Honor our veterans
Veterans Day is almost upon us and it is time to remember our veterans — including all those who gave their lives and the many who have lost limbs, hearing or sight. These veterans who served our nation did so with great pride and devotion to duty so that we might have the freedom we enjoy today. We also need to salute our brave men and women who are serving in Afghanistan, Iraq and other parts of the world.
This Veterans Day I will think about what it means to be an American. Theanswer is crystal clear, and that is the pride to live in a country that allows us our personal freedom to express ourselves and to speak our minds. Our system may not be perfect, but it stillis the greatest in the world.
These freedoms do not come without a price. They come with a great personal sacrifice by those who leave family, friends and jobs to serve the greater good. I hope there will be many flags flying in support of our men and women who have served and are still serving.
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
Youth commit hate crimes
On October 17, hundreds of people gathered in College Point to share their disgust with the assault of Jack Price, an openly gay resident (“Hundreds protest hate crime,” Oct. 22). I was one of those New Yorkers outraged that another citizen was brutally beaten to near death simply because of his sexual orientation. What was perhaps more outrageous was the disturbing revelation that was made at the rally.
Did you know that the majority of hate crimes are committed by young people under the age of 24? Think about that. Terrifying and true. According to a 2001 U.S. Department of Justice Special Report, “Younger offenders were responsible for most hate crimes. Thirty-one percent of violent offenders and 46 percent of property offenders were under age 18.” Other studies conducted by non-governmental agencies report that nearly 75 percent of all hate crimes are committed by people under the age of 25. I hope that these facts anger you as they do me.
As the president of the New York State Young Democrats, an organization that represents this demographic of offenders, I feel that something must be done to address this issue. I call upon my local, state and federal elected officials to increase the amount of money allocated to tolerance and acceptance education. If we are going to reduce the amount of young people who commit hate crimes we must do so by doing a better job at educating our young people in love, tolerance and acceptance.
Let’s honor Jack Price by calling your elected officials and telling them that you demand an increase in funding for tolerance education.
President, New York State Young Democrats
To fight gangs, speak out
I agree with Ms. Goldsmith that everyone must get involved in what’s happening on their block(“Fight gun violence,” Letters, Oct. 15). If every law-abiding person in this country takes a stand, there will be no place for these illegal acts to take place. If they see something, they must say something. We all must take responsibility and get involved if we want the gangs, drugs and violence out of our communities.
Our loved ones are dying every day because someone didn’t have the guts to stand up and say something. This lady is not about grandstanding, she’s trying to save lives.
Public programs work
In your last issue, Mr. George Parrot criticized Medicare because “every year it threatens bankruptcy” (“War and government,” Letters, Oct. 29). He ends his letter with the challenge, “Show me one program the government runs that is successful.”
I’ve had Medicare for 21 years. It may not be perfect but it’s OK for me. In any case, it’s not fair or honest for opponents of government programs to criticize Medicare’s financial woes when it is their tax and budget policies that are responsible for starving such programs.
At least Medicare covers every citizen over 65 while profit-hungry insurance companies leave 40 million people out in the cold. Expanding single-payer Medicare to cover everyone would save lives and money.
As for a successful government run program, a short list would include our national parks, Army, Navy, police and fire departments, the space program and Social Security, which sends me a check every month without fail.
Local development corporations serve a useful purpose.They are designed to deal with proposed city development plans in a local area, to protect the interests of the residents in the area and ensure the city is proceeding in a legal and proper manner.In short, they are not an arm of or partner with the city in the development plans and their interests are often not similar.Precisely because there could be a conflict of interest between the city and thelocaldevelopment corporation, it is illegal for a local development corporation to accept city funds and then use all or a portion of those funds to lobby city officials to support the city’s plans.
As reported in The New York Times on October 30 (“Bloomberg Saw Development as Future, and Future is Stalled”), it would appear the Flushing-Willets Point Local Development Corporation, headed by former Queens Borough PresidentClaire Shulman, and the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership may have accepted city funds and then used portions thereof to lobby city officials. This would not be an insignificant matter because if an illegality has taken place, it may well be any actions taken by the City Council on these matters are null and void. There is an ongoing investigation,and one hopes it is expeditiously concluded and right be done.
Benjamin M. Haber
The radical White House
“Show me your friends and I’ll tell you what you’ll become” is an astute assertion. President Obama’s myriad colleagues and friends are a potpourri of revolutionary activists and admirers of Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro and Mao Tse-Tung. They are advising, counseling and fundamentally transformingAmericain the name of social, redistributive and environmental justice.
Van Jones, who had been a White House environmental adviser, stated in an interview that his environmental activism was a means to fight for racial and class “justice,” and that he was a “rowdy black nationalist” and a “communist.”
Mark Lloyd, the FCC diversity officer, said he “found inspiration and guidance in the insurgent revolutionary strategies developed by third world revolutionaries like Mao Tse-Tung.” At a 2008 “media reform” conference he declared “the Marxist revolution inVenezuelaunder Chavez was incredible and dramatic.”
Anita Dunn, the White House communications director,confidedin a speech to students that “two of my favorite political philosophers are Mao Tse-Tung and Mother Theresa… the two people I turn to most often.”
Cass Sunstein, Obama’s regulation czar, believes economic crises provide “the most promising conditions for the emergence of socialism in theU.S.” Remember Rahm Emanuel’s exhortation “never let a crisis go to waste?”
The advice of these friends and advisers and their effect and influence cannot be dismissed. We are left with a portrait of a president surrounded by persons inspired not by our Founding Fathers or the Constitution, but by tyrants and dictators propagating a tyrannical ideology with a legacy of brutality and crimes against humanity.
There is no doubt about where we are going, what we are becoming and who is leading us there.
More on courtesy
I enjoyed reading your letters on the death of courtesy (Oct. 22 and 29), but don’t stop there.
Must I go on planes or trains and hear people on cell phones tell me their most personal secrets? Have I no right to privacy? Must I be forced to share seats with pets and children that are not toilet-trained? Must my overweight fellow-passengers take up my seat and all their bags, too?
Only in New York do I see boys on bikes drive straight at me at 30 mph and expect me to step aside. Ladies with baby carriages don’t seem to go much slower. How can I avoid cars that make sudden turns without yells or honking horns to warn me? The traffic light is in my favor and they get mad at me.
Good manners are simply respect for the rights of others. Some children behave better than some adults.
Glad Halloran won
Politics make strange bedfellows, and losing City Council candidate Kevin Kim and Congressman Gary Ackerman made very strange bedfellows. The newspaper Ackerman owns did the worst dirty political hits on opposing candidate Dan Halloran I have ever witnessed in my 50 years of being a political junkie.
Well, it backfired, and I am proud that Dan Halloran has been elected as my city councilman. The results also show that Sen. Frank Padavan has much more power than Ackerman, who has made himself a millionaire on our taxes and has done nothing for our district. Congratulations to my new councilman, Dan Halloran.
Letters should be no longer than 400 words and should be received by 5 p.m. on Monday the week they are to run. They may be emailed directly to the
editor in chief via email@example.com. Please include your phone number, which will not be published, in case of any questions.