The next Ulster County Executive, 9/11, Alternatives to violence and more letters from readers – Hudson Valley One

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.
Angels among us
I am a gerontologist by profession and have worked with seniors, their families and caregivers my entire working career. I want to take this opportunity to illustrate how we can all make a positive impact no matter where we are, our level of education or background. There are no boundaries to spreading joy, goodness and friendship.
My sister Patricia, known by all as Patty, has been making small handmade angels out of a simple material found in any arts-and-crafts store or hobby centers. Patty has been retired for many years now. She is keenly aware that there are various physical things happening to her in her aging experience. Patty often says that days go slowly, but the years are flying by. She maintains an active social life via the phone and computer. She is aware that her world is changing, yet she remains calm and content in an activity that she has been pursuing for the last few years in upstate New York.
My sister spends diligent hours making handcrafted angels out of wooden clothespins. Colorful felt fabric and pipecleaner halos adorn the top of each clothespin head. She then paints a smiley face on each of her creations. She gives these angels to children and those in the neighborhood, including store vendors, hospital workers and whomever she may meet. We have all lost count as to how many angels have found a home, but we know for sure as we walk around various neighborhoods that the angels are strung from window displays, bank tellers and store clerks keep the angels close at hand, gas station attendants say that the angels bring a smile to their face and customers always positively comment no matter what the environment these angels now reside.
Comments that have been reported are: “This is just what I needed today”…“I really want to believe that angels do exist, and this little one is a reminder of that possibility”…“I went to the local grocery store and saw an angel hanging on the lapel of the store manager and it reminded me to think about the good in my life”…“I recently lost a dear friend, and when I was handed my angel, I felt my friend was talking to me and reaching out”…And a child once said, “I have never seen an angel before and I love that my angel is so colorful.”
There are now thousands of these angels uplifting many at a time when joy and peace seem to be spread so thinly. Many have often said in their own unique way, “This angel speaks to me that there is good in the world if we only allow it, reach for it and embrace an uplifting thought.
Marion Somers
Santa Cruz, CA
Choice for the next Ulster County Executive
A letter in a previous Hudson Valley One edition addressed the race to replace departing Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan.  Endorsing March Gallagher for the position, the writer made several questionable claims.  He speculated that her opponent, Jen Metzger, has other ambitions than the county office and might well leave before her term ends to seek “higher office.”  He acknowledged that she was an “excellent” New York state senator and urged county Democratic committee members to start the process for returning her to Albany.
We can debate which position, state senator or county executive, is “higher.”  But from which district would she run for the Senate? Her hometown of Rosendale is in newly redistricted District 41, where current state senator Michelle Hinchey is now campaigning.  If Metzger was driven by a burning ambition to return to her “higher” office, she could have challenged Hinchey for the slot.  She did not, perhaps recognizing that Hinchey herself is an excellent Senator.  Perhaps Metzger actually has a vision for serving the people of Ulster County.
The letter also suggested that Metzger’s policy-making background as a legislator isn’t the right fit for the County Executive position with its administrative emphasis.  Indeed,  legislators don’t rule by fiat.  To be effective, they must play well with others, seek compromise, respond directly to constituents’ needs, and find solutions to challenges through creative, proactive policy-making.  The fact that Metzger has been endorsed by Tracey Bartels, the chair of the Ulster County Legislature, offers hope that the two arms of county government can work harmoniously for the interests of county residents.  
The letter writer extolled the virtues of County Comptroller Gallagher and her success in managing the government’s tax expenditures.  Gallagher has indeed done an effective job of oversight, and she’s not been shy about offering good policy options for the county’s problems.  
In my view, Metzger has demonstrated a truly authentic compassion for and commitment to her constituents.  In her term as state senator she forged strong connections to many communities by delivering on her promises, large and small.  I believe she barely lost her 2020 election in a district that had been gerrymandered red largely because, unlike her opponent, she chose not to run a door-to-door campaign when the pandemic was killing thousands of New Yorkers.  Ambition was secondary to the welfare of residents and her campaign volunteers.  
In Metzger and Gallagher the Ulster County Democratic Committee is blessed with two strong candidates.  With Jen Metzger as County Executive and March Gallagher as County Comptroller, Ulster would be led by a dynamic, forward-looking team.  Ulster County Democrats who want to have a voice in the selection of their likely next County Executive  should contact their town Democratic Committee before the convention of the County Democratic Committee on September 17.
Tom Denton
New Paltz
Doesn’t fail to deliver
Thank you, Pat Ryan, and your whole team for staying positive and for keeping it real. His election didn’t fail to deliver on all levels. I’m thrilled my vote helped elect him, as a guardian of our fragile democracy; we understood he was the correct choice to be our representative and we as voters welcome Ryan’s continued path as a public servant. I’m looking forward to supporting Pat Ryan for reelection in November.
This is actually very big news. On paper, Republicans really should have flipped this House seat. This district leans Republican by +4 points, and usually the political party not in control of the White House makes gains in the Congress when there’s a midterm election. This seat should have been an easy pickup for Republicans.
In this special election, “choice” was on the ballot. Freedom was also on the ballot, and now we know that “choice and freedom” won. We voted like our democracy was on the line because it is. We upended everything we thought we knew about politics and did it together. The race had been framed as a test of political energy ahead of November. Given that the last poll was 53-45 against Ryan, the 51 percent of the vote that he garnered for a victory is viewed as one of tremendous significance.
Republicans totally discounted the females whose lives they are seeking to control. They also discounted the men who love and respect these females. This Republican ignorance of female bodies and their healthcare needs had led them to pass laws across the nation that could cause girls and women lifelong disabilities, mental illness and even death.
Well done, Hudson Valley! This “bellwether” vote in our area was a referendum by the electorate on a political issue. It is being seen as an impressive signal that women just aren’t gonna take it anymore! We are seeing mainstream America pushing back as they have become tired of the elected Trumpublican/MAGAt antics. We know how the system is supposed to work. This shit that the far right is trying to do isn’t gonna fly.
We do not need that kind of stupidity creating laws in our country! Vote them out in November!
Neil Jarmel
West Hurley
Color me beautiful
In order to be beautiful, one must think in beautiful colors.
Above the law! Below the law! Outside the law!
The Donald has been characterized, time and again, as being a “pathological liar”: a psychiatric term. But the Donald has chosen to evade the law, year after year, by taking a logical path to lying. Such constant, consistent lying – and denying – has served him well in a legal hell for most, if not all, of his criminal, financially fraudulent and lawless life.
But it does not really matter if he is above – or below – the law. For the Donald is outside the law! And as a lifelong outlaw – as in the Wild West of yesteryear, but now in the endless, destructive, winding legal tunnels of today – the Donald must be bested, contested and arrested and be put away – far away – where he has no sway for his carefully chosen cauldron of crimes – all of his crimes!
The Donald is dangerous – extremely dangerous – a mad, methodical menace to life as we know it. And so, the Donald must be mocked, blocked and locked down for the rest and crest of his criminal combining, lying, lawless life.
Bruce Grund
History of NCPSSM
The above letters stand for the National Committee for the Preservation of Social Security and Medicare. This organization is located in Washington, DC and was started in 1982 by James Roosevelt, FDR’s son. The impetus for this organization was the threat upon Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid by the GOP.
The GOP was responsible, not the Democrats, for the introduction of these programs into the everyday lives of the American people. The seven Republican presidents from the date of the Supreme Court decision affirming the corporation as a “personhood” (1886), up to and including the first term of Herbert Clark Hoover, 1933, were all business and business only; they paid little, if any, attention to the welfare of the American people. That was the job of the states. This freewheeling “grab, grab, grab” led directly to the Great Depression of the 1920s and ‘30s, particularly the banking industry.
The country was in dire straits at the end of Hoover’s first term. If the GOP voted for Hoover for a second term, with the same attitude and behavior he demonstrated in the first term, they would be voted out of office in the midterm elections, if he was elected and did nothing. Likewise, if they voted for FDR and did not support him, they would be voted out as well in the midterm elections. Therefore, the Social Security Act of 1935 witnessed 87 percent of the House and 81 percent of the Senate voting for it. And Lyndon Johnson’s administration passed the amendments to the Social Security Act in 1965, Medicare and Medicaid, by both chambers of Congress.
These two Democratic presidents, FDR and Lyndon Johnson, passed numerous social programs for the benefit of the American people, whereas before them, nothing – and I state again, nothing – was addressed by the seven Republican presidents! We’re experiencing today the benefits of these programs. The Republican Party has hated this innovation of the social programs into the federal government and their hatred has not abated.
But with the nomination of Hillary Clinton after eight years of a Black president, the underlying racism in this country was tapped into by the GOP via Donald Trump. This came to the forefront on January 6, 2021 with the insurrection on the Capitol in overturning the election by preventing Vice President Pence from verifying the results of the presidential election of 2020. This is the situation in the country today. Much is at stake here.
Max Richman, CEO of the NCPSSM: “Because those who win on November 8, 2022 (mid-term election) will face enormous pressure to reduce our nation’s $30+ trillion federal debt – by enacting harmful cuts to Social Security, Medicare and other vital programs relied on by millions of older Americans.”
Some of the proposals put forth by the GOP are: (1) reauthorization of our benefits every five years, (2) medical privatization, (3) the Trust Act, “fast-track” committee of GOP and moderate Democrats to reduce benefits, (4) raising the COLAs for current retirees, raising the retirement age to 70 and increasing the Medicare eligibility age to 69. The bottom line for these GOP proposals is the debt crisis as justification to cut Social Security and the amendments while preserving tax breaks for the wealthy.
If Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell has the numbers he needs (midterm election), he will plow forward with devastating cuts to Social Security and Medicare.
AARP also states: “The Trust Act also puts Medicare on the chopping block and the growing federal budget deficit puts pressure in Congress to consider cuts to health and retirement benefits.”
There it is, boys and girls: Those of us “ole” prunes who have worked our butts off all our lives to be faced with this crap at our ages – 84 to be for me. As mentioned previously, I was a Republican for 59 years. “Ike” was my man, and because of him I joined the GOP. But June of 2019, I left the party because of Trump and joined the Democratic Party – not that I am enamored of them that much, but between the AARP, the NCPSSM and the Democratic Party, at least I give myself a fighting chance to protect myself and my wife at our ages. On a personal note, I would not vote for any Republican – local, state or national; they are all dancing to the drumbeat of the national party.
Robert LaPolt
New Paltz
Positively malarkey
“Misrepresentation in the cause of propaganda is not a ‘constitutional’ right.” – Dear Abby
The January 6 investigation is wrapping up and, to celebrate, this parody is dedicated to Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney. The reason for this dedication is that the selection of these two anti-Trump conservatives by Nancy Pelosi after she rejected two of Minority Leader McCarthy’s picks (Jim Jordan and Jim Banks) to the January 6 “Get Donald Trump Select Committee” proves once again that hatred for The Donald produces some mighty strange bedfellows. (I know, I know: They were only chosen to assure fairness, justice and truth would be served after McCarthy pulled his remaining three choices in protest of Pelosi’s unprecedented action.)
The following parody of Bob Dylan’s “Positively 4th Street,” titled “Positively Malarkey,” offers commentary on the notion that the “selection” of Liz and Adam was actually done to assure that fairness, justice and truth would be served. Readers are encouraged to imagine me singing this to Neil Jarmel and Peter V. Fiorentino as they stomp on giant red caps with the word Truth printed on them while wearing “Dear Abby is a semi-fascist” hats on their aching heads.
(Positively Malarkey)
You got a lotta nerve to say 
“The country’s in good hands”
You said “Our nightmare’s done”
But didn’t mean it
For you knew when Biden won 
He’d only spoil your plans
Why don’t you just come out once
And scream it
I know the reason you won’t
Admit inflation’s high
You want to see the Dems
Spend more money
You say you supported Joe’s inflation
Reduction bill:
But an anti-inflation bill that raises costs
Is just funny
You say old Donald was the
Insurrection’s cause
Though he called for peaceful patriotic protests
And you’re glad Mar-a-Lago was
Raided by the Feds
You hope that it will fall
Like the House of Usher
You said Hunter’s laptop was
Just a Russian plot
That was so wrong it set my ears
To ringing
And you’re glad Liz and Adam
Joined Pelosi’s team
‘Cos you liked the anti-Trump songs
They were singing
You called them heroes and brave
True patriots
When in your wildest dreams you’d
Never think it
For you know as well as me you dubbed them
Right-wing fascist pigs
If they were on a raft at sea; you’d try to
Sink it!
Now I don’t know that I feel so good
When I see the tactics you embrace
When you said “Compromise is wrong”
I thought you meant it
But now you’re willing to make so
Many deals
“No compromise” was your rule but now
You’ve bent it
You told me violence is never
You condemned the “insurrection crowd”
To show it
But in that violent summer when buildings
Were aflame
You never said a word and you know it!
You liked whistleblowers when Trump was
“In the dock”
You loved the anti-Trump things they were
But now that they’re whistling about Chris Wray’s
Failing ways
You’d rather hear old George Civile
I know you’re progressive
In your convictions and your taste
I used to feel the same way that
You do now
But I know the reason your
Progressive views will fail
You’ve swallowed wokist lies
And that’s the problem
You say abortion is all about
A woman’s rights
“It must be on demand for a
Woman’s welfare!”
But since abortion always kills a
Human life
Why then would you ever call it
I wish that for just one time
You would really seek the truth
And just for a long moment you would
Find it
And I pray that if just one time
You really found the truth
You’d be free and wise enough
To mind it
George Civile
Alternatives to violence
The Alternatives to Violence Project is a network of volunteer-run workshops that works with incarcerated people in New York State to develop their abilities to resolve conflicts without violence. In a series of three weekend workshops, participants, both incarcerated and outside volunteers, consider the underlying causes of friction and violence and come up with practical approaches for resolving conflict in positive and peaceful ways. We build on everyday experiences to increase the respect for self and others that is needed for nonviolent attitudes and actions.
AVP began in 1975 through the efforts of incarcerated men at Green Haven Correctional Facility. It has spread to many New York prisons, across the US and beyond. Those who have completed all three workshops become facilitators and lead workshops as part of a team. They often say that AVP meetings are the place in the prison where they can let down their guard and feel safe. Outside facilitators find AVP deeply rewarding.
In Jose Pineda’s words: “I was introduced to the Alternatives to Violence Project in 2008 at Auburn Correctional Facility. The workshops changed the way I looked at the people around me. Some of the scariest men in the prison gathered with us. I had a chance to see them smile, to hear their stories, to feel their pain. The basic workshop helped me see how all of us in prison had more to offer the world than harm.”
Many of us have been taught to remember, “There’s always someone who has it worse than you.” In prison, no matter who you are, it’s easy to spot that person, easy to look at their situation or their sentence, and be glad it’s not yours to endure. Everyone has it so bad, though, that it really doesn’t matter who has it worse.
Rather than looking for ways my life could be worse, I started looking for the people who lived equally difficult lives with more dignity and respect than I did. I looked towards people sentenced to die in prison, people incarcerated for crimes they didn’t commit, people who had lost everything – and those people were the ones transforming power in every space they entered.
Please e-mail if you would like to volunteer with AVP.
Ingrid Blaufarb Hughes
New Paltz
The fiasco continues
One would think that before Supervisor McKenna would make a motion to have contractors bid on the Comeau project, he would see to it that the “Invitation to Bid” – the document which provides in detail the written specifications, including all the terms and necessary conditions for work on the specific project it wants to contract out – was printed and in his possession or available online before setting a closing date for the bids to be submitted.
Howard Harris
For the price of 1) health insurance, 2) an excavator or 3) bond interest
On August 30, six institutional investors offered to let us borrow $5.655 million for one year. Fidelity Capital Markets offered the lowest rate among the six firms. Their effective net rate was 2.96 percent, which means we will pay them $167,388 in interest for their service. In comparison, we borrowed at 0.23 percent 12 months earlier. Borrowing $5.655 million at that rate would cost $13,007, or $154,381 less than it will cost now.
For 2022, a New York State Health Insurance Program family plan costs $33,165 per employee per year. This is our staff’s most commonly selected plan and is offered per the agreement with the Village staff’s union. We could pay the premium for just over 4.5 health insurance family plans with $154,381.
During the first quarter of 2022, we purchased an excavator and trailer for $156,568. This is the Department of Public Works’ main digging machine and has been used many times since it was purchased for routine work and during emergencies like water main breaks.
Most recently, Federal Reserve officials have tried to emphasize that we should expect to see ongoing restrictive monetary policy to slow demand and tame inflation. Will $167,388 in interest and a rate of 2.96 percent to borrow for one year feel inexpensive next September?
Tim Rogers
Mayor, Village of New Paltz
Vote “No” on Highland School District budget
On Tuesday, October 18, 2022, voting on the Highland School District budget will occur from the hours of 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the high school band room on Pancake Hollow Road. I just received my tax bill. The bill has increased by 22 percent from $2,100 to $2,700.
I am a 79-year-old widow on a fixed declining income thanks to Medicare increases greater than cost-of-living increases in Social Security. I had planned to support the infrastructure upgrades, but not the athletic field spending. Now, I will vote No on every proposition of the budget. A 22 percent increase is just outrageous.
Katherine Beinkafner
65th Elting Library Fair
The 65th Elting Memorial Library Fair takes place on Saturday, October 1, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with the huge book sale continuing on Sunday, October 2, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The fair is held in the library parking lot, at the corner of North Front and Church streets, New Paltz. There will be thousands of books for all ages and interests as well as CDs and DVDs – all at bargain prices.
Entry to the fair is free, or shop for books as an early bird on Saturday at 8 a.m. for only $10. The fair also offers jewelry, plants, toys and games for sale; kids’ activities; a bookmark contest; a silent auction; and lots of food and live music all day. Featured is the popular raffle, with more than 100 prizes generously donated by local businesses. Prizes include gift certificates to restaurants, shops and services, such as auto repair and massage therapy. Grand prize is a two-day midweek stay for two at Mohonk Mountain House. Purchase raffle tickets online before the fair or at the library, and they will be sold at the fair until 2 p.m., when the drawing starts.
The library is accepting donations for the fair: Books: 9 to 11 a.m. on September 8, September 10, September 11 in the parking lot book shed. These are the only remaining times books can be accepted. Toys and games: Drop off in the library’s Steinberg Room during regular library hours. Items must be clean and in working order. Jewelry: Drop off at front desk. For more details and to purchase raffle tickets, go to
Paul Edlund
Chair, Elting Memorial Library
New Paltz
Never forget 911
The anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001 is approaching with 21 years to reflect on what actually happened beyond the hype, hysteria and political spin. 
First, on 911 we had the largest failure of airport security in history; unprecedented FAA/NORAD failures to follow standard operating procedures in the interception of off-course aircraft; the largest failure of the military to defend civilian life and property in the country’s history; the failure to defend the two most recognized terrorist targets (WTC Towers and the Pentagon) despite ample warning times; and the only collapses of structural steel high-rise buildings in United States history. 
Second, it took two years for the 911 Commission to begin their investigation, enough time for all the forensic evidence to be destroyed and hauled away. The President and Vice-President refused to testify apart from each other, or under oath and would not allow anything they said to be recorded, even on paper.
Third, The WTC complex lease-holder, Larry Silverstein, took out an insurance policy six-weeks before September 11 happened that had a provision for “double-indemnity cash payout” if the WTC Complex was the object of a terrorist attack. He was awarded over $4 billion in a court case to collect on his insurance policy. He stated on primetime television that he told the NYC Fire Commander to “pull it, and they did and we watched the building collapse” regarding 47 story WTC Building #7. It takes a team of demolition experts a month to rig a building for demolition and the NYC Fire Department is not trained in and absolutely does not do controlled demolition of high-rise buildings. Larry Silverstein and his whole family, who religiously had breakfast at the Windows of the World restaurant on the top floor of Building #1 of the WTC Complex, were all curiously absent on September 11. The implications of Larry Silverstein’s financial gain, his statements and his curious absence on 911, were never investigated and he was never interviewed by the 911 Commission. 
Fourth, NIST’S computer analysis declared that the heat from jet fuel caused the buildings cross beams to sag “four feet,” pulling in the interior walls at the impact zone. Underwriters Laboratories had tested the steel in a 35-foot-square-foot mock-up section identical to the WTC floors with the identical fire-rated steel and subjected it to twice the load, twice the heat and for as twice as long as to what the WTC Towers were subjected to and the result was the cross-members sag was four inches, not four feet, and not nearly enough to pull in the outer walls. This test was done without any fireproofing on the steel. Building #7 was not hit by any plane so the fireproofing was intact and it was not subjected to the jet fuel burning either, just normal office fires. 
It should be obvious that we have all been lied to and a major cover-up has been in place for 21 years ( & (
Steve Romine
The things they still carry
The war story was born when the first human killed another human for land or food. Today, sacrificing humans’ lives to fight in unjust wars whose goal is to make capital for wealthy corporations is a war story politicians never tell. 
As a combat veteran, I’d like to bring the aftereffects of war into a personal perspective. All living creatures fear death. Nothing willingly dies without struggle, yet today we humans voluntarily have reached the capability of killing off humanity. War’s tech knowledge has a drone operator kill the enemy ten-thousand miles away. Our political and military powers who decided who the drone operator should kill never considered his soul knows no distance. He pays for the remainder of his life and so will his loved ones and the community he lives in. We are all affected by his attitudes and behaviors.
As a warrior in the unjust Vietnam War, telling my war story has kept me alive. Tim O’Biren’s book The Things They Carry sadly makes it clear that veterans need fiction to illuminate to the public what the aftereffects of unjust wars are genuinely like on the souls of veterans.
A quote from Tim O’Biren’s book: “That’s what fiction is for. It’s for getting at the truth when the truth isn’t sufficient for the truth.” 
I love the truth of this statement, but today it’s being outgunned by movies, newscasters, video games, politicians and the dictators of the world who are sacrificing their poor for their yachts. There is so much fiction on the airways; only a scholar with an advanced computer could find truth in so much fiction. 
Today’s returning veterans add to their war burdens because our country stabilizes and stimulates our economy with war. So few government leaders go into war, so never learn from the sucking away of your life trusting government by being sent to war so the wealth can prosper. Our leaders never remove their fingers from their ears to hear the silent wail let out when you return home to find nothing but the empty chrysalis of your soul. Then you live in a country with no interest in redemption for their own veteran’s actions in an unjust war or the enemy’s lives and land that they’ve devastated.
Truth has broken boundaries that even fiction and human imagination find hard to follow. Look at the shows on TV and the films in the theaters. They reach so deep into the fear that no remnant of kindness or compassion is allowed on the screen. We as a species are severing our umbilical cords from the reality that we are animals that will perish if we distance any further from our instincts to care for our young. 
I returned to Vietnam in 1994 to look for some of the things I carried. I listened to their stories and found forgiveness from the people that were once my enemies. The stories I brought home were of human beings. I have been telling these stories to reveal the truth of war.
Larry Winters
New Paltz
Climbing the ladder
Mr. Ryan (D) won the election hands down to replace Mr. Delgado, who was elevated to become our unelected-Governor’s second and thus become Governor Hochul’s running mate in November. Then I read in HV1 Mr. Ryan had said, when he replaced our elected County Executive (Hein), that he would serve a full term. But then he did not keep his word. Call it a change of heart, not a lie.
These civic (money) minded folks should be volunteer firemen, they are so quick climbing ladders and rushing in to help fight the fires I see burning down our culture. I think they are more interested in their rise in pay and status over what work they will do for us.
Recently, it was suggested that villages don’t need mayors. Outdated. I don’t think so. The closer a politician is to the people they “serve,” the better. A mayor can speak for a village and influence the behavior of town politicians. Town politicians can bring our local voices to the county level where we may have a voice in running the State.
“All politics is local,” the late, great Senator Tip O’Neill popularized when I was coming up. Let’s hang on to that wisdom!
Paul Nathe
New Paltz
Commentary on life
Looking for Spectrum billing double-talk? Just be bold, ask for a representative. It’ll cost you five bucks for a whole barrel of chuckles.
Life expectancy in the USA is now lower. So, all you need to do is keep on lying about your age!
There’s a new theme park being erected dedicated to flight cancellation excuses (i.e. pilot had a tummy ache.)
When I grow up, I really, really want to be a non-attorney spokesperson.
Always be wary of risks vs. rewards. Remember to choose spam over sperm.
Ta-ta…I am off to a two-week wrinkles-be-gone-intensive.
Myrna Hilton
Ulster Park
On the same page … almost
I agree with almost everything that Marty Klein said in his letter of 8-24-22 entitled “Supporting Our Democracy.” He outlines the way we all need to communicate with each other despite having differences of opinion on several issues. Marty raises the tough question of how to balance party loyalty with a flexibility of integrating reality in how we view the country’s issues and problems. When looking at all the issues of the day, I don’t focus much on party affiliation but much more on using common sense, morals and logic in trying to determine what is best, fairest and legal for ALL Americans, regardless of party. Nearly all of today’s problems just happen to be the result of the decisions and policies of the current Democratic administration. However, if a Republican president and administration caused the same problems, I’d be just as annoyed and frustrated with them.
The one area in which I disagree with Marty’s is his perception that, in my disagreeing with him, I was slinging mud at him. If I was guilty of any mudslinging, it would have been in my occasional references to Biden, Harris, Mayorkas, Buttigieg, Schumer, etc. whose rhetoric and comments have been so outrageous and untruthful, at times, that they have more than earned the privilege of being targets of careful mudslinging. If you want to see real and consistent mudslinging, Marty, all you have to do is read any of Neil Jarmel’s weekly TDS tirades. Now, there’s a poor soul who is ONLY guided by intense party loyalty while leaving no room to see an issue from any other viewpoint with any semblance of your reference to an open mind and an open heart. In saying this, I don’t think it is mudslinging … it’s merely pointing out Neil’s reality, as proven by his own writings.
I digress to an unrelated issue to which you need not reply unless, of course, you want to. The job of a Presidential Press Secretary is just about a no-win situation. I don’t know why anyone would want this job. No matter which party is in the oval office, the person in this position, when answering questions from the press, has the nearly impossible task of balancing transparency, honesty and accuracy with having to cover their boss’s rear end. They may know, deep in their heart and soul, that what they are saying is nonsense and even lies but they have to say it, anyway. You talk about having to sell your soul to the devil. Unfortunately, the current Press Secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, is totally incompetent, flustered and indecisive in responding to just about every question whether it’s a hardball question from the conservative press or even softball questions from their own press comrades on the left. She starts off by repeating the question enabling her to buy time so she can frantically flip through the pages of her spin bible, looking for what she thinks will be the page with the closest answer to the question. But, more often than not, when she starts her reading exercise, what she’s reading, many times, has no connection to the original question. It’s a poor attempt at deflection and deceit. I almost feel sorry for her as she comes across as quite pathetic and embarrassing. Just like her boss, Biden, there is absolutely no spontaneity in her delivery. Biden uses his teleprompter and Karine uses her spin bible.
John N. Butz

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