Sound Off to the Editor

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To the editor,

Congratulations to the Courier for the fine job in covering women’s health issues, and breast cancer awareness and screening (“Think Pink,” Oct. 3). The “pink” issue was really an informative eye catcher.

I do hope that sometime in the future you and the fine organizations, hospitals, and doctors get together and print a “blue” issue covering the many aspects of men’s health, from heart disease to the various cancers which are the number one killers of men. It would really be appreciated by the men in your readership areas. Robert W. Lobenstein

Marine Park

‘Ugly, ignorant’ Shav

To the editor,

Shavana Abruzzo makes a reasonably good case in her complaint about secular authorities enforcing religious laws (“CB18 bows to Muslims over liquor license,” A Britisher’s View, Sept. 15), until she gets to the last paragraph. There her position turns ugly and ignorant when she writes “CB18 should have shut down the … protesters on the grounds that Judeo-Christian laws — not shariah hypocrisies — power America.” It’s ugly because it implies that it’s perfectly okay for government to enforce religious laws as long as they are the laws of her religion. It’s ignorant because, whatever their religious beliefs, our founders took particular care to exclude religion from the mechanisms of government. For example, blasphemy is condemned by the First Commandment, but protected by the First Amendment.

Probably the feature that most distinguishes the America of today is the diversity of its people. We have adherents of dozens of religions right here in the city, plus a rapidly-growing population of “nones.” This melting pot couldn’t exist if any particular religion were elevated to the status of the source of secular law. To maintain that America is “powered” by Judeo-Christian law shows a profound misunderstanding of the fundamental character of our “government of the people, by the people, for the people,” and is no less dangerous to the American experiment than shariah law would be.

Harvey Wachtel

Kew Gardens, N.Y.

Barnes Dance

To the editor,

Regarding Jerry Sattler’s letter (“Barnes Dance,” Sound Off to the Editor, Sept. 11), we who live in the vicinity have sent many letters to congressmen and other officials to restore the four-way stop light, to no avail.

We seniors can barely make it across the street before the light changes. Neptune Avenue and W. Fifth Street is a dangerous crossing, with the buses and trucks turning all the time. In the name of moving traffic along, we are sitting ducks trying to cross. What would it take to restore the Barnes Dance? People getting hurt or killed?

Helen Goldberg

Coney Island

Planned Parenthood

To the editor,

The question many women are confronted with, especially from men, is, “When will you have a baby?” This is certainly an impertinence. Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Rights League are there to help women make an informed choice to prevent defective offspring, and not have unnecessary or unwanted pregnancies.

Political leaders, such as Teddy Roosevelt, Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini said that anyone who did not have at least four children was not a true patriot. This was to help build up the military.

The current American population is 320 million, and by 2070 it will have risen to around 650 million, making us on par with China and India where there is forced sterilization, and neutering of males and females. People should mind their own business.Elliott Abosh

Brighton Beach

Gun control

To the editor,

I hear a lot of noise about mental health care from gun-control opponents, amid conversations about the horrors of mass murders caused by guns in the U.S.

Unstable people are a part of the cause, but guns make the possibility of mass murder far easier. A mentally troubled person would almost never have the ability to murder many people with a knife, would they?

Actually, the real culprit is guns, and the lack of absolute control over access, tracking, and liability. If all three are in place, I believe that people will be a lot more responsible and careful with what they do with the arms and ammo they own.

People compare gun licenses with driver’s licenses, but humans are road tested to get a driver’s license. Young children don’t have the opportunity until they reach a certain age, and the elderly are road tested again above a certain age.

Frankly I have to believe that non-extremist Second Amendment advocates, in other words responsible gun owners, would easily agree with this notion.Barry Brothers


• • •

To the editor,

Another typical day for a shooting — 13 students were killed and 20 wounded in a small town in Oregon. Reports stated that religion had something to do with this savagery. I often wonder when does it finally end? We had a member of Congress shot some years ago and just this past September an aide to Gov. Cuomo died due to gunfire. Does it take someone in a congressme­mber’s family to be shot and killed for him or her to take a stand and vote for federal background checks? If not why are they in Congress? They were elected to represent the people in their districts, not the National Rifle Association.

I guess human life has no meaning for them. If it did they would not be so concerned about their next election and vote for background checks.Jerry Sattler

Brighton Beach

Interfaith peace

To the editor,

I, like many of your readers, was deeply touched and affected by Pope Francis during his visit to New York. Although I am not a Catholic, I watched the Pope on television for two days and re-discovered some of the hope and understanding I and millions of others lost on 9-11.

I will never forget the sight of the Pope standing among the ruins and remains of 9-11, now housed in the 9-11 museum. He stood and prayed next to a rabbi, a Muslim, a Buddhist, and representatives of many other faiths, each praying in his or her own way, for peace and understanding among us all.

I had believed, like John Lennon in his song “Imagine,” that if there were no religions, no differences among people’s beliefs, “the world would be as one.” However, after the Pope’s visit, I now believe that it is possible for each of us to keep his or her religious customs and while worshipping, each in our own way, create peace and understanding among us all. Elaine Kirsch


Live and let live

To the editor,

To Frances Stackpole, who criticized me for criticizing those upset with the ritual killing of chickens before Yom Kippur (“Reader v. reader,” Sound off to the Editor, Oct. 2): Ms. Stackpole, I am not wrong and you are not right.

The situation is a matter of opinion. Again I must emphasize that this practice is done for religious reasons and therefore we really don’t have a right to interfere. Based on some of the comments that were made by readers in newspapers reporting this, we did see evidence of anti-Semitism in responses by the anti-ritual crowd.

Please don’t bring in the Pope in your letter. I am certain that he would never interfere in the religious practices of any other religion. In addition do not suggest that I go to a butcher and have a chicken killed there for me. While I am very proud of my Jewish faith, I am not a Chasidic and I don’t participate in this activity. Are you and your cohorts complaining about live lobsters being boiled alive?

We have more important items to discuss. Are you up in arms over the killing of a couple riding through the West Bank in Israel in front of their four children, the disastrous nuclear agreement with Iran, and the lack of appropriate education among the Chasidim? Please mind your own business. Live and let live is our motto. By the way, don’t compare people with animals. Find something else to “yent” about.

Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

Speed traps

To the editor,

I am all for Mayor DeBlasio’s idea of “Vision Zero,” if it slows down cars and prevents accidents. There are places where the lower speed limit is really needed, like school blocks and busy crossing areas, but there are places where speed cameras are there only for revenue enhancement. A perfect example is the red light camera on Knapp Street where the speed limit was reduced to 25 mph. From Avenue V all the way to Emmons Avenue, in both directions, there is virtually no foot traffic because there aren’t but one or two stores on the whole stretch, and two lanes on each side. The red light camera is a great tool on many streets, but not on Knapp Street.

I would like to see some statistics on the number of pedestrian accidents on this street, to see if the street really warrants a red light camera and reduced speed limit or if it’s just a trap to take our money.

Peter G. Orsi

Marine Park

Uncle Sham

To the editor,

What took so long for the federal government to prosecute Don Blankenship, ex-chief executive of Massey Energy Co. whose mine explosion in West Virginia killed 29 miners in 2010?

The former attorney general never took the bankers to court for the financial meltdown. All they were required to do was pay a big fine, which is like chump change. Now he is gone and where do you think he went back to? Wall Street.

When it came to unarmed black men shot by cops where was he? So it took a new attorney general to at least make some type of effort to investigate the causes of black men being shot by police. Let’s see what happens now? Not all cops are bad, but at least investigate the complaints of excessive force.

Go back to the time when cops walked the beat, and businesses owners and residents knew the local beat cop. Someone made a suggestion about having a handful of children coming to the precinct to meet the local cops. This would take away the fear of all cops. Afterwards they would receive a certificate which they could bring to school.Solomon Rafelowsky

Brighton Beach

Council ‘loons’

To the editor,

Have our City Council members totally lost their minds? This past week they honored none other than convicted Soviet spy, Ethel Rosenberg, for leading a 1935 strike against the firm she worked for. No matter what the circumstances were, Mrs. Rosenberg does not deserve the honor by a council which has certainly disgraced itself.

What a poor message we send to our youth by doing this. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted of sending information regarding classified atomic secrets to the Soviets. Ethel’s brother, David Greenglass, turned them both in. Mrs. Rosenberg did the typing. Is she now to be made typist of the year?

What our council has done shows the ill-effects of loony, liberal progressive ways at their worst. Weren’t we all put at risk by the actions of the Rosenbergs? I imagine that the next step will be to make a television movie about them.

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer should be ashamed for helping to orchestrate such an honor. Those honoring Mrs. Rosenberg spoke about the Communist hysteria during that period which led to her execution. I think we’re now in a very dangerous liberal hysteria. This is what happens when we have a council speaker who at one time refused to salute the American flag. Where is the mayor to condemn this?Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

Meat over matter

To the editor,

In these difficult economic times, it is especially important to patronize your local fast food eatery, diner, restaurant or steak house. My wife and I don’t mind occasionally paying a little more to help our local businesses survive. Don’t forget your cook and server at your favorite local neighborhood restaurant. We try to tip 20 percent against the total bill, including taxes. If it is an odd amount, we round up to the next dollar. If we can afford to eat out, we can afford an extra dollar tip. When ordering take out, we always leave a dollar or two for the waiter or cook. It is appreciated.

Remember these people are our neighbors. Our local entrepreneurs have continued to create new employment opportunities without the assistance of federally-funded taxpayers’ stimulus dollars. They work long hours, pay taxes and provide local employment. If we don’t patronize our local restaurants, they don’t eat either.Larry Penner

Great Neck. N.Y..

‘Weakened’ Chuck

To the editor,

I am not surprised that according to a recent poll conducted by Quinnipiac University, Sen. Charles Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) most recent favorable approval rating is down to 52 percent. This represents his lowest approval ratings since May 2000.

There are two reasons for this decline: One, like the cowardly lion from the Land of Oz, Schumer came out against the proposed treaty with Iran, but with a wink and nod to President Obama refused to lobby his fellow senators in joining him to oppose the treaty. Many Jewish and non-Jewish friends of Israel are not happy with his abdication of leadership on this issue.

Two, since 1981 under Schumer’s watch as both a congressmember and senator our national debt went up by $17.4 trillion, increasing from $1 trillion in 1981 to $18.4 trillion, today. No wonder Schumer never talks about this at his standard Sunday news conferences. It is nothing to be proud of.

Besides conservatives and Republicans, many mainstream moderate Democrats and independent voters are not happy with his fiscal mismanagement of Washington. Younger voters who will have to pay off this debt are especially displeased.

Schumer faced unknown Republican challengers with no-name recognition, money or party support in 2004 (Howard Mills) and 2010 (Jay Townsend). New York Republicans now have a surprising opportunity in 2016. Given Schumer’s weakened poll numbers, perhaps a brave Republican candidate with both name recognition and the financial resources to offer a serious alternative will finally step forward to challenge him in 2016. It might make for an interesting contest as opposed to another Schumer coronation.

If New York Republicans give Schumer a free ride for the third time, he will be free to run around the nation in 2016 assisting other fellow Democrats running for the Senate. Democrats only need a net pick up of five seats to regain control of the Senate. Schumer will use his well-oiled, pay-for-play fundraising machine — he already has $20 million in the bank for his 2016 race with no announced opponent — to raise whatever it takes, be it $100 million or more, so he can become the Democratic Senate majority leader.Larry Penner

Great Neck, N.Y.

Chapter & verse

To the editor,

I have a friend who volunteers at the Gravesend Library. He mentioned that this library gets many new books that for now cannot be delivered elsewhere. We at the Brighton Beach Library are lucky if we ever see a new book on the shelf at any time. We are told there is no place to stack all the new books that have come in. So you would think the main library would finally do the right thing and send the new books to the Brighton Beach branch. Now is that asking too much?

If someone from the main branch would come and talk to the people who use the library on a daily basis to find out what concerns they have, maybe some progress would be made. We often hear how important the library is, especially to seniors to interact with others, as well for children who needs books for school, but then why the disrespect for patrons?

Jerry Sattler

Brighton Beach

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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