Archive for December, 2010

Gigli’s Photo of the Week

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

Photography by Rich Gigli

Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland – “When it snows, ain’t it thrilling,Though your nose gets a chilling, We’ll frolic and play, the Eskimo way, Walking in a winter wonderland.”  – Felix Bernard and Richard B. Smith, (1934).

Narcissism: the Norm?

Monday, December 27th, 2010

By Gretchen Gibbs

Recently as I wrote down a diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, I realized it might be for the last time. In the last couple of weeks The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Psychology Today have featured articles on the diagnostic system of the American Psychiatric Association and how it’s changing to eliminate some of the personality disorders, defined as “maladaptive patterns of living.” Dropping Narcissistic Personality Disorder seems to be garnering the most attention.

So who cares? Some psychologists, including me, think the diagnostic system is an arbitrary group of categories into which we drop people to provide the illusion that we understand them. Still, the system has shorthand communication value, and some of the diagnoses are linked to effective treatments.  

What interests me is the power of the diagnostic system both to reflect societal shifts and to shape those shifts. While I was in graduate school in 1968, the second APA Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) came out, still including Homosexuality as a sexual deviation, alongside Sadism and Pedophilia. We learned in our classes the role of the overly involved, seductive mother in producing a homosexual son. Even in 1980, the third edition of DSM had a category for “ego-dystonic homosexuality,” which meant if it made you unhappy to be gay you could still be treated. Homosexuality was finally dropped as a disorder in 1987, reflecting the increased tolerance of our society. What an enormous impact dropping the diagnosis had, as mental health workers all over the country suddenly stopped labeling gays and lesbians as deviant. Without that change, we wouldn’t be talking about gays getting married, adopting children, or serving openly in the military.

Other changes in the diagnostic system reflected the feminist movement and shifting attitudes towards women. Can’t you just hear the disapproval of the male psychiatric establishment in the Hysterical Personality label, used to describe “self-dramatizing, attention-getting and seductive” women? That diagnosis bit the dust, along with Passive-Aggressive Disorder, also used more frequently for women than men. When your access to legitimate power is limited, finding some roundabout ways of getting your way becomes understandable.

What does it mean that the APA is dropping the Narcissistic Personality diagnosis? The label was created in 1980, apparently as our culture became more aware of entitlement and self aggrandizement as problems. Thirty or so years later, we seem to be saying, “Not problems, just the norm.”

Narcissistic Personality Disorder “is a pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration and lack of empathy.” According to The Wall Street Journal, quoting a 2007 Pew Research study, 51 percent of young adults said their first or second goal in life was to become famous.

There is narcissism all around us. I see it in politicians and sports figures and entertainers and the number of young people who want to go into the entertainment industry. I see it in young psychologists, who no longer say they want to help people; they want to “follow their passion.” I see it in reality TV and the endless people on cell phones or texting or twittering about their most mundane activities. I see it in the lack of empathy of American culture when it considers universal health care and minimum wages and giving to charity. Can you imagine how Tom Brokaw’s greatest generation would regard the narcissism of today?

Apparently, narcissism is now so general that the pathological level can’t be distinguished from the “normal” level. I believe, however, that dropping the disorder as a diagnosis will lead to further societal acceptance of the behavior. Removing the label of mental illness for homosexuality made it acceptable, no longer a social problem. We are about to do the same thing for narcissism.

* * *

Gretchen Gibbs is a clinical psychologist and Professor Emeritus at Fairleigh Dickinson University.  She is currently writing, and working at a domestic violence agency. 


Green New Year’s Resolutions

Sunday, December 26th, 2010

by Shawn Dell Joyce

Lucky for us, Santa is very kind, or we would have received a lump of coal in our stockings for being major contributors to climate change. Instead of giving us more stuff, I imagine Santa probably snuck into our houses and swapped out those incandescent bulbs for compact fluorescents. He’s probably pretty peeved about the warming happening at the North Pole, and that his flying reindeer may soon join all the other Arctic creatures on the endangered species list. Indeed, we Americans have been very, very naughty.

Most of us realize that we can’t go on this way. We are running out of planet to consume, and will need 3-5 more earths to keep up our current consumption. We cannot continue to gorge ourselves at the all-you-can-eat buffet created by our fossil-fueled agricultural system. Nor can we keep adding more and more coal burning plants to feed our lust for power. Or continue driving gas-guzzling SUV’s. We have already burned through our share of the world resources and are now dipping deeply into our children’s and grandchildren’s meager allotments.

Each household has to commit to change, changing light bulbs and changing paradigms. Let’s embrace a culture built on conservation of resources instead of waste and excess. Here are a few New Year’s resolutions that will set us on the right track:

  1. Go on a “low carbon” diet; Woodstock author David Gershon leads you through energy-slimming actions to lose 5,000 pounds of carbon or more. Considering the average American household has a carbon footprint of 22,000 pounds per year, there’s plenty carbon to cut.


  1. Take the “100 mile diet” challenge; Eating local is the single best thing you can do to curb climate change in the Wallkill Valley. The average American fork-full of food traveled 1500 miles to reach your mouth. By eating locally, we save emissions of transporting food, livelihoods of local farmers, eat fresher, more nutritious food, and we become intimately connected to the land and the seasons.


  1. Set the “zero waste” goal; Make recycling, composting, washing & reusing a common practice. Carry your own mug or reusable water container to avoid generating more petroleum-based plastics. Stash a set of tote bags in your car for shopping, and refuse to accept any disposables.


  1. Take the 10 percent challenge; Try spending 10 percent of your income at locally-owned businesses. Move your mortgage to a local bank or credit union, buy from consignment stores instead of chain stores, and eat at locally-owned restaurants. This keeps your money flowing locally, where it grows and multiplies as local businesses frequent other local businesses. This one act will improve your local economy, save our Main Streets, and your neighbor’s job.


  1. Convert to renewable energy; Curb 30 percent of your family’s emissions by switching to renewable energy. If solar panels or a wind turbine are out of your price range, consider buying wind energy through your utility for about $15 per month.


  1. Exercise your political will! We need real leadership at all levels of government willing to address climate change. It is time for creative direct actions. We can convert every light bulb in America to a compact fluorescent, but until we have a moratorium on coal burning power plants we are still contributing to global warming.


  1. Create Community. Be the change you want to see. Take time to know your neighbors, walk to the store and see what small businesses you could be frequenting that you didn’t even know existed. Spend precious time and energy getting involved in your community by volunteering and becoming politically active. Become deeply rooted in your community and bloom where you are planted!

Shawn Dell Joyce is a nationally-syndicated newspaper columnist and director of the Wallkill River School in Montgomery.

Carrie’s Painting of the Week

Saturday, December 25th, 2010

Into the Dawn

By Carrie Jacobson

Once, I had a thought about the last car on the highway. In my mind’s picture, I drove along at night, stars above, the miles spinning away beneath my tires, and it was something I wanted, a feeling I craved, hurtling into the unknown, alone and silent, leaving everything behind.

Now, I realize that I was in a dark and lonely place when that picture-thought came to me. At the time, I believed I was OK.

Today, I think I’m driving into the dawn, not alone, but the last of those before me and the first of many to come. We might not see each other, we might not know each other, but we are traveling together on this road, and there is comfort and joy in that for me.

I wish all Zesters and all Zest readers the best of things to come in this new year.

Snow Job

Friday, December 24th, 2010

By Jeffrey Page

The weekend blizzard that brought Orange County to a halt reminded me that January is the sixth anniversary of a lesser storm, but one that nevertheless closed the airport, stranded travelers, trapped cars and made life splendidly miserable for a few days in New Jersey.

I was at The Record of Hackensack then and got the assignment that editors love and reporters hate: The weather story. In the weather story, you’re given about 15 inches of space to tell readers what they already know. If the weather was truly lethal, a second reporter would write about that. But the overall story – Sir, how cold, wet and miserable are you? – was to be treated lightly, though never as lightly as local TV stations that love to toss in the ancient clichés like “Jack Frost,” Mother Nature,” and “the white stuff.”

You get strange looks from people when you ask them about the weather. They stare at you as if to say: How would I describe the weather? I hate it. Would I rather be in Key West? Yes, I would rather be in Key West. How do I manage to keep warm? I do not do so. Am I freezing? Yes I am freezing.

But inspiration struck in 2004. I put in a call to the Downtown Hotel and spoke with the manager, Rea Brandon who was taken aback when I told her where I was calling from and what I wanted. “Wait a minute,” she said. “You’re calling us because you had 10 inches of snow and it’s a little chilly?”

Uh, yes.

The Downtown Hotel is in Dawson in the Yukon Territory of Canada. It’s just 200 miles south of the Arctic Circle. It was 58 below zero in Dawson when I spoke with Brandon. A few days before I called, the city had gotten three feet of new snow in 48 hours. These were not records, Brandon said.

I asked how she deals with such cold and it turned out that her advice was what you’d hear in New Jersey. But up north, the matter of survival is not just an academic question. For example, dressing in layers here in the northeast makes for comfortable time in the cold. In Dawson it can mean the difference between getting where you have to go and freezing to death.

She said it was essential to stay dry. You had to wear a hat. Gloves were essential. A scarf. She said that when it gets really cold, like 58 below, it’s good to go to work in your car and leave the snowmobile for another time. She did note, however, that some eccentrics take pleasure in the cold and snow. Like her neighbor who traveled 14 miles to work every morning on a snowmobile and thus creating an unspeakable wind-chill factor.
Why did he do that, I wondered.

“No one asks,” Brandon said.

Still, when winter is its most severe, you must get out of the house. To never set foot outside is to risk serious depression. Brandon said you have to see people, go to a movie, even take a short walk. Just get out. Oh, and you can drink. Dawsonites drink a lot, she said.

The saloon in the Downtown Hotel offers the Sour Toe Cocktail, a concoction involving a glass of bourbon with a human toe in it. The story is that a trapper with a frozen toe cut it off to save his foot and later preserved the toe in a whiskey jar in Dawson. Some Dawsonites bequeath their toes to their favorite taverns to this day. Such activities keep people social, another important way to get through winter.

Advice posted in most Dawson taverns: “Drink it fast or drink it slow, but your lips must touch the toe.”

I also spoke with Dave Buckerfield in Hay River in the Northwest Territories. He said he was thankful the temperature that morning was 31 below zero because this indicated a warming trend. It had been down to minus 42. The normal temperature for late January was 25 below.

Buckerfield said he deals with the cold by removing his gold earring every October because the metal would conduct the winter cold right through his ear. He puts it back in the spring. He, too, said keeping dry and covered are essential to preventing frostbite though he has had it several times. But people in Hay River do strange things. For example, in March, when spring is about to return and the temperature shoots up to a balmy 10 below zero, some people hang up their Mackinaws and go out in a couple of shirts.

Ten below in March makes people feel a little warm, Buckerfield said.

Jeffrey can be reached at

Gigli’s Photo of the Week

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Photography by Rich Gigli

Seasons Greetings

Hand made Santa dolls by Carole Anne Gigli.

There’s lame and there’s LAME

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

Coach Coughlin berates punter Tom Dodge after the game.

By Bob Gaydos

A few lingering questions to ponder before the end of the year:

WHO’S TO BLAME? Is there anything sadder and more frustrating for a football fan than seeing an old, humorless, rigid coach berating a 22-year-old player on the football field, on national TV, immediately following that player’s failure to kick an out-of-bounds punt with 14 second left in the game, that failure leading to a winning touchdown for the other team on the last play of the game?

Actually yes. It’s that same old, humorless, rigid coach stating at a press conference after the game that he took “full responsibility” for the botched punt and in the next breath saying the kicker (who was reportedly in tears in the locker room) didn’t do what he was told.

Pretty big bus you tossed the kid under, Tom Coughlin. Way to demonstrate mature leadership. Way to make other young football players want to become a New York Giant. Gee, maybe some day I can miss a tackle and have Coughlin chew me out on Fox or CBS so that everyone knows he wasn‘t the one who missed the tackle. That’s not a particularly effective approach with your own kids and it’s highly unlikely to motivate professional athletes.

Yeah, Tom Coughlin has to go as Giants coach because for all his emphasis on discipline and stability, his teams have been among the most undisciplined and unstable on the football field over the past few years — even when they won the Super Bowl. But it’s more than that. He has gone from being a cranky-but-talented coach to a cranky, old man who seems to spend most of the game shaking his head on the sidelines and looking like he has indigestion. Those are generally signs it’s time get out and let someone who can demonstrate leadership, not annoyance, take over.

If there are lessons to be learned from a crushing defeat — and there always are — in this case it might be that teams win and lose as a unit, not as individuals, and that, as a rule, coaching and disciplining and blame-placing should be done in private, not in public. You can make occasional exceptions for spoiled professionals who think the rules don’t apply to them (Hello T.O., Ochowhatever and Mr. Moss), but never for amateurs and youth league athletes. (Coaches of said athletes, take note.) And if you say you take “full responsibility” as a coach, make sure you damn well mean it.

WHICH DUCK IS LAME? The midterm election, which delivered the House of Representatives back to the Republicans, was supposedly a referendum on how poorly Barack Obama had performed in his first two years as president. After all, he had only pushed through a record stimulus bill to stabilize a free-falling economy, managed passage of health care reform (something presidents had been trying to do for decades) and engineered banking reform, simplified college tuition loans and put protections in place for credit card users. He even got a bill passed on child nutrition. Oh, and he started pulling American troops out of Iraq.

This record was considered a disastrous failure, mostly by Tea Party members, who look on Obama as a Socialist and would apparently prefer that there be no government at all, and ultra-liberals, who thought Obama should bludgeon Republicans into saying yes once in awhile even if their DNA prevented them from doing so. But the man is nothing if not persistent and consistent.

Having been chastised and humbled by his “defeat” at the polls in November, the president has since signed a bill extending Bush era tax cuts for all Americans and extending unemployment benefits for millions. The bill does include tax cuts for the wealthiest, which will increase the exploding national deficit (which Republicans also kept saying was a very, very bad thing), but it also includes so many other benefits for the middle class and businesses that ultra-conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer has praised Obama for outsmarting the Republicans, calling it the bill that ensures Obama’s re-election.

But there’s more. For all his liberal supporters, Obama somehow got Congress to repeal the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell law, which will allow gays to serve openly in the military, and gained approval of an updated nuclear arms treaty with Russia, despite efforts by some Republicans to hold it hostage if Congress approved DADT. He also got approval of a health bill for 9/11 responders, a bill Senate Republicans inexplicably rejected several times in their desire to punish the president. Some strategy.

I have not been immune from criticizing Obama for not occasionally slapping around just-say-no Republicans for refusing to work with him, even on legislation they support. But Mr. Bipartisan just may be smarter than all of us as he wears out his left arm signing new laws in the wake of a resounding Republican victory that doesn’t give them more power until next year, when they can start being bipartisan for real.

SAY WHAT? George Orwell made my 20 Most Influential Thinkers of the 20th Century list because he saw so many things others did not and put his insights into writing. One of his observations popped up on my iGoogle page the other day: “In certain kinds of writing, particularly in art criticism and literary criticism, it is normal to come across long passages which are almost completely lacking in meaning.”

A couple of days later I thought of old George when I read the following (yeah, I read art stuff!) in The New York Times Arts section: “In her sculptures over the last several years, Ms. Bhabha has created a highly distinctive visual universe, one that is most gripping when its various cultural references are fully absorbed and altered. This absorption feels only partial in some of the new figures, and the images in some of the photographic pieces feel simply layered rather than integrated and complicated.”

Geez, I dunno, the stuff looked kinda, you know, integrated and all, to me.

Happy new year.

“The Suicide Club”

Monday, December 20th, 2010

By Jo Galante

My brother-in-law Bill couldn’t wait to show me the DVD made from some old home movies. One of the highlights would be seeing my beautiful sister Gloria, who I adored, at a school dance. There she was, in a lovely full skirt – crinolines flaring underneath – as she did the cha cha with her best friend Joanie. She and Bill were childhood sweethearts who would marry by the time they were barely 18.

Then, as she was sitting, I noticed an almost imperceptible movement that froze me in time. Gloria’s hand moved ever so slightly and I knew intuitively what would come next. It was a movement forgotten or clouded by time but as natural as if I’d been sitting right next to her. She moved her hand to her mouth, a familiar habit of her dogged nail biting captured in time. That’s when the tears welled in my eyes.

My sister-in-law Carole, trying to console me asked, “Isn’t it wonderful to see your sister in happier times?” I could not answer what I was thinking. What happier times? My sister’s life has been overshadowed by a single action on a single day in October 1974 when she chose to shoot and kill herself at age 32, leaving her husband, a 6-year-old daughter and a 4-year-old son.

Gloria had been fighting depression and a general inability to find happiness for years. Her behavior had become riskier, her mood swings more pronounced. She eventually fell victim to a psychotic breakdown that led to hospitalizations and seemingly endless psychiatric visits. The therapies today that might have saved her life weren’t available at that time.

We’ve speculated why she killed herself and, perhaps to ease our minds, we concluded that she saw it as an act of sacrifice since she repeatedly voiced her concerns about her illness’ effect on her young family.

Fortunately, my brother-in-law married Carole who brought love, light and stability to my niece and nephew who we unwittingly hurt by trying to shield them from the details of their mother’s death. My niece has been plagued by mental health issues, especially of abandonment. Billy Boy fared better, perhaps because he was younger when he lost his mom.

I’ve measured everything in terms of what Gloria missed and what our family lost – holiday gatherings, her children’s birthdays, school events and awards. And, her children’s marriages and the beauty of a new generation that would never know her or feel her love. For me, the loss was heavy since my older sister was also my anchor in a family where mental illness was no stranger. She was the one who would sit with me and help beat back the fears of this scary illness as my mother was once again taken to Bellevue’s infamous “crazy ward.”

Since my sister’s death, I’ve had the gut wrenching experience of knowing about several friends and family members who have committed suicide and worse. A cousin through marriage killed himself. So did another cousin by marriage but not before he murdered his wife and son. There was the young mother who I once babysat. There are the close friends whose brother and brother-in-law killed themselves. Those were followed by the suicides of three children of people I care about. More recently, two very close friends confided that one had lost a son to suicide, the other a brother. Would there be no end to this madness? “The Suicide Club,” I called it among friends as we shared our losses.

With each suicide, I re-lived my sister’s death and was left to ponder how these other families would survive what I knew to be one of the greatest challenges they could face. Then I connected on-line with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention ( and had a eureka moment.

Thousands of families just like mine are touched by suicide. According to AFSP someone in the United States dies by suicide every 16 minutes.

Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death for people aged 18 to 65, and shockingly is the fifth leading cause of death among children aged 5 to 14.

Ninety percent of people who die by suicide had a diagnosable psychiatric disorder, AFSP reports. This statistic holds the key to prevention. We overlook the often evident signs of potential suicide, or in many cases feel helpless. Families need to be vigilant to mood swings and changes in behavior, and especially take all verbal threats of suicide seriously and encourage people who may be suicidal to seek help. Get information on how to help. Most important, AFSP says, is to be assertive and ask the person outright if they are thinking about committing suicide. Families are fearful that the mere use of the word could spur thoughts of action. Not true, the foundation says and notes that letting someone know of the consequences of suicide has been known to prevent it.

Suicide is preventable, but once someone turns that corner, it’s a lifetime of guilt and pain for the people left behind.

      * * *
Jo Galante, a former journalist, has served as a lobbyist for people with developmental disabilities. She will rejoin the board of the Mental Health Association in Ulster County in January.

Contact Jo at

Holiday Joy

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

By Shawn Dell Joyce

Holiday joy can be a fleeting thing this time of year, as many people feel more like scrooge, than Tiny Tim. Behind the advertising blitz that bombards us with consumerist images of smiling, well-dressed people giving cheerfully-wrapped packages is the dark truth of depression. U.S. tops the list in depression out of 14 countries in a recent World Health Organization poll.

Much holiday malaise can be traced to a sagging economy, and holiday expectations. A parent’s group;  the Boston-based Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, wrote letters to 24 leading toy companies and retailers to express concern about ads aimed at kids. These parents expressed dismay that they can’t afford the pricey toys that toymakers are heavily advertising to our children, and children feel diminished when they don’t get pricey toys.

It is hard to believe that we are descended from settler’s children who rejoiced at receiving a penny and a stick of candy as their main holiday gifts. In the 1800’s, our kin earned $1,500 per year, and would have had one nice set of clothes for church, and one shabby set for daily life. We worked twice as hard for a simple diet because we had to grow most of what we ate ourselves. Over the course of two hundred years, we have grown an average of 4 inches taller and 20 pounds heavier, our houses have more than doubled in square footage, and we no longer find joy in a penny and a stick of candy.

We need to reclaim our holidays as times of family togetherness and joy, no matter what shape the economy is in. Even if you don’t celebrate the Christian holiday, or the Jewish Hanukkah, or African Kwanzaa, you can still celebrate a “Secular Sabbath,” in the words of NY Times food columnist; Mark Bittman. A secular Sabbath is a break from email, cell phones, television, and all the other distractions of modern living that keep us alienated from each other and real physical contact.

“You need not be elderly to remember when we had no choice but to reduce activity on Sundays; stores and offices — even restaurants — were closed, there were certainly no electronics, and we were largely occupied by ourselves or our families,” writes Bittman. This season, tune out the commercials, and remember that sustainable living means not filling a spiritual need with a material thing.

Shawn Dell Joyce is a nationally-syndicated newspaper columnist and director of the Wallkill River School in Montgomery, NY.


Grabbing Credit

Saturday, December 18th, 2010

By Jeffrey Page

A friend of mine just got a note from the president. In the guise of offering his best wishes to her for supporting the repeal of the 17-year atrocity called “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” Barack Obama mostly salutes himself.

He wrote, “When that bill reaches my desk [which it did], I will sign it [which he did], and this discriminatory law will be repealed.” Sorry, but I’m reminded of the expression about the guy who joins the cause one safe day after everyone else. He was, as you may recall, a day late and a dollar short.

I like Obama. I voted for him in 2008 and most likely will vote for him in 2012. I understand that doing anything to advance the constitutional rights of gay people is politically perilous. Still, Obama’s letter is weak. He applauds my friend but casually switches pronouns to the first person singular at every opportunity.

“The victory belongs to you,” Obama says. Nice. “Without your commitment,” Nice. “the promise I made as a candidate would have remained just that.” The promise that “I” made as a candidate seemed to have lost some of its urgency when “I” became the president.

There always was a reason to go slow.

Soon after he was inaugurated, Obama made clear that the repeal of this back-of-the-bus policy would have to wait, perhaps for more than a year because he had to discuss the change with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and others at the Department of Defense. As if to suggest that generals, admirals and military chiefs of staff had not thought long and hard about the kind of time openly gay troops would have in the services. Substitute the word “change” in that first sentence with the words “granting of fundamental constitutional rights as Americans” and you could be astonished – shocked, actually – that the commander in chief decided he had to go slowly at all.

The reasoning was that granting such rights to Americans who wish to serve their country needed everybody on board even if those Americans would have to wait even longer for the right to choose any seat on the bus. Obama seemed to forget at times during 2009 and 2010 that he was the driver of that bus. He was the boss.

In May, Obama was advised that he could send Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell to the scrap heap by signing an executive order. He didn’t like that option.

So he waited for Congress to catch up, reportedly because he didn’t want to un-do Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell with the knowledge that a successor to the Oval Office could un-do his un-doing with a future executive order. As if politics would allow such a change to be made so cavalierly. But to reduce the possibility of such a political change back to Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell, Obama said he wanted the change to come in the form of legislation because Congress would not so easily un-do what a previous Congress and president had done.

In this, he seemed to go completely deaf to the fact that soon after the Republicans won control of the House of Representatives, very serious talk began on the right that a GOP- controlled House of Representatives and a Senate whose Democratic control has been weakened should immediately take up the question of defunding and/or repealing national health care, the issue on which Obama spent most of his political capital.

It will be instructive to see how the legislation plays out in terms of how the military will deal with the same-sex husbands and wives of gay troops – issues of housing and dependent care come to mind – and how long it will take the Defense Department to come up with coherent plans for those aspects of the integration.

So we’ve finally ended the outrageous Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell policy and can look ourselves in the mirror. I’m grateful to Congress. I’m grateful to President Obama. But the self-congratulatory tone of his letter is a little over the top. After all, legions of good people have opposed this rule for 17 years.

Jeffrey can be reached at