2013-04-10 / Editorials

Letters to the Editor

Advise And Consent

To The Editor:

The Supreme Court’s decision whether gay marriage is a constitutional right might have some complaining about “activist judges”. There is no such thing as an activist court when the decision favors one’s point of view.

The argument that jurists are not elected and therefore have no right to interpret the constitutionality of legislative or referendum laws is to question the Founding Fathers’ creation of our tri-parte and equal form of government. The structure of our government was debated and determined by the Founders after careful consideration. The checks and balances were not just a solution to establishing a new form of government—it was the foundation upon which our nation was empowered to confront an ever-changing and dramatic world.

Some states have direct election of judges. Others use appointments that are vetted by professional and legislative processes. The ultimate investigation is by the U.S. Senate, which has the obligation of “advice and consent” of any candidate to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Anyone who has listened to the questioning a nominee undergoes by the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. Senate is aware of the scrutiny and bitterness that defines the confirmation process. It seems more a partisan circus than a fair hearing to determine the candidate’s qualifications for a lifelong appointment to one of the three equal parts of our government.

What is absent is understanding that none of the judges on the Supreme Court are free of the elective process. Each requires a majority of the Senate to ratify their appointment. We the people elect the Senators who vote to confirm or deny a nominee a seat on the highest court. We the people are indirectly voting and electing our judges and our democracy demands that the decisions of the court bind us to our avowed loyalty due our nation.

Edward Horn
Baldwin, NY

Media Has Loose Lips

To The Editor:

On Mar. 27, 2013, the ABC-TV Nightly News broadcasted information concerning the new head of the CIA National Clandestine Service (NCS).

ABC-TV gave the gender of the person, age range and a city where the person served overseas. Although this information can be acquired by foreign intelligence agencies, we should not be helping them identify our intelligence personnel.

During World War II we safeguarded information which could have benefited the enemy and jeopardized the well-being of our military and civilian government personnel. We operated on a “need-toknow basis”. A phrase describing the secretiveness of information was “loose lips sink ships”.

Since World War II, the media has had increasing access to our military planning and operations in the cause of transparency and in compliance with the Freedom of Information Act, and government agencies have been too willing to provide information to reporters and others. The media does not seem able or inclined to refrain from disclosing sensitive information which could hurt this country. It seems all they care about is the “scoop”.

Our federal government agencies and the media have to do a better job of not disclosing information which could place people and operations in harm’s way.

Donald A. Moskowitz
Former Navy LT and AG2
Londonderry, NH

Prevent Corruption

Dear Friends:

The federal corruption charges filed these past few days against members of the state legislature and City Council have shaken confidence in the political system.

And rightfully so. The charges are very serious and represent staggering betrayals of the public’s trust.

As I said in December on the heels of the criminal sentencing of my predecessor, whom I defeated at the polls three years ago, the way for those of us in elective office to restore the public’s faith in government is through honorable, dedicated and committed service.

Clearly, though, not everyone can be trusted to operate on the honor system and a more robust system of checks and balances is needed to diminish the influence of money in politics. For that reason, I have long supported campaign finance reform. Fortunately, Governor Cuomo has signaled that it is high on his to-do list.

I look forward to achieving meaningful reform in the weeks ahead.

If my office can be of help to you, do not hesitate to stop by or to call us, at 718- 205-3881.

Sincerely,
Jose Peralta

Viable Candidates Needed

To The Editor:

In light of recent developments (Halloran/Tabone arrest), I am calling on the Republican leadership to give us Republicans a choice.

While these two might eventually be exonerated, we need to have a primary.

We need to decide for ourselves if we want to support the sitting councilman for District 19 or if we do not.

As a show of good faith and just as the right thing to do. We the people need to decide.

The GOP leadership must find a viable candidate [for the] primary. LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE!

Alfredo Centola
Malba Gardens Civic Association

Eagle Scout Arrested

To The Editor:

I found it quite disturbing to read about the elected officials who were arrested for alleged misconduct and bribery. State Senator Malcolm Smith was arrested for alleged involvement in a plot for the mayoral race with various Republicans, such as Councilmember Dan Halloran and others. Dan Halloran had been an Eagle Scout and was taught to be trustworthy. Yet what happened? I myself was a Boy Scout and believe in the values the Boy Scouts taught me. These men and women in state and city government have forgotten why they were elected, and that is to serve and protect the people who put them in office. We need to elect those people that are dedicated to those principles and values that best serve the people. If I were elected to office, I would know why I was there, and that is to serve the people. I would be dedicated to my fellow citizens who put their trust in me. Too bad there are a few politicans who don’t think like that.

Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
Glen Oaks Village

Hands Off

To The Editor:

It is disconcerting to think that some of my fellow citizens want to expropriate my wealth. They believe I have more money than I need and fairness demands it be redistributed. They unashamedly and brazenly demonstrate and petition to transform the rule of law, i.e., the individual and property rights guaranteed by the Constitution, to a collectivist rule of expediency aka mob rule.

Who determines how much confiscation is “fair”? How long will it take to run out of other people’s money? The noted economist Dr. Thomas Sowell asks why is it “greed” for individuals to want to keep the money they’ve earned but not “greed” for bureaucrats to want to take their money. Socialism has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it. We’ve succumbed to a desire to replace what works with what sounds good.

Dr. Sowell warns that people who think they can change the world are infinitely more dangerous than mere crooked politicians. It is difficult to imagine a more stupid way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.

If you voted for someone who promised to give you goodies at someone else’s expense, then you have no right to complain when they take your money and give it to someone else, including themselves.

Ed Konecnik
Flushing

Co-op, Condo Task Force

To The Editor:

A Queens Borough President’s Co-op and Condo Task Force is on its way!

On March 28, the Bay Terrace Community Alliance hosted an informative and lively candidates forum. It was standing room only at the Clearview Park Golf Course Clubhouse as residents came out to meet the person who will be the next Queens borough president. All announced contenders for the office of Queens borough president participated.

In my role as co-president of the Presidents Co-op & Condo Council (PCCC), I advocate on behalf of the co-op and condo community that has long been burdened with inequitable property taxes, unfunded mandates and ill-conceived legislation designed to take away a co-op’s right to self-determination. The PCCC’s agenda is all about providing affordable housing for middle class owners.

I’m pleased to report that I was able to secure a public commitment from each of the candidates that, if elected, they would establish a Queens Borough President’s Co-op and Condo Task Force. It would be composed of board presidents, attorneys, property managers, owners and elected officials. The task force would meet at least once a month under the auspices of the borough president.

This will be a major step forward for the co-op and condo community. We will remind the next Queens borough president of his/her public commitment and make sure they are true to their word.

Warren Schreiber
Co-President, Presidents Co-op & Condo
Council

Schumer Got It Right

To The Editor:

Finally, from our U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, a voice of sanity is heard. Our senator has requested that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reverse its decision to allow airline passengers to carry small knives, baseball bats, golf clubs and other potentially weaponized equipment onto airplanes. The fact that this proposal be made by the TSA in itself is incredulous. How soon they forget that it has only been approaching 12 years since the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on our New York City. This attack was perpetrated by men with sharp weapons on airplanes. Thankfully, because of the vigilance of our federal agencies, New York state agencies and especially our New York City Police Department, our plane travel since then has been safe. The allowing of these potential weapons onto our airplanes can only contribute to an atmosphere of great concern for the airplane passengers and crew. The ending of the policy of banning these items has to be, with dead seriousness, reconsidered. The TSA would do well to listen to our Senator Schumer, a voice of sanity and of reason.

Maria A. Thomson
Woodhaven

Mayor, Not Nanny

To The Editor:

I am glad that the court struck down the mayor’s ban on 32 oz. sugary drinks.

If the mayor is controlling our lives then ban cigarettes, fried foods, sweets, and alcohol.

The mayor is not a dictator nor a parent. We take responsibility for our own actions.

I am so angry that the Sandy aid will be cut due to the sequester. There seems to be no end in sight, unfortunately.

I am glad that subway crime declined and that is due to having police on trains on the weekends.

I am concerned that sharp objects are going to be legal to carry on planes, they can be used as fatal instruments causing injuries, deaths and can even be used by terrorists. I am inclined to say that the TSA people are right.

Why did the government change its mind?

I also do not like the idea that an undercover TSA inspector snuck in with a gun and went onto a plane. That is awful and poor supervision. Could you imagine if that were a real situation?

This entire TSA must be overhauled and changed to protect the travelers.

Flying is dangerous enough.

Also glad that crime is down in general in our city. However, I wonder if those statistics are correct, or if now we will hear about crimes, murders, rapes and thefts on the media. I am appalled at the way our government is run with big brother and big sister telling us what to eat, how to eat, and what to do, etc.

Cynthia Groopman
Little Neck

Goodness Gracious

To The Editor:

“I’m having a delayed reaction.” That’s what I told my wife about 24 hours after I had a CT scan of my abdomen and pelvic area the day before. I was experiencing some dull aches in that area and my doctor advised me to get this CT scan which fortunately showed nothing alarming. When I was getting the CT scan, a dye had to be injected through an IV and the technician said I would experience a feeling of warmth and flushness. But that never happened.

Now, driving on Route 80 heading for a restful weekend in the Poconos a day later, I could feel this uncomfortable increasingly warm sensation in my groin area. It got so burning hot I kept looking down at my pants and told my wife I would have to pull over. It was then she realized the heated seat I was sitting on she had put on HIGH. “Goodness gracious, great balls of fire!”

Mark Lane
Little Neck

Tragic Madama Butterfly

To The Editor:

A recent letter tells of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan in World War II. In a rather strange coincidence, it reminded me of the tragic opera that also took place in Nagasaki, first performed in 1904, which has nothing to do with its bombing, Madama Butterfly, by Giacomo Puccini. Who cannot be touched by this 15-yearold geisha Cho-Cho-San, tricked into a contrived marriage with a lecherous American Naval Officer who lusted after her for a one-night stand and then abandoned her, unaware he had impregnated her. To hear Butterfly sing the heart melting aria, “Un bel di vedremo” is to hear the definition of perfection in song. See this treat to your senses and have a box of tissues standing by at the climax—I believe I mentioned—tragic.

Hyman Auslander
Flushing

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