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Although I wasn't going to dignify with a response Mr. Roy Coniglio's letter which appeared in the Feb. 2 issue of Port News, upon reflection and reconsideration, his comments beg an answer. Mr. Coniglio completely missed the mark. He attacked the messenger at the expense of choosing to completely ignore the importance of the message. That being the case, he needs to be reminded of the following. Fact#1: Congressman Gary Ackerman by characterizing Representative JoAnn Davis's resolution as "Talibanesque," by inference, compared her to the murderous Taliban. He thus overstepped the boundary of decency with this grotesque remark. Fact# 2: If that wasn't bad enough, his colleague, Brooklyn Democrat Congressman Jerrold Nadler, compared the Bush administration to the Nazis of 1933 with his equally reprehensible statement..."As I read statements by the Justice Department, the power the president claims he has, if he were in Germany in 1933, he would not have required the Enabling Act to pass the Reichstag to claim the power." Fact# 3: And then along comes Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, accusing the Bush administration and Republicans in Congress to be "plantation owners", by inference categorizing them as slave owners, a statement she made at a Martin Luther King commemoration in Harlem. And the list of these sorts of attacks goes on. The indecent behavior of Senators Ted Kennedy, Chuck Schumer, Joe Biden and others at the Judge Samuel Alito hearings, are another example of the culture of character assassination that permeates in the political arena nowadays. How prophetic was the admonition by Judge Welsh during the Army-McCarthy hearings, when he addressed the Senator from Wisconsin..."have you no shame Senator?" Although we are blessed with the inalienable right of discourse, debate and taking an opposing view, what politicians have completely forgotten is to behave in a civil manner, respecting a divergent opinion, exercising sensitivity and tolerance, while practicing our cherished democratic process. With comments like the above, they have sunk to the abyss of everything that's decent. Furthermore, with this sort of indecent behavior, they have violated their constituents' trust. As a result, they don't deserve to hold the office to which they have been elected. As to Mr. Coniglio's complaint about my "constant lecturing," I have only one advice to give him. "Don't read my letters if they bother you that much!" If the biased mainstream press and TV media choose to ignore holding our elected officials accountable for their reprehensible attitude, then it's my inalienable right to do so. And with that, Mr. Coniglio, I rest my case!

Stan Ronell


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