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Queens Chronicle

Letters To The Editor

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Posted: Thursday, September 16, 2004 12:00 am

The coming election is one of the most critical in recent years. The direction of the future of our country is in play, and one of the most vital aspects is the prospect of naming of up to three justices to the U.S. Supreme Court in the next four years.

Justices Stevens, O’Connor and Rehnquist will probably retire, leaving the choice of their successors to the new president. This puts tremendous power in the president’s hands to determine the legal course of this country, and the meaning and impact of the Constitution, for many years.

In the case of Mr. Bush, there can be no doubt that these successors will be extreme conservatives like Justices Scalia and Thomas. With such conservative new judges, there is a real threat to these issues: reproductive freedom and the right to privacy; interpretation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which guards the right to vote and to ballot access; maintenance of religious freedom; the rights of workers and protection of the environment.

These matters will be subject to significant erosion under such a conservative Supreme Court. This is completely intolerable and unacceptable to the America of the 21st century. For these reasons it is imperative that George Bush be defeated.

Miriam Null,

Holliswood

Buy Protection

Dear Editor:

Cheney’s “warning” of dire consequences in the event Kerry won the election is a revival of the once common protection racket but this time on a grand scale: either you vote for Bush or something terrible will happen.

Whether or not the Bush gang could have prevented the 9-11 tragedy, there is no doubt that Cheney is perfectly willing to use it to threaten further attacks unless the voters buy “protection” by voting for Bush.

That the gang in the White House is capable of delivering on this threat is clear from its criminal invasion and devastation of Iraq, the lives of over 10,000 Iraqi civilians and 1,000 U.S. troops. The war on terrorism will best be served by getting rid of the terrorists in charge of the government.

Bill Hagel,

Woodside

Another Covering

Dear Editor:

A few years ago, while I was living in Jamaica Estates, I, along with other civic leaders, challenged Con Edison’s practice of hiring contractors to inject creosote, used as a wood preservative, into utility poles to preserve the wood longer and thus avoid replacement of those poles.

The creosote was poured into the ground around each pole and injected into the poles in plugs. Extensive research had shown that creosote was highly toxic, that it leached into the ground, potentially contaminating ground water, could harm domestic and wild animals, and was toxic enough to humans that the workers who applied it took extreme caution.

Experts on the subject cited scores of older railroad yards which were considered toxic waste sites, due to the amount of creosote which had been used historically on railroad ties. However, residents of the neighborhood were never notified of the treatment or the possible consequences, and indeed, were told that creosote was far from toxic, that it was “safe.”

One of the champions of that philosophy was Carol Consalato, one of the major spokespersons for Con Edison. I have just read in a local paper here in Nassau County that due to the high toxicity of creosote, there is a ban on the production and sale of all creosote which will take effect at the beginning of 2006. This legislation was passed by both Houses.

This is just another example of the way in which corporations and government officials hide the facts from the public to further their own ends. Our major utilities, which claim to have the public interest at heart, only work to serve themselves and their own financial agendas. Con Edison saved money by not having to replace wood poles too often, and let the public be damned.

Leslie Weinberg,

Great Neck Estates

Muslim Responds

Dear Editor:

This letter is in response to Bob Marshall’s letter in the September 2nd edition.

Verily, all praise is due to Allah. We praise him, we seek his assistance and we ask for his forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evils of our souls and from the evils of our actions. Whoever Allah guides, no one can misguide him.

To proceed, as a Muslim from America, who has lived in Saudi Arabia, Syria, Egypt and Morocco, I have seen nothing but genuine love for America and Americans from these countries. Mr. Marshall, correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t most American’s immigrants? So who are you to suggest some countries be excluded from America?

Is it right-minded thinking to condemn all people from a particular country for the actions of others? I don’t think so. And let me be the first to inform you that, if you knew anything about Islam and Muslims, you would know that many masjids (mosques) aren’t extremist. The biggest foreign threat to me in America aren’t Muslims, but people who are ignorant of Muslims.

Abdul Kareem Muhammad,

Flushing

Has Questions

Dear Editor:

The other day (9-10-04) on TV, I watched a news conference featuring our Secretary of Defense. During this interview, the Secretary of Defense uttered the “Cold War” phrase.

I see that the present White House advisors specialty is in Russian Cold War era struggles and the Vietnam war, or they actually managed it back then.

What does that have to do with terrorism and the world today? Does this go to mentality and outdated leadership? In my opinion, they must be living in the past practicing an old agenda, or they are doing the only thing they know how to do.

Looking at the newspapers over the last 4 years, it’s easy to believe. I am an American patriot. I am concerned about the direction in which our country is heading. I did not get drafted, I volunteered and served my country in Vietnam. It looks like our present leadership is living in the past, trying to recreate another Vietnam in Iraq and Iran.

I see in the news they are already searching for a reason to invade Iran, using the same faulty intelligence sources that got us into Iraq. We have spent $200 billion already, with no end in sight, and they talk about Iran. All citizens are facing cut backs in social services to finance all this military action. Why? Who stands to gain?

We are the most powerful nation on the planet. Let us not forget these words: “This nation can never be conquered from without. If it is ever to fall it will be from within.”—President Abraham Lincoln. “Those who give up essential liberties for temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”—Benjamin Franklin. “Let no more be said of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”—Thomas Jefferson.

It seems like they are trying to turn America into another third world country like Mexico. Why? Who stands to gain?

Ronald Koenecke,

Ozone Park

Supports Blackburne

Dear Editor:

The governor, the mayor, the district attorney and the president of the Police Benevolent Association vilified Judge Laura Blackburne in the media. It was refreshing to me to read the article written by Congressman Charles Rangel in the July 22nd-28th edition of the New York Amsterdam News praising the act of Judge Blackburne. He is from Harlem.

What also drew my attention about the article by this Congressman is that it is the first positive thing I have seen written in the media since the incident took place. If what Mr. Rangel says is correct and his legal staff has provided him with sound advice, I would hope that the elected officials in Queens could have the same information available to them.

For having been demoted for an incident that seems to have proven the police incorrect in their arresting of the gentleman involved, I would hope that the judiciary investigating the action of Judge Blackburne would cease and desist and restore her to the bench to which she was elected.

If more of the elected officials in Queens would make known their support for our embattled friends, it may help the judiciary to soon find that Judge Blackburne was doing what she was elected to do: defend the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of the State of New York and to preserve and protect the civil rights and liberties of those brought before her court. A loud voice from our elected officials ought to make a difference. I trust it will be done immediately if not sooner.

Reverend Charles Norris Sr.,

Jamaica

Pool Club

Dear Editor:

I was saddened to hear about the recent closing of the Forest Hills Pool Club. I was a member for one year and had hopes of my family joining for many more years to come. I live in Woodhaven and I am very frustrated and disgusted that the only pool club on the northern side of Woodhaven is closing.

My family and I enjoyed the pool club this past summer. It was like an oasis in Queens. There are no remaining pool clubs on the northern side and therefore no local places for families to cool off.

I searched for other pool clubs but it took me more than a half hour on the Cross Island Parkway to arrive at one (and that was on a good traffic day). What is the sense of joining a pool club that is inconvenient to get to and lacks adequate street parking? No wonder why so many families are moving out of Queens and finding communities that have recreational facilities at their convenience.

Maria Concolino,

Woodhaven

Health Care

Dear Editor:

Have you ever stopped to think that there are 43 million people living in our nation who have no health insurance and that in New York State, there are 3 million people who are also uninsured?

It is a sad state of affairs when we realize that we are the only Western democracy that lacks universal health insurance and we are supposed to be the most powerful nation in the world.

Unions strike because of a need for more health coverage and those people who are either too wealthy for Medicaid or too young for Medicare, are suffering unnecessary hardship. The private insurance companies raise their prices for health care premiums every month, and that places such a burden upon people and families who have to work three jobs just to pay for health insurance.

Cynthia Groopman,

Long Island City

Welcome to the discussion.