Letters to the editor

When we first moved to Bethany, we found the landscape dotted with campaign signs. Some said “Crisco” and others “Pillsbury.” “What is this,” I asked my wife, “an election or a Bake-Off?” Eventually the signs disappeared along with losing candidates’ political ambitions.

Fast-forward 15 years to a phone call inquiring about a campaign sign placed with my permission in front of our property. I sheepishly admitted to possession of the sign and promised to replant it — together with another gleaned after a previous election — next to my mailbox for repossession by the caller.

The motivation for my misguided appropriation of the signs was twofold. First, a very localized political Rid Litter effort, and second, a vision of the wire frames having second lives as wickets in a Brobdingnagian croquet pitch on my front lawn.

Newly mindful of yet another civic responsibility, I’m hoping this letter will serve as a heads-up for all Bethanyans: Campaign signs are a sustainable resource, and should be left for retrieval by their rightful — or leftish — political owners.

— Mike Russell Bethany

In his column, Charles Krauthammer explained why he felt Saudi Arabia is a key starting point to eventual piece in the Middle East. Then, as per usual, he took the opportunity to lambaste Obama re his failure in Iran. He conveniently forgot that the Irani public have recently, for the second consecutive election, voted to continue the tenure of the present moderate president who had replaced the lunatic fanatic who had maintained that the Holocaust was a hoax.

— JJ Grossman Woodbridge

A common concept in our culture is that the United States was founded on Judeo-Christian values.

Let’s take a look at how this idea stands today. A passage from Psalms 113 reads, “He raises the poor from the dust and lifts up the needy from the refuse heap to set them with the great men of his people.”

This passage answers the first question the Bible poses: “Am I my brothers’ keeper?” Obviously yes, and under the additional premise that all people are created equal, an American ideal, this means we are all obligated to fight for and defend the poor and the oppressed.

Now let’s consider Donald Trump (and the people in Congress who supported him). He refuses to raise the poor from the dust, in fact, with the recent cuts to education and health care, he is pushing them further into the abyss. He refuses to lift the needy from the refuse heap: their distant cousins and neighbors might be terrorists. And most tragically, he believes that the great among us are not those who want to live happy, inclusive lives with close-knit families, but those who want to live competitive, selfish lives with fragmented families (like himself).

Donald Trump represents the opposite of all of the values inspired by our traditions. For those of you who do not see this, now is the time for reflection. For those of you who do, it is doubly so a time for reflection: do you truly stand for the principles of love and inclusiveness, not only politically, but in your personal life with friends, family and neighbors?

— Filip Dul Bethany

Stanley Heller challenges us to “speak out in outrage” (May 19 Op-Ed), and I’m outraged (but not surprised) by his silly and cynical deceptions.

• His false analogy compares Yale’s teaching assistants in New Haven to jailed murderers in Israel. Sure, they’re both on hunger strikes, but that’s like comparing a firecracker to a nuclear bomb because they both explode.

• Heller’s organization (PEP) invented a “Gandhi Peace Award” (no connection to Mahatma Gandhi), and gave it to Omar Barghouti (convicted 5-time murderer), in a Yale building ceremony (pretending it’s a university award) although Yale disavowed the organization.

• The “better conditions” these convicted terrorists demand are more visitation, more public telephones, and free university classes. Does that sound like they’re being tortured?

• The hunger strike’s leader, Barghouti, was photographed sneaking a candy bar in a bathroom (https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/10330/barghouti-eating).

• Heller’s so-called “shameful letter,” signed unanimously by the Senate, was echoed by Secretary General Guterres: “A modern form of anti-Semitism is the denial of the right of the state of Israel to exist. …. The state of Israel needs to be treated as any other state, with exactly the same rules.” (https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/all-100-senators-sign-letter-asking-for-equal-treatment-of-israel-at-the-un/2017/04/27/79f961fe-2b95-11e7-b605-33413c691853_story.html?utm_term=.807509c5308c).

This amateur effort at fake news sounds like an inadequate imitation of Sean Spicer.

— Rosette Liberman Milford

When one reads the definition for narcissistic personality disorder, one thinks of someone with a long-term pattern of abnormal behavior, characterized by exaggerated feeling of self-importance. Someone with an excessive need for admiration, and one who seeks ultimate power.

Such a person will be exploitative of others to achieve personal gain, and have a pompous and arrogant demeanor. They might even exhort to “alternative facts” and take both sides of an argument at different times.

You do not have to be a psychiatrist to recognize this behavior and find it offensive and demeaning. What is surprising, is that members of our Congress (yes, the United States Congress) accept it from a certain individual, and even help to nurture it.

In 1776, a Declaration of Independence was written to overthrow tyranny so that people in the United States could live in a place where “all men are created equal” and would not live under despotism. A war was fought and many men died to obtain this liberty. This declaration was to free us from the king of Great Britain:

Whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is thus unfit to ruler of a free people.

Who endeavored to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners.

Who made Judges dependent on his will alone for the tenure of their offices.

Who has refused his Assent of Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

We appear to be on track to duplicate many, if not all, of the reasons we fought for our independence. We are all equal, no one of us is better than the other. It is time that our Congress exercises its duty under the Constitution to confront this person. It is not about winning for the Republicans or the Democrats, but sustaining our hard-won freedom for the American People.

— Jay Charkow Woodbridge

The woman from Cheshire who killed the young man from Bethany received no jail time. The small fine she had to pay and probation isn’t much for a life taken. Where was MADD? I know someone who was involved in an accident and did not kill anyone and received four years. Where is the justice?

— George Daddio East Haven