Squawk-back policies

Considered opinions welcome.

No anonymous blogging. (If your opinion is worth reading, it is worth signing with your real name.)

We reserve the right to edit for length, grammar, etc. (Will not change your meaning!)

E-mail us at MH@SQUAWK-OP.COM
with complete address and phone number (for verification or contact, not publication. Only name, town, and state will appear with your comments.)

Incidentally, if the word "suck" is a staple of your opinion-vocabulary, please don't contact SQUAWK-BACK.


  Sept. 26, 2011
Hi Marion,

I am checking your blog out and enjoying it very much. Joe and I were singing the praises of your writing: succinct and daring. I say : Keep Up the Good Words.

I am rebuilding my webpage. The new one should be out soon.
See you soon.

Leigh Strimbeck


[May 2011]   Rachel Weisman
  East Chatham, NY
"OMG, Marion!
You're trying to have (gulp!) intelligent conversations with people! Electronically! This is radical! I promise I will participate, especially regarding the status of women & girls on this testosterone-glutted planet.
Thanks for doing this."


Wow, is my reaction to your web-site. Where do you find the time to work on it? Very professional looking and informative too. I like Uel's scholarship program which is like manna from heaven to budding musicians.
And you are edgy too, like Rachel, et al.

Don MacIntosh
Menlo Park, CA
  [June 30, 2011]


  [June 2011]   Joe Jurchak
  Valatie, NY

Superb argument. I had a Truth in Advertising course in high school that left a big impression. Often the discussions turned to bias in the news which in 1973 was a universe away from the present.

I remain convinced that education is the best long-term response to our biggest political, economic and social problems.


Your web-site is creatively done - as to the message- a little extreme, but what the heck, it's a free country!

Barbara Davis
Kalamazoo, MI   [June 2011]

Thanks! (I think)
Actually, if you access the research on individual issues, you will find my positions utterly mainstream--except perhaps for immigration, which leans Republican.

For some time now, our country has suffered from an unholy coalition of the predatory rich with the hopelessly ignorant and the religiously crippled. They are the extremists. They seem eager to throw a large proportion of the population under the bus and return to dog-eat-dog, master/slave, stuffed/starved divisions of the human species. That's extreme! And immoral.
(Please forgive all my mixed images.)

Glad you're in favor of a free country. (Sick and poverty-stricken people are
not free.)

   [MH June 2011]

PS: Tell me more, Barbara!


Most of our pets have been animals that were abandoned and picked up by our local humane society, Columbia-Greene.

CGHS is desperately in need of funds to keep their commitment to non-euthanization. (They even have prisoners trained to resocialize rescued animals!)

Please go to and donate.


Great blog Marion, very impressive.

Karen Malina   [June 2011]
Chatham, NY


On May 9, 2011, at 9:13 AM, Ernestine Pantel wrote:

Thanks, but I have no interest in this publication. Take my name off your mailing list.
Ernestine Pantel
Old Chatham, NY

Will do.
We'll miss you.

(Was it something I said?)


Reply to Rippulone

  MH August 4, 2012

"The increasing world economic competition means we as a county [country?] must become smarter and not more political."

So says Shirley Rippulone (Hillsdale) in a recent, long, thougtful essay about the economy. If everyone were as smart and informed as Shirley, the above statement would be correct too. But it is wrong. Dems, at least, must be more political.

There are so many voters out there who are simply greedy--or simply ignorant--or who are suffering lives so swamped by survival needs that they have few or no minutes to imbibe smart, well-reasoned essays.

The greedy ones will not get beyond your first paragraph, Shirley. Their eyes will glaze over. They feel contempt for reason. (Reason is for chumps.) They will vote GOP no matter what. Write them off.

The survivalists are too busy trying to put food on the table to read your essays or mine. But they and the ignorant may attend to the aggressive BITE of Democratic POLITICS.

In the struggle against lying rich-rule, polite-nic Dems will lose. (Thanks to polite-nics, we had eight years of dumb-guy Bush, who was easily manipulated by the 1%. We are being set up for another dumb-little-rich-guy in Mitt Romney.)

Dems will lose unless we blast forth with our smart, moral, truth-telling POLITICS!

Before her

  Age of American Unreason
  (see Reading What? page),

  Allen Cohen
  New Jersey
  August 14, 2011

I recently read a fascinating book called Freethinkers by Susan Jacoby. It's essentially a history of secular thought in America, but one of the most interesting aspects of it is revealing the parallel histories of American abolitionism, liberalism, and women's movements. You've probably read it already. But your webpage reminded me of some of the women in that history.

Yes. That book came before Age of American Unreason.  It's on my list. Thanks for the reminder.


  Jules Madey
  July 31,2011

Who does Chris Gibson represent?

Gibson and his ideologue Republican colleagues, by their refusal to accept a rational package of spending cuts and revenue increases, are steadily pushing this nation toward the edge of a sheer cliff. Gibson foolishly joined the majority of other Republicans in signing the infamous Grover Norquist, Americans for Tax Reform, 'No new

    [use arrows to continue]

taxes' pledge, effectively transferring his allegiance to Norquist and those funding ATR. Gibson also voted for the no compromise House 'cut and cap' bill and then lamely defended his position on his website by citing that 66% of American polled by CNN (question 23) felt a balanced budget amendment was in order but
conveniently ignoring that 64% of Americans polled (question 14) preferred a plan that included spending cuts and tax increases. Other results of this poll indicate Republicans are on the wrong side of this battle. To be brutally frank, I expected more honesty from a professional military man who defended his country in combat and holds a PhD in Government from Cornell.

It is highly likely that even if the debt limit is raised, without a rational agreement of some sort on debt reduction, interest rates are likely to climb quickly, pulling the rug out from under an already damaged housing market and insuring a double dip recession with even more job losses. It is time that Congressman Gibson demonstrates the courage he displayed in combat by rejecting Norquist and the 'emasculate government' ideology of the Right, and faithfully representing the interest of his real constituents, the 20th District of New York.

Jules Madey


Yes, you and I must hold Republican Representative Chris Gibson accountable for voting for a budget that would destroy Medicare and slash taxes for
large corporations and the ultra rich.
Republican Representative Paul Ryan's 2012 budget proposal was one of the most brutal attacks on our social safety net in decades. Almost all the Republicans in the House joined in by voting for it.

Call Gibson's office. Let him know you are angry about this inhumane vote:
Washington, DC (202) 225-5614
Delhi, NY (607) 746-9537
Glens Falls, NY (518) 743-0964
Kinderhook, NY (518) 610-8133
Saratoga Springs, NY (518) 306-5450
  Allen Schaefer
  Kinderhook NY
[June 2011]

Immigration, a la NEW YORK TIMES

  MH Nov. 15, 2011

Opining about border-jumpers into Alabama, a NY Times editorial avoided a rather important word: "illegal."

Nation-wide, immigrants without papers are "illegal." What is it that NY Times editorialists don't understand about the word "illegal"?

From there, they make the totally unsupported, illogical leap to calling border state residents who object to illegals "bigoted." Notice that the Times does not consider citizens who advocate prosecuting other law-breakers (burglars, for instance) "bigoted." (Aw. Those poor burglars! When we put them in jail, their families are disrupted!)
In addition to lack of logic and slippery rhetoric, readers are left with the unavoidable conclusion that the NY Times favors wide-open borders, although they haven't the courage to say it directly. (If we abolish processes for screening immigrants and prosecuting illegals, we are left with--yes--wide open borders.)

One expects better from the NY Times, but fairness and reason are conspicuously missing from Times editorial opinion on Illegal immigration.



Love the blog!
Put my e-mail on your mailing list!!

 [April 2011] Jon Morrell
  Chatham, NY


The Squawk kicks butt. I love the mix of obviously feminine and obviously strong as heck. It is informative and beautiful (a mix I love).

One question: could the Table of Contents be clickable?

  [April 2011]   Laura Lavigne
  Anacortes, WA

As Archie Bunker says, "Good pernt."
I must look into more clickables.


Hey Marion:
Judy's letter about the Price/Chopper expansion was spot-on and I would add this to her argument:
I recently read a statistic that over 40 million Americans suffer from arthritis, and, with baby boomers aging, that number is going to grow exponentially. The mega stores, with their hard concrete floors, can be daunting. Additionally, you often have to walk the length of a football field before finding a needed item and then you have to schlep all the way to the opposite end of the store for another item. That makes for a big time commitment for food shopping.
That's why I like the Chatham Price Chopper just the way it is. It has everything I need and I can be in and out in less than 15 minutes.
  7/14/11 Mary Hack
  E. Chatham

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