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To the editor,

While the death of Mr. Garner is a tragedy, the United Federation of Teachers and other unions have no business getting involved in marches to protest what has happened.

Unity Caucus has run the United Federation of Teachers for over 50 years with little to no opposition. They have persisted in getting involved in other issues to divert the minds of the membership regarding their repeated failures that have led to a worsening of working conditions for teachers. With discipline a major problem in the system, we need to be working with the police and not alienating them.

When Randi Weingarten headed the union she spent one summer ringing doorbells for Obama in the state of Missouri, A lot good that did as Romney carried the state by 10 percentage points. Last summer she met with Palestinian teachers in an attempt to bridge the gap. As soon as she left, children read anti-Semitic poetry in their schools.

Another shame is that membership dues will help to support this rally and other leftist nonsense. We need term limits in the United Federation of Teachers so people committed to improving education will lead rather than people who haven’t been in the classroom teaching for years.

Ed Greenspan

Sheepshead Bay

Missouri burning

To the editor,

One thing the liberal media is not reporting on is how the neighborhood of Furgeson, Mo., is dying.

Here in the rotten apple, after the last series of riots and burnings in the late ’70s, those neighborhoods NEVER recovered. Businesses and homes were burned to the ground. Whatever was left standing was looted to the walls, and what did these fine examples of upstanding citizens leave?

Block after block of nothingness. Food stores moved out, business picked up what was left, and left. Block after block of desolation with empty lots filled with overgrown grass and weeds. Empty, burned-out storefronts and apartments once teeming with everyday life.

Who did they screw? Not “The Man” as they like to say, but themselves and their families left standing in a dead town.

So after the riots end and reporters leave, I wonder what Missouri (Misery?) will look like in the upcoming months and years. I can tell you all, it ain’t a pretty sight and will remain ugly — forever.

Robert Lobenstein

Marine Park

Trash talk

To the editor,

It’s a different beat, but the same old tune. For as long as I have been reading this paper — and it’s been quite a few decades now — it seems every few months there is a new story about the same old trash problems in Sheepshead Bay (“Talking trash in Sheepshead Bay,” online July 24).

Your recent installment of the saga made in litter heaven — for you because you get tons of mileage from rubbish — had rookie Councilman Chaim Deutsch (D–Sheepshead Bay) hosting a community cleanup day. He offered to provide free brooms, rakes, and trash bags to area residents if they stepped up and cleaned up the filthy streets. He said he hoped the day of service would stick with people long after the last soda container, pizza carton, and glass beer bottle had been hauled away. Nice try, but I don’t think so!

Some people think the problem would be improved if there were more trash cans around, but I don’t agree with that supposition, either. There’s an old saying that says you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. It certainly holds true in Sheepshead Bay, where I have personally witnessed people of all stripes and ages casually toss their garbage into the street, when a trash can was just a few feet away. It was within their sight, but they behaved like litterbugs anyway. It goes back to how they were raised.

It’s great that Councilman Deutsch is rallying the community into cleaning up the bay’s streets, but he needs to start a campaign that tells people to stop being pigs first.Matthew Smith

Sheepshead Bay

Lincoln loggerhead

To the editor,

The majestic Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch at Grand Army Plaza pays tribute to “The Defenders of the Union,” the more than two million men who answered Abraham Lincoln’s call to save their country. Of these, over half a million perished or were maimed.

Yet Andrew Napolitano, a former New Jersey judge and the Senior Judicial Analyst for Fox News — and now a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Brooklyn Law School — has a decidedly different view of Lincoln and those who served the Union cause. In his published works, speeches and numerous T.V. appearances, Napolitano, an ardent civil libertarian, has embraced an extremely revisionist, neo-Confederate view of history. He labels Abraham Lincoln a bloodthirsty tyrant who usurped the Constitution and who waged an unprovoked, aggressive war against the South, which he regards as having every right to secede after the 1860 presidential election did not go its way. He has obscenely compared Lincoln to Stalin, Hitler, and Mao, and accused him of killing 750,000 Americans. He claims Lincoln was a racist who had no interest in freeing the slaves but only wanted to expand federal power and abuse “states rights.’’

Napolitano dismisses the evils and horrors of southern slavery, which kept 3.7 million men, women and children in bondage, which broke up families and which resulted in widespread sexual exploitation of slave women by masters and overseers. Instead, he reserves his wrath for Abraham Lincoln and places a halo over the Confederates as noble defenders against tyranny. He slanders the men who fought for the Union by claiming they “raped, burned and rampaged” though the South.

At Brooklyn Law School, Napolitano teaches a course on the Constitution, the very document that called for the “More Perfect Union” that Lincoln and the Union soldiers preserved. What a travesty and a dishonoring of their memory.

Dennis Middlebrooks

Bensonhurst

Recalling Nixon

To the editor,

Saturday, Aug. 9 marked the 40th anniversary of the resignation of Richard Nixon, who was the only sitting president in history to resign to avoid impeachment and removal from office.

There is no doubt that Richard Nixon was responsible for cover-up activities after the Watergate break-in. Even so, there is a fog of ignorance as to why congress was out to get him.

First, ever since Nixon ran for Congress, he investigated Communism in the State Department and pursued an investigation of the respected State Department official Alger Hiss, who accompanied President Franklin D. Roosevelt to Yalta in 1945.

Nixon found that Hiss lied to the House Committee on Un-American activities about his affiliation with the communist party, and whether he was giving classified information to Russia.

President Harry Truman dismissed this case as “a red herring.”

Nixon prevailed and the case was subsequently transferred to the US Department of Justice where Hiss was convicted of perjury and went to prison.

In 1948 Nixon was re-elected to the House and ran for the Senate from California in 1950.

Nixon was clearly President Truman’s pet peeve and the Democratic National Committee pooled its financial and political resources to defeat him, yet Nixon won by more than 600,000 votes.

Even after a scandal singled him out for a using a campaign-funding tactic used by many other politicians at the time, and a defeat for the presidency by John F. Kennedy, Nixon back in 1968 and won the presidency.

During his administration he was responsible for creating the Environmental Protection Agency, Health Maintenance Organizations, and turned out to be the best friend Israel ever had.

It should also be remembered that during the eight years of the Kennedy/Johnson administration only eight percent of the schools in Mississippi were desegregated. During Nixon’s term, he desegregate 65 percent.

Nixon ended the Draft, opened relations with China, detente with the Soviet Union, and curbed inflation with limited wage and price controls.

It is true that in October of 1972 George McGovern announced there was a break-in the Democratic Headquarters but it was reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein who broke the story.

While most people want to blame Nixon for going after political enemies with the IRS, it should be noted that Herbert Hoover was the first to go after Al Capone on taxes, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt went after Huey Long (D—Louisiana) on taxes.

It was also believed that Nixon committed an impeachable offense by bombing Cambodia, but he was vindicated by an 8-1 ruling by the US Supreme Court.

Nixon’s presidency will be debated for centuries, but a book should be written revealing the myths surrounding it. It may just be that Richard Nixon might turn out to be one of our more decent presidents.

Elliot Abosh

Brighton Beach

Beep of faith

To the editor,

New Borough President Adams doesn’t seem as visible in Brooklyn or as vocal about the borough as his livelier predecessor. It is as if Brooklyn lost its cheerleader when Marty Markowitz was term-limited out in November.

I don’t like to compare the two, and I do want to give Eric — a former cop, which I admire — a chance to show what he’s got, but I must say a few things about him bother me.

First, there’s the unresolved matter of whether or not he was involved in the supposed Aqueduct casino bid-rigging scandal. Eric was one of six Democratic politicians secretly taped by disgraced ex-state Sen. Shirley Huntley of Queens at the request of the federal government in a bid to win leniency in her fraud case.

Secondly, the city’s Department of Investigation is trying to make sense of complaints that Eric and his staff tried to get cash from local business and community leaders to finance pork-barrel projects, allegedly laundering the money through a non-existent nonprofit.

Thirdly, he is using a fleet of eight taxpayer-funded cars to get around town — two more apparently than the combined flotillas of the borough presidents of Queens and Manhattan. I also read that he doesn’t plan to cut down on them.

The smoke of all these allegations could add up to a big fire for Borough President Adams. Sorry, brother, but I gotta say it like it is. P. Vernon

Flatbush

Go, sports

To the editor,

I really like your local sports coverage. Brooklyn’s great school and college athletes usually go under the radar of the mainstream papers, but you make it a point to report on how they are doing. As a local sports fan, I appreciate that.

I especially liked your special report on all the sports teams (“The Courier’s Top 10 Brooklyn high school teams of 2014,” online July 25). Thanks again for covering our local teams — they’ll thank you too when they make the big leagues!Peter Fisk

Midwood

For Christ’s sake

To the editor,

Does anyone even care about Christian persecution around the world? Muslim extremists in Iraq and other Muslim countries are killing Christians for their beliefs, yet nothing is done. But say one wrong word about Muslims and everyone makes a federal case out of it.

I am not advocating bad things against any group, but I think it is darned awful for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant to drive out the last few Christians left in Iraq. They were given a choice between being heavily taxed, converting to Islam, or plain death.

Their homes were marked with N for Nazarenes, and the ancient Christian shrine to Jonah in Mosul was blown up. Don’t these extremists realize that Jonah was a prophet in the Koran as well as the Bible?

Christians are the salvation of the world, but their dwindling numbers does not bode well for the other minorities left in these armpits of the world. How come the United Nations and civil libertarians aren’t doing anything to help Christians in their time of need? Wake up world.

Maria Warner

Brooklyn

Tardy transit

To the editor,

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is not going the way of the average Joe.

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said the agency needed another $12 billion over the next five years for repairs in yet another mugging of New York taxpayers, who have lavished billions of dollars over the years for infrastructure improvements. Those seem to take so long that by the time one project is finished, the first bit of it is in need of being fixing up again.

The agency has an estimated $26.6 billion worth of work to be done throughout its transit system in the next five years — and that doesn’t even include the really big projects, including the Second Avenue subway extension, planned for the distant future at a cost of $105.7 billion according to one report.

Our transit system is a dollar wasteland because of labor costs. If transit workers didn’t stretch out the work from weeks, into months and years, and even decades in some cases — we’ve all seen it — maybe their boss would be in the black, and straphangers wouldn’t be seeing red.

J. Tillman

Mill Basin

Pro-immigration

To the editor,

America is the proud land of immigrants. They helped make it a great country and all Americans can trace their roots to one immigrant or another.

Immigrants who are here illegally obviously feel they have no choice but to come here anyway. I feel bad for them and feel they need our support. It must be terrible in their countries, if they feel they have to trek over dangerous territory for hundreds of miles to reach our shores or surrender their children to smugglers and their ilk to get them out of the country.

America has a heart big enough to accommodate all who come here in search of a better life. Here they have the opportunities to better themselves and become productive members of society, eventually helping us and themselves. They just need someone to believe in them and give them a fresh start. What’s wrong with that?

We shouldn’t be so quick to judge others because we all need help from time to time in our lives. God Bless America, the proud nation of immigrants.

Carmen Velez

Bushwick

‘Cane season

To the editor,

Hurricane season is just around the corner, and I hope and pray that we will not become its victims ever again.

Some communities in Brooklyn still haven’t recovered from the devastating after-effects of Hurricane Sandy that wrecked the city two years ago. Sandy was one our most expensive disasters ever, causing around $50 billion in damage. Only Hurricane Katrina, 9-11, and Hurricane Andrew were worse.

The city needs to make sure it is prepared, with enough equipment and supplies, should we fall prey to another Sandy. It’s imperative.Victoria Hume

Coney Island

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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