County Hinchey has broken up extended families because children cannot
find jobs. Heller, writing from one of his two residences, makes clear
that Hincheynosis has been good to him because he can enjoy beautiful
views, free of pesky, lower class peasants who disagree with his progressive,
Democratic Party religion and might run power saws that disturb him.
As well, Heller considers me a simplistic "true believer"
because I disagree. For Hinchey and Heller, politics is a religion
and all who disagree must be damned.
In Natural Right and History (p. 184) Leo Strauss adumbrates the origin
of the left's religious commitment to the state. It arises from the
foundation of liberalism. Hobbes built on Machiavelli and converted
the biblical notion of a state of pure nature and the fall with a
possibility of grace to the Enlightenment notion of a state of nature
characterized by natural right and the liberal equivalent of grace,
a natural rights-based civil society. Building on Strauss's interpretation
of Hobbes, the left's religious faith in the state travels through
Hegel's providential laws of history to Marx's teleological messianism.
The Bismarckian welfare state that was based on the socialization
of Christianity and preceded Nazism by 40 years came to America through
institutionalists (today called progressives) like Richard T. Ely
and John R. Commons. Progressivism integrated the social Gospel with
German historicism and American Populism, and when combined with Marx's
atheism produced a new religion of state worship. This religion that
Mr. Heller advocates suggests that any human activity is immoral and
that nature must be preserved for the elite, of which he considers
himself a member. Heller adduces proof of his elite status: his friendship
with the publisher of the Adirondack Daily Enterprise.
The eviction of the average person from his home in order to provide
aesthetically pleasing environments for the affluent and the super-rich
has been part of the left's catechsim ever since the residents of
Olive were evicted from the Ashokan and then the New York Times supported
Robert Moses's eviction of one sixteenth of New York City residents.
Today New York City reflects the flowering of this value system. Only
the super rich, of whom Mr. Heller approves because they agree with
him about Hinchey, can afford to live in Manhattan after eleven decades
of taking advice from the Ochs Sulzbergers, who undoubtedly would
also call my views simplistic.
Mitchell Langbert, Ph.D.
West Shokan, NY
I agree with Mitchell Langbert, PhD, that the Democratic party and
the Republican party "are both marionettes of big business."
(I would've said "corporate stooges," but that's a mere
semantic difference in taste.) Yet it is clear that, nationally, big
business considers the Republicans to be more reliable, or at least
less distracted by other matters - follow the money.
Which brings me to my big problem with Mr. Mitchell's expressed views:
He seems mostly to be motivated by anger at the Democrats. Not that
there's anything inherently wrong with that; I've been mad at the
Democrats since the 1970s. (Us Irish can hold a grudge for 400 years.)
But I've been mad at Republicans, too, since the 1990s.
I urge a more nuanced view. Locally, I see no problem with being mad
at Democrats, especially if they've held power recently. Statewide,I'm
a bit split. I'm glad that the Democrats took the State Senate, and
it's too soon to boot them. Remember all the waste that Bruno's boys
had larded up? Like the private tv studio, for Republican Senators
only? Yoiks! However, I would love to see the Republicans take the
Assembly for the same reason. And it may be the only way to get rid
of that awful Silver guy.
Nationally I'm still mostly mad at the Republicans. We've only just
started cleaning up their mess, and there's no indication that they'd
even try if put back in charge. They need a longer time out. I admit
that I'm rather conservative about money and budgets, but I think
the Republicans are less conservative about such things than the Democrats
are. Remember how blithely they piled up the debts? I sure do.
All the Glenn Beck talk about radical socialism is utter nonsense.
Boob bait for Bubbas. President Obama is a perfectly ordinary center-left
Democrat. He ran as one, and he's governing as one. I wish he'd show
more anger, but I understand why he doesn't: Angry Black Man Scary.
I received my annual Onteora School Tax Bill. Twas an innocuous envelop
yet my heart raced as I timidly opened it. There it was, just as foretold,
an amount 3.8% greater than last year; in my case now approaching
the $2,000 mark.
Despite their protestations to the contrary those in charge of the
district budget must think outside the box and find innovative ways
to cap/reduce this increasingly strangling economic burden. Those
who are lucky enough to be employed aren't seeing anything like 3.8%
pay hikes and those on fixed incomes are drowning.
Our NYS representatives are vocalizing roaring silence on the issue
and are offering their constituents nothing but the same old business
as usual political indifference. Being a fair minded chap I look forward
to returning the favor on Election Day and will cast my vote for anyone
but the incumbent.
The Republicans want credit for American troops leaving Iraq after
seven years of war. Although it's a false narrative, they claim "the
surge" is why combat troops can now leave - even with more than
50,000 still stationed there and Iraq in ruins. Since Republicans
are yearning for credit - let's give them credit where credit is really
-For the Republicans' abject failure to prevent the terrorist attacks
on 9-11...on the Bush/Cheney watch, while spending billions of dollars
on intelligence services. Give the Republicans credit for failure
to "connect the terrorism dots."
-For starting an illegal war of aggression against Iraq based on lies.
Iraq was a sovereign nation that never attacked us, had no weapons
of mass destruction, had no Al-Qaeda, and had nothing to do with the
9-11 terrorist attacks. After WWII these wars of aggression were declared
war crimes. Give the Republicans credit for shamelessly following
-For a foreign invasion that sparked the Iraqi civil war in which
nearly 4,500 US troops have died with more than 32,000 grievously
wounded while over 100,000 (conservative estimate) Iraqis have been
killed and four-million made refugees. Give the Republicans credit.
-For overseeing a system in Iraq and Guantanamo that tolerated and
even encouraged torture. Give the Republicans credit.
-For overseeing both the robbery of billions of U.S. dollars in Iraq
and the looting of our economy by the largest banks and corporations
at home. Give the Republicans credit.
-For costing taxpayers over three trillion dollars for the Iraq war
and its consequences. Give the Republicans credit.
-For privatizing military, intelligence, and governmental services
while accelerating and subsidizing corporate power which rewards sending
jobs overseas and pushes working Americans to the bottom of the economic
pile. Give the Republicans credit.
-For bailing out their biggest Wall Street buddies while the rest
of us flounder, like New Orleans after Katrina. Give the Republicans
credit for the highest unemployment since the Great Depression.
-For continuing their efforts to privatize Social Security and for
trying to grab more of our hard-earned savings for gambling by the
Wall Street banksters. Give the Republicans credit.
-For tirelessly working for 30-years to gut needed financial regulations
and for recklessly driving the world economy into massive failure.
Give the Republicans from Reagan through Bush credit.
Give the Republicans credit for decades of malfeasance and financial
mayhem, but don't give them (or their Tea Party stalking horses) any
votes. If they win in November, sadly we'll end up giving them credit
for even more of their failures. Share your own "credit-due"
list with us by way of this and other area newspapers.
As a member of the 98 percent of Americans who are not part of the
corporate elite, I am deeply concerned and alarmed at what is happening,
and what is about to happen to our Democracy in the up coming mid
term elections. It is very clear that since the U.S. Supreme Court
decision in the 'Citizens United' case, corporations now have the
power and resources to control the outcome of any election they choose.
'One person, one vote' becomes a joke when the media is overwhelmed
with corporate money. The only answer to this for the rest of us is
a constitutional amendment reversing 'Citizens United.' Moveon.org
is sponsoring a 'Fight Washington Corruption Pledge' that promises
just that, and much more. It is a stand against corporate corruption,
and for fair and honest elections. With over five million members
nationwide, and many active local chapters in New York State, Moveon.org
is working hard to ensure that the coming midterm elections reflect
the true concerns and needs of the people of New York, the 98 percent
not represented by corporate money. Senator Gillibrand and Congressman
Hinchey (and over 185 other candidates) have already signed on, and
we need Senator Schumer to do the same, and take a public stand against
I first came to the Catskills in 1980 via Woodstock and have had a
home in Phoenicia since 1997. I have found one thing that is a continuing
annoyance up here in the Catskills. Houses here are far from stores,
doctors and dentist offices, jobs etc. It is very difficult, especially
if you have little children like I do, to travel to all these places.
When you have a place to go, like a doctor or dentist office, a person
should be able to expect to leave their home, travel the posted speed
limit and arrive at the destination at the correct time. Unfortunately,
there are members of our community who are either unable to travel
the posted speed limit, or who take some perverse pleasure in driving
well below the speed limit for the purpose of exerting control over
and aggravating the driver(s) behind them. Many of the roads here
do not have passing zones and cars are backed behind such drivers
for miles, often resulting in late appointments, unnecessary irritation
and danger to all the drivers on the road. There may be times, for
example if you are delivering a sick child to the hospital, when you
can not wait and may be forced to pass such a driver in a zone that
is not designated for passing, this is very dangerous.
There is a simple solution to this problem, one that I use myself
when I am feeling tired or dreamy and just want to cruise along enjoying
the scenery well below the limit. When you do this keep an eye in
the rear view mirror. When cars come up behind you, find the first
available spot to pull over and let them pass. Intentionally driving
slow for the purpose of blocking the road and forcibly slowing the
traffic behind you is not only rude and obnoxious, it is a dangerous
antisocial behavior that could result in a serious accident.
Woodland Valley, NY
When all goes well it is hard to imagine the many tasks so easily
performed that are no longer possible to do. It is a real blessing
to have Staying In Place (SIP) to call upon for help from the many
Yes, one can get services for a price but in these perilous times
the added financial burden simply exceeds the budget. Finding the
services is a daunting task in itself.
Assistance with writing checks, helping with shopping, doing simple
repairs and other house maintenance tasks, reading to you, taking
you to appointments and much more is simply an unbelievable boon.
Also is being able to get instant information and assistance with
finding needed services such as snow plowing.
Without having services such as these, many persons would have to
find some other place to live or maybe an institution.
SIP, we are ever so grateful for your establishment and want to thank
the caring people who have worked so hard to get it in place.
In addition to helping in these ways the organization is exploring
the cultural and organizational offerings of the community and introducing
them to the SIP members, helping to enhance the quality of life.
To learn more about this organization open to all persons over 50
years of age call 845-514-4891.
Two years ago, the cross-country course through the woods at Onteora
High School was closed due to safety reasons. The OCS cross-country
team could no longer host meets or even practice running on the trails.
As part of my Eagle Service Project, the trail has now been repaired
and is re-opened. Community volunteers donated over 120 hours of time
raising funds, clearing the trail, fixing drainage and building bridges.
Our first home meet on the new course will be October 19.
I would like to thank everyone who helped me complete this project,
including the OCS cross-country and track teams, parents, Boy Scout
Troop 66, Lowes Home Improvement Center, Stewart's Shop of West Hurley
and Mr. Nicholas Millas of OCS. Thank you!
The Phoenicia Rotary wishes to thank everyone who made our September
10th fundraiser so successful.
In particular a special thank-you to all the merchants and restaurants
for the donated items and gift certificates for our raffle including:
Adams Fairacre Farms, Al's Restaurant, Boiceville Wine & Liquors,
Boiceville Market, Dave Channon, The Emerson Place, Hanover Farms,
Hong Kong Restaurant, Mama's Boy, 60 Main a Community Store, Oriole
9, Peek-a Moose Restaurant, Sewplicity, STS, Stucki Embroidery, Sweet
Sue's, Tender Land Home, Ulster Savings and VidaKafka.
Kudos to Paul Pettinato and his staff for once again providing plenty
of great food and service to all who attended and to Keith Holmquist
for the excellent music mix that seemed to please everyone.
Life can have wonderful continuities, little circles within larger
circles. I interrupted my reading to step outside and three women
and a man emerged from a car that parked on the side of the road.
They were middle aged to elderly. As they walked onto the far end
of my property, I thought "they're from Europe," one woman
especially with her colors and sensuous look.
I had been reading Maxim Gorky, ( pseudonym of Alexsy Maximovich Peshkov,
1868/1936, Russia). When one of the women told me they were from Uzbekistan
and Russia they were delighted to hear I was reading Gorky's novel
"Mother", ( about the 1905 Revolutionary movement. He took
a prominent part in the Russian Revolution of 1905 but opposed Russia's
participation in WW1 as well as the Bolshevik seizure of power in
1917 and was also critical of Lenin's dictatorial methods in his newspaper.)
One woman was 86. She had white hair and four of her own upper teeth
protruded prominently. She did not speak English but when I told her
I was a baby, 77, compared to her, she laughed. The man was big and
I asked him where he was from and when he said Brooklyn, I said, "that's
not a Brooklyn accent" and gave him a playful pat. He walked
among my carvings with his arms crossed and did not engage in conversation.
The two other women, one an artist, the other a musician, were animated
about my sculptures and one said "when I look at your work it
gives me a warm feeling."
Mt. Tremper, NY