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Friday, February 26, 2021

Letters

Definitely more to read in your “small town paper”

To the editor:
I have been reading The Democrat for many years, and I am definitely an avid fan of this wonderful community publication.
You and your talented staff do such a fantastic job covering the happenings in Sullivan County, whether it involves politics, civic organizations, religious groups, community news or upcoming events.
I am involved with publicity for a few organizations, and it's amazing how many ideas I get from seeing what the other clubs are doing.
I love reading all the weekly columns, and I think it's wonderful how the Democrat covers the local school events, including the honor roll announcements, and what's happening at New Hope, Center For Discovery and the Arc Greater Hudson Valley. I'm sure this does a lot for the self-esteem of these individuals.
Thanks so much for pointing out the positive events and good things our community is involved in.
There is definitely more to read in your “small town paper” than the larger supposedly Hudson Valley publication which covers very little news from this area. We are so fortunate to have you as our neighbors and friends.


Sheila Lashinsky
Monticello

Readjust your focus

To the editor:
This is in response to the February 9th article about Rep. Delgado's “...focus for the legislative year ahead” for Congressional District #19.
Perhaps if Rep. Delgado and his Congressional colleagues would spend less time and money on pointless impeachment of a “no-longer-president”, military occupation of the nation's capital and provision of services to the thousands of “undocumented immigrants” pouring into the U.S., there would be sufficient funds for the kinds of programs Rep. Delgado proposes - including his proposed $50 billion dollar Direct Support for Communities.
The Low estimated cost to impeach former president Donald Trump is $3 million. The estimated cost to maintain the military deployment in Washington D.C is $480 million.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GOA) estimates $19 billion for services to “undocumented immigrants” but other sources expand this to $116 billion. GOA also notes “illegal aliens in the United States generate more in costs than revenues to federal, state, and local governments COMBINED. (emphasis added)”
All these apparently essential Congressional priorities are paid for with taxpayer monies - all supported and voted for by Rep. Delgado and none of which benefits a single American citizen.
We would be much better served if Rep. Delgado's initiative would be funded with the billions of dollars he and his colleagues “waste” each year. It would certainly help alleviate the “burden” born by local governments he seems to care about so much...a burden which the state and local governments just turn around and place on the shoulders of its tax weary communities. Perhaps Rep. Delgado should “readjust” his focus.



Lynn Nalven
Fremont

These are not accomplishments

To the editor:
Read letter ‘Trump's Legacy' in Feb. 5th edition. ‘What's the good of describing his accomplishments if he contributed to the destruction of our constitution, fought against a peaceful transference of power that created an insurrection in our Capitol and left a good part of the country believing that there can't be a fair election?
The persistent repetition of lies that created the alternate reality of The Big Lie, that he won the election by a landslide, has left this country struggling with a second impeachment trial. I don't think his rough and tough style is an accomplishment.
It actually triggered a time of unbridled hate and deploring discrimination. He unleashed groups of domestic terrorists upon us that we will be dealing with for years and may never get under control. ‘Warpspeed' was also mentioned as an accomplishment, but where does stepping back and allowing over 450,000 people to die from Covid 19 fit into accomplishments?
The last time I wrote to this paper, they left out an important part of my letter. I described ‘brainwashing', what I think has been perpetuated against us over the four years of his regime.
It is “any technique designed to manipulate human thought or action that brings on a loss of contact with reality; can include strong social pressures and rewards for cooperation; physical and psychological punishments for non-cooperation including social ostracism in order to develop loyalty and unquestioning obedience to the ruling party”.
The thought of him being in office again sends shivers down my spine. The power he has over the GOP fills me with fear.



Pamela Zaitchick
Glen Wild

We deserve the truth

A report by New York State Attorney General Letitia James in late January revealed that nursing home deaths in the state due to COVID-19 had been severely undercounted, perhaps by as much as 50 percent.
The report found, among other things, that a larger number of nursing home residents died from COVID-19 than Department of Health data reflected and the lack of compliance with infection control protocols as well as insufficient personal protective equipment (PPE) for nursing home staff put residents at increased risk of harm.
The report also found that government guidance requiring the admission of COVID-19 patients into nursing homes may have put residents at increased risk of harm in some facilities and may have obscured the data available to assess that risk.
“As the pandemic and our investigations continue, it is imperative that we understand why the residents of nursing homes in New York unnecessarily suffered at such an alarming rate,” said Attorney General James. “While we cannot bring back the individuals we lost to this crisis, this report seeks to offer transparency that the public deserves and to spur increased action to protect our most vulnerable residents. Nursing home residents and workers deserve to live and work in safe environments, and I will continue to work hard to safeguard this basic right during this precarious time.”
As if this report wasn't damning enough, a top aide to Governor Andrew Cuomo essentially admitted in leaked conversations with state lawmakers last week that the administration delayed the release of data on COVID-19 deaths in long-term care facilities out of concern over a potential Federal investigation.
Criticism over the governor's handling of nursing home residents' deaths (whether they occured at their long-term care facilities or at hospitals) and outrage over these latest developments has been mounting from lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle. Any effort to intentionally misrepresent data related to Coronavirus deaths in nursing homes would not only be a betrayal of the people of this state but, indeed, of our most vulnerable citizens.
Some issues transcend even our most hyper-partisan politics. What's wrong is wrong no matter if you have the word “Republican” or “Democrat” next to your name.
We must not shirk our responsibility to hold elected officials accountable simply because their own political party enjoys majorities in those chambers of government.
There should be a full and earnest investigation into the handling, oversight and performance of nursing homes in New York State throughout the Coronavirus pandemic. Those families who lost loved ones deserve answers and we all deserve the truth.




Donna is wrong

To the editor:
It's disturbing how little Donna Goldoff knows about the 2nd Amendment, our Constitution or NRA in her Letter to the Editor on February 2nd.
The NRA hasn't stopped training, teaching Gun Safety or anything they have done in their 150 years and are a voice for over 5 million people to congress. You can't just go in to congress and talk. NRA has always offered FREE professional, technical advice to all schools in our country to get them from being soft targets and protect our children so much better and offers the award winning Eddie-the-Eagle gun-safe program.
Our sad history, as she put it, is because of anti-freedom, anti-gun politicians with their non-sensible laws they made - over 30,000 laws and they still don't have a stop for gun-violence/ crime for that matter. If the NRA's and other pro-gun groups got their common-sense in there we'd be much better off.
The Founding Fathers couldn't foresee airplanes or other things but they could envision another King George and they weren't having that again. So to keep us Free they made the 2nd Amendment to protect all our freedoms and against any more King Georges.
It has nothing to do with hunting!
Who needs one? I wouldn't mind owning one or two to plink/shoot in my woods as another part of shooting. There's a difference between a law-abiding citizen and a criminal. Criminals do NOT obey/follow any gun control laws or laws only the law-abiding gun owners do!
75% of Americans (20 to 64) is over 144 million people, please state your poll that shows that since usual polls of 1200 people are used to show all Americans (fake news).
Donna, about leaving NY, that's massive amounts of people and businesses!


Don Dittmer
Lake Huntington

Overreach

To the editor:
The anger and dissension that have come to characterize meetings of the Sullivan County legislature can be laid directly at the feet of freshman legislator Rob Doherty who was elected Chair just over a year ago.
The problem is Doherty doesn't seem to understand his role in a legislative form of government like the one we have in Sullivan County. It's a modest job. Simply put, the Chair is supposed to help the body run smoothly.
But Doherty wants to act as if he's a county executive. Time and again he's attempted to assume powers that are not granted to him under the county's governing Charter.
Doherty's inflated sense of his own importance was on full display on January 28:
• Embedded in a package of new rules for the legislature was one that would have given him the absolute power to unseat every single Chair of a legislative subcommittee and replace them—with himself. His colleagues wisely rejected this unprecedented overreach. Subcommittee will continue to be chaired by all nine legislators.
• Without any advance notice, Doherty attempted to force an immediate vote on leasing the county-owned Care Center. Several legislators expressed shock at this stealth move and the vote was tabled.
• One of the most troubling actions Doherty has taken was to post a defamatory message about another legislator on the county website as a message from “Chairman Doherty.” In it he made allegations that he cannot support because they are either based on confidential information that he could not have legally obtained, or because he simply made them up. (An attorney familiar with the matter publicly stated that his accusations aren't supported by the sealed confidential record.) Should the legislator who was smeared by Doherty decide to sue, Sullivan County could be in jeopardy because its website was used to spread the story—and because Doherty claimed he was speaking for the county government as a whole.

Mr. Ferguson served on the Sullivan County Charter Review Commission.


Bruce Ferguson
Callicoon Center

We all have some homework to do

To the editor:
In a letter to the Democrat in the February 9, 2021 edition, Denise Connolly of Smallwood reports a conversation with a friend on the subject of Donald Trump.
Neither Ms. Connolly nor her friend appear to have done any research themselves on the various topics they mentioned. Both, apparently, developed their opinions from the news media.
One of the real dangers in a democracy is the lack of “research” we citizens do. Most of us just absorb information from whichever medium or friend jives with our already held views.
But it is relatively simple, given the internet, to find things out for ourselves. I took the topics brought up in Ms. Connolly's conversation and poked around on the internet, specifically avoiding the usual media outlets on both the left and the right.
This is what I found: Trump did say “rapists,” but he didn't say “murderers.” Check the video: https://time.com/4473972/donald-trump-mexico-meeting-insult/ .
Re: The First Step Act. https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/analysis-opinion/how-first-step-act-became-law-and-what-happens-next for a history of the First Step Act and https://www.urban.org/research/publication/early-assessment-opportunity-zones-equitable-development-projects/view/full_report for a kind of “progress report” through 2020 by the Urban Institute.
Re: Trump's support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HCBUs): https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/01/23/trumps-claim-about-saving-hbcus-was-false-his-administration-has-largely-backed. Read the article which says what good things the administration did do, even if Trump's rhetoric was exaggerated.
On black unemployment, google “Black unemployment under Trump.” There are many articles, some with graphs. Be sure to read more than one article no matter what the headline says.
Re: Trump and Putin. Trump's relationship with Putin can best be described as “complicated” (my term). Trying to outline some of its elements and suggest sources to check out is beyond the scope of this letter.
My point in writing this letter is not to side with either Ms. Connolly or her friend. My point is that we Americans need to spend some time searching for the truth for ourselves instead of swallowing and acting upon sound bites from others. To be worthwhile voters, we all need to do our own homework.


Mary Ellen Hubbard
Lake Huntington

Great job!

To the editor:
This morning we have received phone calls from Dept. of Family Services, Probation, and county leaders who are thrilled to have the newly published Sullivan 180 Community Resource Guide. This guide has been several years in the making and is a response to the #1 barrier to achieving better health identified by Sullivan County residents, “knowledge of existing resources”.
Thank-you [to the Sullivan County Democrat] for partnering with us to bring our goal of having a printed Community Resource Guide into reality. We are fielding numerous phone calls and emails today as people are seeing it in their Democrat and want to find out how they can attain more copies for their office, congregation, food pantry, school or community group.
We are looking forward to blanketing the county with these! Thank-you again for your support and please let your team know this will make a difference in the lives of so very many county residents.
Yours in health,






Amanda Langseder

Put an end to this

To the editor:
In 1954, a courageous U.S. Army attorney, Joseph Welch, famously asked the assaultive Senator Joseph McCarthy, “At long last, Sir, have you no decency?”
Amazingly this simple question put an abrupt end to the shameful lies and smears of the Senator who had nearly destroyed the lives of many honest, decent Americans with his “high-minded,” bullying interrogations.
Now that we've all witnessed a remarkable number of outright lies from a certain political party in disbelief that their beloved, (blatantly crooked), candidate did not win the presidential election, I ask, Where is the current-day “Joseph Welch” who will ask - demand! - once again, “At long last, Republican politicians, have you no decency?!”
I am hopeful - (well, perhaps merely “wishful”) - that a new “Mr. Welch” will emerge soon to courageously steer our democracy, and our many gullible voters, away from outright liars who are content to spread disinformation - against all evidence to the contrary - for their own self-serving, misguided and nefarious purposes.



Joan Rosenfelt
Pond Eddy

Muzzling Free Speech

To the editor:
“Well, I'll tell you, in all my years, I have never seen, heard, nor smelled an issue so dangerous it couldn't be talked about!”
Stephen Hopkins, delegate from R.I., is presented in the musical “1776” saying this as he participates in the 2nd Continental Congress which met in Philadelphia. The colonies were divided. Hopkins is portrayed relishing his tie-breaking vote toward having a controversial debate. The debate itself was perceived by some as treasonous. The issue was independence.
As of this writing many Americans are being denied their 1st Amendment freedoms of speech and press. Texas Sen. Cruz recently noted that some of his congressional colleagues are attempting to silence and punish him and others for exercising their constitutional right to object to the electoral tallies given to Joe Biden.
Big Tech companies such as Google, FB, etc. are shutting down accounts of those who express concern over the integrity of the 2020 election. Amazon has cut off Parler. Twitter shut down a U.S. President. Yet, for years these companies allow accounts for foreign powers to remain open despite the pleas of their respective citizens to shut them down - Myanmar, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka. (N.Y. Times article by Adam Satariano, 1/17/21)
The double standard of much of our media is ubiquitous. Freedom of speech and press is being replaced by censorship from self-righteous oligarchs who dominate Big Tech companies. For now, Americans are watching and planning. Surely, new platforms will arise.
Today, some media companies such as Prescott nNews in Arizona are reporting the news boldly about the 2020 election audits pressing forward in Maricopa County (Phoenix) Arizona.
As for the current scene in Philadelphia we can still see that there is, “an issue so dangerous it (can't) be talked about!” The issue is election fraud.


Michelle Sackett Schroeder
Callicoon

Enough with the hate

To the editor:
I've been reading the letters, and one of your columnists, continually attacking President Trump and also those who support Trump. It's hard to imagine anyone having so much hate for any one person, let alone the over 73 million Americans who voted for Trump.
However, when the media bombards you 24/7 with innuendo, speculation, assumption, outright lies, and of course, slanted personal opinion served up as “news” which is always against Trump, some people will believe it all without ever questioning the source, usually an “unnamed source” of course!
I ask all of you to do a little research as to how the Press, throughout history, has influenced what we get to see and hear and how all that power has affected what we think. Our country has been exposed to so much propaganda for many decades and it's gotten so much worse since Donald Trump announced he was running for President.
Donald Trump, not a politician, has exposed the corruption in DC and in the press and they hate him for it.
I voted for Trump in 2016. I liked his campaign promises. He kept them and I voted for him again in 2020.
I don't have to like him, but I sure liked his policies that put American and Americans first.
By the way, I am not a member of a “cult” and I do not need to be “de-programmed”. Those who suggest that about over 73 million citizens like me are beyond outrageous for stating that! They obviously haven't learned from history what happens when one group of people suggests that those things and more be done to another group of people...
Remember, censorship of any kind is very dangerous and it is happening now to silence those of us who dare to question what is going on in our government, the press, the media, Big Tech, etc.


Denise Connolly
Smallwood




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