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Queens Chronicle

Letters To The Editor

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Posted: Thursday, September 14, 2006 12:00 am

9/11 In Perspective

Dear Editor:

Way back, long after the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center was used to divert our forces from catching Osama bin Laden to attack Iraq and its dictator, President Bush was forced to admit in September 2003: “No, we’ve had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with the September 11 attack.”

Regardless of the fact that there was no reason to suspect Hussein of having anything to do with the 9/11 attack, Bush had another agenda. He had long planned on invading Iraq, which his father was wise enough to avert. That personal goal has been chronicled, as well as his own statement that the only presidents who have a heroic legacy are those who are in office during a war. That “legacy” he planned for himself is being borne on the body bags, blood and broken bones of our brave young men and women.

That the Bush administration is founded on lies and deception has been well established, and that’s sad, but it pales in light of a recent poll that suggests that 38 percent of the public still believes that Saddam Hussein and Iraq were complicit in the 9/11 attack. This, in spite of the widely accepted conclusion thatHussein regarded alQaida as a threat rather than a potential ally, and that the Iraqi intelligence service actively attempted to locate and capture al Zargawi without success. Bush had it right when he said that it was necessary to constantly repeat the same message over and over in order to have the public buy into it.

Congratulations, war time commander in chief! We’ve toppled the enemy of our enemy. But all was not in vain. We’ve managed (read: mismanaged) to kindle a friendship between historic enemies, Iraq and Iran. It’s only a matter of time before Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al Malaki will kiss and make up with Iran. Makes you feel kind of warm and cuddly.

Nicholas Zizelis,


Bush And Democracy

Dear Editor:

In his Saturday radio talk earlier this month, President Bush claimed to know and to be trying to implement what the Iraqi people want, namely an end to violence, and unity of their country.

The violence that was introduced to Iraq when Bush began dropping bombs on people’s heads and kicking in the doors of their homes is no doubt on the minds of Iraqis. But if there is a unifying thought in Iraq that expresses the democratic will, it is this—a huge majority of Iraqis want Bush and all his foreign forces to leave immediately, as quickly as they arrived, within three months—easily determinable through a vote of all adult Iraq citizens that is counted by any party other than Bush flunkies. Would that majority be less than 90 percent? Bush would not thwart the will of the people, would he?

Yes, there is now a civil war in Iraq, and there has been since March 2003, between the resistance to aggression and enlistees to the aggression. Like the Quislings in Norway, and the Ustashe in Yugoslavia, and the Vichy Government in France that assisted the fascism of another era, the collaborators who have served bully America’s invasion, destruction, occupation and plunder of Iraq are fully deserving of every evil that befalls them when America goes home.

Stephen Wohl,

Rockaway Beach

Unethical Politics

Dear Editor:

It is a shame that the people of Southeast Queens are forced to accept the candidate the Democratic machine wants, instead of who they signed petitions for.

Former Councilman Allan Jennings had enough signatures to be on the ballot for the November election in the 10th Senate District, but the county Democrats did not want him, so they took another look and lo and behold and guess what: He is short by 77 signatures, what a laugh.

The candidate Michael Duvalle, state assemblyman in the 31st District, also had enough signatures but again the county does not want him on the ballot. I guess it all comes down to what they want, never mind what the voters want.

So what has happened to our Democratic system? Since when is it against the voter rules that you can’t sign more than one petition when each petition represents a different office—one for state Senator and another for Assembly?

Just who is making the rules? Not the League of Women Voters, that’s for sure.

Inez Moscatiello,


District 26 Math

Dear Editor:

Without any advance notice (to parents at least), surreptitiously as it were, “fuzzy math” has just been introduced to District 26 schools through the use of the “Everyday Mathematics” series of textbooks. This manner of teaching math was imposed citywide a few years ago by the administration, ostensibly to support inner city kids whose math performance was poor. What functionality it may have, therefore, for District 26 kids, including those in the district’s gifted/magnet programs, has not been explained.

In fact, virtually all of the District 26 schools were made “exempt” by the administration so that they could choose alternatives best suited for their high performing, college bound kids.

What is fuzzy math? It is a method of teaching math by asking children to discover how to do the fundamental mathematics operations rather than instructing them on the best methods. It also substitutes calculators for continuing practice with the “facts” of arithmetic.

California used to use fuzzy math and their math scores fell dramatically. Professional parents believed their own children would never be able to function in professions similar to their own with the scant skills and weak foundation they were developing in their new math classrooms. These parents organized successfully to oppose the state’s fuzzy methodology. The California Mathematics Academic Content Standards now sets standards for each grade level. Gone are the prescriptions for fuzzy teaching methods—replaced by a set of standards that emphasize the development of basic math skills. California now leads the nation in methods and results.

The only thing I have heard from local education officials in support of its fuzzy methods is that it helps kids on the city exams. But note this: the company with whom the city contracts to make up the exams is the publisher of the “Everyday Mathematics” texts. Seems like a very clear conflict to me. Even so, District 26 kids were doing well before fuzzy math.

The question for parents is whether you want your child to be prepared for the “fuzzy” 4th grade test, or ready for college. If you’ve made your choice, please let your principal and your local officials know.

Melvyn Meer,

chairman, CB 11 Education Committee,


Political Balance

Dear Editor:

A reader from Ozone Park known as David Quintana has sent numerous missives to letters to the editors columns of local Queens newspapers, including the Queens Chronicle. In each letter he attacks President Bush with all kinds of diatribes, using big words, terms like “Geneva Convention” and “court of appeals,” citing constitutional amendments and historical data.

I have chosen to respond to Quintana in this newspaper, as I find it normally presents all sides of issues and also because I enjoy it more. I will not do as Quintana and send it to half a dozen publications.

David, you have made your point. Obviously, you don’t care for President Bush. President Bush has not been perfect. Neither was President Bill Clinton before him, who committed moral and political mistakes. So was the first George Bush wrong at times. None of us are perfect. But, there’s another facet to the war in Iraq that the liberal media ignores. Since the war, there’s finally a glimmer of democracy in Iraq. Health care and literacy have improved, and citizens can vote. Additionally, it shows the world that we are not wimps and will not just sit idly following the attacks on our country five years ago.

Despite the faults of the president, give me my choice of him or liberals like Anthony Weiner, Charles Schumer, Hillary Clinton, Frank Lautenberg, Arlen Specter, Ted Kennedy or Ned Lamont, and I’ll take Bush any day. Liberals have created myriad social programs and government dependence, which solve nothing and which we pay for. All the damage that uncontrolled immigration is doing to this country notwithstanding, they continue to support it. Liberals don’t seem to comprehend “give a man a fish and you feed him for the day, teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

I don’t need big words or have to recite constitutional amendments. I can see for myself.

Leon Sedwill,

Rego Park

Iran President’s Talk

Dear Editor:

As the founder of a gay political group in Queens, I listened carefully to the speech former President Khatami of Iran gave at Harvard University last Sunday. I was hoping he would be asked—and he was— why the Iranian government beheaded gay Iranians because they are gay. While, Khatami bemoaned capital punishment, he did say it was a religious punishment for behavior dictated by their beliefs.

Now, of course, we should all be upset, and I certainly am, having known this for some time. However, similar injustices have been perpetrated by the Catholic Church, the Nazis and many other governments in the name of their religion. Before hating the people of those current countries who condemn gays to torture or death, understand that it has been the history of so called civilizations since centuries past. This will change. Not soon enough, but when people no longer let governments or religions dictate what they deem right or wrong.

William Pagenkopf,


War On Cancer

Dear Editor:

Why is it that every time funding is increased for cancer research, the incidence of cancer is also increased? The American Cancer Society and its imitators have lost the war on cancer but it is a secret.

E. Albertine,

Long Island City

Welcome to the discussion.