2009-11-25 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Kill Stupak Amendment

To The Editor:

I am writing to urge Congress to keep the antichoice “Stupak amendment” out of the final healthcare bill. This amendment is discriminatory and wrong. The healthcare bill should be focused on the millions of Americans who need real reform, and who desperately need health care now. Not only does this amendment hijack the healthcare bill and delay coverage for millions of Americans, but it would also dramatically limit reproductive health care. Abortion is a legal medical procedure and should remain a private decision between a woman and her doctor. This amendment should not be in the bill.
Dina Marenstein

Keep Kids Close

To The Editor:

This week, I was shopping in one of the large stores in our neighborhood. One of the store managers was telling me about a continual problem in their store that they are addressing. At the time, he did not know I was president of the precinct council. He just was telling me what had happened during the day, as they had just helped reunite a wandering child with the child's parents.

Parents bring their children into the store to go shopping with them. The parents then get distracted looking at the merchandise and the child ends up wandering unattended in the store. The store is concerned because they do not want the child to get hurt. They also do not want the child to get lost or snatched. The store employees yesterday, when they saw the child wandering alone in the store, were able to locate the parents. However, this was not the first time that the store has had to reunite a lost child with the child's parents. This situation only promises to become more critical as we approach the holiday shopping season.

Parents, there are now many devices on the market that will alert you when your child wanders away. Also, if you bring your child with you when shopping, you can always try to engage the child in the process.

I just found it a very dangerous situation and promised the store manager that I would let people know to be more alert when shopping with children. You do not want young children wandering around unattended in a large store. Your child may get lost, or worse, taken. Parents should talk to their children about staying with them when in the store, hold the child's hand, or use one of the safety devices. Parents can talk to their child about what they are looking for and have the child help in the shopping process—but please pay attention. You do not want the lost child to be your child.
Heidi Harrison Chain
112th Precinct Community Council
Forest Hills

Keep It One Term

To The Editor:

In my lifetime, I have seen nine presidents come and go. I, along with most Americans, looked upon them as “aspirational peers” who seemed stronger, wiser and smarter, even though their politics did not align exactly with our own. Their values and life experiences intersected with our own and resonated in a positive way. We were connected by a belief in the supremacy of the Constitution, the inviolability of individual freedoms and property rights and an appreciation of our free market economy.

No such connection exists today. President Barack Obama has assessed the Constitution as being “flawed” and a “charter of negative rights”. His disdain for the free market and private property is evident in his plans to regulate compensation and salaries and to redistribute the fruits of our labor. He is committed to the “fundamental transformation of America” and appointed czars inspired not by our Founding Fathers but by Chavez, Castro and Mao Tse- Tung. He has created bureaucracies which have begun to redistribute our wealth, nationalize industries and financial institutions, and to institute government controlled health care. I just hope I don’t live long enough to see him play “doctor”.

His description of the world we live in and how things work doesn’t make sense and doesn’t correspond with our experience. In a recent article in The American Thinker, Geoffrey P. Hunt writes “He doesn’t command our respect and is unable to appeal to our common sense. His notions of right and wrong are repugnant and how things work just don’t add up. He knows nothing about economics, he is historically illiterate and woefully small minded for the size of the task.”

We must make sure this will be a one-term presidency; we may not survive two terms.
Ed Konecnik

Rainbow Is Promise

To The Editor:

On Monday, November 2, I went to the North Cove (in Lower Manhattan) to see the USS New York coming to town. And just before the ship approached Ground Zero, I noticed a rainbow in the sky over Jersey City. I think that it was a good sign for our new ship. In an ancient poem the “Epic of Gilgamesh”, the rainbow is the “jeweled necklace of the Great Mother Ishtar” that she lifts into the sky as a promise that she “will NEVER FORGET these days of great flood” that destroyed her children. Sincerely,
Victor Maltsev
Rego Park

No Pedicab Ban

To The Editor:

Past legislation passed by the New York City Council limiting the number of pedicabs will be implemented, thanks to the Department of Consumer Affairs who will stop processing applications for 18 months. This is bad news for those who support a cleaner environment, free enterprise and transportation alternatives. Pedicabs are a nonpolluting form of public transportation powered by people, not polluting fossil fuels. It [sic] represents a pure free market service with no government subsidy. Consumers are afforded another mode of choice vs. [sic] walking, taking a bus, taxi, subway or driving. The excuse that pedicabs contribute to traffic congestion is absurd. Several hundred pedicabs are outnumbered by thousands of other vehicles, including taxis, limousines, FedEx, UPS, delivery trucks and automobiles who take up far more space. Pedicabs provide a great form of exercise and gainful employment for their drivers. These people are our neighbors and pay taxes just like you and I [sic]. Consumers, including tourists, continue to patronize this service on a voluntary basis. Everyone should read the NYC Campaign Finance Board filings by NYC councilmembers. See if there was any political quid-proquo for those who voted to limit pedicabs and by fortunate coincidence received campaign contributions from the taxi industry. Don’t the New York city council and Department of Consumer Affairs have more important issues to deal with than putting a small group of brave entrepreneurs out of business?
Larry Penner
Great Neck

What Is A Moral Obligation?

To The Editor:

Rhetoric should have meaning. Language should have value.

What then is meant by the phrase we are now hearing so often from the politico, “We have a moral obligation to pass this legislation”?

Morals must be based on some standard. Among the most frequent standards used as a basis for moral values are scripture, tradition, reason and experience.

Most of our government officials have totally rejected scripture. They have also rejected traditional values. When scrutinized, the legislation they are trying to pass does not hold to sound reason. And, when you compare the policies being put forth by those in power to the experience of history, you find that experience teaches that big government and total government control don’t produce anything good.

So, other than just being persuasive words, what value, what basis, do these so-called “moral obligations” have?

In recent decades, contrary to traditional values, we have been taught that when it comes to morals there are no absolutes. So why is the government that has propagated the educational system that teaches no absolutes telling us that we absolutely have a moral obligation to do what they are demanding?

Added to this reasoning without rationalization coming from our government is the “duty” on our part to pay the bill for all their dictated moral obligations!

I guess my point is simple. Listening to our present leadership talk about moral obligations is about as logical as listening to Larry Flint and Hugh Hefner talk about chastity!
Steve Casey
Stonewall, Louisiana

Illegal Conversions Kill

To The Editor:

Once more the specter of death due to an illegally converted home raises its head this time in Woodside. The N.Y.C. Buildings Dept. can exercise their right to seek warrants to gain entry into illegally converted homes. They respond to a reported location twice, then if they cannot gain entry, that is it. If they had the will, they could ask the court for a warrant to be issued so that they could gain access and inspect these homes, then violations could be issued and fines assessed. If this is done at a number of locations, maybe these avaricious landlords would be taught a lesson and it would also send a warning to others. It is so sad to have young adults, babies and families living in basements and elderly persons living in attics, all in these homes that are “illegal” and deadly.
Maria A. Thomson

Can’t Win In Afghanistan

To The Editor:

Talk about being between a rock and a hard place. President Obama has a no-win situation in Afghanistan. Perhaps history will repeat itself, with every foreign intervention in Afghanistan ending in fiasco, loss and humbling of great powers.

To succeed in Afghanistan, the people must support their government. To accomplish this the Afghani government must demonstrate a commitment to the welfare of the people. The Karzai Administration is comprised of warlords and lackeys who are corrupt and disdained by the people.

President Obama has demonstrated skepticism and concern for the mission in Afghanistan. The unpopularity of the Karzai government and the fractionalization of the country by warlords, Taliban and drug trafficking places into question the U.S. role. With only 100 al-Qaeda in country and realization that the true threat to the U.S. is across the border in Pakistan there is justification to question sending more U.S. troops to Afghanistan.

[That] there are allegations that the Karzai Minister of Mines took a $30 million bribe from a Chinese company demonstrates it is doubtful that anything will change in Afghanistan. Karzai has stated his intentions not to make changes in his administration as he enters his second term as president.

Perhaps the time to have changed the course of Afghanistan’s future ended when the U.S. shifted its focus to Iraq. There comes a time when enough is enough, avoiding sacrificing another American life. Sometimes success must be measured in the context of what could be accomplished, rather than setting a standard rejected by those on the ground.
Edward Horn
Baldwin, New York

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