Words to help heal a community

To the Editor,

Weren’t we all traumatized recently by the deeds of a maniac on the waterfront? (“Third man dies after gruesome hammer attack at Sheepshead Bay restaurant,” by Kevin Duggan, online Jan. 24.) Now that he’s receiving all the creature comforts of the incarcerated in this 21st-century “sanctuary city” of the enlightened “Brave New World” (what a travesty!), the following was an attempt at catharsis, which goes greatly wanting today:

Horrible was news

few weeks before

favorite Chinese Buffet

near the shore

“Buffet Of The Bay”

not a bad name!

but it is “Seaport”

that was brought ill fame

not of itself

but by the will of another

with “ill health of the mind”

a headshrink might say

who hammer-slew one

out of blind hate

striking also two others

the very same way

who lasted only some days

never again to stay.

The man caught and now held

to account for his crimes:

deaths of chef, manager, owner

the end of their times …

So, here we are, on the 24th eating

at the Seaport again,

to support with sympathy

and comfort — why not?

Hate the Chinese?

Out of his mind!

Twisted! Sick! Morally blind!

Where’s justice in this case?

“Due Process?” sounds good

but in its right place.

Forget about a jury

it’s not their task;

and leave the deciding

to family and friends

for making what should be

a satisfying end!

Why must they wait

till his life sentence is done?

And a parole-board committee

judges fitness to be free

after being contained

under lock and key.

The family and friends

know better than the courts

to exact in fairness

the correct rewards.

“Mansons” need answers

not exacerbations

for cancers.J. J. Lauria

Sheepshead Bay

We need to care

To the Editor,

Now, more so than at any time of my life, I am feeling that the ethos of the civilization that once was a thriving United States is in rapid decline.

To my mind, economic factors and then religious, racial tribalism (to name only two), and the behaviors fostered around them create a culture predicated upon divisiveness — highlighting what folks believe are so very different between each other. An alternative would be society intent upon creating cohesiveness through respect and caring that promotes all we have in common, something far greater than what differentiates us.

Is this a naïve idea? It isn’t to me, but in relation to how things are thought of and valued now, it sure might sound like Pollyanna to some.

My alternative vision looks to a culture based first upon humanness driven more by an altruistic heart in meeting the needs and wants of people before commerce and profit comes into play. And I believe that the sought-after result of a thriving economy should first be the things that create and sustain a modest, happy life for all; the basics.

Gross domestic product and other Wall Street and economist values should be replaced with measurements that speak to quality of life issues for all, such as healthcare, housing, nourishment, and so on. I believe a reset with a focus on quality of life first, and in relation to economic decisions, will get the country on track and headed toward a peaceful, prosperous society.

Here is a recent, clear example of what exemplifies what is wrong:

This might seem silly, but this came to mind early this morning when I heard that the National Football League and CBS-TV, which is broadcasting the Super Bowl on Feb. 3, has strongly declined to air a commercial for a company that is addressing the apparent growing value of medical marijuana.

Both the League and CBS-TV create a lot of wealth for themselves by promoting a product — football — which exemplifies violence. This most surely has to have a profound effect on society, right alongside the violence that is too often a part of “entertainment” movies and digital games. Additionally, getting back to the NFL, the game itself is extremely harmful to the players, creating a life of debilitating pain, as shown by the many stories that have seen the light of day with regard to brain injuries and resulting premature deaths.

The hypocrisy that immediately came to mind is this: both large economic engines called the NFL and CBS-TV are adamantly turning down a commercial for medical marijuana that is slowing proving to be beneficial in many ways, while at the same time airing commercials for alcohol, that offer little to nothing positive for society. I don’t believe there are stories out there about people dying from marijuana, but we are hearing about a lot of research proving its value as a medicine. We indeed do hear far too many stories about people dying from alcohol addiction and innumerable examples of automobile accidents caused by drunk drivers.

My hope, and I believe the only hope for these no longer “united states” (as exemplified by the current state of affairs in Washington D.C.), is that our electoral and political systems are turned around in huge ways so elected representatives solely and fully represent the wants and needs of “we the people.”

These positive adjustments won’t come easy; they will absolutely require that the people — and I mean all of the people approaching and of voting age — start getting informed and involved and vote to support candidates with the right vision; a vision that is fully inclusive and equitable.

Will you, who are reading this right now, whatever race, and economic status, political or religious affiliation, please begin your journey to get informed, involved, and vote; and encourage others you know to do the same so that we can positively change the divisiveness we are experiencing into a cultural ethos that respects and cares for all?

Please.Barry Brothers


Let teachers speak

To the Editor,

I sent the following letter to the United Federation of Teachers newspaper and hope that you shall print a copy of the letter:

I applaud the work that paraprofessionals and secretaries do in our schools; nevertheless, I believe that all groups should have their own separate bargaining unit.

I was reading in the latest United Federation of Teachers newspaper that paras are exempt from cafeteria duty. That’s great, but how about teachers?

Don’t you think it’s time that those with a divergent opinion be granted writing space in the UFT paper? All we ever see is the Unity line describing how wonderful things are in the system. The only time we ever see anything from another group is around election time.

We have a plethora of problems in our schools, but as the years pass, we don’t even see lip service paid to them. I’m referring to the complete lack of discipline in far too many schools and the problem of class size. I’ve been retired now for 17 years but from what I hear, the latter two items remain the same.

Let’s really practice democracy and allow for all views to be published in the paper.Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

Tolerance needed

To the Editor,

The modern-day conservative movement’s founding father, late Arizona Senator and 1964 Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, would have been disappointed in the recent Supreme Court decision to uphold President Trump’s position denying transgender people the opportunity to serve in our military.

Concerning gays in the military, Goldwater said, “You don’t have to be straight to be in the military; you just have to be able to shoot straight.”

Diversity and tolerance is what unites all Americans, regardless of political views, age, religion, or sexual orientation.

In today’s troubled world, I say thank you to anyone who voluntarily joins the military, be they straight, gay, bisexual, or transgender. Serving in the military is also a great path to obtain citizenship for immigrants who want to share in the American dream. Intolerance toward others is a sure recipe for defeat. Larry Penner

Great Neck

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