Robin Yess said she was a friend to the lesbian-gay community and what a shame they did not recognize this when she invited Carl Paladino to Ulster County. Paladino’s hurtful, inflamed and bigoted speech against equality to the Hasidic community in New York City was the tip of the iceberg just days before the GOP’s dark circus came to town. Well, I must have missed something. With fellow Americans like this, we don’t need enemies!
What if Carl Paladino had said black people were dysfunctional and his church doesn’t allow them to marry, would Ms. Yess still have accompanied him all over Ulster County? Many would say yes. Not too long ago a pastor down south refused to marry an interracial couple because he said it went against the teachings of his church. Gee, maybe you and Carl belong to that church too? I’m a firm believer that a bigot is a bigot is a bigot.
Just for the record, Ms. Yess, there are plenty of churches that will marry same-sex couples. I can think of two ministers that went on to marry over 200 couples when Jason West was slapped with a restraining order to stop marrying same-sex couples just seven years ago. Oops, I’m sorry, that must not be the same church Carl attends. As we all know the Catholic Church is overflowing with gay priests. Again, what do both of you know about the sanctity of marriage? Your beau was in a ten-year adulterous affair and had a child out of wedlock. Very strange how you look up to him — blows us away too. And for the record most of the people who protested you and your new beau Paladino in New Paltz, were straight, not gay, straight elected officials and straight mothers with children.
Of course there is the separation of church and state, but I guess the local GOP doesn’t believe in that either. The true colors of the republithugs have been shown the last few months. I actually feel sorry for you that you proudly and ignorantly wear those colors as well.
So, thanks Ms. Yess for your help in planning for the estates of same-sex couples. What was the charge on that service? How much did you profit from this kindness you offered? And how many gay and lesbian couples could have avoided that cost with a simple will, had they been allowed to legally marry?
I have spoken to many people in regard to your hatred and bigoted views and people are shocked. They had no idea that this is really the person you are and they have thanked me for speaking up and standing up to you and bringing it to their attention. I have now received many new friends and supporters the letters are pouring in.
I think I’ll take a pass on the friendship you once offered. With friends like you I don’t need enemies!
Billiam van Roestenberg
Nukes is pukes
It was a particularly bad week for Bob Berman (Almanac, Oct. 14) to drop a line in his otherwise informative column in support of nuclear (fission) power. Tritium is in the drinking water at Vermont Yankee and at elevated levels around the Pilgrim plant near Plymouth. The Zion nuclear power plant built in 1973 near Lake Michigan is being dismantled rather than restarted. After the collapse of support for the Calvert Cliffs plant in Maryland, nuclear plants being promoted in South Carolina and Texas are folding as well. It is as simple as “follow the money.” Even with government subsidies and insurance guarantees private capital is not investing in nuclear.
As quoted at www.nirs.org, “Commenting on last week’s setback to yet another new reactor project, former Nuclear Regulatory Commission Commissioner and former Chair of the New York Public Service Commission Peter Bradford said: “The four pillars of the nuclear revival: underestimated costs, ignored risks, political ballyhoo and prodigious but inadequate subsidies now make clear that we are dealing not with a renaissance but with a bubble. The main remaining question is just how much taxpayer money will go into keeping it inflated.”
And that is just the front end. We have just given up on Yucca Flats as a nuclear waste repository and “glassification” of military waste at Hanford, Wash., looks to be dangerous and hugely expensive.
Nuclear power has always been tied to the nuclear weapons fuel cycle as we see currently in Iran and any plant has to be seen as a possible terrorist target and national security threat.
For Bob to further insinuate that major environmental groups are changing their minds on nuclear is misleading. Sierra Club, Greenpeace and Al Gore are against nukes. Ads by Entergy touting it a “low-carbon emission” alternative to coal ignore the mining, building and waste cycle and is a cynical “greenwashing” of an incredibly dangerous and dirty technology.
It is true that Stewart Brand, Whole Earth Catalog founder, says he now considers nuclear power as a necessary bridge. But any technology that produces radioactive waste which is highly toxic for tens of thousands of years during a time of forecasted rising sea levels within the next few generations simply defies logic. It is not just a “bridge to nowhere” but to pollution on a geologic timescale.
So let’s start by pushing for “caulking for clunkers” and better insulate our existing housing stock, catch up with Europe and make PassivHaus our building standard. By reducing our consumption, we get the best return on energy investment while promoting decentralized local solutions with wood gasifiers, wind, low head hydro and the latest “smart” solar panels.
And I’ll look forward to reading Bob’s new book under a VU1 lamp sharing our mutual appreciation for the best (and only) source of “safe” nuclear (fusion) power, the Sun.
Bob Berman replies:
At least I’m debating a smart, well-intentioned person.
I’ll limit this to “risk” and “alternatives.”
It’s disingenuous to compare modern nuclear power’s health risk with having no power plant at all, of any kind. Or to compare nuclear with “insulation” meaning conservation, as Julian does, which again means no generating plant. Shut down a few nukes and you need to immediately generate massive power by some other means. In practice, this means coal, or sometimes oil. Over 10,000 people die each year of lung-related problems caused by those carbon-spewing plants. That’s the true, actual comparison. Zero deaths from nuclear, numerous deaths from coal. These are real people, not intellectual abstractions.
In a half century, not one person has been killed in the U.S. or Europe from a nuclear power plant. Time and reality, not theory or guesswork, has proven that there simply is no safer way to produce lots of power. And even factoring the processing, nuclear is still extremely carbon friendly.
Waste is indeed the realistic problem, but it steadily decays into harmlessness: Look it up in a physics book. I’d put it into a geologically stable salt mountain until rocketry is reliable enough to shoot it into the Sun.
We agree that the Sun is the future. Meanwhile, we have to address the needs of the next 20 years. Realistically and factually, not wishfully.