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Letters to the Editor — Feb. 14, 2021

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Letters to the Editor — Feb. 14, 2021

COVID cleanse
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the transit system was and is a possible spreader of COVID (“Fight over scrubways,” Feb. 11).

But City Council members and transit advocates know better. Really? I didn’t know they were infectious-disease experts. They should have been cleaning the trains way before this virus started.

My gym cleans the machines after every use, restaurants clean up after every patron and grocery stores have ample supply of sanitizer and wipes.

Politicians dismiss the cleaning as “hygiene theater” and note scientific evidence that COVID doesn’t spread easily over surfaces. That’s a laugh. Then why does the science tell us to constantly wash our hands and not touch your face? Remember, liberalism will get you killed.
Michael Appice
Westbury

Shove-l off
Well, I think the name Karen just got a reprieve (Maureen Callahan, “Smug lefty is holier than plow,” Feb. 10).

The new name for the lunatic fringe is Virginia, thanks to Virginia Heffernan, the most self-entitled and ungrateful person in recent memory (and there’s a long list of runners up).

There was absolutely no reason for her to write a column about a generous and thoughtful neighbor. Imagine having someone concerned enough about your safety and the safety of your children to plow your driveway. I guess to Virginia it’s some kind act of aggression.

All I can say is, Virginia, go back into your angry, entitled hole. I will thank the wonderful neighbor who went above and beyond for a fellow human ­being. God bless him and his family.
Jean Cole
Juno Beach, Fla.

‘Nazi aide’ justice
As a lawyer and a Jewish educator, I wanted to commend The Post for publishing an article (“ ‘Nazi aide’ faces trial,” Feb. 7) about a 95-year-old woman accused of being a secretary at a Nazi slave-labor camp where more than 60,000 prisoners were murdered.

These stories may seem like old news, but seeking justice should have no time limit.
Some may question: Why prosecute an “old lady” for what she may have done 70 years ago while she was a teenager? But she is alleged to have been a close aide to the SS commandant of the camp, so she had to know what murderous conduct went on.

The memory of the victims compels us to seek justice for atrocities of any kind, of any time and of any place.
Gerry Hecht
Danbury, Conn.

No LIRR mob ties
It is absolutely insulting and irresponsible for any media outlet to stir up some type of connection between actions of family members of railroad workers dating back to the 1980s and work-related accusations made today (“Does the LIRR Have a Mob Problem?” Editorial, Feb. 8).

Our organization and its approximately 3,500 members deliver each and every day on projects and storm recovery and now are being unfairly labeled in some delusional way as thugs connected to the mob.

Heroes moving heroes through a relentless pandemic deserve better as transportation workers then to be looped into a far-fetched laughable story.

Accused workers with estranged family relationships dating back decades deserve a fair process to defend their careers, and this type of ethnic stereotyping is unfair and, most importantly, inaccurate.

Let’s write about the historic work that has been achieved through a dedicated skilled workforce and save the drama for HBO.
Anthony Simon
General Chairperson, SMART Transportation Union
Babylon

Want to weigh in on today’s stories? Send your thoughts (along with your full name and city of residence) to [email protected]. Letters are subject to editing for clarity, length, accuracy and style.

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Opinion

NYC district attorneys’ bogus gesture on subway safety

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NYC district attorneys' bogus gesture on subway safety

The city’s district attorneys say they’ll prosecute spitting on transit workers, but not smoking weed or urinating in the subway — which shows how clueless the prosecutors are about what makes it dangerous underground.

The DAs were showing support for a state bill to make saliva-assaults easier to prosecute. “Spitting on someone is disgusting, especially despicable during this hazardous time where it can lead to very serious health consequences,” said Bronx DA Darcel Clark said.

Clark, Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez and the others want to make spitting or other forms of aggravated harassment against transit workers punishable by up to one year behind bars, with evidence from civilian witnesses (not just cops) being sufficient. It’s an interesting position, after the DAs have done so much to make the subways more perilous.

Asked if the tougher law would bring the mentally ill and homeless into the criminal-justice system, Clark called it a “citywide problem that we need to come to grips with.” In other words, the greater good matters more.

Yet Manhattan DA Cy Vance and most others now refuse to prosecute fare-evaders, arguing that the cost of a MetroCard swipe is too low to justify wasting the resources. Hauling public urinators before a judge is out of fashion now, too.  

Problem is, small disorders beget large ones: Public chaos is an open invitation to serious criminals, and a license to act out against other citizens. As these low-level violations have increasingly gone unenforced and unpunished, commuters have seen the subways (and the streets) grow more dangerous and greater disorder in the system.

The rising number of assaults on MTA workers is just one result — and it won’t actually be fixed by the targeted law the DAs deign to support.

The Transport Workers Union should laugh at this supposed favor: A promise to prosecute one isolated set of crimes won’t reduce the growing dangers in their workplace. For that, they need a law-enforcement system that once again puts public safety first for everyone.

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Liberals are pushing us fast back to the bad, old days

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Liberals are pushing us fast back to the bad, old days

When public policies have produced disastrous results, and when alternative policies have resulted in immediate, seemingly miraculous improvement, why would anyone want to go back to the earlier policies?

The earlier policies — a pullback from active policing and certain punishment, an open-handed welfare system providing income for single mothers — were put in place in the 1960s, within living memory of some of us. The intentions were good. It was a time of high hopefulness that America’s shameful history of racial discrimination and mistreatment were over.

The public accommodations and employment sections of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, controversial when passed, were more successful than even their most enthusiastic advocates dared to expect. The justifiably draconian measures of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 resulted almost immediately in full enfranchisement of black Americans.

Some sought more advances. As violent crime rates rose alarmingly among the blacks who had been streaming into cities for 25 years, prison populations actually declined, and police in major cities were reined in. As national unemployment rates fell, births to unwed mothers and welfare dependency rose. In the decade from 1965 to 1975, violent crime and welfare dependency, both heavily concentrated among blacks, nearly tripled — tripled.

For two more decades, crime and welfare dependency remained at the same high levels, sometimes zooming higher. Only with the work-required welfare reform of Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin and the active policing pioneered by Rudy Giuliani in New York in the 1990s did the numbers come sharply down.         

Left behind were central-city neighborhoods with burnt-out houses and empty lots; empty and bombed-out storefronts; downtowns and entertainment districts abandoned and boarded up. 

Now it looks like we’re starting the same cycle again. The death of a suspect in Minneapolis last May led to a resurgence of Black Lives Matter “mostly peaceful” protests (“mostly peaceful” means “often violent”) and an even sharper rise in murders than after the BLM movement emerged following the 2014 Ferguson, Mo., incident.

Murders were up about 30 percent in 2020. Police departments are being defunded, effective crime-stopping procedures banned, criminal penalties reduced and low-dollar burglaries left unprosecuted.

We know where such policies led before. Is there any reason this time will be different?

Soft-on-crime policies were exacerbated by a surge in the number of children raised without fathers by mothers on welfare from 1965 to 1995. Reform, first by Thompson in Wisconsin and then by Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton in the 1996 welfare bill, required mothers to work.

Social workers’ focus was changed from handing out more checks to helping moms get and hold jobs. The results: Welfare rolls plummeted; teen births plunged; kids raised by working moms did better in school and in life. 

Liberals have tried to stealthily roll back the reforms. They’ve been joined by some cultural conservatives, worried about population decline and eager to encourage potential parents with modest educational credentials and skills.

These include Sen. Mitt Romney, who supports a child allowance that is fully refundable — which is to say that government will send a check to parents, married or unmarried, who have no income-tax liability to offset. His and other proposals have a high cutoff, so affluent parents wouldn’t get anything.

Conservative supporters worry about the nation’s birth rates, sharply down since the 2007-08 financial crisis and even lower in 2020, and point out that many young people tell pollsters they’d like more children than they end up having. The fear is that America would end up like Japan, with an elderly population, a stagnant economy and stunted innovation.

A version of this, limited to one year, has been inserted in the “COVID relief” bill of President Biden’s administration. A single parent with two kids, working or not, could qualify for $7,200 a year plus $6,400 in food stamps. Advocates argue recipients would keep working because benefits wouldn’t be reduced by wages earned.

Mickey Kaus, renegade liberal blogger, argues that that’s nonsense. A “large subset of recipients will go from one worker to zero workers.” That means “millions of kids growing up in fatherless homes, where nobody goes into the labor force, where the mainstream world of employment is a foreign country.”

Past experience says he’s right and that, as with high crime, the people most hurt will be black Americans. I can’t see any reason this time will be different, and I look ahead with dread.

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Opinion

Letters to the Editor — March 6, 2021

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Letters to the Editor — March 6, 2021

The Issue: Gov. Cuomo’s acknowledgment of sexual-harassment claims against him from three women.

In his press conference where he addressed the sexual-harassment allegations, Gov. Cuomo seems to have adopted former President Bill Clinton’s “I never had sex with that woman” approach with his equally ill-advised statement (“ ‘I never touched anyone inappropriately,’ ” March 4).

The Post’s front-page photo appears to clearly contradict that statement, as the governor has a vice-like grip on the throat of a horrified-looking Anna Ruch.

Former aide Charlotte Bennett also contradicts his statement that he was unaware that his behavior was causing discomfort, since she filed a formal complaint with top administration officials.

In retrospect, he probably should have listened to the lawyers who advised against discussing it.

Anthony Scro
Whitestone

Cuomo is a lawyer and was the state attorney general.

In addition, sexual-harassment laws and mandated training have been in place for decades.

For him to claim ignorance about his actions is unfathomable. If anything, his comments reveal that he is definitely unfit as a leader.

Jim Glaab
Elmsford

Cuomo’s “apology,” if you can call it that, was an Emmy-winning performance.

The cracking voice, the manufactured tears and the absurd claim that he didn’t realize his actions would be taken the way they were by the women who were the recipients of his disgusting behavior was nothing more than political theater.

The bigger apology needs to be made to the family members who lost their loved ones as a result of his heinous nursing-home decision. That apology should be made when he announces that he is resigning as governor.

Robert DiNardo
Farmingdale

It’s about time Cuomo gets his just deserts.

While these sexual-harassment allegations are very serious, please do not forget about the thousands of nursing-home deaths. I don’t trust the feds to investigate the “king.”

Thank you to The Post and Bernadette Hogan for keeping his feet to the fire.

Mary Harkins
Manhattan

The expression on Ruch’s face as Cuomo grabbed her head in both his hands suggests that she thought of him as something other than “a cool dude in a loose mood,” as he has described himself.

He claimed: “Sometimes I think I am being playful. I never inappropriately touched anybody, and I never intended to make anyone feel uncomfortable.” But one look at Ruch’s reaction makes it unmistakably clear that she felt he was inappropriately touching her, in a way that definitely made her uncomfortable.

Perhaps Cuomo really believes you can fool almost all people almost all the time with Emmy-award winning fast talk.

Julia Lutch
Davis, Calif.

The front-page picture of Cuomo holding this poor girl’s neck is worth a thousand words.

For him to say: “I never touched anyone inappropriately” is just an outright lie — something he excels at lately. This consummate actor, with his phony apologies and crocodile tears, makes me sick and fools no one.

Do you want to know who really is crying? All of the families who lost loved ones last year after his mandate condemning senior citizens to horrific death.

Mike Pedano
South Farmingdale

Cuomo is in a tailspin. He has portrayed himself as hyper-sensitive to women’s issues in the past, when he suggested that then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh take a polygraph to prove his innocence.

He also apparently intervened when he perceived an inappropriate relationship between his daughter and a state trooper.

Add to this writing a book that lauded his leadership skills during the pandemic, along with receiving an Emmy for his televised daily briefings. One has to wonder what his publisher and his adoring fans are thinking now.

Phil Serpico
Queens

Want to weigh in on today’s stories? Send your thoughts (along with your full name and city of residence) to [email protected]. Letters are subject to editing for clarity, length, accuracy and style.

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