Dear All

Recent letter sent to both Mayor Eric Adams and Governor Kathy Hochul:

Dear Mayor Adams/Governor Hochul,

New buildings are being built in New York City every day, and none of them have public parking spaces required. The city and the state have got to do something about this. The streets can no longer be properly cleaned because there are cars parked on the streets all the time; buses cannot stay in their lanes because of these same cars that are parked. The city obviously requires and receives a certain amount of revenue from legal parking. If a consistent effort was made to create several floors of public parking in every building that’s built in the city, with the same charge as on-street parking, a dent could be made in areas of heavy traffic. Obviously, people living in certain parts of New York City and certain people who come to work every day need and have the right to have parking available to them at some reasonable cost. Public transportation does not solve all the transportation problems for everyone. 

These tall buildings have already destroyed the light and the view. They have obliterated the view of the Empire State Building and the beautiful Chrysler Building. Some renovation of the lower floors of these buildings should be made. At least if the cars are off the streets it would at least make up for a little bit of the destruction created.

The point is, these new tall buildings are being created, destroying the view of the city, destroying the light, and parking isn’t even included in the buildings. Taxes increase for the citizens of New York and the quality of life goes down. If these buildings are to be put up, the least they should have to do is include parking to make up for a small part of the damage that they are causing.

The other thing that makes New York increasingly difficult are the ridiculous, oversized public transport buses. There is no reason in this world to run these huge buses more than half empty from morning until night. They block traffic, they don’t stay in their lanes because of the cars parked in the streets, they serve no worthwhile purpose. It would be far better to have small buses and simply send more of them out at rush hour. Perhaps the drivers could be paid more like taxi drivers so that there would be no additional salary cost to the city of having extra buses. If they ran more frequently and were more reliable, that would also cut down on the need for private cars. In order to get parking off of the streets to clear traffic, parking must be provided elsewhere at the same cost. 

The problem in New York is that they allow new problems to be created on top of old ones instead of solving old ones first. 

I hope that you can focus some attention on this problem so that you can improve the quality of life in this great city of ours. 


Rita Fredricks Salzman

A Never-Ending Conflict

The origins of the present conflict between the Palestinians and the Israelis go back for centuries. This article from may shed some light on the background of this never-ending territorial conflict. All credit for the following information is given to, and you can find the full article at this link:

Palestinian territories = green, Israel = blue

Early History of Israel 

Much of what scholars know about Israel’s ancient history comes from the Hebrew Bible. According to the text, Israel’s origins can be traced back to Abraham, who is considered the father of Judaism (through his son Isaac) and Islam (through his son Ishmael) and Christianity (through Isaac).

Abraham’s descendants were thought to be enslaved by the Egyptians for hundreds of years before settling in Canaan, which is approximately the region of modern-day Israel.

The word Israel comes from Abraham’s grandson, Jacob, who was renamed “Israel” by the Hebrew God in the Bible.

King David and King Solomon 

King David ruled the region around 1000 B.C. His son, who became King Solomon, is credited with building the first holy temple in ancient Jerusalem. In about 931 B.C., the area was divided into two kingdoms: Israel in the north and Judah in the south.

Around 722 B.C., the Assyrians invaded and destroyed the northern kingdom of Israel. In 568 B.C., the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem and destroyed the first temple, which was replaced by a second temple in about 516 B.C.

For the next several centuries, the land of modern-day Israel was conquered and ruled by various groups, including the Persians, GreeksRomans, Arabs, Fatimids, Seljuk Turks, Crusaders, Egyptians, Mamelukes, Islamists and others.

The Balfour Declaration 

From 1517 to 1917, what is today Israel, along with much of the Middle East, was ruled by the Ottoman Empire.

But World War I dramatically altered the geopolitical landscape in the Middle East. In 1917, at the height of the war, British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour submitted a letter of intent supporting the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. The British government hoped that the formal declaration—known thereafter as the Balfour Declaration—would encourage support for the Allies in World War I.

When World War I ended in 1918 with an Allied victory, the 400-year Ottoman Empire rule ended, and Great Britain took control over what became known as Palestine (modern-day Israel, Palestine and Jordan).

The Balfour Declaration and the British mandate over Palestine were approved by the League of Nations in 1922. Arabs vehemently opposed the Balfour Declaration, concerned that a Jewish homeland would mean the subjugation of Arab Palestinians.

The British controlled Palestine until Israel, in the years following the end of World War II, became an independent state in 1947.

Conflict Between Jews and Arabs 

Throughout Israel’s long history, tensions between Jews and Arab Muslims have existed. The complex hostility between the two groups dates all the way back to ancient times when they both populated the area and deemed it holy.

Both Jews and Muslims consider the city of Jerusalem sacred. It contains the Temple Mount, which includes the holy sites al-Aqsa Mosque, the Western Wall, the Dome of the Rock and more.

Much of the conflict in recent years has centered around who is occupying the following areas:

  • Gaza Strip: A piece of land located between Egypt and modern-day Israel.
  • Golan Heights: A rocky plateau between Syria and modern-day Israel.
  • West Bank: A territory that divides part of modern-day Israel and Jordan.

The Zionism Movement 

In the late 19th and early 20th century, an organized religious and political movement known as Zionism emerged among Jews.

Zionists wanted to reestablish a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Massive numbers of Jews immigrated to the ancient holy land and built settlements. Between 1882 and 1903, about 35,000 Jews relocated to Palestine. Another 40,000 settled in the area between 1904 and 1914.

Many Jews living in Europe and elsewhere, fearing persecution during the Nazi reign, found refuge in Palestine and embraced Zionism. After the Holocaust and World War II ended, members of the Zionist movement primarily focused on creating an independent Jewish state.

Arabs in Palestine resisted the Zionism movement, and tensions between the two groups continue. An Arab nationalist movement developed as a result.

Israeli Independence 

The United Nations approved a plan to partition Palestine into a Jewish and Arab state in 1947, but the Arabs rejected it.

In May 1948, Israel was officially declared an independent state with David Ben-Gurion, the head of the Jewish Agency, as the prime minister.

While this historic event seemed to be a victory for Jews, it also marked the beginning of more violence with the Arabs.

1948 Arab-Israeli War 

Following the announcement of an independent Israel, five Arab nations—Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon—immediately invaded the region in what became known as the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

Civil war broke out throughout all of Israel, but a cease-fire agreement was reached in 1949. As part of the temporary armistice agreement, the West Bank became part of Jordan, and the Gaza Strip became Egyptian territory.

Arab-Israeli Conflict 

Numerous wars and acts of violence between Arabs and Jews have ensued since the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Some of these include:

  • Suez Crisis: Relations between Israel and Egypt were rocky in the years following the 1948 war. In 1956, Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser overtook and nationalized the Suez Canal, the important shipping waterway that connects the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. With the help of British and French forces, Israel attacked the Sinai Peninsula and retook the Suez Canal. 
  • Six-Day War: In what started as a surprise attack, Israel in 1967 defeated Egypt, Jordan and Syria in six days. After this brief war, Israel took control of the Gaza Strip, Sinai Peninsula, the West Bank, and Golan Heights. These areas were considered “occupied” by Israel.
  • Yom Kippur War: Hoping to catch the Israeli army off guard, in 1973 Egypt and Syria launched air strikes against Israel on the Holy Day of Yom Kippur. The fighting went on for two weeks, until the UN adopted a resolution to stop the war. Syria hoped to recapture the Golan Heights during this battle but was unsuccessful. In 1981, Israel annexed the Golan Heights, but Syria continued to claim it as territory.
  • Lebanon War: In 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon and ejected the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). This group, which started in 1964 and declared all Arab citizens living in Palestine up to 1947 to be called “Palestinians,” focused on creating a Palestinian state within Israel.
  • First Palestinian Intifada: Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank led to a 1987 Palestinian uprising and hundreds of deaths. A peace process, known as the Oslo Peace Accords, ended the Intifada (a Arabic word meaning “shaking off”). After this, the Palestinian Authority formed and took over some territories in Israel. In 1997, the Israeli army withdrew from parts of the West Bank.
  • Second Palestinian Intifada: Palestinians launched suicide bombs and other attacks on Israelis in 2000. The resulting violence lasted for years, until a cease-fire was reached. Israel announced a plan to remove all troops and Jewish settlements from the Gaza strip by the end of 2005.
  • Second Lebanon War: Israel went to war with Hezbollah—a Shiite Islamic militant group in Lebanon—in 2006. A UN-negotiated ceasefire ended the conflict a couple of months after it started.
  • Hamas Wars: Israel has been involved in repeated violence with Hamas, a Sunni Islamist militant group that assumed Palestinian power in 2006. Some of the more significant conflicts took place beginning in 2008, 2012, 2014, 2021 and 2023.

Israel Today 

Clashes between Israelis and Palestinians are still commonplace. Key territories of land are divided, but some are claimed by both groups. For instance, they both cite Jerusalem as their capital.

Both groups blame each other for terror attacks that kill civilians. While Israel doesn’t officially recognize Palestine as a state, more than 135 UN member nations do.

In October 2023, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu formally declared war on Hamas following a surprise deadly assault launched from Gaza by Hamas militants. 

The Two-State Solution 

Several countries have pushed for more peace agreements in recent years. Many have suggested a two-state solution but acknowledge that Israelis and Palestinians are unlikely to settle on borders.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has supported the two-state solution but has felt pressure to change his stance. Netanyahu has also been accused of encouraging Jewish settlements in Palestinian areas while still backing a two-state solution.

The United States is one of Israel’s closest allies. In a visit to Israel in May 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump urged Netanyahu to embrace peace agreements with Palestinians. And in May 2018, the U.S. Embassy relocated from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which Palestinians perceived as signal of American support for Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Palestinians responded with protests at the Gaza-Israel border, which were met with Israeli force resulting in the deaths of dozens of protesters.


History of Ancient Israel: Oxford Research Encyclopedias.

Creation of Israel, 1948: Office of the Historian, U.S. Department of State.

The Arab-Israeli War of 1948: Office of the Historian, U.S. Department of State.

History of Israel: Key events: BBC.

Israel: The World Factbook: U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.

Immigration to Israel: The Second Aliyah (1904 – 1914): Jewish Virtual Library.

Trump Comes to Israel Citing a Palestinian Deal as Crucial: The New York Times.

Palestine: Growing Recognition: Al Jazeera.

Mandatory Palestine: What It Was and Why It Matters: TIME.


This article pretty well covers the waterfront. It was written by Heather Cox Richardson as part of her Substack, Letters from an American. I give full credit to Heather Cox Richardson and am copying her full article below. If you are interested in subscribing to her amazing Substack go to It is well worth it.

April 30, 2024 


MAY 01, 2024

This morning, Time magazine published a cover story by Eric Cortellessa about what Trump is planning for a second term. Based on two interviews with Trump and conversations with more than a dozen of his closest advisors, the story lays out Trump’s conviction that he was “too nice” in his first term and that he would not make such a mistake again. 

Cortellessa writes that Trump intends to establish “an imperial presidency that would reshape America and its role in the world.” 

He plans to use the military to round up, put in camps, and deport more than 11 million people. He is willing to permit Republican-dominated states to monitor pregnancies and prosecute people who violate abortion bans. He will shape the laws by refusing to release funds appropriated by Congress (as he did in 2019 to try to get Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky to smear Hunter Biden). He would like to bring the Department of Justice under his own control, pardoning those convicted of attacking the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, and ending the U.S. system of an independent judiciary. In a second Trump presidency, the U.S. might not come to the aid of a European or Asian ally that Trump thinks isn’t paying enough for its own defense. Trump would, Cortelessa wrote, “gut the U.S. civil service, deploy the National Guard to American cities as he sees fit, close the White House pandemic-preparedness office, and staff his Administration with acolytes who back his false assertion that the 2020 election was stolen.”

To that list, former political director of the AFL-CIO Michael Podhorzer added on social media that if Trump wins, “he could replace [Supreme Court justices Clarence] Thomas, [Samuel] Alito, and 40+ federal judges over 75 with young zealots.” 

“I ask him, Don’t you see why many Americans see such talk of dictatorship as contrary to our most cherished principles?” Cortellessa wrote. No, Trump said. “‘I think a lot of people like it.” 

Time included the full transcripts and a piece fact-checking Trump’s assertions. The transcripts reflect the former president’s scattershot language that makes little logical sense but conveys impressions by repeating key phrases and advancing a narrative of grievance. The fact-checking reveals that narrative is based largely on fantasy. 

Trump’s own words prove the truth of what careful observers have been saying about his plans based on their examination of MAGA Republicans’ speeches, interviews, Project 2025, and so on, often to find themselves accused of a liberal bias that makes them exaggerate the dangers of a second Trump presidency. 

The idea that truthful reporting based on verifiable evidence is a plot by “liberal media” to undermine conservative values had its start in 1951, when William F. Buckley Jr., fresh out of Yale, published God and Man at Yale: The Superstitions of “Academic Freedom.” Fervently opposed to the bipartisan liberal consensus that the federal government should regulate business, provide a basic social safety net, protect civil rights, and promote infrastructure, Buckley was incensed that voters continued to support such a system. He rejected the “superstition” that fact-based public debate would enable people to choose the best option from a wide range of ideas—a tradition based in the Enlightenment—because such debate had encouraged voters to choose the liberal consensus, which he considered socialism. Instead, he called for universities to exclude “bad” ideas like the Keynesian economics on which the liberal consensus was based, and instead promote Christianity and free enterprise.

Buckley soon began to publish his own magazine, the National Review, in which he promised to tell the “violated businessman’s side of the story,” but it was a confidential memorandum written in 1971 by lawyer Lewis F. Powell Jr. for a friend who chaired the education committee of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that insisted the media had a liberal bias that must be balanced with a business perspective. 

Warning that “the American economic system is under broad attack,” Powell worried not about “the Communists, New Leftists and other revolutionaries who would destroy the entire system.” They were, he wrote, a small minority. What he worried about were those coming from “perfectly respectable elements of society: from the college campus, the pulpit, the media, the intellectual and literary journals, the arts and sciences, and from politicians.” 

Businessmen must “confront this problem as a primary responsibility of corporate management,” he wrote, launching a unified effort to defend American enterprise. Among the many plans Powell suggested for defending corporate America was keeping the media “under constant surveillance” to complain about “criticism of the enterprise system” and demand equal time. 

President Richard Nixon appointed Powell to the Supreme Court, and when Nixon was forced to resign for his participation in the scheme to cover up the attempt to bug the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate Hotel before the 1972 election, he claimed he had to leave not because he had committed a crime, but because the “liberal” media had made it impossible for him to do his job. Six years later, Ronald Reagan, who was an early supporter of Buckley’s National Review, claimed the “liberal media” was biased against him when reporters accurately called out his exaggerations and misinformation during his 1980 campaign. 

In 1987, Reagan’s appointees to the Federal Communications Commission abandoned the Fairness Doctrine that required media with a public license to present information honestly and fairly. Within a year, talk radio had gone national, with hosts like Rush Limbaugh electrifying listeners with his attacks on “liberals” and his warning that they were forcing “socialism” on the United States. 

By 1996, when Australian-born media mogul Rupert Murdoch started the Fox News Channel (FNC), followers had come to believe that the news that came from a mainstream reporter was likely left-wing propaganda. FNC promised to restore fairness and balance to American political news. At the same time, the complaints of increasingly radicalized Republicans about the “liberal media” pushed mainstream media to wander from fact-based reality to give more and more time to the right-wing narrative. By 2018, “bothsidesing” had entered our vocabulary to mean “the media or public figures giving credence to the other side of a cause, action, or idea to seem fair or only for the sake of argument when the credibility of that side may be unmerited.”

In 2023, FNC had to pay almost $800 million to settle defamation claims made by Dominion Voting Systems after FNC hosts pushed the lie that Dominion machines had changed the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, and it has since tried to retreat from the more egregious parts of its false narrative. 

News broke yesterday that Hunter Biden’s lawyer had threatened to sue FNC for “conspiracy and subsequent actions to defame Mr. Biden and paint him in a false light, the unlicensed commercial exploitation of his image, name, and likeness, and the unlawful publication of hacked intimate images of him.” Today, FNC quietly took down from its streaming service its six-part “mock trial” of Hunter Biden, as well as a video promoting the series. 

Also today, Judge Juan Merchan, who is presiding over Trump’s criminal trial for election fraud, found Trump in contempt of court for attacking witnesses and jurors. Merchan also fined Trump $1,000 per offense, required him to take down the nine social media posts at the heart of the decision, and warned him that future violations could bring jail time. This afternoon, Trump’s team deleted the social media posts. 

For the first time in history, a former U.S. president has been found in contempt of court. We know who he is, and today, Trump himself validated the truth of what observers who deal in facts have been saying about what a second Trump term would mean for the United States.

Reacting to the Time magazine piece, James Singer, the spokesperson for the Biden-Harris campaign, released a statement saying: “Not since the Civil War have freedom and democracy been under assault at home as they are today—because of Donald Trump. Trump is willing to throw away the very idea of America to put himself in power…. Trump is a danger to the Constitution and a threat to democracy.” 

Tomorrow, May 1, is “Law Day,” established in 1958 by Republican president Dwight D. Eisenhower as a national recognition of the importance of the rule of law. In proclaiming the holiday today, Biden said: “America can and should be a Nation that defends democracy, protects our rights and freedoms, and pioneers a future of possibilities for all Americans. History and common sense show us that this can only come to pass in a democracy, and we must be its keepers.” 



Twitter (X):




How Short is Our Court?

The unfortunate decision of the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade is totally destructive to this country. It is a decision made by a formerly highly respected group of people, and is one that has undermined and destroyed that respect. By making the right to an abortion a decision to be made by individual States, the Supreme Court has politicized an issue that should not be political: women’s rights.

The Supreme Court has deprived women of their Constitutional right to make important decisions about their bodies, what is best for their own health, the health of the child, the welfare of their families, and in some cases even their own survival. This decision has degraded the respect for the very group that should be the most highly respected in our government. American citizens can no longer trust that the decisions made by the Supreme Court benefit everyone equally. 

This action has made it obvious that members of the Supreme Court should not be eligible for a lifetime of service. Trump’s three appointments, plus Clarence Thomas, make it clear that four members of the Supreme Court are deplorable people that have no respect for the Constitution nor for the rights of women as citizens of this country. The main point that the Supreme Court has made very clear and that the American public should understand is that:

a constitutional amendment is required to change the lifetime term of a Supreme Court Justice to a limited term.

The method by which people are appointed to the Supreme Court also needs serious consideration. It should not be a political appointment. Trump totally destroyed the Supreme Court by appointing Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett under the influence of a political agenda. He stacked the Supreme Court on day one of his presidency, knowing that eventually he might be brought up before them. These people, who were appointed by Donald J. Trump, have caused national disrespect for the Supreme Court, and yet they continue to have the right to make decisions that affect women and generations to come because they’ve been appointed for life. 

It is obvious that the time has come to limit terms for everyone in this country. Limit terms for the Supreme Court, limit terms for the Congress and the Senate. Limited terms would reduce the extent of the damage that anyone, or one corrupt, evil person could do. If a despicable president is able to appoint despicable people, they should at least have limited terms.

Also, members of the Supreme Court should be appointed by a group of nonpolitical legal minds around the country, and that group should be appointed as needed but not for any specified amount of time. This group would not always be the same, and members would change through the years. The idea should be to remove any political agenda from Supreme Court appointments. 

Let’s Move On

For Heaven’s sake – why in the world should there be any discussion about the eligibility of Donald Trump to run for the Presidency of the United States?

There is something so wrong with all of our systems that would even allow a man of his background to be considered as the person to represent the United States to the world.

Let’s finita la commodia and get him out of our lives and move on.

America is better than Trump – at least we should be. 

He Lies Like a Rug

Here’s a little insight into Trump’s family history as seen in the article The Trump Family’s Immigrant Story by Natasha Frost on 

It’s interesting that Trump despises immigrants and considers them all to be crooks, criminals and despicable people when he comes directly from immigrants:

“Trump is the son, and grandson, of immigrants: German on his father’s side, and Scottish on his mother’s. None of his grandparents, and only one of his parents, was born in the United States or spoke English as their mother tongue. (His mother’s parents, from the remote Scottish Outer Hebrides, lived in a majority Gaelic-speaking community.)”

Although he claims to have come from Swedish roots, Trump’s history shows that his lineage is correctly traced to Germany. Trump’s grandfather, Friedrich Trump, immigrated from Germany in order to dodge the draft in 1885 – sound familiar? 

“He had been a sickly child, unsuited to hard labor, and feared the effects of the draft. It might have been illegal, but America didn’t care about this law-breaking—at that time, Germans were seen as highly desirable migrants—and Trump was welcomed with open arms. Less than two weeks later, he arrived in New York, where he would eventually make a small fortune.” 

Friedrich married a woman from his hometown of Kallstadt and planned to return home with the fortune he made in America, but they were barred from returning when his draft-dodging was discovered. 

Friedrich’s son, Fred Trump, originated the lie about their origins. As it was during WWII, Fred hid his German roots in order to insulate himself from a possible alienation from his Jewish real estate benefactors by claiming his family really hailed from Sweden. He married a Scottish woman named Mary Anne MacLeod, who was born to a family of 10 in the village of Tong on the Scottish Isle of Lewis and migrated to America before meeting Fred Trump. The two would go on to become parents to the infamous Donald Trump. 

The point is, Trump is exactly what he hates: an immigrant.

Kicking the Can

The present Supreme Court has managed to undermine universal confidence in the Supreme Court for the first time in American history.

It was clear from the beginning when the first thing that Trump did as President was to appoint as many members to the Supreme Court as he could get. Having stopped Obama from even appointing one member to the Supreme Court, Trump made it possible for himself to stack the Supreme Court with three questionably qualified people.

It was clear from day one that Trump expected to abuse the Presidency in a manner that could only benefit himself. He knew in advance that his criminal actions, starting with the January 6 Capitol Attack, made him an insurrectionist of the government of the United States, and that it was an attempt to destroy the democracy. He knew that this could bring a case against him to the Supreme Court.

Herbert Walker Bush can be blamed for his appointment of the despicable Clarence Thomas, but the three others: Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett, have managed to overthrow Roe v. Wade. Despicable.

They have undermined the support and alliance on the court, and reduced the confidence of a major part of the population who no longer trust the independent judgment of the Supreme Court.

It becomes increasingly clear that a constitutional amendment is imperatively required to limit the terms of Supreme Court sitting Justices.

Supreme Court Op-Ed by Tom P. Taft

This is a letter regarding the current state of the Supreme Court recently received and well worthy of being widely read and widely distributed. Please help to do so. See below:

Less Like a “Supreme” Court and More Like a Blatantly Political Court

I grew up in a family that honored the law and revered the Supreme Court. Perhaps that is not surprising because my father was a lawyer and county commissioner, my grandfather was a lawyer and a mayor, and his father, William Howard Taft, was a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

We sat down to dinner every night together, and after discussions about the day’s events and regular ribbing from my older brother, we often discussed issues of fairness and justice. The really interesting ones did not have clear, obvious answers. 

Ultimately, my father pointed out that is why we have the Supreme Court.  I learned early on that Supreme Court justices were awarded lifetime appointments so they could be free from any political pressure and decide difficult issues based on what was fair and just and consistent with the United States Constitution.

My great grandfather spent his entire life aspiring to become a Supreme Court justice. During the Warren Harding administration he was finally offered and accepted the role to which he had so long aspired.  As Supreme Court Chief Justice, he pushed hard to elevate the court to its proper position as one the three equal branches of the Federal Government, including the construction of the current Supreme Court Building. The official history of the Supreme Court includes this statement:

Finally in 1929, Chief Justice William Howard Taft, persuaded Congress to end this arrangement and authorize the construction of a permanent home for the Court. Architect Cass Gilbert was charged by Chief Justice Taft to design “a building of dignity and importance suitable for its use as the permanent home of the Supreme Court of the United States.”

It is exactly because of this family history, and the deep respect that so many Americans have for the role of the Supreme Court, that this current court’s actions represent such a devastating, debilitating, democracy-destroying effect on our country, on our past, and tragically, on our future.

The six current conservative Supreme Court justices have shown themselves to be more like political hacks of the worst kind rather than like honored justices, because they cannot be voted out of office, an outcome to which other political hacks are subject.   

The decision the court just made to review complete Presidential immunity, even for criminal actions, is farcical. Justice delayed is justice denied. The ultimate obvious outcome has to be that Presidents do NOT have unlimited immunity. If the Court came back and said that, in fact, Trump could order Seal Team Six to assassinate political rivals, then Biden could preempt Trump and take out his rivals right before the election.

 The court has intentionally, painfully, and blatantly ignored the health of our democracy on two levels with this decision.  First, they took the case at all after the compelling, well-written decision by the DC Court of Appeals, and then they hit us in the face again by slow walking their decision-making process.  The Bush v. Goredecision happened in days because an election hung in the balance.  Clearly, once again, an election hangs in the balance, and they are actively putting their thumbs – big heavy thumbs – on the scale of justice by moving so slowly!

As well-known and highly respected conservative jurist, Michael Luttig, stated, “There was no reason in the world for the Supreme Court to take this case.”  End of story – but the beginning of the next travesty for this farcical excuse of a Supreme Court.

After spinning in his grave, my great-grandfather has taken to silent screams at the court’s constant and unjust abuse of its judicial power. 

By Tom P. Taft, February 29, 2024

Uptown, Downtown, All Around Town

The new Tolling Program is one of the most ill-conceived ideas created by a bunch of people running this city further and further into the ground. For instance, on the East Side, most of the medical offices and hospitals are in the 60s up to the 80s. If a person living below 60th needs to go to a doctor or hospital, and if you need to go by taxi, car, or Uber, you’re going to have to pay to get back down. Anytime a person goes to the doctor or the dentist on the Upper East Side, or makes a hospital visit for any reason (to the Lenox Hill Hospital, Weill Cornell, Sloan Kettering, Mount Sinai – just to name a few) you’re going to have to pay a tax! And this is in addition to your medical bills.

This is as stupid as a solution as having everyone downtown evacuate and move uptown, or having everyone evacuate uptown and move downtown! 

If, God forbid, your work involves crossing 60th street during your commute and you need a car for that purpose, you have to pay coming and going, and up and down. Be ready to pay an extra few thousand dollars every year just for going uptown and downtown.

As it has already been said, another great attribute of this brilliant system would be that it would push more traffic to the FDR, increasing the pollution and consequent asthma and health dangers to the further detriment of already underprivileged communities. All of this is brilliantly accomplished by higher taxation.

Instead of this ridiculous congestion tax, they should force every new building that’s built to build garage space. There should be garage space built into every new building in New York, owned by the city, where off-street parking would be at the same cost as on-street parking is now. Since Bloomberg was the Mayor of New York, the only people who have benefited from these tall buildings have been the building contractors. They can build taller and taller buildings on smaller and smaller spaces, obliterating light and view within the city, but without creating any parking space for the decongestion of traffic. 

This genius scheme is designed to make living in New York City even more expensive and even more intolerable than it already has become for anybody who works or lives here. Instead of bringing the city back to life, instead of lowering the rents, instead of filling the empty stores, this scheme will close more doors, create more empty spaces, and shut the city down evermore.

Clamshell Generation

The computer and the telephone have alienated an entire generation. It is impossible to look at America today without wondering what has caused this tremendous division in the country. And what is the division? 

It seems as though a generation of people have grown up without having any real connection to the society in which they live. Their attachment is to their computers, their telephones, and to an ever-narrowing landscape world. They observe but they don’t participate. That seems to be a large part of the younger generation. Another part of the population are the people who are hostile, angry, and don’t seem to really understand what is happening in the world. They don’t seem to understand the relationship between aiding the Ukraine to continue the war against Putin – war that has kept Putin from invading NATO countries, and which so far has kept America out of World War III. 

Ever since the end of the Vietnam War, Americans have not been involved in any public service. There has been no draft. It may be that the only thing that can save this country is to reinstitute the draft. People can choose to serve in the military – the Army, Navy, or Air Force – or they can choose to serve in some form of Peace Corps abroad. 

Years ago, Helen Parkhurst, who is the founder of the Dalton School, one of the most advanced, progressive schools in the Nation, was totally committed to the idea that everyone as they graduate high school should serve for 2 years in some form of public service before going to college. Today, this idea seems more necessary than ever. 

Public service gives people a sense of commitment and exposure to the needs of other people and other societies, a camaraderie, and ultimately helps solve the problem of racial inequality and the commitment to racial integration. When people all work for a common cause, they recognize the commonality of their interests and their humanity, and they recognize the common needs. It also helps them to find a way to do something constructive towards solving social problems. 

In other countries in the world today, everybody serves. America is one of the very few countries that does not have a commitment to public service. It seems as though this may be a partial cause of some of the divisions in the country.

A draft gives a person many different possibilities to serve in whatever way they choose. The important thing is to be involved, and to be part of the social action that shapes and defines the direction of a country. It makes you a participant. The point is that this is a generation that sits by and watches the world go by.

Perhaps the social problem today and the division in this society is related to the lack of connection that public service provides. Everyone is living in their own little shell.