Featured Letters: Readers take aim at Gustavson column

To the editor:

In his column last week, Troy Gustavson wrote that “the Democratic Party is largely disorganized and dysfunctional” in Southold Town. He said this as a reason for us accepting Judge Bill Price on our Democratic line. This is not the truth.

What we do not currently have are any Democrats elected to town government, leaving the Republican Party in total control and making all appointments. This is not good in a democracy. When it exists, abuses occur and the status quo leads to inaction — as in deer, ticks and the Vineyard 48 abuses. Some call it the “Good Old Boy System.”

Indicative of this was the all-Republican Town Board’s decision to have the leadership of the Republican Party screen candidates for the vacant seat of Democrat Al Krupski at Republican headquarters. Though it may have been Republican Party leadership that told the Town Board this was the way it was to be, Democrats who were interested saw through this charade and did not bother to screen.

Regarding his claim of disorganization: Most of our committee positions are filled. If there is a Democrat interested on Fishers Island, please contact me. We have three district leaders. We have monthly meetings and often guest speakers. Fundraisers and parties are well attended, We have subcommittees as the need arises. One is responsible for attending Town Board, Planning Board and, at times, ZBA meetings. They report to us at our monthly meetings.

The Southold Democratic Party is an open party. We welcome new arrivals and encourage all to get involved. We believe all are a “natural resource” and many bring a variety of talents and ideas often gained elsewhere.

Regarding Judge Bill Price: How the Republican Party would reject this respected Republican judge with 32 years’ experience is beyond comprehension. We were most happy he chose to run on our line. We did not ask him to change his registration, so he will run as a registered Republican on the Democratic line. Troy, I seriously doubt a man of Judge Price’s experience and caliber would even consider running with the Southold Democrats if we were disorganized and dysfunctional.

Judge Price commented after one his first meetings with the Southold Democrats on how different our meetings were from Republican meetings. He said that at Republican meetings, the leadership says what is going to be, but Democrats actually discuss and arrive at a consensus.

Art Tillman, Mattituck

Mr. Tillman is chairman of the Southold Democratic Committee.


To the editor:

Two nations under God, really? Troy wants a nation of equal opportunity for all but he admittedly will deport anyone who does not agree with his views. For the sake of argument, let’s name the two new nations: One is “Nation Superior” and the other is the “Nation of Dummies” ( formerly, “Ye Olde United States”).

The leaders and citizens of Nation Superior will all be progressive thinkers and superior minds. If you do not agree with a superior mind, out you go, banished to the Nation of Dummies.

Sounds like a familiar scenario, doesn’t it? A scenario that has been repeated many times throughout the history of the world.

As the superior minds are basking in wonderment at their brilliant ideas, the Nation of Dummies will be designing, building and creating, because they live in a country that promotes life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, ONE nation under God. Naturally, the dummies will welcome any superior mind to live amongst them. Uh, here we go again!

Troy has made me realize why I am so happy to be dumb.

Bob Guarriello, Southold


To the editor:

Regarding Troy Gustavson’s babbling about our divided nation: He needs to secede to a remote island and clip his coupons and collect his government check.

Brenda Cibelli, Mattituck


To the editor:

You speak for yourself and I for the 51 percent of this country who believe that they earned their place in this society and that it is not a God-given or Obama-given right to place your hand in my pocket to find the funds for your health care.

Where do you come off suggesting that we find our own place where we can be self-sufficient and thrive while you all drop out and hang on to the shards thrown to you by the government? This is a fundamental divide. No, not slavery, but fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. That’s right, Mr. Gustavson, work.

This half of the country isn’t afraid to work. Just look at Israel. There they sit in the midst of a swirling porridge of greed and destruction as its main ingredient and they flourish. They have created 77 percent of the world’s patented material and extend their hand to others in need by developing medical technologies to heal rather than harm; to educate rather than denigrate; to enlighten and enhance rather than suck the very core of life from every productive citizen.

Yes, I’ll take that second half plus the extra 1 percent and form a more perfect union. I would never impose my standard of good care, or adequate income, or sufficient nutrition, or whether to nurse or bottle-feed my babies, or whether you should marry or who it is your should marry, or whether there is too much salt or sugar in your diet, or whether you choose to have a child or not.

If you remember the TV series “The Prisoner” — “ I am not a number, I am a man ( in this case, woman).”

You never had my permission to take away from me what was given to me by the founders of this great nation and I pray that we find a true captain to steer this ship, which is most certainly headed to the rocks, to safe waters.

Carla Rosen, Peconic


To the editor:

This letter is in response to Troy Gustavson’s column regarding the government shutdown. So many words have been traded back and forth on the issue. I am waiting for the voice of leadership, the unifying principles that sparked our Constitution. This voice is neither Republican nor Democrat. This voice is the God of the Bible, the God of our Founding Fathers, the God who loves America and who laments over our “progressive” move past a simple humble confession that He has answers to. We don’t, clearly.

Let us regress and turn back. Implore His mercy and wisdom and ask for direction. Let’s pray now for those in government on both sides of the aisle.

Imagine returning to prayer to the one and only God before sessions in government, our work day, our school day. That is our history and our Judeo-Christian heritage. This was our strength. It is never too late. “If My people humble themselves and pray and turn from their wicked ways, I will forgive their sin and heal their land” — 2 Chronicles 7:14.

Lorraine Zito, Mattituck


To the editor:

Reading Troy Gustavson’s column last week simultaneously brought a tear to my eye and a smile to my face.

My husband, Freddy, was a dyed in the wool, right of center, left of extreme, retro conservative Republican — until one morning during a local election season. He was entering the Southold post office (or was it the pharmacy?) and several GOP officials were campaigning, with leaflets in hand. Being a kindred spirit, he stopped to chat with them. They dissed and ignored him.

Never one to hide his lantern under a haystack, he proceeded to lambaste them. He felt that his shaggy, long-haired and bearded look had caused the Republicans to believe he was a leftist liberal (God forbid) and thus not worthy of their breath.

This was the beginning of his change in voting pattern, splitting his ticket (for the first time) to vote against those who dissed him.

Bernie Kettenbeil, Southold

The late Fred Kettenbeil Sr. of Southold worked for many years as a delivery man for Times/Review Newspapers.