Your explanations they were really fake, aah
You should retire, yeah (retire, yeah)
Joe said he’d shut down COVID
Blamed Trump for those who died
He’s had more deaths on his watch
Now we know that old Joe lied
(Chorus sang here)
Joe, you told so many lies, aah
You’ve told some deadly lies, aah
You must retire, yeah (retire, yeah)
(Amy takes over the lead)
We should be in the running
Bernie, Peter and me
At least we know where we are
And we’re practically gaffe-free
(Repeat chorus here)
Inflation’s getting higher.
“Putin’s Fault” is the song
But prices started rising
Before his war came along
(Repeat chorus here)
The New York Times reported
The Hunter story’s real
Though all those experts called it
A Russian bad info deal
The media put the story right to bed, aah
But this is what they really should have said, aah
Joe’s a liar, yeah (He should retire, yeah)
Trump’s speaking at a rally
He’s mocking Sleepy Joe
He’s asking, “Where is Hunter?”
He’s putting on a show
The media put the story right to bed, aah
But this is what they really should have said, aah
Joe’s a liar, yeah (He should retire, yeah)
(Trump leads closing chant)
If Joe’s not retired, yeah
I’ll be rehired, yeah
Please don’t retire, Joe, aah
Don’t you retire, Joe, yeah
Free to learn to move
As I was sitting and talking to a friend and her mother at the playground, she was saying how when she was young, she could do the monkey bars and do pull-ups. What has happened? Then a mom with a trainer on her back sat while her children climbed everything, but more like in the style of a stunt person, not the so-called correct way.
This started me thinking about how maybe I should take my kid to the Little Gym or the park or the mall. Of course, all these things cost money, and for myself and my peers, we don’t all have that kind of transportation. So are gymnastics, ballet and the park for the elite, or at least for those who have supposed everything in this capitalist county? Just wondering.
Then I thought maybe there is a way we could actually pay more people who do ballet or gymnastics or go to the park (which reminds me how things that were free have become things that costs money, like playing with sticks at a Waldorf school). Why are these not offered in the early years in gym at school, or have these classes available, besides just music and gym? Why don’t the local neighborhood centers also offer park or gymnastics? How about Big Brother & Sister centers?
Many children are born to climb, dance and jump, especially in a city with working parents or not working. Not many parents get their kids out and play. Maybe they ride a bike, but they don’t climb a tree or learn to roll on a bar. I was too old when I got a gymnastics lesson. You have to start in kindergarten or first grade. It is everyone’s human right.
So many kids who love to move are put in front of videogames or long stretches of Netflix and Disney – someone else’s paid imagination filling up their minds in an effort to get the kids to hold still. But what if they could go to their nearest neighborhood center for free, and jump and roll and swing? That is what they need.
The first need as a child is learning to be in your body and what it can do. Then you will have a good reader and someone who can take in math.
Bring it to the school and nearby centers for free. Just like teachers, they would get paid to do their art, like ballet, park and gymnastics, or there would be grants set up to keep them in centers.
How can we make this change happen?
The costs of war
The Ukraine/Russian war is a travesty to behold and demonstrates that with all the advanced technology the human race has developed it still is undeveloped and barbaric in its relations with each other. As of March 10 5,000, to 6,000 Russian soldiers have been killed and 2,000 to 4,000 Ukrainian armed forces have been killed (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/mar/11/russia-ukraine-war-numbers-casualties-refugees-aid).
Civilian deaths were 1,119, with 1,170 injured and 99 children were killed with 126 injured, according to a United Nations March 28, 2022 press release (https://ukraine.un.org/en/176009-mounting-civilian-deaths-mass-destruction-and-catastrophic-humanitarian-situation-russian).
And 3.6 million refugees have fled to other countries and ten million displaced (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-60555472).
All war is an ugly stain on the human race with regard to respect for human life and the earth we all live on. The Iraq war was no exception. More than one-million Iraqi people were killed in that war, 500,000 thousand were children. And 9.2 million people have been displaced. The bombing of Iraq destroyed their water supplies, demolished their infrastructure and polluted their atmosphere with dirty uranium weapons, which created a humanitarian crisis (https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/costs/human/refugees/iraqi).
Yet, the U.S. media glorified the Iraq war while it currently excoriates Russia for doing the same thing. Both wars are a crime against humanity and those responsible should be brought to justice, whether it be Vladimir Putin or George Busch Jr., who both live in luxury while the people perish under their foreign policies.
There is a difference though, Ukraine is adjacent to Russia and was fast becoming a direct threat to its neighbor, including having 14,000 Russian speaking-people being murdered on in eastern Ukraine Donbar region since 2014. Not one single American was killed by the Iraqis and Iraq just happens to be 7,000 miles away. We had no threat from Iraq except the fake WMD story manufactured by the CIA & US military brass and spread by the CIA-controlled US media (https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2021/04/16/cia-used-infiltrate-media-now-cia-media/). How long will the American people be manipulated and deceived by a controlled media to suit illegal U.S. foreign policy needs and its official narrative?