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Queens Chronicle

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Posted: Thursday, February 11, 2010 12:00 am

Stop blaming Bush

Dear Editor:

As a high school teacher, I encourage my students when they are wrong to take responsibility for their own actions. President Obama should follow the same advice and stop blaming George W. Bush for his failures.

President Obama’s excessive use of “I” and “me” throughout his recent rhetoric-filled speech just goes to show that he is more concerned with furthering his own agenda than doing what is in the best interest of the American people.

Government should have a very limited role in our lives and not take away our liberties by controlling banks and healthcare.

Edward Schnepf

Ozone Park

Appeal FDNY bias ruling

Dear Editor:

Prior to reading Ms. AnnMarie Costella’s article in your Jan. 28 edition (“Judge charges that FDNY test is biased”), I had only heard something on the radio about a judge’s displeasure with regard to bias being involved in exams given to FDNY applicants about 10 years ago.

After hearing the short item on the radio I wondered if there was a language problem involved (i.e., the testing involved was most probably in English and maybe some applicants didn’t have sufficient comprehension of the English language).Your article explained the judge’s real issues, which I don’t understand at all.

Persons applying for positions in most fields of endeavor must have, if not prior experience in the chosen field, basic knowledge to allow them to be trained by the employer in the field — such as, if computers are utilized in the position, knowledge of the various programs involved, and also a very good familiarity with the keyboard.Regarding the “typical questions” you listed, I am not sure of the answers, but is there not information readily available for study that would enable a person to do fairly well on the test?

Frankly, I am speechless on this issue. If you can’t pass the test, you don’t get the job. That should be it.And I hope it will be.I trust the city will appeal Judge Garaufis’ decision to give taxpayer money to persons who didn't test well 10 years ago.

Joan Davis

Forest Hills

Editor’s Note: The test itself contains the answers to the questions that were cited, in explanatory paragraphs preceding them.

Tax the greedy rich

Dear Editor:

New York Gov. David Paterson proposes closing the state’s $3 billion budget gap by cutting funding for education, healthcare, seniors, etc.

There is another way to address our state deficit that has not been explored, and that is restoring state revenues to 1990s levels by repealing Gov. George Pataki’s tax cuts for the wealthiest taxpayers.

“Among his leading first-term accomplishments were his $3 billion, 25 percent income-tax cut and a substantial cut in the capital gains tax and inheritance tax,” says a report on Pataki by the Cato Institute’s “Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors: 2006.”

It should be noted that Pataki’s tax cuts provided a 25 percent rate reduction for the wealthiest tax payers, but no tax cut for the poorest taxpayers. Since 1995, this has resulted in an enormous giveback of hundreds of millions of dollars to wealthy taxpayers, with a resulting loss in state revenues. These cuts provided “the greatest benefit to those New Yorkers who need it the least.”

Thanks to Pataki, New York is now the most unequal state in the nation. It relies heavily on local taxes, placing the biggest burden on communities with the greatest needs and least resources. This has led to ever-increasing property taxes, making New York’s tax system one of the most regressive.

Wealthy New Yorkers benefited the most from these policies, were the culprits behind Wall Street’s greatest excesses and helped cause our current economic meltdown. Is it not time for these greedy ones to help bail out the rest of us New Yorkers?

Gov. Paterson, it’s a no-brainer. New Yorkers will support you, if you do the right thing. You want to close our $3 billion budget gap? Repeal Pataki’s $3 billion tax cut.

Robert F. Salant

Franklin Square, LI

Don’t close schools

Dear Editor:

I just read that Grover Cleveland High School is on the list of underperforming schools in Queens. Elizabeth Crowley wants to help keep it open. I hope she can.

Grover Cleveland is the only high school within walking distance of where I live. Where am I supposed to send my daughter to school if they close.I want her to go there like Idid and my mother did.

Help the children that go to that school do better so they can get off the list of underperforming schools. You have to find out why the children cannot keep up with other children.

Maybe Crowley is right about there are a lot of children in that school for whom English is a second language. You might need to get teachers who can teachESL classes and you might have to add more ESL classes to the curriculum.

I think it would cost more money to close that school than keep it open. All the kids who live near the school and can walk there will need a MetroCard to go to another high school. That is going to cost money in this tough economy.

Charlene Stubbs

Maspeth

Supreme mistakes

Dear Editor:

During the 221 years of our republic the Supreme Court has played a vital role in guiding the growth of America, as well as protecting the rights of our citizens. Unfortunately, the “highest court in the land” made three supreme mistakes that had profound impacts on the course of history.

The first mistake was on March 6, 1857. Chief Justice Roger Brooks Tawney declared, in the ill-fated Dred Scott case that the Constitution regarded black people as inferior, and not as citizens with rights. This terrible six to three ruling helped fuel the flames of the impending civil war.

The second supreme mistake altered the 2000 presidential election. The results showed that vice president Gore was shy three electoral votes, and was ahead of Governor Bush in popular votes by half a million. All eyes were on Florida’s returns. Bush appealed to the Supreme Court to halt the Florida recount, as ordered by the Florida supreme court, when it was evident that Gore was closing in on the small Bush margin.

The Supreme Court’s five to four ruling stopped the recount which resulted in the election being stolen from the voters, and handed the presidency to George W. Bush.

America would not be in out current crisis (seven year Iraq war + tax cuts for the rich + loans from China + a $6 trillion increase in our national debt = worst recession in 30 years).

On Jan. 22, many Americans were shocked to learn that Chief Justice John Roberts in a five to four vote overturned key provisions of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance act. The majority opinion, given by Justice Anthony Kennedy, stated that free speech for citizens would now be granted to corporate America.

Defending the court’s decision were the two Republican Congressional Leaders — Rep. John Boehner and Sen. Mitch McConnell. They hailed the ruling as “going in the right direction, as well as being a victory for free speech.” The republican who co-sponsored the act — Sen. John McCain, had mixed views on the court’s decision.

What impact does this third supreme mistake have on future elections? The court gave big business the green light to spend unlimited funds to support or defeat candidates. The voters will be bombarded with endless media campaign literature. Remember Germany in the 1920s? Hitler said Tell a lie often — it becomes the truth.

One more scary thought: it is possible foreign corporations could dump big bucks and interfere in America’s elections on all levels. Hey folk: remember — “money talks.”

Anthony G. Pilla

Forest Hills

Rama-lama, thanks a lot

Dear Editor:

The Susan G. Memorial Scholarship Fund at Beach Channel HS would like to thank the Queens Chronicle for placing our advertising, promoting and covering our successful 17th anniversary Harry G. Doo Wop Spectacular on Saturday, Jan. 30 (“Doo wop acts light up Broad Channel,” Feb. 4, South Queens edition). It is the longest running annual doo wop scholarship fundraising concert event in the tri-state area.

Thanks to your readers who joined us for this special evening of 1950s and ’60s musical memories. We appreciate your support.

Harry G.

Long Beach, LI

More jobs, less government

Dear Editor:

Meaningful jobs are created by manufacturers, not by governments. In fact, wealth should be known as productivity, the creation of goods from the raw materials of the earth. A nation is wealthy when its people are engaged in manufacturing, but America has lost close to half its manufacturing jobs during the past three decades.

The chief impediment to wealth production is always government, with its taxation and regulatory burdens. If Mr. Obama does not lead an effort to reverse government’s job-destroying policies, he should certainly be hurt politically. But sadly, fewer and fewer Americans realize that government is the real reason why jobs are disappearing here at home.

Janet McCarthy

Flushing

Lay off the poor

Dear Editor:

As an American, I get food stamps because I am retired, in my late 70s andhave multiple chronic ailments. I have to depend on food stamps to fill my budget as I have to pay extra for my medication.

I was disgusted by the Jan. 28 letter“No more free rides.” Ioften ask some kind youngerpeople to get my groceries for me because I am unable to go myself. Some of them are young and drive nice cars. Obviously, my picture is on the card, not theirs.

I wish that these racist busy bodies would mind their own business. What is America coming to if these kind souls are so ridiculed they might stop volunteering their services? Then how would people like me survive?

It’s not the poor that you should worry about. Thank you.

Chris Phillips

Queens Village

Welcome to the discussion.