Help the needy
The holidays are just about upon us, and it’s time to think about what needs to be done and preparations that need to be planned out. We are, however, in a bad recession in which national unemployment is at 10.2 percent and a lot of us are thinking about what we can cut out in terms of spending, including what we give to charity.
But we have many more people who are hurtingfrom this economic downturn this season, like the hungry,unemployed, homeless, elderly and the sick. We need to think of those less fortunate than ourselves. I hope and pray that those who can will donate or volunteer and to do so with the cheerful spirit of giving.
I am not one who talks and doesn’t do, but I am just one of thosewho does the doing. I am a member of St. Anastasia Knights of Columbus in Douglaston, and we have just given 10 turkey dinners with all the fixings to the Jamaica Outreach Program, which helps women and children who are victims of domestic abuse. We also collect and donate toys for these children in the program at Christmas time.
There are otherreligious and civil organizations that do works of charity, which you can locate in your community and which truly need a helping hand — yours.Remember this too: Once we stop fighting for and caring for one another, we have lost our humanity. Therefore no matter how hard it is to give, we need to try to do what is right, and you just might feel good about helping those in desperate need.
Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
In the beginning universal healthcare had the spirit of bi-partisanship. The second greatest Republican President, Theodore Roosevelt, called for universal coverage for all Americans. This spirit was followed by my favorite Democratic President Harry S. Truman, who also called for a national health plan.
Unfortunately, somewhere along the way that spirit died. But America is now very close to achieving a century old dream.
The House of Representatives recently voted for H.R. 3962, the Affordable Healthcare Act. Now all eyes are focused on the upcoming Senate floor fight, calling for a knockout punch to those “tea baggers” who just say no to healthcare reform.
There must be good reasons why the following organizations have endorsed the president’s public option health plan: the AARP, American Medical Association, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, Consumer Union and the National Farmer Union.
Let’s identify some possible reasons.
1. Affordable coverage for 37 million non-insured Americans will bring medical insurance to 96 percent of all Americans.
2. No denial of insurance protection by healthcare providers due to pre-existing conditions.
3. The infamous Medicare Part D “donut hole” will be closed.
4. The Journal of Medicine revealed that 62 percent of all personal bankruptcies are due to expensive medical cost.
5. While the plan will cost $1.1 trillion over 10 years, the only new tax of 5.4 percent will be on those earning over $500,000 per year — roughly one to two percent of all taxpayers.
6. The U.N.’s World Health Organization ranks America 37th among nations in overall healthcare
7. On hundred twenty noninsured Americans die everyday.
8. Thousands of sick Americans skip taking their medication or cut daily dosages due to the high cost of their prescriptions.
If our military can provide America national security protection, we civilians have a moral obligation to provide America universal healthcare protection.
Anthony G. Pilla
Not real reform
The acknowledged problems in our healthcare system like the need for tort reform, the non-availability of competitive insurance across state lines, pre-existing conditions and portability have not been adequately addressed in the current legislation. Instead, it will create hundreds, if not thousands, of new agencies and panels that will regulate and manage our health at a cost we cannot afford. Doctors will be supplanted by bureaucrats who have already announced restrictive guidelines for health screenings in order to temper physician greed as well as our desire to survive.
The Constitution and Bill of Rights describe our liberties and protect our right to make decisions concerning our lives, liberty and pursuit of happiness, and to the extent possible, how we die. But arecent segment focusing on healthcare on “60 Minutes” suggested we must be better prepared to accept our mortality and rediscover the joy of dying — not only because it is fair and considerate but cost-effective as well.
Be warned, life and death decisions, once deemed sacrosanct and dependent on the doctor and patient relationship, will now be subject to scrutiny and review, and will be determined by unaccountable bureaucrats.
It is not surprising that the Congress has exempted itself from this legislation it seeks to inflict on us.
In his open letter to state Sen. Eric Adams (“Marriage equality now,” Nov. 12), Mayor Bloomberg champions “democracy” — when it comes to gay marriage.
He actually asserts that “government has no business dictating to consenting adults whom they may or may not marry.” That’s right: a “consenting adult” male may marry his sister or his brother or his first cousin (female or male) or his brother or mother (see Oedipus), without any government “intrusion.”
In any event, when it’s to Mayor Mike’s liking, he’s all for democracy. It’s only in certain instances that he opposes it, like when a tavern owner and most of his customers decide to have a non-smoke-free environment, or when voters decide to impose term limits for mayors and councilmembers. Democracy, at the grass-roots level? Mayor Bloomberg says “Fuhgeddaboudit!”
Film fest a mess
Thank you for your article on the Queens International Film Festival (“Film fest head a fraud, many say,” Nov. 19). I was a filmmaker in attendance from outside of New York. I felt that many things weren’t right about the festival, but as a small independent filmmaker, you keep your mouth shut and try not to burn bridges. So I appreciate that you’ve compiled these complaints, though I think there are many other parasitic festival organizers out there who are trying to profit off the eager struggling artists in our field.
During my visit to QIFF this year, I attempted to see four different films that were canceled at the last minute. The fourth was stopped on Saturday night due to a schedule problem with the venue (events weren't allowed after a certain time of night, but they had scheduled late films anyway). On Saturday night we were told the festival had just learned of the scheduling problem, which was a lie. The same problem had come up on Friday night, canceling another film I tried to see. For my two other canceled films, screeners were lost which is mind-boggling and inexcusable.
I felt something was wrong several weeks ago when I received an email that our film was selected and was told I had to make a “mandatory choice” of four packages to get festival access, the cheapest of which cost $50. I felt I was being taken advantage of, but in this pursuit you often grit your teeth and just try to move on.
The awards ceremony was particularly laughable, especially when the organizer’s right-hand man, Boris, came on stage to thank her. He said “Every time we work together it’s magic,” and “Everything just comes together.”
I’m sure your article will be read by many people involved with this experience; I will be sending it on to a few myself.
Name and location
withheld upon request
Kudos to Willow Belden for some excellent reporting in the Marie Castaldo film festival story.I chanced upon a Queens Chronicle for the first time today, and I could not put it down.I found your article riveting andwell-researched, truly top-flight investigative journalism. In addition, I believe you have done a great service to other victims — both past and future — by shedding light on Castaldo’s ways.
Inspect illegal housing
Once more the spectre of death due to an illegally converted homeraised its head, this time in Woodside (“Woodside fire kills 3,” western Queens edition, and “Let the inspectors in,” editorial, Nov. 12).
The NYC Buildings Department can exercise its right to seek warrants to gain entry into illegally converted homes. Inspectors respond to a reported location twice, then if they cannot gain entry, that is it.
If they had the will, they could ask the court for a warrant to be issued so that they could gain access and inspect these homes, then violations could be issued and fines assessed. If this is done at a number of locations, maybe these avaricious landlords would be taught a lesson and it would also send a warning to others.
It is so sad to have young adults, babies and families living in basements and elderly persons living in attics, all in these homes that are illegal and deadly.
Maria A Thomson