“Men are born ignorant, not stupid. They are made stupid by education.” So wrote the British historian Bertrand Russell, and if you’ve read the papers this week you may think he was absolutely right. Years of education do not translate into intelligence let alone an enlightened insight into truth.
I write specifically about the American Studies Association (ASA), a nationwide organization of university professors. In an effort to protest Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, its members overwhelmingly voted to boycott Israel’s academic institutions from collaborations with the universities here in the United States. Among local institutions affiliated with the ASA are New York University, Cornell, Columbia, SUNY Buffalo and SUNY Stony Brook. To be fair, the administrations of many of these affiliated universities have slammed the boycott but are just sitting on the sidelines.
On Dec. 16, 2013, the SafeWise Report released its “50 Safest Cities in New York” list. To compile this report, SafeWise used the most recent FBI crime data from 2011 for municipalities with a population of at least 15,000, and other ranking factors, like unique safety initiatives and security programs implemented within the past few years. From the hundreds of cities in New York, they narrowed the list down to 50 and assigned rankings according to how the city met their criteria.
The Village of Floral Park has been honored as the safest city on their list, stating the following in their report:
I’ve always been fond of the saying, “Everything in moderation, including moderation.” It’s the kind of advice you would expect to find in Montaigne’s Essays. But alas, it’s nowhere to be found in any of his priceless gems. Indeed, attribution is impossible since I
have no clue of its author. But it’s pithy and wise and therefore fitting of Montaigne, whose essential message to his readers is that we don’t have to justify or validate our existence. If you can manage your own life, Montaigne confides to us, you have done the greatest task of all. He understood that ruling your own spirit can be more challenging than ruling a state.
We’re from the government and we’re here to help you. These ten most feared words in the English language viciously pound the eardrums in the wake of the egregious Obamacare rollout. Every step menaces with pitfalls and booby traps of higher premiums, higher deductibles, co-pays, penalties, mandates, hidden taxes and subsidies. It’s an awful mess with the Democrats hoping that a civil war for the soul of the Republican Party distracts public attention from this never ending boondoggle.
While the Republican Party has been making a yeoman’s effort to stab themselves in the back at a time they should be reaping benefits from the health care meltdown in Washington, no amount of bickering within the GOP can overshadow the calamity afflicting the president and his party over what was supposed to be the crowning achievement of his administration. Enrollment rates for the eponymously named Obamacare have been shatteringly low. At least 12 Democratic senators running next year in Red States have charged the White House as if they were the French demonstrators storming the Bastille in 1789. The guillotines have not yet been deployed, but knives are sharpened to cut ties with the president over Obamacare if a quick fix is not imminent. None of these senators wants to have the angry, minatory index finger of the electorate rudely pointing at them for screwing up their health care plan. Senators tend to like their jobs and the country does not seem to like any part of Obamacare, at least this side of Sandra Fluke and her free contraceptives.
A good portion of recent network news has been about the one year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy. It is one year later and so many NY/NJ residents are still waiting for promised relief from this natural disaster. Neighborhoods were destroyed, life as they knew it changed…forever.
Fortunately, the Village of Floral Park weathered the storm better than most of Long Island. I vividly recall driving throughout the village and walking through the streets of the West End, where I witnessed extreme damage. Our public services: fire, police and public works were running, despite Village wide power outages in excess of a week and gas lines reminiscent of the 1973 gas shortage,.
The Sewanhaka Central High School District Board of Education will hold a bond referendum on Dec. 4. The bond referendum enables the district to issue debt to bring the district’s infrastructure into the 21st century. The district’s excellent financial position will allow borrowing at favorable rates and approximately 40 percent of the debt will be covered by state aid. This will allow the district to proactively plan and schedule repairs which will avoid costly emergency repairs, for which the district would receive no state aid, and avoid disruption to student routines.
A committee was formed in October 2012 with representatives from each school community. The plan calls for renovations to buildings and athletic fields within the five-component district, improving heating, ventilation and air conditioning, upgrading technology and security, and constructing new gyms, cafeterias and auditoriums.
In the fading light of America’s foreign policy, we must grope for clarity and illumination. Two pearls of wisdom come to mind.
The first was enunciated by former President Richard Nixon in his post-Watergate years: When the balance of power changes anywhere it changes everywhere. The second comes from Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of State George Schultz: It’s better to use force when you should and not when you must.
I wish to take this opportunity to thank all our local residents and community organizations that assisted in this year’s community blood drive. Through everyone’s efforts we were able to collect 279 pints of whole blood on Friday June 28. This year’s drive and blood donations will go to benefit one of our local children, Owen Hogan. Owen’s illness requires numerous blood transfusions.
The selfishness we’re witnessing in Albany right now has to stop.
You know I’ve written in this column many times that New York State has made real progress these last three years. Things are far better than they used to be simply because Republicans and Democrats alike are finally working together. Despite the accompanying noise, there’s really no magic formula. Legislators with common sense have finally realized that you can’t always get everything you want and that most times, the reasonable middle ground also happens to advance the people’s agenda very nicely.
But I’m not “feeling the love” lately.
Recently, Congressman Peter King fired a warning shot across the bow of Republican politics stating that isolationists like Rand Paul won’t defeat Hillary Clinton, the prospective Democratic presidential nominee in 2016. It’s a warning Republicans would be wise to heed.
Yet, in the second decade of the 21st century, Republicans are not merely divided over the budget but also America’s role in the world. Last week I lunched with an elderly gentleman whose views about economic and social policy are in harmony with my own. I mentioned my concern about the Republican Party embracing isolationism and becoming timorous about exerting any muscular influence in world affairs and how vexing it is that so many young Republicans support non-interventionists like Ron and Rand
Paul. My lunch companion, however, was unmoved by my animus and to my astonishment expressed support for the non-intervention wing of the Republican Party, stating that America no longer has the resources to police the world.
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