Letters to the Editor
A copy of this letter was received at the Queens Gazette. August 14, 2012 To the Editor:
On Friday, I was so proud to be a resident of Eastern Queens when I participated in a candlelight vigil, organized by local civic leaders, to honor the memory of the victims of the tragic shooting at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin earlier this month.
At Gurdwara Sant Sagar in Bellerose, local residents joined members of the Sikh community, elected officials, and police precinct representatives to mourn the loss of life and to speak out forcefully against hate crimes. It was heartwarming to see so many longtime civic leaders from Eastern Queens standing shoulder to shoulder at the gurdwara with their neighbors, many of whom originally come from countries across the globe and now make their homes here.
The country can learn a lot from Queens County about how neighbors from diverse backgrounds can live side by side, work together, and maintain mutual respect. Sincerely,
MARK S. WEPRIN
National Debt Solutions
To The Editor:
To stop the national debt and looming entitlement shortages from the using up of funds for defense and other necessities, we should tell our elected officials and candidates they can prevent this—and win elections— by adopting such deficit reduction measures as those proposed by Senators Coburn and/or Lieberman, and/or the already passed House budget. The latter is expected to bring in surpluses and start paying down the debt by 2040.
Until then, however, our defenses and other necessities are vulnerable to any changes in foreign-investor sentiment. Moreover, having debt over 90 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is bad for economic growth. Thus they should try to pay off the debt sooner.
The U.S. might, for a shorter term, lease a 20 percent interest in rainforest land—or make an installment sale—for partnering with experts to show landowners how to harvest the rainforests many times more profitably (and sustainably). This is discussed at www.rain-tree.com/facts.htm. The experts, of course, could take a similar lease or sale amount. Perhaps we can demonstrate this first with American rainforests, such as in Hawaii. (As for subsistence farmers, a practice called Inga alley cropping is discussed at www.rainforestsaver.org. Regarding the cutting down of trees for firewood, an organization known as Solar Cookers International obviates such need for perhaps $5 a person. For any of the world’s lumber companies needing assistance in learning sound practices of selectivity without clear-cutting, we could make that knowledge available for a fee.)
Alexander Michael Sokolow
Santa Monica, CA
Global Warming Or Cooling?
To The Editor:
This summer has been, and continues to be, one of intense, record heat, worsening drought and severe summer storms that have caused a lot of property damage. Is this intense summer weather going to become the rule rather than the exception each year? According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), it seems very likely that the U.S. will see more frequent, intense and long lasting summer heatwaves, which will certainly worsen and prolong severe drought conditions over large sections of the country. There will also be more intense and destructive thunderstorms, as a result of the intense heat.
Could global warming be a contributor to this intense summer weather pattern? Some scientists say that it is, while still others say that it is not. In fact, there is evidence that the earth will be going into a cooling trend, which would also have major climatological effects on local and worldwide weather patterns for years to come. We should fasten our seat belts, because we are going to be in for a long, bumpy meteorological ride ahead folks!
Ryan’s Budget Is Better
There are two sides to every story concerning President Obama and Democratic surrogate attack dogs Vice President Joe Biden, Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid, Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi along with New York Democratic Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. They will all quickly pile on, attacking Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney with the usual cliches of being in bed with ultra right-wing extremists and Tea Party supporters by selecting Wisconsin Republican Congressmember Paul Ryan as his running mate for Vice President.
Their own well-funded political machine includes use of public office press staff at taxpayers’ expense, Democratic Party local, state and national campaign committees, national Democratic Congressional and Senate campaign committees, local, state and federal union, liberal, environmental, so-called independent political special interest political action committees and guiltridden millionaires and billionaires such as George Soros, who combined have easy access to several hundred million dollars. They will join hands and sing the same old tired tune attempting to link Romney with Republican Congressional Budget Committee Chairman Ryan’s proposed budget plan as too radical. This will be supplemented by their Hollywood supporters, friendly media columnists and editorial boards.
All Ryan’s proposal does is to reduce the level for future growth in spending to a slightly lower level than what Obama proposes. Reid has been more preoccupied with winning enough seats to maintain control than with proposing any budget solutions of his own. He even refuses to bring up for a vote any proposal to fund virtually all federal agencies or programs prior to October 1, 2012, the official start of the new federal fiscal year. Ditto for Pelosi. She wants to regain control of the House.
Ryan will offer a clear competing contrast of ideas to Biden with his Path to Prosperity budget. Ryan reminds me of 1996 GOP Vice Presidential candidate, Buffalo Congressmember Jack Kemp. Both Ryan and Kemp want to promote economic growth and job creation. Each reached out beyond the GOP ideological conservative base to moderates, independents and middle of the road Democrats to consistently win reelection. Both could reach out to African American, Hispanic and other members of the gorgeous mosaic which is America. Ryan stands head and shoulders above past GOP Vice Presidential candidates such as Sarah Palin and Dan Quayle. His detailed knowledge of our federal budget process will be an asset in bridging the gap between the White House and Congress. I look forward to the Vice Presidential debates between Biden and Ryan
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. 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. Several years ago, Republicans proposed first returning to 2008 spending levels. There was no public outcry from Democrats in 2008 including our own Senators Schumer and Gillibrand along with Congressmember Ackerman 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, 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.
Close down obsolete military bases abroad and reduce United Nations and foreign aid to those who offer no support when needed. End the wasteful war in Afghanistan. Return to an open budget process rather than midnight omnibus budget adoption.
America is on a path to go 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 decades to balance our budget, as Obama and colleagues propose. By then it will be too late for America to save itself.
People need to hold both Obama and Congress accountable for the current economic decline, which has reached down to our own local Queens neighborhoods. The statute of limitations has long since passed for blaming former President George Bush for all our current woes. Four years have gone by since he served. Obama had a Democratic majority in both the House and Senate for his first two years in office. Despite spending several trillion dollars in various economic stimulus programs and bailouts, there has been no significant improvement to our economy. With 9 percent of our neighbors out of work and another 7 percent having given up looking, the results is a real unemployment rate of 16 percent. Many have joined millions of other Americans attempting to get by on part- or full-time jobs paying minimum or slightly above minimum wage. Almost one in six Americans are now living in poverty. Is this what Obama’s campaign promise of “Change we can believe in” meant? In the meantime, the national debt has increased over $5 trillion dollars under his administration with nothing to show for it. Are you better off today than four years ago? Remember that Obama said that if he couldn’t reduce the unemployment rate to five percent, he deserved to be a one-term president.
Outlaw Hansom Cabs
To The Editor:
I am certainly not in favor of the hansom cabs pulled by horses. The horses get scared and cause harm to people’s vehicles and property. Horse-drawn carriages are from the past and now it is the future. Perhaps antique cars can be used instead. I am writing this in response to hearing a story on the radio about a horse running wild and injuring a little girl.
I am also appalled to learn that 10 police officers have been killed very recently and it is really an increase in crime. All I hear is crime rising and wonder why. The cutbacks in the police force really cause criminals to be on the rampage. Essential services are not to be tampered with in any manner, shape or form.
I also do not like our mayor telling us what to eat, drink, or how to behave. He is not our father and as adults we have the freedom to select our habits and patterns of eating, etc.
I also cannot understand why so many child abuse cases are occurring now. Parents should take courses in rearing children and also there are licenses for everything, but no license for the greatest, most difficult task in the world, which is rearing a child. I am annoyed that too much attention is given to this situation on the media, in print, tv and radio.
I applaud the U.S.A. for winning the most medals and for their outstanding performance in the Olympics. I am, however, again appalled that no moment of silence or other memorial for the athletes that were murdered at the hands of terrorists 40 years ago took place. This shows no respect, concern or acknowledgement. We must remember and never again should that happen. It takes courage to stand up and see the wrong and admire those who were brutally butchered at the hands of the same groups who murdered Americans and took down our World Trade Center.
I now have computer access and am thrilled to again e-mail my letters to the editor.
Although I live in Little Neck, my heart and mind are in Astoria and I will be writing to the Queens Gazette frequently. Cynthia Groopman Little Neck, NY