from February 16, 2006)
I commend and thank you for your recent “A Nation at Stake”
editorial about Al Gore’s Martin Luther King Day speech.
I was out of the country when it was delivered, so I didn’t
hear it; can’t wait to get my hands on a copy.
At the same time, I respectfully wish to draw your attention
your phrase “...our founding father’s vision of
a nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and so on...”
That is erroneous. Neither the Constitution nor the Bill of
Rights contains any language referring to ...”a nation
under God.” A variation of that controversial phrase became
part of our nationalist lexicon more than 50 years ago, a time
of almost hysterical fear of so-called “Godless”
It’s important to remember that the Europeans who first
settled in America came here because of religious persecution
in their native lands, mainly from the Anglican church.
Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and most of the other founders,
though they respected people of faith and their right to that
faith, did not believe in God and therefore wanted to keep Church
and State separate. In writing the Constitution, Jefferson’s
main argument was that all governments derive their legitimacy
from the consent of the governed and that a government without
such consent had no authority to rule. Jefferson chose the word
“Creator” instead of “God” because he,
like many of his revolutionary colleagues, were deists. (Some
members of the Continental Congress were theists, others atheists.)
Jefferson was contemptuous of the idea that a “God”
truly interfered in the lives of men and he despised clergymen
all his adult life. “The earth belongs to the living,”
he said. No statesman of his time would match Jefferson in his
hatred of established faith, particularly the Anglican Church.
During the Revolution, the destruction of the power of the Anglican
Church became one of his chief goals. According to one of Jefferson’s
biographers, “...his distrust of clergymen as factionalists,
schismatizers, and imprisoners of the human spirit continued
to his death.“
As a younger man, he had proposed legislation to separate church
and state forever in his native Virginia, though he was not
confident that it could. In urging that the church be curbed
he pointed out that it was still legal to burn a heretic in
Virginia. Notes on the State of Virginia, a text Jefferson wrote
many years before he became President, is described in a 1955
edition as “probably the most important scientific and
political book written by an American before 1785...”
In it, Jefferson said, “Millions of innocent men, women
and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been
burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced
one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion?
To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites.”
Mt. Tremper, NY
I have been playing "catch up" with the Olive Press
of January 19, 2006 and find a very stressful letter written
by a very distressed person.
Let me preface that with my comment based on experts in the
field [Game Animals of North America by Leonard Lee Rue III;
Stuart L. Free, Sr. Biologist, NYS DEC; Albert W. Erickson,
Bell Museum of Natural History; C.R. Harington, Canadian Wildlife
Service] of a letter from Jo-Anne Rowley of Phoenicia who states
that "the bears are bedded down....." and they arn't.
The weather has been such that the bears have been up and about
and as of this date, February 3, 2006 they are still roaming
around. The old hibernation theory is just that; a theory. Makes
a good bedtime story. The bears in northern Canada will get
into a cave or shelter in the side of a hill but will come out
on a warm [for them], sunny day. As for the bird feeders; "that's
for the birds". Who is going to feed them when you are
gone? Have they ever built a hospital or a senior bird center?
But I digress.
The stressful letter I alluded to above is from Mr. Brendan
Maidian whom I and any psychiatrist or psychologist would characterize
as vicious, disingenuous and one who bears false witness. The
"vicious" and "disingenuous" is obvious
in his presentation and the "one who bears false witness"
becomes quite apparent in that Mr Maidian cites no sources;
he just spews his hate off the top of his empty head.
Let me inquire of Mr. Maidian that which I strongly suspect;
you are an immigrant or your folks were. Welcome to the country
of your choice where you may do that which you do best; throw
"verbal" bombs and the American constitution [First
Ammendment] protects your right to do so.
Mr. Maidian charges that the Bush brothers "rigged"
the election of 2000 and fails to credit his source(s). My source
that the election was legal and fair is the manner in which
the Constitution directs the Presidential election; The states
will regulate those elections [of Electors] except for the day
of the election which is to be all states on the same day. The
U.S. Supreme Court directed the Supreme Court of Florida to
"just follow the law". Of course the media of that
time continued on with their own recount until they admitted
that Mr Bush had indeed won [AP]. Then the absentee military
votes [for Bush] began to pile up because most military mail
does not get post marked from APO's and NPO's [also AP and NY
Times]. It is true that Al Gore of Washington, DC; finally of
Tennessee won the popular vote but guess what? The Constitution
promotes the "electoral" system in that small states
have a level playing field with large states. This is a Republic
Mr. Maidian, not a medieval fiefdom.
Then we have 9/11, seven months following GW Bush's inauguration.
Mr. Bush was never an official in Washington prior and had very
little time to organize with the terrorists. Mr Maidian again
cites no sources as to Mr. Bush's "partnership" with
the terrorists who have been shown to have attended colleges,
flight schools, traveled to training camps and planned for over
two years [TV news and wire services]. When the Twin Towers
were attacked the president was informed and yes, he kept reading
to the children. Many psychologists, teachers and counselors
[including Dr. Phil (on Oprah)] stated that the president did
just right. What else was he supposed to do Mr. Maidian? Run
around like Chicken Little? After all, the sky was indeed falling.
He then was whisked onto Air Force One by the Secret Service
and flew off and away from whatever might be coming as part
of a larger attack. He also had a fighter escort until AF-1
put down. The Vice-president was also taken into "custody"
because of the nature of the assault. [I think he was in a Guiness
"aging" cellar]. This is what we do in America, sir.
Of course in some places terrorists open fire on funerals at
the cemetary and the mourners become as dead as the deceased.
The Patriot Act traces it's genesis to 1978 [Cong. Record] when
George Bush was dancing on the local tavern bars in Houston;
he was not president. Now, I am opposed to violation of the
Fourth Ammendment Mr. Maidian but I want you to site your source
as to the Bush officials and administration implimenting that
provision of "breaking and entering" without a search
warrant. Mr. Clinton's agents did it in the Aldrich Ames case.
You remember that, don't you?
Mr. Bush as Governor Bush did not send any record number of
"evil doers" to their death; the criminals, mutants
and mis-fits did that for themselves with the assistance of
the good Texas jurors, the sentencing judges and the appeals
justices. Gov. Bush may have laughed or giggled when describing
an appeal by or for Karla Faye Tucker who was executed on Feb.
03, 1998 [but so would I]. Ms. Tucker [Brown] had been convicted
of murdering Jerry Lynn Dean and Deborah Thornton with a pickax
on June 13, 1983 and freely admitted it [TV, Radio & Print
of the day]. Ms Tucker outlived her victims by 14 years. Again
you cite no source, sir. Just a lot of [your] facts based on
a fertile imagination filled with hate. Even Hitler gets honorable
mention along with Stalin. You forgot Aids, Mr. Maidian. Bush
Mr. Maidian pleads with anyone to prove him wrong. Well, Mr.
Maidian, the ball is in your court and one thing that I can
prove is that by your letter and it's content you are a vile,
hateful and vicious person; not a man; not a human being. I
am not a Bush supporter but the truth is quite important and
a virtue which you are devoid of.
Now go out and yell "fire" in a crowded theatre or
meeting hall. Do it! I will defend your right to do it.
Glenn T. Anderson
Dear Conservative Friends,
I have previously accused you of ingoring the Truth. In case
you are simply unaware, here are a 10 truths to think about.
Truth: The Downing Street Memo reveals that Bush decided to
overthrow Saddam Hussein in the summer of 2002.
Truth: Jack Abramoff remembers meetings that Bush dishonestly
denies. “The guy saw me in almost a dozen settings, and
joked with me about a bunch of things, including details of
my kids. Perhaps he has forgotten everything, who knows.”
– Jack Abramoff
Truth: Tom Delay, indicted for financial corruption, has been
appointed to the House Appropriations Committee. What a great
place for crooks, dispensing
Truth: Lewis “Scooter” Libby testified to a federal
grand jury that he had been "authorized" by his boss,
Vice President Dick Cheney, and other White House "superiors"
to disclose classified information to journalists to defend
the Bush administration's use of prewar intelligence.
Truth: The Bush administration never alerted the Mayor of Los
Angeles, about the alleged terrorist plot against his city,
"I'm amazed the President would make this announcement
on national television and not inform us of the details through
appropriate channels." - Mayor Villaraigosa
Truth: Bush knew the New Orleans Levees failed a full day before
he claimed to have found out.
Truth: Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and House Speaker Dennis
Hastert engineered a backroom legislative maneuver to protect
pharmaceutical companies from lawsuits by secretly slipping
in language to a DOD appropriations bill AFTER it had been voted
Truth: Spying on Americans is ILLEGAL!
Truth: So is torture!
Truth: Tens of thousands of human beings are dead and hundreds
of thousands seriously maimed and wounded, thanks to the self-proclaimed
Are you still feeling safe and secure?
David J. Turan
Did you know... 1. 80% of all votes in America are counted by
two companies: Diebold and ES&S.
2. There is no federal agency with regulatory authority or oversight
of the voting machine industry.
3. The vice president of Diebold and the president of ES&S
4. The [recently resigned] chairman and CEO of Diebold is a
major Bush campaign organizer and donor who wrote in 2003 that
he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral
votes to the president next year."
5. Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel used to be chairman of ES&S.
Hebecame senator based on votes counted by ES&S machines.
6. Hagel, long connected with the Bush family, was recently
caught lying about his ownership of ES&S by the Senate Ethics
7. Hagel was on a short list of George W Bush's vice presidential
. 8. ES&S is the largest voting machine manufacturer in
the US and counts almost 60% of all US votes.
9. Diebold's new touch screen voting machines have no paper
trail of any votes. In other words, there is no way to verify
that the data coming out of the. machine is .the same as what
was legitimately put in by voters.
10. Diebold also makes ATMs, checkout scanners, and ticket machines,
all of which log each transaction and can generate a paper trail.
11. Diebold employed 5 convicted felons as consultants and developers
to help write the central compiler computer code that counted
50% of the votes in 30 states.
12. Jeff Dean was senior vice president of Global Election Systems
when it was bought by Diebold. Even though he had been convicted
of 23 counts of felony theft in the first degree, Jeff Dean
was retained as a consultant by Diebold and was largely responsible
for programming the optical scanning software now used in most
of the United States.
13. Diebold consultant Jeff Dean was convicted of planting "back
doors" in his software and using a "high degree of
sophistication" to evade detection over a period of 2 years.
14. None of the international election observers were allowed
in the polls in Ohio, where Diebold is based.
15. California banned the use of Diebold machines because the
secuity was so bad. Despite Diebold’s claims that the
audit logs could not be hacked, a chimpanzee was able to do
it. (see the movie at www.bbv-docs.org/videos/baxterVPR.mov/).
16. 30% of all US votes are carried out on unverifiable touch
screen voting machines with no paper trail.
17. All - not some - but all the voting machine errors detected
and reported in Florida went in favor of Bush or Republican
28. Serious voting anomalies in Florida - again always favoring
Bush - have been mathematically demonstrated and experts are
recommending further investigation.
Sources are available at nightweed.com/usavotefacts.html.
HR 550 the Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act
of 2005 by Rep. Rush Holt, D-NJ, would allow voters to verify
their ballots and election officials to conduct meaningful recounts.
See also verifiedvoting.org.
As a people of faith, we the New Paltz Meeting of the Religious
Society of Friends (Quakers), must protest against the use of
torture. The consequences of our living in a world and in a
country that condones torture are profound as they result in
spiritual injury for the persons who torture, the persons who
ignore torture, and the persons who receive torture. There is
no justification for torture.
As Americans, we are particularly concerned about the acts of
the United States Government in condoning and not taking responsibility
for torture and its consequences. For us, torture injures all
who know any aspect of it from any distance, and the acceptance
of it or ignoring of it is
shameful. We therefore ask all people of good heart to stand
with us to speak out and act against torture.
Patty Salone, Clerk
New Paltz Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
We applaud the leadership of State Senator John J. Bonacic and
Assemblyman Kevin Cahill for co-sponsoring with Senate and Assembly
Environmental Committee Chairs Carl Marcellino and Tom DiNapoli
legislation which, if enacted, will increase funding for the
Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) to $300 million by 2009.
The EPF is a dedicated environmental trust fund that provides
state money to protect and support locally and state important
open space resources, including farmland, around the state,
including on and around the Shawangunk Ridge. The EPF also protects
water quality and natural diversity, parks, state land stewardship
and the Hudson River Estuary.
In January Governor George Pataki's 2006 budget proposal included
increasing the EPF to $180 million. An expanded environmental
trust fund will protect the health of this and future generations
of New Yorkers. Thank you to Senator Bonacic and Assemblyman
Cahill for their leadership and support for this important environmental
Cara Lee, Director
Shawangunk Ridge Program
The Nature Conservancy
New Paltz , NY
CORETTA SCOTT KING D. 1-30-06/STATE OF THE UNION 1-31-06
You had the grace
to die a day early
leaving the demons full court
though you watch and denude them
bare in their puerile concoctions
You are gone from our plank of
but we who are pierced by
continue glad that you suffer
no longer the hell you have left.
With Ulster County's share of Medicaid expenses exceeding $34
million, county officials are working with the state to combat
waste and fraud that can account for 10 to 40 percent of total
Ulster County Department of Social Services Commissioner Glenn
Decker and the Legislature's Human Services Committee will soon
be meeting with companies that developed computer software to
detect irregularities in Medicaid claims that may signal provider
The software is based on a program developed by the New York
State Association of Counties that detected $13 million in dubious
Medicaid provider claims in Rockland County over a 21-month
The software will narrow down questionable claims and identify
cases that can be prosecuted. The cases will then be turned
over to the state Dept. of Health and Attorney General's Office
for legal action. Settlements will be split between the federal,
state and county governments.
New York's $44.5 billion Medicaid program is the largest in
the nation. The explosive growth of Medicaid has negatively
affected every county in the state, especially Ulster County.
In the past five years, Ulster County has spent $197 million
on Medicaid and routinely used its fund balance to offset the
ever-rising local costs of the program.
Hopefully, new technology will give Ulster County the ability
to act to control costs, save tax dollars and bring added accountability
to a program that threatens the prosperity of every resident
of New York State.
Ulster County Legislator
My wife and I own a small mini mall in Shokan, The Olive Plaza,
and the last two years we have held a Christmas Tree Lighting
and Santa Visit for the kids in the Town of Olive. The Olive
Fire Department has graciously delivered Santa to us for both
years. We provide the photo opportunity, decorations and candy
canes while Santa and his elf and the excited children provide
the joy. All of this is done with no expense to the town; we
fund the event ourselves and also provide candy canes for another
Christmas event in the town. Years ago the Town of Olive held
a tree lighting at the town offices in West Shokan but attendance
fell and the event was cancelled for lack of participation.
We thought it would be a wonderful idea to try it again in Shokan.
The idea was to bring people in the town together for a happy
occasion. The Town of Olive has shown over and over again that
it can rally together when need be and we thought there was
a need for a happy occasion.
It has been brought to my attention that one of our neighbors
complained to the town about our event. He assumed the event
was being funded by the town and didn't think it should be held
in our plaza in case any of my tenants benefited from this activity.
Hey Scrooge, get your facts straight. It is possible to do something
nice for people without expecting something in return. It is
most rewarding. If you would like to know who the Scrooge of
Owner, Olive Plaza
"The tipping point" is merely the latest evidence
that New York City's DEP is an oxymoron.
Methinks I hear four clodhoppers leaping upon the bandwagon.
Where were Cahill and Hinchey "Last February, prior to
the April 2005 storm" when "Bonacic introduced flood
control legislation requiring the city DEP to lower reservoir
levels in anticipation of (prescience!) coming storms and ice
melt to prevent overflow and flooding?"
It would have been interesting had the writer told us what,
if anything, came of that legislation. Nor, in thenext paragraph,
did she clarify the date (was it "last week" or "last
February?") of "Bonacic's legislation at which time
Kevin Cahill (also) "introduced a measure..."
Hi, everyone...have been meaning to say how much I enjoy the
paper...and especially the On The Farm column above! Her writing
is vivid, funny, well-organized...keep it up!!!