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Letters to the Editor - Aug. 21, 2009

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By The Staff

Police presence

overkill

I am writing this letter not as an angry resident but as a confused professional. I am a retired New York police officer who was assigned to the traffic division in Manhattan for almost 20 years — so I feel that my observations are valid.

What bothers me is the amount of attention and manpower that the local law enforcement agency is giving to my community of Oak Run. Granted, some of our drivers are somewhat challenged, but still this seems to me to be overkill. If the original plan was meant to bring awareness to the residents to the speed limits and other traffic regulations, I wholeheartedly agree with the concept. All one has to do is drive out our main gate onto Route 200 to see that existing priorities are out of whack. The traffic violations range from speeding, unsafe lane changes, tailgating, red light running, etc.

It seems to me that unless the local law enforcement agency is overstaffed, and I doubt that is the situation, the officer in the bushes with the radar gun in Oak Run would be better served out on 200 enforcing the traffic regulations.

As I stated, 200 is much more dangerous route to travel than the boulevard in Oak Run and the limited amount of police presence available should be focused there.

William Staiger

Oak Run

Divided we all fall

In our recent news as we witnessed the debate on health care, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi drew scorn for saying protesters were "carrying swastikas and symbols like that" at town hall meetings. Bloggers on the left circulated a few photos to back up Pelosi’s claim. There have been protest signs featuring swastikas that are circled and crossed out (one held by a child in a stroller), another in which the letter S is drawn in the style of the Nazi SS insignia and a poster of President Obama with a Hitler mustache.

Pelosi’s fellow Democrat, Rep. Brian Baird of Washington, said he would conduct town halls by telephone instead of in-person so he won’t "walk into an ambush."

"What we’re seeing right now is close to Brown Shirt tactics," Baird told the Columbian newspaper, referring to the paramilitary group that helped Hitler rise to power.

Not to be outdone, Rush Limbaugh fired a verbal salvo on his radio show Thursday listing several ways he believes Obama is like Hitler. He even picked up on a conservative blog’s comparison of Obama’s health care logo to a Nazi symbol. As Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn put it, "Limbaugh played an entire deck of Hitler cards."

Fox News’ Glenn Beck apparently didn’t get the Nazi-talk memo, but he did manage to stir the pot with a joke about putting poison in Pelosi’s wine.

Perhaps more amazing than any of the comments above is what Bill O’Reilly writes about the president in this weekend’s Parade magazine.

After the Wall Street Crash of 1929, the U.S. called in its loans to Germany, and the German economy collapsed. The number of unemployed grew; people starved on the streets. In the crisis, people wanted someone to blame, and looked to extreme solutions  Hitler offered them both, and Nazi success in the elections grew. Germans turned to Nazism because they were desperate. The number of Nazi seats in the Reichstag rose from 12 in 1928 to 230 in July 1932. To Hitler, this depression was like a gift because for every problem the Nazi Party had come up with an explanation or promise. These included; promise to get rid of the hated Weimar government and replace it with a strong leader, Hitler, a promise to get people back to work on road building and public works, and a promise to deal with a communist take-over.

As German clergyman said during the Hitler regime: "First the Nazis went after the Communists. I did not speak out because I was not a Communist. Then they went after the Jews. I did not speak out because I wasn’t Jewish. Then they went after the trade unionists. I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they went after the Catholics. I did not speak out because I am Protestant. Then they came after me. By that time, there was no one left to speak out for me." Simply put, if it’s not safe to hand over our liberty to anyone that promises all at someone’s expense.

We have found in the history of every past civilization on earth that human beings are capable of spreading both good and evil. It has been found that this evil is inherent in the genes of most humans as a part of their excess baggage in primitive times for survival. In our present society it survives as a thirst for power that inflates the ego along with selfishness, greed, and a desire to dominate others. All the oaths, laws of our land, and education go by the wayside when an individual thirsts for money and becomes power hungry. Throughout history we have lived with both the inequalities of the poor and the rich. This has only resulted in more education and more wealth and more power for those well off, establishing a European type aristocratic society in our country that we originally fought to free us from. Most realize there will never be equality between the rich and the poor. We do realize as the rich get richer and the poor poorer with the additional burden of a middle class adding to the numbers of the poor, America cannot survive under this problem without dissent.

It would be great if all Americans can remember the words that founded our nation on July 4, 1776 and put down in our “Declaration of Independence. ..that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,…”

We have an elected president and a Congress facing enormous obstacles. Let us support them and give them a chance without getting paranoia.

The only way to end this inequality as stated in our “Declaration of Independence,” is for our system of government to step in and level the playing field to assist those less fortunate and place guidelines. Otherwise one superior social class will end up controlling the lives and future of the majority of the citizens of America for their own benefit . Giving names as Socialists, Communists, Liberals, Progressives, Democrats or Republicans etc. to those striving to better themselves only diverts attention to the problems at hand; the desire for those less fortunate to rise up out of poverty and have a chance to better themselves and their children.

Bill Marder

Oak Run