The greatest triumph of the election is the end of Republican warfare on our own citizens. The conservative, right to life religious wing which has dictated the course of the party has been marginalized to the point of rendering the Republicans as regional players only.
The basis used by Karl Rove to elect President George Bush has shattered. The destruction had its genesis as a result of its success. By rejecting unifying the nation and leading a diverse people Bush and Cheney corrupted government by their hold on power. They alienated the nation by usurping the guarantees assured by the Bill of Rights and manipulation of the bully pulpit resulting in the lowest poll numbers for any president.
The Obama promise is one of unity, polite discourse, spirited debate and of compromise. Unlike Bush’s definition that compromise had to be one sided the president elect will find the middle ground. Obama’s temperament was crucial in earning the election win and provides insight into his administration and leadership style.
The threats, dangers and economic crisis that surround the nation are frightening. It is much as FDR confronted. Great leaders accept the challenge mustering the people’s strength, unity and common purpose. Obama’s win is historic but his response to these times will define him. Let us pray that his will which captured the White House is agile and strong enough to one day celebrate a better future for all.
A response from the people
In a recent Queens Chronicle edition (“Where Queens landed on term limits,” Oct. 30) City Council members Helen Sears and Leroy Comriestate the reasons they voted to extend their own termsThe statement is so rife with political baloney, it cannot go unchallenged.
They claim they listened carefully to the arguments at the hearings and that their decision was not made easily. I doubt that. If they listened to the vast majority of the speakers of whom I was one, in opposition to the Council extending their own terms, it was with deaf ears.
The claim that money allows for manipulation and undermines the democratic process alludes to the fact Ronald Lauder — a man not seeking public office — paid for advertisements to educate the public on the issue of term limits. Sears and Comrie need to be reminded that Bloomberg, when seeking the office, originally spent upwards of $180 million and is reported ready to spend another $80 million to seek a third term.This monetary manipulation of the process does not seem to bother them. Nor did it bother them that at the hearings a few cultural and charitable institutions spoke in favor of extending the terms, without informing the panel their institutionswere the recipients of contributions from Bloomberg who may well have solicited them to speak.
New York City is for all practical purposes a one political party town.If elected to the City Council it means it is for life unless one runs in a primary which is costly and very difficult against an establishmentincumbent.
Sears and Comrie claim the Council does legislate changes in the City Charter.What they intentionally ignore is that in the case of term limits they were self dealing themselves a third term, something that I suspect may ultimately be the subject of litigation.It will not escape the public’s attention they could have voted for an extension to become effective after they leave office and did not do so.The bogus claim that by the Council extending term limits, the voters were simply being given a choice flies in the face of the fact the voters did have the ultimate choice in referendums and twice voted in favor of it.
The cabal rigged by Bloomberg, Quinn, Sears and Comrie will be remembered as a sordid abuse of Democratic principles and reminiscent of old time hack politics.This does not inspire confidence in good government.
A salute to vets
Veterans day will be here on November 11, and it is time to remember all of our veterans.
We need to remember all those who gave their lives, and the many veterans who lost arms and legs and even their hearing and sight. These veterans have served our nation and did so with great pride and devotion to duty so that we might have the freedoms we enjoy today.
We also need to salute our brave men and women today who are serving in Afghanistan and Iraq and other parts of the world. This Veterans Day, I find myself thinking what it means to be an American. The answer is crystal clear, and that meaning is the pride to live in a country that allows us our personal freedom to express ourselves and to speak our minds. We may not have the best system, but it still is the greatest in the world. These freedoms do not come without a price. It comes with a great personal sacrifice that these servicemen and women leave family, friends and jobs to serve the greater good.
I have noticed that on previous Veterans' Days there seem to be limited numbers of flags flying from businesses and homes. I hope this year there will be more flags flying in support of our men and women who have served and who are still serving today. I ask one more thing though and that is if you know of a veteran, call him or her and tell them this: “Thank you for serving our country and keeping us free from tyranny.”
Frederick Bedell Jr.,
Glen Oaks Village
Help children in need
My compliments to Ben Hogwood for his article (the Queens Chronicle, “Seasons greetings from death row,” Oct. 30) describing the artistic work of a man who learned in prison to care for others.
Those wishing to assist in our effort to help children in need and at risk by purchasing the holiday cards David Hammer designs inthe U.S. Federal Penitentiary in Terre Haute, need only to e-mail me their name and postal address to receive a flyer of this year’s designs.My e-mail address is Cherilife@aol.com.
Sister Camille D’Arienzo,
I congratulate President-Elect Barack Obama on his historic election. Some of his ideas and pronouncements, however, remain a source of concern.
His statements regarding the Constitution and his desire to “redistribute the wealth” reflect a radical “change” how most Americans perceive the role of government. He believes the Constitution is flawed and states, “The Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. It says what the government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf.” He seems oblivious to the purpose of the Constitution, which is to limit the power of government over individuals i.e.: the Bill of Rights. What it does do on our behalf is provide the framework and protection for “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” It does not guarantee happiness nor does it provide for reimbursements.
The concept of “redistribution of wealth” assumes that the wealth of the citizens belongs to the government. Is the IRS, which confiscates our wealth for the government, going to be renamed the “Internal Redistribution Service?”
In July 2007 at a conference of Planned Parenthood, Obama stated, “We need somebody who’s got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it's like to be a young teenage mom; the empathy to understand what it’s like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old. And that’s the criteria by which I’m going to be selecting my judges.” He wants to change the traditional view of justice as a blindfolded person weighing legal claims fairly on a scale. He wants to tear the blindfold off so judges can rule for the party they empathize with the most. This emphasis on empathy in essence requires the appointed judges to violate their oath: that is to “administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich.”
Obama will take an oath to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.” Let us be vigilant and make sure he does not violate that oath. Nothing less than the very idea of liberty and the rule of law are at stake.
Keep beaches clean
In recent weeks I have been to Frank Charles Park, Spring Creek Park and the beaches by the parking lots of the Joseph Addabbo Bridge on Cross Bay Boulevard. It is really disgusting to see the amount of trash along the beaches of Jamaica Bay. Among the usual collection of bottles and cans and debris, we have families coming to the beach and conducting religious ceremonies. They bring bags of food which dumped into the water causing all the seagulls, geese and swans go into a feeding frenzy. They leave behind hundreds of clay pots with candles, coconuts and fruit, seams of colored cloth, plastic bags and even religious pictures in glass frames.
How can this go on in a National Wildlife area. When I asked a park ranger at the Visitor Center, he informed me they acknowledge its a big problem and they are working with the community. I didn’t see any signs discouraging these acts, or is this a case of religious freedom?
The National Park Service hasn’t done a very good job in Queens. Riis Park is in dismal condition, Spring Creek Park has a rusted car and trailer along with rusted construction pipes along the beach and the ATV and dirtbike crowd have free reign to race in the dunes. There isn’t any police presence at all.
Frank Charles Park had so much beach litter my wife and I were shocked. We filled three large garbage bags and gave up, we could have filled up 10 more.
Why doesn’t the NPS give the land to the NYC Parks Department? The NPS admit they don’t have the funds to do a good job and are facing future budget cuts. The NYC Parks Department does a pretty good job and recently we’ve seen many large capitol projects in Queens such as new parks, pools and ice rinks.
Stop the dumping on Jamaica Bay, keep our beaches clean.