To the Editor:
I wrote a letter similar to this one about nine months ago. It seems to me that there is now a real possibility that our mighty empire could be the last of the great empires and that it will go quickly. Almost like a self-fulfilling prophecy. How many times have you heard a reference that we are the last superpower on Earth?
The Empire has become so overconfident, so arrogantly sure of its own righteousness , so blind, so undiplomatic and so busyÂ with “overkill” that it is unwittingly generating its own opposition, thereby ensuring its own demise. Furthermore, our people are being torn apart, our government dysfunctional. Our war on Iraq has created the largest anti-war peace movement in human history. Demonstrations against the Vietnam war were large, but not universal.
Finally it has happened; another fallen empire has hit the dust in ashes. For so long so many thought we could be the first exception to history, replete with fallen empires. The generals in Iraq agree there can be no military victory. Afghanistan is a future nightmare, a war without end.
Despite what you have heard from the pundits, the Iraq war is closely linked to the financial meltdown on Wall Street. Professor Staglitz, the recent Nobel Prize winner in economics, said, “When you add all the future medical treatments for our soldiers, the Iraq war will cost from four to seven trillion dollars.” And we have borrowed $500 billion from China to sustain our war in Iraq, and now Afghanistan.
I’ll end with a quote from Carl Jung, the great psychologist of the twntieth century: “If we continue to project our evil on others we are headed for self destruction.”
Generous East Enders
We’d like to thank the incredibly generous people of the East End who, during this cold and financially perilous time, opened their hearts to their neighbors in need.
When President-elect Obama declared January 19th a National Day of Service, we decided to e-mail friends to say we’d be collecting contributions of food and warm winter clothing for the clients of the Sag Harbor Community Food Pantry. Save Sag Harbor sent out our e-mail, and we posted it on USAservice.org.
We knew we’d receive a good number of donations, but we had no idea that the response of this community would be so overwhelming. By noon, the entryway of Kathryn’s house was piled high with winter coats. It became impossible to navigate the living room and dining room for all the bags overflowing with fresh vegetables, apples, oranges, grapes, eggs, chickens, meat, along with rice, pasta, and cereal. Martin Luther King Day is a school holiday, so lots of parents included their kids in shopping for and delivering groceries. All afternoon, cars pulled up in front of Kathryn’s house loaded with donations. One of the donors added to his Day of Service by shoveling Kathryn’s walk. A physicist from Amagansett dropped by and wrote us a generous check. A couple from Remsenburg mailed in an especially lovely contribution. At the end of the day, people had given $4,400 in checks, and it took a ten-car caravan to deliver all the groceries and clothing to the food pantry.
Some contributors asked how they might continue to be involved with the Sag Harbor Community Food Pantry. To make a donation, phone the director, Lillian Woudsma at 329-2151 and make arrangements to take items to the Old Whaler’s Church. For additional information, check the Web site, sagharborfoodpantry.com. You can also type in your Zip code at USAservice.com to find out about upcoming service events in this area.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped me make Stella Maris’ Christmas Fair a great day and success!
Thank you Christina Brierley, Scott Smith, WLNG, the Sag Harbor Express and everyone who helped get the word out about our Fair.
Thank you Carrie and Ray Saar and the Sag Harbor Garden Center- without you, the auditorium would not have looked as beautiful as it did. The trees from the Garden Center and Carrie’s decorations made the perfect backdrop for Santa to have his picture taken with all the children. Thanks Santa, for taking time out of your busy schedule to be with us and thank you Nancy Hall, for taking those great pictures.
Thank you to Bagel Buoy, Agave’s South of the Border, The Seafood Shop, Carl and Lucy Nigro, Janie Peters and everyone who donated soups, bagels, cakes, breads, and cookies to our “Coffee Cafe”. I heard everything was delicious – it was gone by the time I got over there.
Thank you to Sag Harbor Pharmacy, Sag Harbor Variety 5 & 10, The Ideal, Illusions, DJ Hart, Weekend Warriors and everyone who donated to the Stella Maris Gift Table. There were great gifts – they were gone by the time I got over there.
Thank you gift wrappers! You were the perfect touch for the Christmas Fair.Â I was hoping to get some of my gifts wrapped, but you were gone by the time I got over there.
Thank you vendors! If it weren’t for you, we would not have a fair. Everyone enjoyed the wide selections of goods for sale. There was everything from kittens and “Baby Cakes” to books, prints, paintings, and more. You could truly find something for everyone. There will be a list posted on the Stella Maris website of all the vendors who participated.
To the shoppers – THANK-YOU!! Your smiles, laughter, friends and family (and wallets) made everyone’s day. Before I knew it, it was 6 o’clock and the day was over.
Thank you to everyone who helped clean up. Making sure the auditorium was ready for the pancake breakfast the following morning was no easy task!
We hope to see everyone again next year!
Kelly K. Bailey
Lack of Character
My primary criticism with politicians is that too many of them lack the character, will, and devotion that will truly advance the causes our community and nation desperately need to put our best foot forward in 2009.Â For every decent elected official, there are four others who truly only care about themselves and their immediate family. My Congressional campaign offered me an opportunity to meet some incredibly principled and grounded leaders while also meeting some complete duds.
I write this letter in response to one from a dud.
If I was the Presiding Officer of the Suffolk County Legislature, I would write my letters to the editor about providing affordable housing to military veterans, cutting the outrageously high taxes in Suffolk County, making governmental buildings more energy efficient, or reducing helicopter noise on the East End.Â I would write to our state legislative representatives and demand that they bring home a higher percentage of funding to educate our area youth, provide better tax rebates to military veterans, pass much needed tort reform to improve available medical services, and agree to a ceasefire to the petty partisan bickering in Albany.Â I would write to our congressional representatives about the need to stop passing trillions of dollars worth of bailout and stimulus packages while our national debt goes over 14 figures, create incentives for investors to believe in the future of the American economy, reform our nation’s immigration policy, and speed up our nation’s transition to energy independence.
If I was the Presiding Officer of the Suffolk County Legislature, I wouldn’t waste a perfectly good opportunity to move these important items towards action by writing a letter to the editor complaining about a former candidate’s bumper stickers. Nobody craves the milk dud that spends several years stuck to the bottom of the carton. It is time to move forward to more pressing issues.Â Intestinal fortitude calls for leaders to fight the tough fight and declaring a war on bumper stickers is a little out of touch while credit defaults, a brain drain and taxes soar, and community involvement, employment and home prices hit the floor. Until you are willing to do something about these critically important causes, don’t sweat the really small stuff, Mr. Milk Dud.Â
The author is a former candidate for Congress – ed.