To those of you who are concerned and dismayed about our country’s relations with foreign lands, heed these words from the 19th century which ring true today as they did then:
“Our country, in her intercourse with foreign nations, may she always be in the right, but our country, right or wrong,” Stephen Decatur, 1816.
As a delegate to the 2004 Democratic National Convention, I looked forward to nominating a Democrat who will lead our party and nation.
With so much at stake this November, John Kerry has the experience and vision to bring America better jobs, quality health care, clean energy, a fair tax plan, protect our nation and opportunity and education for our children.
Kerry will fight to repeal the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans so that we can invest in education and health care. In addition, he will protect middle class tax cuts, such as the child credit and elimination of marriage penalty and propose additional tax credits to help middle class families make ends meet.
As a leader of our nation, Kerry would immediately declare President George W. Bush’s policy of unilateralism over and work to rebuild our shattered alliances all across the globe. He will launch a successful war against terrorism and also restore trust here at home and abroad by making sure that America always tells the whole truth.
In order to stimulate the economy and bring jobs back to the United States, Kerry would work to reward companies that create jobs by helping with health care costs, offering a new manufacturing jobs tax credit and providing new assistance for small businesses.
He would also close every loophole for companies that take jobs offshore and apply new criminal penalties, such as RICO penalties, on companies that defraud their customers and workers.
Senator Kerry would put forward a budget to restore fiscal sanity, eliminate corporate welfare, and cut the deficit in half in four years. However, he would keep the commitment to the seniors by securing Medicare and Social Security and protect children and veterans.
Kerry’s first major proposal to Congress will be a realistic plan that stops spiraling health care costs, covers every child in America and makes it possible for every American to get the same health care as any member of Congress.
I am an educator and I know that as president, Kerry would propose a National Education Trust Fund to make sure that for the first time ever schools are fully funded so that they have the tools to assure that all young people can succeed in the 21st century economy.
He would make a new promise on education—if Washington is going to mandate something for our schools, then funding should be mandatory as well.
As already widely known, John Ashcroft has launched an all-out assault on individual rights allowing for a wholesale invasion of attorney-client conversations, e-mails and telephone calls. Immediately after the election, Kerry will name a new attorney general whose name is not Ashcroft. Kerry’s attorney general will also fight to protect a woman’s right to choose, civil and workers’ rights and enforce anti-trust laws.
The Kerry administration would roll back the Bush assault on clean air and clean water and work to strengthen our nation’s environmental laws. Kerry will also put forward plans to make the U.S. energy independent of Middle East oil in 10 years and create 500,000 jobs by investing in energy renewable sources such as ethanol, solar, and wind.
Kerry would call on Americans of all ages—from all students to America’s seniors—to serve in our classrooms, after- school programs, nursing homes and nursery schools. He will fight to allow students to earn four years of college tuition in exchange for two years of national service. His plan will require mandatory national service and enlist a million Americans in service a year.
Senator Kerry’s ideals strongly reflect my own, and I am going to work hard to elect him this November. I know that many others in our community feel as I do and I look forward to joining them during this critical election.
Democratic district leader, 25th District,
The story last week of the death of mini-motorcycle rider Oscar “Donte” Pomar epitomizes what is wrong with modern-day culture.
With due respect to the family’s loss, the man by age 19 was already a convicted criminal on probation when he made an adult decision to again violate the law by riding the illegal bike and again by trying to evade capture when the police were performing their duty to enforce the law.
Friends of the deceased (not victim), “blamed police for chasing their friend.” What do these so-called friends think the police should be doing? By their statement they seem to be saying that they prefer the police not enforce the laws that they find inconvenient, such as driving illegal vehicles, driving without a license, driving without insurance, driving without safety equipment, perhaps playing loud music and public drinking, maybe robbery, too.
Although no evidence supports it, these friends even claimed that the police car “bumped” the deceased in an attempt to transfer blame to others. Politicians chimed in and attempted to transfer blame to the sellers of the bikes. A local lawyer warned that the property owner might be held responsible because of the pothole even though the deceased was trespassing and committing a crime.
When will we as a society demand personal responsibility from ourselves? We must stop blaming everyone else for our own poor decisions.
Three more thoughts: Good, positive family-enriching things don’t usually happen at 3 a.m. Law-abiding people usually don’t have “street” names. What kind of people pay tribute to a deceased person with beer cans?
The recent death of Oscar “Donte” Pomar can only be regarded as a wanton tragedy. It was not a matter of “an accident waiting to happen.” It occurred because of his improper use of a vehicle intended for use only on tracks intended to accommodate it coupled with disregard for existing motor vehicle laws and flight in attempt to avoid prosecution.
The circumstances surrounding the incident constitute an extreme example of misuse which cannot be attributed to the vehicle. Pocketbike racing is a popular and well-organized sport. Thousands of participants all over the country, in fact, all over the world, participate in it observing safety procedures and proper conduct.
These vehicles are intended, most emphatically, for off-road use only in racing and practice environments. They are not and are not intended, to be equipped with on-road safety appliances which include lights and audible devices. They are not even equipped with battery supplies to power such devices.
The North American Pocket Bike Racing Association, www.Pocketbike.net, offers advice for forming racing clubs and other matters including operator safety and proper riding gear. It is understandable to an extent that members of a community seek to assign blame in the aftermath of a tragedy. The blame, however, lies squarely on the person who caused it, not the vehicle, the police who pursued him or the bump in the driveway that he hit during his attempt to evade the police.
Seeking to deprive those who engage in the sport properly and with enthusiasm because of the misconduct of others is morally incorrect and unjustifiable. Violators of the law should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Those laws are already in place in the State of New York and in every other state in the country.
Unlicensed vehicles for which no other provision has been made in the law are not allowed on public thoroughfares. Violators are subject to prosecution for operating them on the road as well as any other infractions they may commit. The laws are there. Enforce them, but do not penalize innocent and law-abiding citizens by the passage of knee-jerk Draconian reactions because of the guilty.
It is important in considering the need for interpreters in hospitals (Queens Chronicle, August 12th), or other medical facilities that people who are deaf or hearing- impaired be provided with sign language interpreters. This is required under the Americans with Disabilities Act but many hospitals have not complied with removing this essential communication barrier between patients and the physicians and other staff of hospitals who are involved in their treatment.
Carl Herr, IL specialist,
Queens Independent Living Center,
I don’t know if anyone has observed this happening, but if you take a walk around Rego Park and Forest Hills, you’ll see a lot of construction going on by new owners of these old, beautiful, garden apartments and homes. As you take a closer look, you’ll find that what they are doing is ripping up all the grass, trees and bushes and replacing them with concrete and little fortified brick walls.
I’ve lived here for 44+ years and I have an understanding of the way these communities were conceived. Unfortunately, the new immigrant doesn’t. When talking to this kind of person and asking them why, they respond “I’m building my little castle,” or “I don’t want to keep cleaning up after the dogs,” or “I can’t be troubled by having to maintain the greenery.”
That may be all well and good, but the look, feel and serenity that this community has had all these years should then have to be protected by community leaders and zoned accordingly. Concrete may be scarce and a sign of wealth in some countries, but here we understand the difference.
Let’s see if we can put a cap on this strip-mining-esque thing going on here.
I am writing as a follow up to your August 5th article entitled “Another Live Poultry Market Set To Open In Queens Village.” As a City Council member in Queens, I know all too well the damaging effects that these poultry markets can have on a community. I strongly believe that, given the sanitation risks, there is no place for even a well-run market near our schools, churches or homes.
That is why last year, when approached by a number of constituents, I moved quickly to address the issue on the council. As your article described, regulating the location of these markets falls under the city’s jurisdiction and while the state’s attempts to regulate the markets are helpful in the short-term, only city rezoning provides an acceptable long-term solution. As you know, rezoning is a complicated and technical process that unfortunately takes some time to complete.
My office is currently involved in making sure the legislation I requested last year is making its way through this process. I fully expect that this will be introduced and passed this fall. I encourage all of your readers to contact their council member and let them know how important it is to our neighborhoods that they vote for this rezoning.
City Councilman, 21st District,