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.
Woodstock for sale
After reading Hudson Valley One’s November 2 edition, I was inspired that my beautiful hometown of Woodstock was surrounded by other towns with progressive thinkers taking positive action for the good of the people. I felt both anger and nostalgia as I remembered coming to Woodstock in 1994 and deciding that this was the place I’d like to live for the rest of my life.
Back then, I found an apartment in Woodstock that cost $400 per month after I’d spent just two weeks sleeping on a friend’s couch. My friend and I went swimming in the Millstream and enjoyed activities at the Woodstock Community Center. When winter kicked in, I spent a lot of time writing at the Woodstock Library.
Fast forward 26 years to the present and you’ll find Woodstock’s Millstream has been fenced off from the public becoming a private swimming hole for only those that can afford it. The Woodstock Library is moving out of the village to the Hamlet of Bearsville for those that can afford it. The Woodstock Community Center is now rented to the public at the cost of approximately $40 per hour for those that can afford it. And a decent one-bedroom apartment will set you back $1600 per month for those who can afford it.
It seems that everything in Woodstock has become ‘for sale’ to the highest bidder for those that can afford it.
Let peace prevail
Once the USA is totally pacifist, the Pentagon will be the pedestal of a sculpture 3,200 feet high.
When we moved to New Paltz, it was much less densely settled. So was the planet, and by the same amount. Since 1970, the populations of both have about doubled!
My family has never had a really big carbon footprint. Our lives are largely lived in the Hudson Valley. Biking in Italy was never really in reach, nor skiing the Rockies, let alone Switzerland (!), and the thousands of Viking cruises we see on TV just don’t call out to us. I’d like my wife to see the pyramids, as she has a fascination with that long-gone civilization, but…but what? Well, am I really so sure that the planet can sustain our added carbon contribution? Many HV1 readers write that this is the end times for mankind. And I know them, and they are mostly real good people.
Send me a sign, Lord. My friends all drive Porsches, we must make amends.
EV mania has swept the nation! Yet all I can think about is all those mountains of worn-out batteries 50 years from now, piled up next to our still-failed sewage treatment plants, and rivers all over the globe ruined by the waste from mining cobalt and lithium.
The January 6 event was a demonstration. Nobody invades anything without guns, unless they are peaceful, like when the country went berserk over the drug death of George Floyd. He was hooked – like more of our great nation is becoming, on drugs, sports betting and calling one another inaccurate, media-sponsored bad names.
Bigots are rare, pretending to support abortion is rare and hating anyone for their religion or skin color is rare in our America. We are much better than TV pundits claim!
Budgeting and town tax increases
We believe in the Town Board’s commitment to serve New Paltz. Each member clearly wants to support our community. However, it is imperative we speak accurately about budgeting and municipal finance.
The Town Board’s annualized tax rate increase for the town and village wide General Fund (A-Fund) has been greater than 5% for the last six years through 2022. On October 20, 2022, the Town Board discussed the proposed A-Fund for its 2023 tentative budget and stated that it would require spending $257,000 more than last year resulting in another +5% tax increase for the seventh year in a row, or 42% cumulatively.
Deputy Supervisor Dan Torres asserted that this year’s increase was a result of the town “subsidizing” village operations with $250,000 from sales tax revenues and how this rate hike was a result of the village exercising its right to have its share of sales tax paid directly to the village from the county. Unfortunately, town officials are mistaken about the workings of local budgeting and municipal finance.
For 2022’s A-Fund budget, New Paltz’s Town Board budgeted $250,000 from sales tax revenue per Ulster County’s sales tax sharing agreement. The town actually received $215,391 way back in 2012 and this revenue line has increased steadily year after year with $318,900 in 2021.
Ulster County has consistently received more sales tax annually for the last decade but for illustration, we will assume the budgeted amount will remain static in 2023 at $250,000, and below $318,900 that was received in 2021.
If the village receives 23% of $250,000, or $57,500, the difference for the remaining sales tax revenue for the town would be $192,500. However, they only budgeted $94,000 as revenue in the town’s B-Fund to support services in the town outside the village. (Revenues are distributed based on each municipality’s assessed value. The Village of New Paltz represents 23.0% of New Paltz’s total assessed value.)
It appears that ~$100,000 in revenues ($250,000 minus $57,500 + $94,000) is entirely unaccounted for in the Town of New Paltz’s 2023 tentative budget.
Supervisor Bettez has defended their low estimate by saying “numbers in the budget are the best estimate of what to expect, and that this figure shows a belief that the banner sales tax year of 2021 is not likely soon to be repeated given the economic headwinds in this country.”
But is an estimate of only $57,500 for the village + $94,000 for the town’s B-fund ($151,500) prudent or in the best interest of taxpayers? As stated above, New Paltz received $215,391 from sales tax revenues way back in 2012 and $318,900 in 2021.
From largest first, the top four towns in Ulster County by assessed value include: Saugerties, Woodstock, Ulster, New Paltz and Olive. If the Town of New Paltz is only anticipating $151,500 for 2023, estimates from these town’s 2023 budgets feel very different.
The Town of Saugerties is budgeting to receive $80,000 in sales tax revenues in their B-Fund and $300,000 in their A-Fund for 2023. The Village of Saugerties listed $72,000 in sales tax revenue in their 2022-2023 adopted budget. In 2021, the Town of Saugerties’ B- and A-Funds received $80,631 and $322,522, respectively.
It makes sense to include some cushion when budgeting but when a taxing authority budgets revenue from the likes of sales tax too conservatively, we have to fund the shortfall by increasing property taxes or using fund balance. Government must walk a careful line between collecting property tax revenue and reserving adequate fund balances for emergencies without taxing residents unnecessarily. Underestimating sales tax revenue may result in poorly planned tax increases.
New Paltz residents are not being shortchanged by the village receiving some sales tax revenue directly, like the villages of Ellenville and Saugerties. Whether sales tax revenues are being deployed by the town or village of New Paltz governments, they both fund necessary governmental services. Making it seem like revenues are being extracted from our community, or lost, is simply incorrect.
Mayor Tim Rogers
Marty’s partially right; Neil’s all wrong
In response to Marty Klein’s letter of November 2, although there are a few contributing causes to our inflationary problems including the pandemic as Marty suggests, its real snowball effect predominantly started with Biden’s brainless decision to suffocate our energy independence on day one with absolutely no tested, proven and efficient new green deal alternative energy sources anywhere near ready for immediate installation as a legitimate replacement for fossil fuels. This logical transition is years away, at best. And, it will be a long, long time before the vast majority of Americans will be able to afford EV’s (electric vehicles). What about the poverty levels of people of all colors who will never be able to afford an EV; how will they get to doctors, work, take their kids to school, etc. if their old gas-powered cars are suddenly outlawed by short-sighted, uncaring moronic politicians? Then, pouring gasoline on the fire, Biden’s endless and intentional open border crisis continues to strain our economy with freebies in all categories of life for all illegals, costing legal tax payers millions and millions of dollars, with no end in sight.
To put global inflation into a slightly different perspective than Marty, one report shows that there are 14 countries with a better inflation number than ours and nine countries with worse inflation than ours. So, we are not in the best global inflationary posture, at all.
Even if we assume that Republicans use the media to manipulate the truth, albeit on a very infrequent basis, it pales in comparison to the manipulation of the truth carried out on a daily basis by the masters of manipulation at CNN, MSNBC and others. They aggressively and actively ratcheted up their manipulation and distortion of the truth the minute Trump was elected President, and on an every day basis! Then, once Biden took office, they suddenly became passive and silent about the truths all around us while covering up for and running interference for the various uncaring, incompetent members of the Biden administration. After all, isn’t that the sole mission statement of these fake “news outlets?”
Marty has an odd perspective on crime. Contrary to Marty’s belief, crime IS out of control and at unprecedented levels fueled by this no cash bail garbage coupled with incompetent, spineless liberal DA’s who have changed the rules by reducing the severity level of “harmless crimes” to the point that the new revolving door in our judicial system allows, encourages, and emboldens criminals in their countless repeat performances. As a result, police are being disrespected and physically attacked on a daily basis when they try to do their jobs in protecting innocent citizens of all colors and business owners of all colors.
I, and probably nearly all other people, agree with Marty that there is no reason why a civilian needs a military, assault type long gun, no matter what their age. I’ve never seen a 2nd Amendment advocate, which includes me, write in and justify to our readers the need for a civilian to own such a weapon.
However, the rest of Marty’s comments on gun possession don’t square with the reality that, according to different sources, 90%-94% of gun-related crimes are committed with “street guns” acquired illegally by hardened criminals. And, most of the legally purchased guns used in a crime involve domestic abuse cases. So, restricting the availability to purchase guns and ammo legally, will only hurt the law-abiding citizen who simply wants to protect himself/herself, their families and their property. And, the key to safe, legal gun purchases for anyone is the need for consistent, serious and thorough background checks which absolutely must include the potential purchaser’s entire mental health history. Every cold-blooded fatal gun crime is committed by a person who has more than a few screws loose.
Then, to change the topic, there’s poor Neil Jarmel who, along with all the pro-abortion people, continue to stumble in their understanding of the definitions of “women’s health care,” “reproductive healthcare” and “reproductive rights.” None of these terms has anything to do with the slaughter of an innocent, unborn human being. See my prior letters, if you’ve forgotten the definitions and explanations of these politically created terms. I’ve challenged the pro-abortion crowd, and now you Neil, to relay your thoughts, feelings and emotions as you focus ONLY on the actual abortive procedure and what is happening to the innocent, unborn human being that you so nonchalantly and cavalierly want to dispose of, in all cases other than saving the life of the mother, rape or incest. To help you with this process, I suggest you watch a video by Dr. Anthony Levatino on YouTube entitled Aspiration Abortion in the first trimester which is only 3:24 long. At his point, babies already have all their appendages and physical structure. Then, in the second and third trimesters, the abortive process becomes much more brutal. After 24 weeks, the baby is capable of feeling pain. Anyone who would have an abortion after 24 weeks obviously has no conscience, morals or compassion, unless the mother is told that she will die just before or during delivery. There is another movie, The Matter of Life, that contains many perspectives on abortion as well as another video by Dr. Levatino on the more inhumane late-term dismemberment. This can be seen on Amazon Prime live streaming for $4.99. It would take an open mind and courage for any in the pro-abortion crowd to view the YouTube video and Amazon Prime’s The Matter of Life. Sadly, I don’t believe many, if any of them, would have the open mind and courage to watch these items because they would be afraid to view abortion from a different, more informed filter. And, as you recall, abortions due to rape, incest and saving the life of the mother only account for 3.5% of all abortions.
Another aspect yet to be addressed by any pro-abortion people is how to solve the reasons, in the first place, for the “need” for the roughly 1,250,000 abortions per year. The vast majority of these pregnancies are a result of uncontrolled passionate sexual experiences committed while sober or under the influence and without any protection, whatsoever. Why would someone be so foolish and unprepared? Their easy answer and thought process used to be “why worry, I’ve got Roe v. Wade as my birth control.” Now that this thought process has been profoundly affected by the abortion discussion going back to the states, what are your solutions on how to educate the careless while offering any other viable solutions to prevent the slaughter of innocent, human life in the future? Why not focus on the causes instead of taking the lazy way out, after the fact?
John N. Butz
Oh, my Od, that’s unny
Instead of banning entire books, how about if we just get rid of a few letters?
I nominate G and F. Who uckin arees with me? Now that I’m thinkin, the letter “Q” is very annoyin too. Yeah, let’s et rid of it also.
Reason v. projection
Thank you to Neil Jarmel for his kind words, his support for women’s rights and his many intelligent, fact-based criticisms of the American right wing. I also thank Marty Klein for his excellent commentary on Republican propaganda and the epidemic of gun violence in this country.
John Butz’s diatribe in the November 2 issue of Hudson Valley One is an obvious case of projection, as Butz lives in a Fox News bubble, expresses a deranged belief in Trump’s thoroughly debunked lies and repeats Tucker Carlson’s talking points for every cruel, repressive, deadly right-wing policy, plot, treasonous action or violent crime.
First-name references, such as John Butz and George Civile’s references to me, would be appropriate only for people they personally know, such as family members, friends (if any), neighbors and business acquaintances, or for children and pets. While Butz and Civile apparently do not acknowledge me (or women in general) as adult or even as human, I point out that they have never met me so other readers will not be misled.
I leave it to other readers to decide who is spreading misinformation.
Rebecca B. Wilk
Woodstock voters have already spoken
When Antonia Weidenbacher writes about saving the Woodstock Library, she and her cohorts are referring not to the important institution which serves our community, but to the inadequate building which currently houses it. The idea that there is still “a chance to save” the Library in that building is incorrect. It’s like insisting that the Titanic be restored to service.
The voters of Woodstock have already approved by a large margin the plan of the Library Board (of which I am a member) to move our institution into an excellent, sturdy, safe building. We have already purchased the former Miller-Howard building. Any efforts by groups such as the “Library Lovers” to thwart our plans are wasting time and money – including in this case, alas, legal fees paid by the taxpayers to defend against this group’s frivolous lawsuit.
If you want to help the Woodstock Library, instead of contributing money to this group’s negative efforts, I urge you to contribute to the Library’s building fund.
Getting to know you
Rebecca B. Wilk recently wrote, “George Civile never met me and, predictably, has not ‘heard’ anything I have to say.” This was obviously Rebecca’s response to my “Lovin’ Spoonful” parody lyrics: “You didn’t have to be so mean / I would have ‘heard’ you anyway.” The implication, of course, is that only people who have met Rebecca can know her and understand and appreciate what she says and means. Ironically, Ms. Wilk has never met me or John Butz, yet simply by reading our letters, she seems to be able to know and “hear” us well enough to pronounce harsh anti-Civile/Butz judgments without reservations.
With this in view, the following is inspired by the gifted singer Leslie Gore’s great hit “You Don’t Own Me” and is titled “You Don’t Know Me.” It’s a tribute to Rebecca’s biggest fan, Neil Jarmel, who admires Rebecca’s unique ability to hear and condemn people she has never met simply by reading their Feedback letters. Readers are encouraged to imagine Rebecca singing this parody to me while the gifted singer/songwriter John Sebastian and Neil Jarmel are giving her “two thumbs up.”
You don’t know me
I’m not your usual left-wing gal
If you knew me
You’d wish that you were my closest pal
Don’t say that I’m not pro-life
I’m not just a “Handmaiden” wife
I can’t believe we breathe the same air
It isn’t right; it isn’t fair
I’ve not met you
But I know you’re a fascist guy
If you ask me
I’ll state all of the reasons why
You wish that our borders were closed
‘Cos immigrants by fascists are loathed
You care how or why they come in
So you think a porous border’s a sin
You’re a racist
‘Cos you think prices are way too high
You say Biden’s
Just a lying incompetent guy
You say states that are blue and woke
Have policies that are a joke
You say some have laws so wrong
They keep the lawless free and strong
If you knew me
You’d know the things about which I care
If you cross me
You’d know that you’d better beware
You’d know I honor gifted stars
Like Bob Dylan and Bruno Mars
So you’d never use their songs
To state your rights and correct my wrongs
If you knew me
You’d love my words even when they’re mean
And you’d know why
I think your words should never be seen
I wrote you love seeing women bleed
This may have breached some civil creed
But all the words I spoke of you
Though quite uncivil were all true
I’ve exposed you
Now Feedback readers can know your game
Like The Donald
You’re a threat to democracy’s name
I’m right and I’ll always be right
Your views keep me sleepless at night
I wish HV1 would censor you
Because I hate your point of view
(repeat slowly to fade)
If you met me
You would know me
Then you’d hear me
And you’d like me
But I wouldn’t like you
‘Cos you’re a fascist
Or at least a semi-fascist
The problem with a large ego is that it sometimes blocks one’s vision.
What’s with the housing crisis?
The Town of Woodstock offers many ways for citizens to have a voice on issues they care about. We on the Housing Committee have looked deeply at our local, regional and national challenges. Housing is “out of reach” for too many people in communities across the country. At the same time, we have been excited and hopeful about many creative solutions other communities have implemented. We report what we learn on our Facebook or Instagram (Woodstock Community Homes) pages, in our Newsletter and in our Progress Reports at Town Board meetings.
It has taken us many hours and challenging discussions to come to where we are at this moment: We have spun off HomeShare Woodstock to Family of Woodstock; we have supported the creation of the new nonprofit Woodstock Housing Alliance, a crucial component to developing and retaining housing that is affordable; and we advocated for and supported the development of soon-to-be released Zoning Revisions that will support housing opportunities for all. Our members are leaders in the County on the issue of housing. Our Town Board is supportive of these efforts and has just voted unanimously to join the newly created Ulster County Housing Smart Communities Initiative. We are the first rural community to join.
These are essential foundational steps for creating the housing our residents desperately need. Our next step is to create a Housing Plan for Woodstock. Our years of research give us a strong foundation, but we have more data to gather to help fully answer important questions for our community. How much housing do we need? What might it look like and where should it be? What kinds of housing do Woodstock workers, artists, young families and seniors want? How can we best assure affordability in the future? We need broader input to create a Housing Plan Woodstockers can embrace.
Do these issues interest you? The Town of Woodstock Housing Committee needs three new members, and we welcome applicants to inquire about the commitment. You need to care about housing and be a Woodstock resident to serve. Of course, special skills in social media, writing and housing development are welcomed! We will help bring you up to speed with all the amazing things we have learned along the way.
Contact us at email@example.com and check us out at our next meeting (online): December 14, 5 to 6:30 p.m. You can request a link for the Zoom.
Deborah Meyer DeWan
Town of Woodstock Housing Committee
Building to reduce GHG emissions
Michael Veitch and Robert Young wrote last week in “Back green rhetoric with action,” that Woodstock’s renovation of the Town offices on Comeau is not designed for zero energy consumption. Their observation is correct; Woodstock’s design criterion is to renovate for zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The renovation replaces existing fossil fuel heating systems with air-sourced heat pumps for heating and cooling. Energy consumption is estimated at 100,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year, which will be sourced from the hydroelectric facility at Wappingers Falls. The combination of air-sourced heat pumps and carbon-free hydroelectric power results in a building with, essentially, no GHG emissions.
The writers suggest adding solar, but this option would actually increase the building’s GHG emissions. The projected 100,000 kWh electrical usage would require a 90-kilowatt solar array and need about 9,000 square feet of clear roof area. The authors identify 2,300 square feet available for solar: about one-fourth the required area.
But adding solar precludes the use of hydroelectric power. Instead, power requirements beyond what the solar array provides would be sourced from Central Hudson’s standard grid supply. Instead of 100 percent carbon-free hydroelectric power, the building would obtain about 75 percent of its power from Central Hudson and the emissions associated with Central Hudson’s supply would be attributed to the building.
The State Energy Plan established a goal to reduce GHG emissions by 40 percent by 2030, and the Climate Smart Communities program is available to assist communities in achieving the State’s climate objectives. Fewer than 400 communities have taken the Climate Smart pledge, and 100 have been certified at the Bronze or Silver level. Of the 100 certified communities, only 12 have been recognized for reductions in GHG emissions, and of the 12, only two have achieved a full 40 percent reduction. Woodstock is one of the communities recognized by Climate Smart has having exceeded a 40percent reduction in its GHG emissions.
As Veitch and Young suggest, Woodstock is sending a message to future generations about its climate actions, and in fact, needs to offer no apology to current generations.
Woodstock Climate Smart
Commentary on life
Lotions, potions, creams and pollution.
Thank you, Mighty Hudson, for opening up the tiny triangle of my view to you – a fabulous fall you – all you.
I scanned my QR code and upset my A1C, but Ben and Jerry’s rescued me.
My fortuneteller never told me I would be needing heated car seats.
I have been freed of my enormous student loan debt for the University of Tummeling & Clowning.
Patronize your neighborhood restaurants
As we move on from the adverse impacts of COVID-19, it is important to patronize your neighborhood restaurants during Hudson Valley Restaurant Week. It runs from November 7 to 20.
Take advantage of participating restaurants that will be offering lunch or dinner for prices ranging from $24.95, $29.95, $39.95 or $44.95. Some will also offer prix fixe menus for indoor dinning and takeout options as well.
My wife and I don’t mind occasionally paying a little more to help our favorite restaurants survive. Don’t forget your cook and server. We try to tip 20 percent against the total bill, including taxes. If it is an odd amount, we round up to the next dollar. If we can afford to eat out, we can afford an extra dollar tip. When ordering takeout, we always leave a dollar or two for the waiter or cook. It is appreciated.
The restaurant industry employees thousands of people in Hudson Valley communities. This includes bartenders, waiters, busboys, cooks and cashiers, wholesale food-sellers, distributors and linen suppliers. There are also construction contractors who renovate or build new restaurants.
Our local entrepreneurs work long hours, pay taxes and provide local employment. If we don’t patronize our local restaurants all year round, they don’t eat either.
OneBook is back
We are very pleased that OneBook One New Paltz is back again this year. Our selection is Margaret Atwood’s Hag-Seed, an imaginative retelling of Shakespeare’s play The Tempest. In it, a down-and-out theater director gets a job putting on that play in a prison. The book is a quick and fun read.
We have a week of activities from Sunday, November 13 through Saturday, November 20. Included are a discussion/brunch, two films followed by discussions, a panel and additional discussions on adaptations and “Plays in Prisons and Prisons in Plays.”
For details, go to the OneBook 2022 website: www.newpaltz.edu/benjamincenter/events/one-book-one-new-paltz, or google One-Book 2022 New Paltz NY. I hope to see you at some of the events!
OneBook Committee member
Consider the farming methods
In your November 2 article, “Consider the Farmers of the Field,” the author states that organic crops are “more vulnerable to the vagaries of weather and insects” than genetically modified ones. To the contrary, organic agriculture provides better risk management for the long term than genetically modified (GMO) crops. Here are a couple of examples of why I say this:
(1) GMOs are planted in a mono-crop system; this makes them more, not less, susceptible to pests and disease than those planted in organic systems. That’s because a pest or disease will have an easy time of attacking a plant that it likes, when so many of the same variety are planted so close together. The mono-cropping of GMO systems is a threat to farmer livelihoods and to our food supply.
The diversified, multi-cropped, organic farms prevalent in the Hudson Valley, on the other hand, help to guard against widespread crop losses. Threats to one type of plant may not necessarily be a threat to other plants. Thus, risk is better managed and our food source more secure.
(2) Real organic farming builds the soil’s long-term health. Have you ever seen and smelled the difference between healthy soil and unhealthy soil? It’s amazing! And that difference means something. Healthy soil helps to protect crops from both drought and floods; it also fortifies the plants to protect them from insects and diseases.
GMO crops use the toxic herbicide, glyphosate, which kills the beneficial organisms living in the soil. GMO methods thus degrade the soil. Degraded soil does not hold moisture well, so GMO crops are more vulnerable to drought. Degraded soil also does not have good drainage, so it is more susceptible to flooding.
There are many other reasons why organic agriculture is better for people, animals and the planet, but these are two, that deal directly with “the vagaries of weather and insects.”
Apply and reapply
Last week Governor Kathy Hochul announced nearly $300 million in grant awards for communities to support water infrastructure projects. Unfortunately, our application was not selected to receive a drinking water grant from the NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) via the NYS Water Infrastructure Improvement Act (WIIA). For this round, 73 projects were awarded across NYS but none were in Ulster County.
This was the fifth time the Village of New Paltz applied since 2017. We received one award in the last five EFC rounds.
2017 not awarded
2018 not awarded 🙁
2021 not awarded 🙁
2022 not awarded 🙁
Writing and preparing technical grant applications with reports from engineers is expensive and time consuming so if anyone has magic dust we could sprinkle on our application for next time, please call.
The plan outlined in this application submitted in Sept 2022 included five separate projects replacing water appurtenances, aging water mains and looping two existing mains:
(1) Replace pressure reducing valve and vault near the aqueduct pump station
(2) Replace main on Ridge Road and Lincoln Place
(3) Replace main on Southside Avenue from Pencil Hill Road to South Chestnut Street (NYS Route 208)
(4) Replace main on Wurts Avenue and a portion of Mohonk Avenue
(5) Installation of main to loop Huguenot Street and Old Kingston Road
Mayor Tim Rogers
Deputy Mayor Alexandria Wojcik
Trustee Michele Zipp
Trustee Stana Weisburd
Trustee William Wheeler Murray
“War is organized murder and nothing else.”
— Harry Patch, Last surviving soldier of World War I
Veterans Day is the one day a year the public notices veterans for giving, risking and changing their lives forever.
Sending newly minted “adults” to war is still happening. When I went to Nam, they called it “going in-country.” Today’s troops fly drones from ten-thousand miles away to kill our enemies. Politicians and generals may believe this divorces American voters from the responsibility of killing for less than moral reasons.
Taking human lives is morally questionable, but making money by falsely frightening the American public is immoral.
I thought I remembered the definition of democracy, but to be sure, I looked it up on Google. “The word democracy comes from the Greek words “demos,” meaning people, and “kratos” meaning power; so democracy can be thought of as “power of the people”: a way of governing which depends on the will of the people.”
Politicians and the media use words like terrorism, armed conflicts, police actions, discord, dissonance or engagement instead of war. Whatever we choose to call the wars we have been in continually since the Korean War, has been deteriorating the ideals of democracy. Today we witness violence in our streets, a lack of respect for elders, political discord and insurrection. Citizens are beginning to see capital becoming more valuable than human lives. Suppose we won’t hold to Google’s definition of democracy; the oaths requiring soldiers to put their lives before their country weakens. Is this why voters allow politicians to undermine democracy because it’s become invisible? If our newly minted soldiers stop believing they should put their lives on the line for those they are voting for, this idea may explain why we had an insurrection in Washington.
What rings clear to me is the word plutocracy when used to describe our government. Google again, “an elite or ruling class of people whose power derives from their wealth..” The image that comes to mind hearing this is our politicians trying to place their iron feet into silk slippers as they stomp forward, making decisions that turn human lives into capital.
As a veteran approaching Veterans Day, I question the relationship between our returning troops and our country’s leadership. The soldiers from the battlefield or our neighbor drone operator alone hold the morality of killing our enemy. So imagine how soldiers feel when they hear their elected officials lying and directing more troops and weapons to keep us safe at what cost?
All men and women who join the military will not be the same when they return from war or even if they see no action and get out of the military. They chose to place their lives on the line, and they all underwent an enormous transformation. Unfortunately, the ideals the government and military espoused are filled with tainted truths. The oaths were taken, broken and sacrifices to body and soul are challenging to manage. The government used these veterans to stabilize our economy and fill wealthy Americans’ bank accounts in foreign lands.
Veterans’ lives remain forever changed by carrying our country’s moral burdens.