Here we are at that time of year again, past Thanksgiving yet before Christmas. It’s the perfect place to be, as we are given the opportunity to continue with an attitude of thanks and to recognize the many free gifts that are already around us.
One gift that I am so grateful for is our Saugerties Public Library. No other place accommodates the many needs and desires our family has as readers and explorers. By merely checking out a book we are able to enter into other cultures, other time periods, other view points. From classical to fantasy, literally, the whole world lies right around the corner from us in our library.
The online catalog system and delivery system cannot be beat. With the stroke of my finger, books are reserved and delivered to the library at no cost. There are scores of other libraries to pool from so it really is like an endless supply of books, CDs, DVDs and more!
Another great asset is the different community programs which are available for people of all ages. So come on out to the library and check out a good book this winter. Meet the very fine librarians and students who help keep a great institution going. They are the best. And remember, it’s all free...It’s the perfect gift.
CELEBRATE A GREEN HOLIDAY
Last week’s Ulster Publishing supplement, “Holiday Gift Guide,” is a treasure for those of us wishing for a greener holiday season. The articles contain practical suggestions that are easy and inspiring. And when you can, keep your dollars local.
Advice for eco-giving included ways to cultivate a better way of holiday shopping: giving to local food pantries; wrapping with what you have such as stringing together images from magazines in your recycle bin; toasting the organic and the local with wines from the region; and finding eco-gifts for kids, such as building kits with recycled materials such as plastic bottles, cups and Popsicle sticks.
Additional favorites of ours were a gift certificate to a local restaurant or free baby-sitting with a set of tickets to a concert or movie. Creative gifts included writing a poem or story or making a collage. What about a gift basket with a favorite recipe and all the ingredients needed to make that dish.
You’ll want to read the rest yourself. And share these ideas with family and friends. Go to http://specialsections.ulsterpublishing.com.
Thank you, Ulster Publishing, for helping us enjoy a greener holiday season.
Climate Action Coalition
SOCIAL SECURITY SWAN SONG
Social Security will be killed with three daggers: the cost of the U.S. wars in the Middle East (three trillion), the cost of the Wall Street bailouts (three trillion), and the cost of tax cuts for the very rich (four trillion).
The plot against the life of America’s most successful social program has been going on for decades. Clinton was ready to privatize Social Security, until his libido got in the way. Bush has stated that the one disappointment in his presidency was his inability to destroy the program. And now we are in the hands of that consummate appeaser of right wing, corporate interests, Barak Obama.
Obama has escalated the wars, completed the Wall Street bailouts, and continued the massive tax giveaways to the rich. Even more dangerous, he has plotted to blame Social Security for the enormous deficits that have resulted. His supposedly “bipartisan” deficit reduction commission ignored the real causes of this country’s financial woes to zero in on its intended victim, the crown jewel of FDR’s New Deal.
The most treacherous part of Obama’s recent sellout to Republicans, a 30 percent reduction in payroll tax, will cut off Social Security’s funding, supposedly for only one year. But try to get that funding back. Without it, current workers will no longer be supporting retired workers and the whole system will collapse. Rather than being secure for at least the next 30 years, Social Security will be struck down.
And the last stab will be Obama’s. Et tu, Barack?