There is a growing apathy resulting from the reality of Iraq that is spreading across the nation. The hype is long gone, as is the hope to revisit Paris of 1944. The U.S. is roundly denounced and feared around the world. America’s credibility died in the search for Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.
The Bush Administration won office mainly due to the moral laxity of [former President] Bill Clinton. When inaugurated, Bush had the benefit of a surplus, increases in the earning capacity of all and worldwide affection for the U.S. When [we were] attacked on 9/11 the world came forward as friends and supporters. Four years later, the U.S. has strained relations with old allied and faces adversaries who pose a greater threat to our security than ever before.
The Axis of Evil speech hallmarked the efforts by North Korea and Iran to arm themselves against possible U.S. invasion. Regardless of the financial incentives offered or accepted by either nation, both countries will represent a nuclear power with the means of inflicting a strike against the U.S. and our allies. The destabilization that has resulted with their concomitant dangers can be directly traced to the perceived threat proffered by the Bush speech.
The polarization that was evident during the Clinton presidency was to be eliminated by Bush. Yet his years in office have only deepened the divide. The acrimony fostered by the president by insisting that the only way is his way has crippled the functioning of our representative government. Karl Rove’s attacks alleging that liberals would have failed to move against the heinous actors of the 9/11 attacks is only the most recent evidence of the administration’s desire to impose its will and to associate debate with disloyalty. This administration and its representatives are the most divisive ever to hold the reins of power.
Americans have always rejected extremes and those who would wish to impose a single mindedness. Our democracy has a rich history of rewarding open debate resulting in negotiations that find the middle ground. The questioning now occurring throughout the nation as to our course of action in Iraq may in fact represent the pendulum beginning to swing back to the middle.
Baldwin, New York
Property Seizure Ruling Is Wrong
To The Editor:
The Supreme Court has just ruled in a 5-4 decision to uphold the rights of state and local government to seize property from one private landowner and give it to another as part of a project aimed at promoting economic development.
This case was Kelo et at v. city of New London. It is a judgement that has wide ranging ramifications which will affect the little guy, the poor and elderly who can’t afford to fight back and risk losing their homes or businesses that they lived in and work at most of their lives because the rich and powerful now have the right because of the reason of economic development. Who are they kidding? This is just pure greed.
Now here’s what Justice Stevens said writing for the majority in that decision:” “That as long as the local governments were not acting to benefit a specific developer or neighboring landowner, judges should not substitute their judgement for that of local government.”
Well does that make it all right?
In the dissenting position Justice O’Connor said, “Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private party but the fallout from this decision will not be random. The beneficiaries are likely to be citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process including large corporations and development firms. As for the victims, the government now has the license to transfer property from those with fewer resources to those with more. The founders cannot have intended this perverse result.” On this I totally agree and I praise Justices O’Connor, Rehnquist, Scalia and Thomas for their position, for it showed that they cared for the little guy.
As for Justices Stevens, Kennedy, Souter, Ginsburg and Breyer, shame on you. What are you trying to do create an American society of the very poor and the very rich, totally obliterating the middle class?
I therefore think this is a very sad day for the working class and something needs to be done. I somehow believe Congress should get involved and pass a law to prevent this from happening but that’s just one man’s opinion.
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
To The Editor:
Over the past few years we have all read, seen and heard about the tragic deaths of pedestrians crossing Queens Boulevard.
I do not have the exact statistics at my disposal of just how many people have been killed or injured on Queens Boulevard over the last decade or so, but unfortunately there were enough fatalities and injuries for it to be placed in the top 10 most dangerous roads in the country. It has even been highlighted on television documentaries and earned the nickname “The Boulevard of Death”.
Bing the owner of a yellow school bus company, I hold safety as my highest priority.
My company has routes in the Forest Hills area, and I find it amazing the volume of automobiles, trucks and pedestrians that flow through these streets.
Signs at street corners boldly display, “A pedestrian was killed at this intersection,” and as you look around you see hundreds of pedestrians, some running, and some walking, some on cell phones, all just trying to complete the day and go home to their families.
But, most important, if you looked closely you will see the elderly, or you will see a mom clutching on to the hand of her child as they wait for the light to change green so they can safely cross Queens Boulevard. As they proceed they start to think, when will the Don’t Walk symbol start flashing and how much time do they have before it changes.
This leads me to the point of my letter.
About a month ago my wife Liz and I took a drive down to Washington, D.C. to visit our national museums.
When we arrived in D.C., the very first thing that caught my eyes was their Don’t Walk signals. When the do not walk symbol started flashing, located directly under that sign was a red flashing sign displaying a reverse countdown measured in seconds (starting at 20 going down to 1) as to when the light would change.
My mind immediately referred to Queens Boulevard and the fact that something this simple could have saved lives, or installed now it can prevent future deaths or injuries.
New York City spent millions of dollars over the last few years converting our entire Don’t Walk signs over to international symbols.
Maybe it’s time they start installing these countdown systems in New York City. It seems to me Queens Boulevard would make a great starting place.
Vito J. Cilento
Bay Terrace Transit Corp.
Join New York’s Finest
To The Editor:
The New York City Police Department is continuing to recruit the most qualified men and women to join the ranks of the greatest Police Department in the world. Filing for the upcoming police officer examination will commence on July 6, 2005 and conclude on Sept. 16, 2005.
For this examination, candidates will have the opportunity to choose from one of the following test dates: Friday, Oct. 28, Saturday, Oct. 29, and Sunday, Oct. 30, 2005.
Once again the New York City Police Department’s Recruitment Section will provide free tutorial sessions to all candidates throughout the five boroughs. These tutorial sessions are designed to enhance the candidate’s test taking skills. For more information, candidates can call 212-RECRUIT, or visit the Web site at www.nyc.gov/nypd. Candidates may also apply for the exam online at same the Web site.
Please contact the Commanding Officer of the recruit section, Deputy Inspector Martin Morales at 718-222-5628, so we can participate with you in any community event that would provide us with an opportunity to attract potential candidates for New York’s Finest.
Chief of Personnel
New York City Police Department
Likes Bush S.S. Fix
To The Editor:
I strongly support President Bush and his efforts to modernize Social Security. I find the Democratic obstructionism beyond the pale. Instead of coming up with ideas, Sen Schumer and his crowd smile like Cheshire Cats and do nothing. They are without honor!
The clock is ticking and everyone should support President Bush and his fight to settle the Social Security System once and for all.
Richard S. Purbeck