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    Dear Editor:

    “How Did This Happen??” Felder Charges Corruption In Albany today, at the Joint Legislative Public Hearing on the ‘20-’21 Executive Budget, Senator Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn) slammed Mayor de Blasio’s inability to make good on years of promises to improve DOE’s provision of special education services, charging that unparalleled levels of mismanagement are likely the result of corruption in the system.

    For 14 years, DOE has been out of compliance with the federal Individual with Disabilities Education Act, leaving parents of special education students locked in a constant battle to obtain necessary services mandated for their child’s education. “We don’t have a moment’s peace,” one mother recently shared. “We have come to accept the autism diagnosis and the developmental delays and challenging behaviors, but the struggles that come along with it are not so fair… Paying for this has become another burden in my home.”

    “Years of combined efforts by the NYS Senate and Assembly led up to the Mayor’s 2014 Press Conference where he committed to finally help families of special needs students,” said the Senator. “Unfortunately, a short lived improvement was followed by years of decline.”

    Documenting 6 years of unsuccessful outreach efforts to address a multitude of unlawful issues plaguing the special education system, including delinquent settlement decisions and reimbursements, re-litigation of settled cases and onerous paperwork and procedures that delay and obstruct necessary services, the Senator proposed that the solution might be found outside of Mayor de Blasio’s administration.

     “Incompetence of this magnitude is not believable. Corruption is more likely what’s happening here,” accused the irate Senator. “I am asking you, Mr. Mayor, to join me in requesting an independent monitor from DOI to conduct a thorough investigation as to why 10,000 special needs students are in crisis,” offered the Senator, with the promise that a letter of request would be sent out immediately following the hearing.


    Editor’s Note: It seems like too little, too late. DeBlasio is a lame duck.


    Dear Editor:

    Many mourned Kobe Bryant’s death because he was a recognizable figure to many. If you had a problem with that, you had plenty of time to complain when he was alive. To do so at the news of his death is in poor taste.


    Editor’s Note: What about the other people on the helicopter. Is it not poor taste ignoring them?


    Dear Editor:

    I don’t understand how Democrats make fun of Trump, but the front-runners of the Democratic party are an old Communist, a Mickey Mouse-like mayor, and a questionably alive former Vice president.


    Editor’s Note: Democrats will do anything to try to get elected, including impeaching someone who is doing a great job.


    Dear Editor:
     In response to the co-called “database” of international corporations doing business with Israeli settlements published by The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Herut North America’s National Director Moshe Phillips released the following statement: “The publishing of this so-called “blacklist” of companies doing
    business with Israeli communities in the Settlements is not designed to provide information. It was only created to have a chilling effect on the ability of working Israeli families to earn a living and to support boycotters of Israel.

    “While not the “stated” purpose of the list, its publication will aid those engaging in the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction (BDS) movement,” states Jeff Dunetz editor and publisher of the The Lid, and a weekly political columnist for the Jewish Star newspaper. Dunetz is also a Herut candidate for the 2020 World Zionist Congress.

    Herut agrees with the assessment of Orde Kittrie of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies who writes, “Compliance with the blacklist could be inconsistent with the U.S. anti-boycott statute (50 U.S.C 4842), which has long been used to punish compliance with boycotts (and blacklists) fostered by the Arab League.”

    Fred Taub, author of the 2010 watershed book Boycotting Peace: Why Divestment Is Turning Truth On Its Head and a Herut candidate for the 2020 World Zionist Congress commented on the UN list saying “you can’t have peace with someone who won’t sit down with you for a cup of coffee, boycotts are meant to divide, not bring people together.”

    Herut thanks former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for taking the UN to task over this move. Their comments are well worth repeating: Ambassador Haley tweeted that the UN “hit a new low today publishing its Antisemitic blacklist of companies it claims are involved in Israeli ‘settlement activity,’” and Secretary Pompeo tweeted “It is outrageous that the @UNHumanRights Commissioner @mbachelet would release the database of
    companies operating in Israeli-controlled territories. Its publication confirms the unrelenting anti-#Israel bias so prevalent at the @UN”

    This boycott list echoes of some of the darkest periods of recent
    Jewish  history and must be called out as hateful and dangerous.

    Herut is an international movement for Zionist pride and education and is dedicated to the ideals of pre-World War Two Zionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky


    Editor’s Note: I am not sure what you are trying to say. The UN hates us and as long as they have a bunch of Muslim countries and only one Jewish Country, things will not change.


    Dear Editor:

    “No Community is Immune” In their effort to combat substance misuse and the opioid crisis, Senator Felder and the NYS Senate Majority passed a package of legislation aimed at combatting the opioid crisis. Following 8 statewide hearings and 6 treatment site visits, The Joint Senate Task Force on Opioids, Addiction & Overdose Prevention issued a report whose findings informed the measures which aim to provide additional support to those fighting and recovering from addiction and expand health, treatment, and recovery services.

    “The legislation we passed addresses the opioid crisis at all levels and enables us to better serve impacted individuals and prevent future opioid abuse. I thank my colleagues on the Joint Senate Task Force for the time and effort they committed to help us better understand this complex issue and respond accordingly,” said Senator Felder.

    Task force co-chairs, Senator David Carlucci, the Chair of the Senate Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities and Senator Pete Harckham, the Chair of the Senate Committee on Alcoholism and Substances Abuse, joined Senator Felder on a tour of the Integrated Health Care Center of Interborough Developmental and Consultation Center (IDCC) to learn more about the specific needs and challenges faced by the individuals and communities they serve.

    “Opioid addiction does not discriminate, no community is immune. Families and communities everywhere are enduring its pain and trauma. I was pleased that the Task Force joined me to tour a facility on the front lines of the fight to stop this crisis dead in its tracks,” said Senator Felder.

    Senator Felder previously attended a meeting of the South Brooklyn Community Coalition, a coalition of organizations fighting addictions across South Brooklyn, facilitated by Dr. Gersten, CEO of IDCC. “It’s a real inspiration to see so many capable and compassionate leaders from diverse communities collaborating to fight the devastating effects of addiction. I look forward to supporting their critical work in every way I can,” said Senator Felder.


    Editor’s Note: This is a worthy battle and should be given priority.


    Dear Editor:

    There is absolutely no good reason for politicians (mostly conservative-Republicans) to scare our senior citizens by threatening to cut Social Security Retirement benefits. There is no so-called “crisis.”

    Virtually every serious, non-biased study has concluded that the Social Security Trust Fund is fully solvent through 2034.  After that, it will be able to provide 76%-79% of benefits for the next 60 years after 2034.

    Does it need to be fixed?  Of course it does.  But it does not have to be done today, and there is no need to cut anyone’s benefits.

    One of the relatively simple and easy “reforms” that can be made was proposed in 2015 by Republican Presidential candidate and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.  I literally sat in the same car as Democrat Presidential candidate and Arizona Governor Bruce Babbitt in 1987 when he said that what we should do is to “Means-Test” Social Security benefits.  For example,  we can make Social Security fully solvent well beyond 2034 by reducing the benefits of those who have a yearly
    income of, say, $80,000/year and higher by a certain percentage. I can still recall Governor Babbitt saying to me “Stew, do multi-millionaires really need the same Social Security benefits as senior citizens who are living in poverty?”

    I am calling upon all US Senators and Congresspeople to stop scaring our senior citizens. Something that might happen in 14 years that is easily preventable and solved is NOT a so-called “crisis”, and they all know it. It is so unnecessary and cruel for our senior citizens to be scared like this.


    Stewart B. E.

    Editor’s Note: This discussion is getting old.



    Dear Editor:

    The impeachment sham is finally over! This nation has gone through 3 years of this sham for political gains. During the Impeachment sham, I decided to call my Congresswoman, Kathleen Rice, to understand her reasoning of why she was pro-impeachment and to have further dialogue as a constituent. Ms. Rice first came out in support of an impeachment inquiry when the Mueller report was released. Over a period of 5months approximately once a week, I called their office because of the
    constant excuses that they gave me. I first called them to understand what specifically Ms. Rice thought was a crime in the Mueller report. The office always told me that she was concerned with Trump obstructing justice. Therefore, I asked them how was Trump obstructing justice when he provided over a million documents to Mueller, when his legal team testified for over 30 hours to Mueller, when he answered written questions to Mueller, when there were over 2800 subpoenas sent
    out from Mueller and the fact that Trump let the investigation go on for 2 years, be counted as obstruction? Furthermore, the dictionary defines obstruction as being, “the action of deliberately hindering a legal process” and none of Trump’s actions qualified for that definition. The office continued their delays with non-answers telling me that they will get back to me and etc. Finally after 2 months or so, the office got me in contact with one of Ms. Rice’s closest advisors to deal with me. Now before I go on, let me be clear, every time I had a phone call with one of their people I always was nice and respectful to them. Even the one time that I got a little too angry with them, I apologized because the best way to have a dialogue is with respect. Furthermore, I always thanked them for their service to
    our nation and for their time. I treated them with respect and fairness and reciprocally they always treated me with fairness and respect. After getting in contact with this advisor, the advisor told me basically all that the office told me with a reassurance that the advisor would talk to the Congresswoman about the issue. After waiting
    a month or so without calling the office, I finally wondered why they didn’t contact me back. I called the office and told them my concerns and asked why the advisor didn’t contact me back. The office said that the advisor would contact me back, eventually. Finally, I got a call from the advisor telling me that there was no new knowledge from the Congresswoman about my concerns. Rice’s office kept on delaying and delaying and giving me the non answers of “we will try to contact you
    with someone else.” Finally, the Ukrainian thing started so my concerns continued to grow. I asked what was the specific crime that Trump committed and as usual they gave me no concrete or factual answers. They also told me that “we are giving you answers but it’s just that you don’t like them.” Well that also wasn’t true, because the answers that they were giving me was that Ms. Rice is concerned that Trump tried to collude in the election with a foreign leader and that wasn’t a fact established nor is being concerned with something automatically make it a fact. I further asked them for any factual evidence or a crime but they gave me nothing. Furthermore, I asked how did Trump commit a crime when there is a treaty that went into effect in 2001 with Ukraine that made both the US and Ukraine responsible to cooperate in each other’s criminal investigations? It also says in the National Arms Defense Package of 2019, which allotted the money to Ukraine, that the US would be responsible to root out corruption in Ukraine. Ms Rice’s office continued the status quo of giving me non-answers. Finally after another 2 months, during my normal weekly call they said to me that I had 3 minutes to speak even though I as a constituent, was speaking to them for most weeks only 10 minutes and sometimes 20. I was confused because the previous week they told me that if you call back next week, you will get more assistance, so I called them back after they hung up on me. After I called for the 2nd time, a woman came on the phone and told me that my 3 minutes are up and I should call back next week. But still I was confused and was about to tell her what they told me last week, when she hung up on me, so I called another 2 more times. Finally, after I was still confused, the women threatened to call the capital police on me. I never threatened or harassed them, all I did was have a conversation about Kathleen Rice, my congresswomen, who is supposed to represent the constituents for a few minutes a week. Later on, the advisor sent me an email with their new regulations for only me. The conditions  included that I could only call them once a week to speak to one person for 3 minutes and to only email them once a week. The office even got hold of my mother’s numbers telling them that I was bothering them and I would have these new restrictions. Furthermore, the advisor gave my phone number to the capital police. The restrictions that they put upon me showed that they didn’t want to have a real conversation. I have always respected Kathleen Rice for her support of Israel and her independence in the Democrat Party until she came out with her support of impeachment and tried to shut me down. She didn’t try to just shut me down, she tried to shut down the 60% of independents, the over 50% of our nation who didn’t approve of impeachment and the 63 million people who voted Trump. I of course appreciate Kathleen Rice’s office for having a dialogue with me, but I don’t appreciate being shut down because I had a good argument that seemed that they couldn’t debate. As a community, we always attribute and praise Kathleen Rice as our defender, but trying to impeach a president, who has especially been amazing for Jews, based on no crime is shameful. My message to the Congresswoman is that November 2020 is coming soon, and you aren’t going to be happy with the election results!

    Donny Simcha G

    Editor’s Note: Democrats like to say, “Don’t confuse me with the facts!”


    Dear Editor:

    This Purim, get drunk on grape juice.


    Editor’s Note: Do you mean ladies? Or are you going against halacha?


    Dear Editor:

    A $189.99 scotch may not be offensive, but it sure is irrelevant to the readers of a free publication!


    Editor’s Note: A penny saved is a penny earned. To each to their own.


    Dear Editor:

    Government is only an evil that is meant to prevent other evils. Taxation is a theft to prevent other thefts; military force is violence that is necessary to prevent more violence.


    Editor’s Note: Tell it to the marines, and to the politicians.


    Dear Editor:

    I’ve noticed a disturbing trend online and in newspapers and
    magazines; The extreme stereotyping of people diagnosed with
    personality disorders or autism spectrum disorders, sometimes
    bordering on outright vilification. People with these diagnoses are
    often misunderstood, but the most important thing to realize is that
    those people are people. They are fully sentient and conscious and
    feel the full range of human emotion, and when you say hurtful things
    about them as a group, they feel hurt. People with these conditions
    suffer enough from the condition itself without other people adding to
    the pain. Instead of adding to the hurt, our society as a whole should
    offer support without judgment.


    Editor’s Note:  You are right!


    Dear Editor:

    I feel like we’ve shifted into a bizarre world where everyone is either anti or pro police, meaning you either think all police officers are bad, or you think all police officers are good, regardless of their individual actions. I think the only reasonable position to take is that police officers are important and should be respected for their service to the community, but if a police officer commits a crime or breaks protocol, he or she should be fully held accountable as an individual.


    Editor’s Note: Everyone is bound by law, whether they may be a government official, a member of the army, or a law enforcer.