Letters to the Editor
To The Editor:
With all the hoopla concerning the decision of Congressman Gary Ackerman not to run for another term in Congress people often forget that the power in Washington is based on seniority—the longer you’re there the more you can deliver for your district. Queens and Long Island have lost 30 years of muscle to be replaced by zero seniority and a representative at the bottom of the barrel of 435.
What’s in your wallet?
Kenneth Lloyd Brown
Chairman, Patronage for the Masses
Brown & Brown Attorneys and Counselors At
Forest Hills, NY
To The Editor:
Ayn Rand, author of Atlas Shrugged, warned, “We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force.”
Consider the following: city “food police” banned charitable food donations to homeless shelters because it does not meet governmental nutritional standards, some school authorities deemed lunches packed by moms brought from home as inadequate and confiscated them, and a proposed law in the city states, “No owner or operator of a restaurant in this state shall use salt in any form in the preparation of any food.”
To my dismay, emailing my friends and family about these and similar examples of bureaucratic coerciveness has cost me some friendships and caused some family strife. I was advised that articles and editorials challenging government-mandated beneficence are automatically deleted with an admonition to cease further contact and to consider anger management. Why is support of individual rights always dismissed as mean-spirited and hateful? Why does the defense of constitutional principles and individual liberty inspire such vitriol and alienation? I’m not sure who poses the biggest danger to our republic: those who subscribe to authoritarianism or those who acquiesce and are unaware of the consequences on our lives, liberty and pursuit of happiness.
Thank you for the opportunity to contribute our proverbial two cents via Letters To The Editor. I am comforted by the occasional supportive phone message and that I have not yet been asked to cease contact with you. As long as I am not being “deleted”, I am grateful we can share ideas and even agree to disagree.
Kudos To Gianaris
To The Editor:
I applaud our state Senator Michael Gianaris for his proposed legislation concerning price gouging for gasoline. That is truly important since this is a criminal act and so many families and individuals who are trying to meet their needs are really suffering financially when they have to pay high prices for gasoline and in addition have to shop around for lower prices since they vary from gas station to gas station. This is a grossly unfair, selfcentered and capricious act, taking advantage of the public.
It is truly unjust in every sense of the word. There must be a uniform price for gasoline, borough wide and throughout the state of New York.
Also, I applaud Gianaris for his proposed legislation for stopping quotas for traffic tickets, summonses, citations and, of course, arrests according to their supervisors’ orders and if officers do not comply, then they are in trouble.
This is absolutely an arbitrary and unjust act and precious time is taken away from the police officers from protecting the general public’s safety.
Lastly, I applaud Women’s History Month and the fact that women have done so much for our society, being an asset to every facet of life.
I also admire the heroic co-pilot on that JetBlue plane for being so calm when the captain had a dangerous meltdown. Pilots, and all those who work with the general public, must be tested physically and emotionally every few months to prevent these incidents that can be hazardous to the life and safety of passengers using public transport.
Long Island City, NY
Turner’s Letter Refreshing
To The Editor:
“Seize the Third Rail Now” (Gazette, 3/28/12, by Congressmember Bob Turner) was refreshingly candid. It reminded me that there are two sides to every story concerning Democrats who attack Republican Congressional Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan’s proposed budget plan as too radical. In reality, all his proposal does is to reduce the level for future growth in spending to a slightly lower level than what President Barack Obama proposes. Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is more preoccupied with winning enough seats to maintain control than with proposing any budget solutions of his own. Ditto for Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi who wants to regain control of the House.
Everyone has long since forgotten that decades ago balanced budgets were supported on a bipartisan basis by both the president and Congress regardless of which party was in control. Congressmember Ryan would reduce the current year’s $1.18 trillion deficit to $797 billion in federal fiscal year 2013. Obama would reduce this deficit next year to $977 billion. In 2016, Republicans would reduce the annual budget deficit to $241 billion. Obama would reduce this to $529 billion. Republicans would increase the overall debt between now and 2022 by $3.1 trillion. Obama would increase overall debt by $6.4 trillion. Neither the Republicans nor Obama offer a real, balanced budget anytime soon.
There are solutions which no one is talking about today. Republicans proposed several years ago returning to 2008 spending levels. There was no public outcry from Democrats in 2008 that the sky was falling. They didn’t say that Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and a multi-trillion dollar government safety net were going to end. The 2008 budget was prior to the one-time stimulus, TARP, auto industry bailouts and cash for clunkers expenditures. Now everything needs to be on the table including the infamous “third rails” of American politics—Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and military spending.
There are real reforms which Obama, Reid, Pelosi and colleagues will not support. Sadly, with the exception of a few brave Tea Party-supported Republican members of the House and Senate, a majority of Republicans will not support the following ideas. Why not actually implement “pay as you go” budgeting, meaning testing for all government assistance and sunset provisions for agencies and programs that have completed their missions. End pork-barrel member item spending, stop paying farmers to not grow crops and abolish corporate welfare subsidies via tax deductions.
A few more ideas: close down obsolete military bases abroad and reduce United Nations and foreign aid to those who offer no support when needed. Ask our European and Arab friends to reimburse the costs of our military adventure in Libya. End the wasteful war in Afghanistan. Return to an open budget process rather than midnight omnibus budget adoption.
America is on a path from the world’s superpower to the world’s super debtor nation. The poor and middle class will suffer. There will be no safety net for anyone. We need real action today, rather than to wait until decades later to balance our budget, as Obama and colleagues propose. By then it will be too late for America to save itself.
Great Neck, NY
Honor The Winged Fist
To The Editor:
As the great-grandson of Irish immigrants to Dutch Kills, who once enjoyed the spectacle and competition that was Celtic Park, I take great pride in preserving the history of the times and places in which my ancestors and their neighbors lived.
Establishing a plaque, honoring the history of Celtic Park and the multi-ethnic athletes who created the organization, represented by the Winged Fist, should be done for the following reasons:
• It would be commemorating the diversity and the strength of a group, who together were more than the individuals that contributed to its success.
• Long before political correctness was even a concept, these men banded together on the site of the Celtic Park housing complex, to hone their individual athletic skills into a team that was the most prolific contender ever competing in the arena of track and field.
• It was because they celebrated their common values and not their differences that they were successful in amassing more Olympic medals, as a group, than any American team before or since.
• It was they who set the ground rules for Olympic competition as we know it today. They set the standard for competition at such a high level that many of their records stood for decades beyond their passing.
Let us hope that the diversity of those living today, within the boundaries of the original Celtic Park, will convince their board of directors to celebrate, not only the spirit, but the foresight that enabled a band of immigrants, that collectively were known as the Irish-American Athletic Club (IAAC), to plan and purchase the land from the Thompson family and pass it on, intact, to those who developed the Celtic Park Housing Project. Without them preserving this parcel, the homes of those living in Celtic Park housing today would never have been constructed, or developed, as you appreciate it today.
Honor them, the members of the IAAC and all they stood for, with the proposed plaque that proudly displays their emblem. This emblem consists of two American flags protecting the upright hand of strength, supported by a pair of wings sprinkled with shamrocks, to suggest the descent of the founding members of the organization, all this resting on a cloud encircling the Irish motto Liam Adair Abu which translates to Strong Hand Forever.
One cannot celebrate the history of Celtic Park without the symbols that represented it to the athletes and the tens of thousands of spectators that once cheered them on from the grandstand, where your housing now stands.
As the IAAC was inclusive, the plaque representing their accomplishments cannot be any less encompassing. Vote to have the plaque, as thoughtfully presented by Ian McGowan, placed in a location of prominence in Celtic Park Housing, for present and future generations to cherish.
As the families that represent the current residents of Celtic Park, members of my family have grown past their Irish roots to welcome Native American, Italian, German, French, Hispanic, African American, English, Scottish, Welsh, Polish, and Russian plus a wide variety of religious beliefs to match the nationalities represented, into our extended family. What all of us have become are Americans and as such we celebrate our past while treasuring our future. We cannot have one without the other.
Please support the tireless efforts mounted on your behalf to preserve the historical heritage of your homes, with a plaque to represent it.