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.
Donald seeks advice
Understandably, Donald Trump is depressed because of the January 6 hearings and the recent FBI raid on his Mar-a-Lago home. In order to lift his spirits, he called his old friend, Bill Clinton, to vent and get some advice.
Chappaqua, NY. (A groggy Bill reaches for his ringing phone): Hello?
Trump: Hi, Bill.
Clinton (answers): Donald, is that you? It’s 5 in the morning!
Donald: I thought you’d be awake.
Clinton: Well, I wasn’t. Ever since Epstein left us, I sleep like a baby.
Trump: Sorry, Bill. Can we talk?
Clinton: Well, I’m up now Donald, so I’m listening.
Trump: Everyone seems to be against me and all this talk of January 6 with the recent FBI raid of Mar-a-Lago, well, it’s starting to get to me. You’ve been through this before and so I thought I’d give you a call.
Clinton: Well, I wish you had called at a decent hour, D.T. But okay, why don’t you start at the beginning? Hillary is awake now, so I’ll put the phone on speaker. (Hillary says, “Hi Donald.”) Maybe she’ll have some insights to offer; you know, because of all the criticism she had to endure over that dang private server and all those subpoenaed e-mails she destroyed, not to mention the Steele dossier stuff. Fortunately for us, Obama’s DOJ never raided our home.
Trump (starts chanting playfully): Lock her up, lock her up! Hi Hill! I’m just joshing. Thanks, guys. (Trump begins to share what’s bothering him to the now wide-awake Clinton couple): “It all began when I was riding down the escalator at Trump Towers.”
(To the tune of “The Ballad of John and Yoko”)
Riding down the stairs of Trump Towers
Announcing that I’m going to run
The pundits all said
His fame has gone to his head
We bet he’s only having some fun
Bill, you know it ain’t easy
You know how hard it can be
The day that I started
They tried to get rid of me
I told Jeb his energy was too low
I gave Marco his own nickname too
Lying Ted sure had game
But when I called him that name
He really didn’t know what to do
(Bill, you know it ain’t easy etc.)
Barack said I’d never sit in his office
Then he dropped his phone on the floor
The crowd cheered him with glee
You know they didn’t like me
But my name wound up on his office door
Walking with my wife on the tarmac
They said, “His marriage is on shifting sands”
Oh boy, The View said, she wishes he was dead
Cos Melanie didn’t want to hold hands – Think!
Eating brunch with friends at Mar-a-Lago
Having pie and ice cream at the meal
The press said look what he’s done
He had two scoops, his friends one
They said this proved I was a big heel
(Bill, you know it ain’t easy etc.)
Mueller searched so hard for collusion
Tried to find an impeachable crime
He searched hard everywhere
Without a “there” being there
His search just wasted money and time
(Bill, you know it ain’t easy etc.)
My critics said, “Trump’s so unstable”
While they screamed up at the sky
My base thought I was swell
Critics said, “We’re in Hell”
Though I’m a genius who’s a real stable guy
(Bill, you know it ain’t easy etc.)
They want to charge me with insurrection
After two impeachments have failed
They may have failed then
But they’re trying again
It seems they’ll never rest till I’m jailed
Now they’ve hit me at Mar-a-Lago
Agents came to my front door
They came by land, air and sea
You know they want to get me
Bill, you know I can’t take too much more
Bill, there’s so much more I could tell you
But please, tell me what I should do
Why is there such hate?
I made America great
(Although I did offend a person or two)
Bill, you know it ain’t easy
You know how hard it can be
The way things are going
They’ll finally get rid of me
Trump: Well, guys, I feel better now. What do you think? (Donald hears what sounds like snoring on his phone.) Guys, are you there? Bill? Hillary?
Dear MAGAt and Republican Party voters: Taking/stealing classified and top-secret documents is a no-no. TFG engaged in an illegal act whether they were classified or not, and now is being rightfully investigated by the DOJ for breaking the law. He didn’t even adhere to the subpoena he received to return all the documents. What was his motive to retain 11 boxes of documents when he was to return them all after being informed and subpoenaed to do just that?
It’s time. It’s time to put down the merch, the flags, your wrong ideas and ideology and allegiance. It’s time to admit you have been wrong. It’s time to realize he’s a traitor. It’s been a long time…but come on now. It’s okay to admit it. Move on with your lives and accept it. Get out of the cult. Listen to your friends and family who have tried to help you. Make amends with those who have cut you out of their lives, all for your devotion to this man and this wrong path.
It’s high time, it’s over. There is power in acceptance. It’s the final stage of grief. There is power in being big enough to admit you made a mistake. There is power in personal growth and doing better with more knowledge.
It’s all right to stop
Time to eat all your words
Swallow your pride
Open your eyes
In all honesty, I don’t see this as very likely. Every time it’s been pointed out how they’re supporting evil, they double down and try to claim the moral or reflexive high ground somehow. Laughable but sad – SMH because that crowd is made up of fucking stupid people!
The final laugh-out-loud moment for me is when we see the ex-president’s dumbass request (“by copy of this truth” LOL), as Trump demands the FBI give back documents he “rightfully” stole.
Ulster County benefits
News about money from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) for individual and economic COVID recovery disappeared quickly, so I was happy to see the recent news report on the continuing benefits to Ulster County of the $34 million allocation it received.
In addition to the millions already directed to Ulster’s mental health support, sewer and water systems, affordable housing and small businesses, $1.5 million will be distributed among organizations that sustain our sense of community: libraries, theaters, arts groups, orchestras, social and education centers, American Legion, nature preserves, YMCA, the United Way and more. These non-profit organizations profit us by enriching our daily lives.
Pat Ryan, county executive, understood this about ensuring the vitality of community life. “We’re investing our federal dollars in direct support to our essential non-profits, who stepped into new roles when the pandemic created new needs in our community.”
Almost two centuries ago, Alexis de Tocqueville was astonished by how generous, kind and charitable he found Americans. Those federal dollars are our dollars, and the ARPA proves we are still those generous Americans. How sad and shameful that one major political party, the GOP, rejects (by voting “No” on ARPA) this traditional, communitarian spirit and action, which benefits all citizens.
You can’t dance to a podcast.
Eliminate all nukes
The first resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly in January 1946 called for the elimination of nuclear weapons. The current secretary general agrees. In 1982 one million people demonstrated with that goal. And on August 2, 2022, I and many others marched to the US Mission and did the same. And again, as every year, I and others commemorated the bombing of Hiroshima with our prayers.
Clearly much more progress has been made, but more is needed. Much more remains. Different tactics are necessary. Every last nuke must be eliminated everywhere. No more half-measures. No more billions. Otherwise, no more people will remain. The insanity will persist. As has been said before: No nuclear war can be won, and none must ever be fought!
Preserve our future
Our nation is on the brink of an agricultural collapse, and this summer emphasizes the seriousness of climate change upon our food supply.
According to ROCA, an online news medium, seven states face water cuts after failing to propose a plan to cut their Colorado River water usage. Quoting from ROCA, but also widely reported elsewhere:
“The Colorado River basin covers seven US states. It is the primary water source for 40 million Americans and generates power for millions of households. It also supports a $15 billion-a-year regional agricultural industry. The river is in the midst of a 23-year drought, leaving water levels at historic lows. States have until Tuesday to submit a plan for how to cut river usage 15 percent by 2023. There’s no longer enough water to fulfill existing water rights. If the states don’t reach a new agreement, the federal government will force cuts on them.”
A majority of our food supply comes from these agricultural areas. Yet we continue to ignore the dynamic warning signs of catastrophe ahead. Development of mega-sized homes continues, wasteful food and water practices continue, senseless consumerism runs unabated. All of our daily practices are dangerously draining our water resources, which in turn threaten the loss of our food supply.
We are witnessing unheard-of drought conditions in our local communities. It’s time for our region to take stock of its resources, especially water. Education about water usage is equally important. Until we know which resources are most constrained, it’s impossible to take the measured steps necessary to preserve our future.
I love food and can’t live without it. Can you?
Jo Galante Cicale
I heard that four bears were recently “euthanized” (killed, murdered in my language), including two cubs, because some folks objected to them being on their property and reported them to the DEC. I won’t say what I think of those people, but here’s a poem by Ellen Bass, called “Fracture,” they might read and think about.
When the grizzly cubs were caught, collared, and taken away –
relocated they call it –
their mother ran back and forth on the road screaming.
Brutal sound. Torn from her lungs. Her heart,
twisted knot, hot blood rivering
to the 26 pounding bones of her feet.
Just weeks before
I watched a bear and her cubs run down a mountain
in the twilight.
So buoyant, they seemed to be tumbling
to the meadow,
to the yarrow root they dug, rocking
to wrest it from the hard ground, fattening for winter.
They were breathing what looked like gladness.
But that other mother…
Her massive head raised, desperate to catch their scent.
Each footfall a fracture in the Earth’s crust.
If Noah’s Ark is a spaceship
I recently tried to communicate to a friend the benefits I gained from isolating myself during the pandemic. One positive I came up with was that being alone deepened my awareness of my thoughts and emotions about myself.
Isolation can become frightening if you don’t like who you are. However, having worked in the mental health field, I understand that many suffer from self-loathing. One of the ways to avoid dealing with self-loathing is through distractions to escape into the external world. In other words, seldom sit still, leave little time to reflect, occupy yourself with external issues and look to others to assure you you are okay.
I have a friend who uses the phrase “Microcosm Macrocosm;” what I will write next may fit this statement. I think a personal sociological phenomenon of self-loathing is occurring in our culture. This comprises a complex of dangerous behaviors used to create distractions. For example, ignoring emotional and physical health, perilous driving, epidemic drug use, advanced numbers of suicide and releasing repressed rage on others. This is the microcosm.
The macrocosm is wars, hateful politics, intentional environmental disasters, the government’s lack of clear communication with the public and racial violence. How we publicly appear to treat ourselves as a nation is in the hands of our government, the military, religious institutions and the police. All these organizations struggle for cash; our government’s spending on war stimulates our economy. How we treat ourselves and how our government treats us are deeply connected.
The computer revolution gradually took hold of many aspects of my life, beginning in my late 50s and 60s. I once believed that scholars, scientists, moral leaders and politicians would always protect humanity in our country. Now witnessing capital being placed before human, animal and plant life and everything becoming a commodity, from microbes to human organs, science has become a major shareholder in our self-destruction.
My questions are: If today’s Noah’s Ark is a spaceship, who would be selected to drift into space away from the catastrophe we’ve created? What animals would be brought, besides humans? In my imagination, I see human space travelers stuffing cash in their socks. Some might be placing weapons in their suitcases instead of clothes. I can see those standing at the spaceship door trying to bump each other out of line while the TV news films them.
A psychopath is beyond self-loathing; they are without access to their soul and will lie and take human life feeling nothing. There are politicians in our government today displaying psychopathic symptoms, and there are world leaders who should be diagnosed as psychopaths. Vast amounts of cash and no consciousness about whose life you take “to make it” and keep it seems to be the formula for success.
To return to self-loathing, I have found it helps when I look in the mirror – to ask the man looking at me if he wants me to stand still long enough to hear what he has to say.
He moved to Rhinebeck one day, filed to run for congressman the next, won, and then left us when Governor Hochul called. Up that ladder to what next, Mr. Ambition? So, for half of 2022, we here in the Valley once represented by Antonio Delgado have no voice in DC. What, you think Chuck and our other senator, who Chuck called “our little cutie,” are listening to you? We are suckers.
What would you call it?
In response to David Drimer and Rondavid Gold’s objections to labeling the Israeli government’s policies toward Palestinians as apartheid, I would point out that it is understandable for observers of the situation to reach this conclusion. After all, it is the Israeli government that deprives Palestinians freedom of movement and that encroaches on Palestinian land in the West Bank, not the other way around. People’s sympathies don’t usually lie with the bully.
International law forbids an occupier from annexing occupied land. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that what Israel is doing in the West Bank? If the Israeli government doesn’t want to be seen as the bully, maybe it could give Palestinians back the West Bank land it has misappropriated and their freedom of movement in the land of their birth.
My opinion is…
According to an article in HV1, a “Calamar Lane property owner has proposed a seven-unit motel on property.” Additionally in the article, Woodstock Planning Board chair Peter Cross “question[ed] if it [the proposed project] needs to go to the Zoning Board of Appeals [ZBA] to apply for a variance.” He also thought the planners could seek clarity from the ZBA in the difference between a motel and short-term rental.
According to our Zoning Law, a motel with a special use permit is an allowed use in a HC district. The project as proposed fits the definition of a motel: “A building or group of buildings containing individual living and sleeping accommodations for hire, each of which is provided with a separate exterior entrance and one or more parking spaces and is offered for rental to, and used principally by, motor vehicle travelers,” and should not be considered a short-term rental, since the proposed use of the project will not be, as stated in the definition of STR, “in a private home or habitable accessory structure.”
Commentary on life
Willies: Wonka, Mays, Nelson: A root-toot-tooting August salute to ya!
Be passive solar – not passive to vote. Get out there, peeps!
Enough “wing” left/right politics; we just want to keep a roof over our heads and food on our table.
You can blame the mega-drought on “Flex Seal,” but you’d be denying all the real global stuff.
Ta-ta…I am off to a Kegel-redo workshop!
Myrna S. Hilton
Thanks DPW for making sure we have water service
It was Friday afternoon after another long, hot, and dry week in August. The watermain on North Chestnut Street broke for the umpteenth time in the last few years. This is the same section where we finally received grant money from the NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC), but have not yet begun construction. The global pandemic created delays to an already convoluted process, and now +30% cost escalations are creating more unexpected challenges.
All of the Village of New Paltz’s various water and sewer capital projects are costing at least 30% more than we estimated just over two years ago. For example, the low bid for a recent sewer project came in $292,630 more than we anticipated. We are now stuck with the challenging task of having to find sections of that project to remove so we comply with our original grant award and the amount we were approved to borrow.
For the North Chestnut watermain, we also submitted a pre-application to Ulster County’s Municipal Sewer & Water Grant Program seeking $500,000 in assistance using some of the county’s American Rescue Plan money they received from the Federal government. Good news, our pre-application and proposed water project were found by the County to be eligible so we were invited to complete a full application. Its deadline is September 14. We hope to receive this assistance and use it as part of our +$2 million match required by the EFC that we must come up with locally towards +$5 million in watermain replacement projects, including North Chestnut Street.
It would be fantastic not to expect our DPW to have to scramble to keep patching temperamental watermains before weekends. We are lucky our Village of New Paltz staff are such a dedicated team.
Mayor Tim Rogers
Israeli not comparable to Third Reich
Comparing anything to the brutality of the Third Reich, as Tarik Kauff does in a recent letter (Are you doing anything? HV1, 08/17/22), is disgusting; it’s unacceptable even as hyperbole. When one is comparing Nazism to Israeli government policy, it’s not only inappropriate but also bizarre.
The Jewish Federation of Ulster County cannot allow such outrageous accusations to go unanswered.
Hitler’s regime herded millions of Jews throughout Europe into ghettos, concentration camps and crematoria. Six-million Jewish men, women and children were murdered. Thousands of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Catholic priests, homosexuals, Roma/Sinta, and political prisoners were exterminated, too. Precisely what actions taken by Israel suggest something remotely similar?
Is it Israel’s offer to create an independent Palestinian state, with the full support and assurances of the United States? That’s the proposed “two-state solution,” and Israel has made that offer three times only to be rebuffed every time.
Is it when Israel provides all electricity, water and telecommunications and much of the humanitarian aid and emergency medical care to residents of disputed territory in Judea and Samaria (aka the West Bank)? Israel continues its aid even during periods of open warfare, characterized by thousands of rocket attacks targeting residential neighborhoods within Israel proper. That’s literally the definition of “terrorism.”
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) can only respond with military action against missile launch sites, going the extra mile in warning civilians to evacuate well in advance of retaliatory strikes. That’s fundamental to the Israeli military’s “rules of engagement,” which has earned it the characterization of “the most ethical army on Earth.” The terrorist faction Hamas routinely locates missile launch sites adjacent to hospitals and schools. Israel views any resulting collateral damage and loss of life as deeply regrettable consequences of its national defense. Hamas views it as a propaganda victory.
Kauff’s letter nebulously references U.S. military funding to Israel out of a Pentagon budget of “over a trillion dollars per year.” That’s worth analyzing. It’s well-known Israel receives roughly $3 billion per year in military subsidies. It’s less well understood that Israel may only spend that allocation with U.S. defense contractors. Not a penny of those funds exits the U.S. economy. Iran, the world’s leading exporter of international terrorism, has vowed Israel’s destruction. Is it too much for the U.S. to allocate to a strategically vital ally in its national defense?
Finally, Kauff asserts Gaza, a tract of largely desert land Israel built up and developed, then voluntarily ceded to Palestinian settlers, is suffering with no electricity. When Israel evacuated Gaza, the Palestinians destroyed virtually everything Israel built there, presumably out of spite. But even though the Palestinian Authority — the ruling political entity whose dictator Mahmoud Abbas remains perennially in power despite the terms of its Constitution — routinely runs millions of dollars behind in paying its electric bill, Israel never fully turns off the power. Perhaps, the PA remains short on its electric bill because its corrupt leadership diverts billions in foreign aid to their personal foreign bank accounts and builds terror tunnels into Israel to further a terrorist political agenda.
Tarak, these are facts, easily researched and fully substantiated via reputable news sources. If you don’t accept every word as accurate, please take a few minutes to look them up.
Thoughts on the August 17 Saugerties Town Board meeting
This past week I attended the Saugerties Town Board meeting. Here is some of what I came away with. The subject of importance….the Denier proposed two-bay car wash and the implications of same.
The focus of the representation by the spokesperson was how absolutely safe and of no concern that this project could ever affect the aquifer that lies below Winston Farm.
The car wash would be located in a sensitive overlay area. The request was to redo zoning restrictions to allow a clearly prohibited zoning law prohibition.
There were so many citizens of Saugerties present that the conference room needed to be rearranged and many chairs added. There was standing room only in the area outside of the room. Of all the folks to speak, not one person was in support of this proposal, unless, of course, they were concerned about the public feedback.
All that aside, when questioned about how an 100% guarantee that no adverse effects might happen, the response was sorely lacking. Nothing is 100% and the risks to every citizen’s safe water supply are monumental.
I brought up several concerns:
• Property values, should we be faced with polluted water.
• Does anyone think they would be able to sell? Whoever would be willing to invest in homes and businesses in any town where the dangers of bathing themselves or their children, drinking the water, cooking food and actually eating it is the reality?
• Once polluted, irreversible pollution will be the fate of Saugerties.
Does anyone besides the developer believe this is a good thing?
And for what? A two-bay, automatic car wash that is going to depend upon “alarms” as the safety net? It was stated there would be a part-time employee. How much good will that do. Not much.
Someone brought up the question regarding the actual purpose for this zoning change and suggested, as has been brought up before, if this isn’t a ploy to get the developers’ feet in the door so they could bring up as their defense that zoning laws were changed so they should be able to make more changes.
Those of us who spoke made clear that we strongly object to the changes proposed to zoning laws.
There is a real and present danger to everyone who is dependent upon the aquifer.
And, as so accurately stated, we are in a drought that is likely to become more severe as the effects of global warming are just beginning.
Much more I have to say, but so far I plan on living long enough to write more letters.
Waiting for the right time
A year ago, we gave Afghanistan back to the Taliban. We also gave something else away too.
Just before that dismal event, a young man working on my property had recently come off Army duty in Afghanistan. When I asked him what we were really doing there after 20 odd years, he replied without hesitation: “Guarding the minerals.” So now that these minerals, needed for all this greenery that Congress has passed, are given to China or who knows who else, it’s our additional loss and a gain for our biggest adversary.
It’s a gain too, not for us lumpen taxpayers, but for Speaker Pelosi’s son Paul. Hardly an expert on minerology, he is nonetheless being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to sit on various boards of Chinese mineral companies. I wonder why. The Chinese are rapaciously gobbling up the mineral efforts in the Congo, and reports are coming out of the harshest and cruelest treatment of the miners. Meanwhile efforts here in the US to mine for these essentials are discouraged by this administration. (Full disclosure: I own shares in a US lithium mining company based in Arkansas, but so far I don’t hear any calls for its support.)
So I will continue driving my 2009 Ford Fusion until we stop coddling alien efforts and encourage domestic ones like affordable hydrogen cars and affordable geothermal heating for homes and businesses. And until that time comes, no quasi-socialist senator from Vermont, or overmobilized congresswoman from Queens, or a teenager going around in a $15-million yacht with a diesel engine just in case, have anything to say to me.
Roe v. Wade ongoing debate
Many pro-abortion writers have expressed their strong views, especially after the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade, including but not limited to some of the more frequent writers, Kris-McDaniel Miccio, ESQ., Marty Klein, Steve Massardo, Peter Fiorentino, and Carol Bergman. It is easy to see that they all have one common thread — a very desperate reference to our Constitution. They all cherry-pick specific sections, phrases, or paragraphs within some of the Amendments of the Constitution to prove to themselves, and wishfully to all of us, that abortion is a “right” guaranteed within the Constitution. However, since there is absolutely no reference, anywhere within the Constitution, to the word “abortion,” they are hopelessly left to putting their own spin and interpretation into what they think the Constitution is saying, to make it conform with their viewpoints. I’m no lawyer, judge, or law enforcement officer, but the last time I researched the topic, I’m pretty sure that none of us has a Constitutional or moral “right” to take the life of an innocent human being, born or unborn.
Even Neil Jarmel has shockingly weighed in on this topic in last week’s edition. It’s not shocking, of course, that Neil has taken this pro-abortion viewpoint, but what is shocking is that Neil has actually taken a week off from his boring and monotonous TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) assaults, to address another issue! His article of two weeks ago entitled “Our Partner Trump”, shows just how far off his rocker Neil has fallen — his thorough discourse on his Putin/Trump hallucinations/fantacies which have long been proven to be a hoax. I guess no one ever gave Neil the final findings of the Mueller’s 2+ years witch hunt.
Paul Nathe’s excellent letter on “Selective reporting” will stump many readers, especially Neil, when it comes to even the remote possibility of any thoughtful and well-prepared rebuttal from anyone whose sole source of “news” are the laughable CNN and MSNBC water boys and water girls for the Democrats and their/our current administration. Paul did leave out another critical source of Democratic selective reporting — The View, with its “highly intelligent” and “well-informed” panelists of comediennes. A recent report has indicated that even the View’s fans have grown tired of Goldberg and Behar and the show’s falling ratings. So, they have shaken things up by bringing on a couple interchangeable conservative voices to “balance” things out. However, the producers were very careful to choose two conservatives who have openly stated that they are no fans of Trump, a la Kinzinger and Chaney. Wow, what a gamble by The View’s big wigs!
Speaking of ratings, we must, again, remind Neil and other fans of CNN and MSNBC to carefully research cable news ratings. One recent study, done by an impartial source, showed that each and every Fox News show, starting at 1 a.m. and running 24 consecutive hours through midnight has demolished their competition, the previously noted joke “news” outlets. If Fox was as bad, or even worse, than the jokesters, then how is it possible that Fox consistently dominates the ratings? Only crickets will try to defend the jokesters.
So, what are the chances of Neil responding to Paul Nathe, George Civile, or any of my letters challenging Neil to take another week off from his Trump monotony to address the myriad of problems created by the decisions and policies of his hero, President Sleepy Joe, aided and abetted by the lame stream jokesters, which have negatively impacted all voters as well as well as the alarming wokeness creeping into our military? We stand a better chance of seeing the Pope becoming an atheist.
John N. Butz
Misconception about Covid
There is a misconception that seems to be going on in our area and country that it’s no big deal if you get Covid, that if you contract it, the symptoms will be “mild” and therefore nothing to worry about. Thus the trend is to let down one’s guard and dispense with masks and other protective measures.
The CDC has even downgraded their recommendations, perhaps responding to “naysayers” not wanting the “inconvenience” of cautious approaches.
As a person who has recently become a victim of the virus, I would like to inject some reality into the picture. I attended an indoor meeting of eight people who are generally intelligent and mindful. The masking was either non-existent or inconsistent and there was even unmasked coughing going on.
Within two days, seven of the eight tested positive for Covid and some of the attendees had quite serious symptoms, such as fever, non-stop coughing and sneezing, severe congestion extreme fatigue and weakness, loss of appetite, unsteadiness and dizziness while walking or standing which caused difficulty in even going from the bedroom to the bathroom or kitchen without risking a fall.
I am writing this on day seven and still feel weak, fatigued and hesitant to resume normal activities.
I am encouraging people to continue to be vigilant and to use all protective measures for their own safety and that of others. Even that is not foolproof and individuals are still being hospitalized and dying from this disease.
The idea that infections will be mild is a myth — maybe they will be, but maybe they won’t. Don’t be fooled.
In my case it was not mild and the same could happen with you. I do expect to recover, but no guarantee that symptoms won’t linger and even morph into “long Covid,” a nightmare scenario.
The Constitution and abortion
The debate continues unabated throughout the nation (and on these HV1 pages) over the recent SCOTUS Dobbs decision — reversing the previous Roe v. Wade abortion ruling. Unfortunately, ample references to the US Constitution itself are largely lacking in these discussions — in particular regarding the First, Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments.
I have attempted to bring these amendments into these HV1 discussions with my previous letters, but have experienced obfuscation and criticism on these pages, based on other semantic issues. Sadly, a small number of male anti-choice contributors still continue to fill the HV1 “Feedback” section with misleading information:
• Writer #1 has erroneously claimed that our US Constitution is largely based on the Bible and Christianity, and that these religious tenets should properly be the basis for our laws and future SCOTUS decisions.
• Writer #2 maintains that single women are fully responsible for unwanted pregnancies — except for the “microscopic numbers” of rape instances — and should be compelled to carry their pregnancies to completion in those States that so require it. This, without mentioning the equal responsibility of the men who impregnated them!
• Writer #1 has also stated that pro-choice women should consider the large number of female fetuses aborted under Roe v. Wade — and that “if that life in the womb is female, abortion is not only a very real and present threat to female freedom, but female existence.” So, in essence, Writer #1 actually thinks that a pro-choice woman ought to consider giving preference to the life of a female fetus, over a male fetus as a basis for changing their views!
But alas, these secondary discussions only create a diversion from the essential constitutional issues in discussing the complexities of the abortion debate; so how does the US Constitution relate?:
In regard to the current attempts to bring the Bible and Christianity into the discussion:
• The First Amendment guarantees religious freedom to all by preventing our governments from directly adopting the tenets of any religion into our laws. The Constitution itself (not the Bible) is the foundation for governing our country — maintaining it as a secular republic, as envisioned by our Founders.
In regard to the rights of women (as persons) in the United States:
• The Thirteenth Amendment bans “involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime.” An unmarried woman forced by any State to carry a pregnancy to completion against her wishes, could be viewed as a victim of involuntary servitude to that State — unless becoming pregnant outside of marriage could ever be deemed a crime there?
• The Fourteenth Amendment, Section 1, prohibits any State from depriving “any PERSON of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” It also prohibits any State from denying to any PERSON “equal protection of the laws.” This brings into focus the subject of “women’s rights” and how this amendment pertains to such rights. Those SCOTUS judges who are labeled as “originalists” maintain that “women’s rights” were limited in 1866, when this amendment was passed — but the amendment wording clearly says “PERSON” not “MAN” — so there is ample evidence that women are encompassed here.
Therefore, the “equal protection” clause can guarantee that women have rights equal to men — including bodily autonomy, and the right to seek confidential medical treatment for their bodies. Thus, can women continue to be regarded as second class citizens? — or rather to be truly treated as equals, in accordance with the Fourteenth Amendment!
Peter V. Fiorentino
Getting older, smarter
HomeShare Woodstock is partnering with Ulster County’s Office for the Aging for a free series covering issues important for aging smarter and aging in place. HomeShare Woodstock is a new initiative at Family of Woodstock, bringing home owners with extra space and a desire to share together with renters who can afford modest rents and wish to offer valuable services in return. All participants are carefully screened and the matching process is monitored and guided by trained Family volunteers and staff. This free series combines information about home sharing with helpful tips for successful aging in place.
The first in the series will be Wednesday, August 31 at noon at Woodstock’s Mescal Hornbeck Community Center on Rock City Road. Sue Koppenhaver, UC Office for the Aging Director, will help navigate key issues to consider for aging in place. This includes the possibility of home sharing and representatives from HomeShare Woodstock will be on hand to explain this unique opportunity. There will be time for questions and a light lunch will be served.
The series continues the following Wednesday, September 7 with a timely presentation by Bob Meci from the Office for the Aging to help everyone understand the ins and outs of Medicare. Open enrollment will be here before you know it and this session will tell you what you need to know! HomeShare Woodstock will present as well.
The third session, on Wednesday, September 14, features Gilles Malkine from the Resource Center for Accessible Living. His presentation will be about home adaptation as we age. If we want to stay in our homes, we have to make them safer. And as with the other two sessions, HomeShare Woodstock will add our perspective about the ways home sharing can help seniors age well in place.
All sessions will be at the Mescal Hornbeck Community Center in Woodstock at noon and are free of charge. Registration is required for all the sessions so we can be sure and have enough good food on hand. Register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling Family at 845-679-2485.
Susan Goldman, Advisory Board Volunteer
Supporting our democracy!
I carefully went over the feedback, written by Mr. Butz, to my “Outrageous, Part 2” letter to the editor in last week’s newspaper. Here is my response to his feedback.
Butz is clearly an intelligent man who has a different point of view about the recent political changes with regard to the Supreme Court. I am sorry he felt the need to make his points by slinging mud at me. I will not take that approach. Instead, I will point out the value of having different opinions in the paper. One of the gifts of a working democracy is that different opinions help readers to consider both sides of an issue, and then thoughtfully develop their own ideas about the subject. I am all for having people stimulated by our letters and responses. What readers do with this is up to each one of them.
I will however, point out that people who choose to trash others with the hope of making their points, are actually doing exactly the opposite, whether they know this or not.
In addition, I find it fascinating how two intelligent people, who appear to care about our country, can have such different perceptions of reality. Of course I understand the idea of being supportive to one’s party choice. But where are the folks who can remain loyal to their party, but continue to think flexibly with regard to reality? Or is that concept even possible? I think it is. Maybe my humanitarian point of view has clouded my picture of reality, leaning consistently toward compassion for ALL people in our nation. But I do not think it is simply an intelligent choice. I believe it is the kind of outlook one develops when they work toward keeping an open heart.
Attainable housing for Woodstock
Housing in Woodstock is out of reach for many who want to live in this town. They include people who grew up here, the work force, young families, seniors, artists…We all know how the community is being squeezed dry of its diversity. A group of residents who have been working hard to come up with ways to develop attainable housing have a new initiative: Woodstock Housing Alliance will be launched at 7 p.m. Thursday, August 25 in the Community Center. Please come to find out more about this recently established local non-profit and participate in keeping Woodstock a welcoming and vibrant place to live.