2004-10-22 / Columnists

Simon says...

Lew M. Simon
Lew M. Simon

From the Desk of Lew M. Simon, Democratic District Leader, 23 rd A.D. Part B

As we write this column, we are  in the heat of a major election battle that will determine the direction our country will take in the next four years. After the dastardly terrorist attack on 9/11, this will be one of the hardest decisions we have to make.

After 9/11, our country needed strong leadership, dependability, honesty and courage. We desperately needed to defend our country against Bin Laden and his minions. Unfortunately our President chose to seek rvenge against a man who wanted his father’s head on a platter, Saddam Hussein.

It’s wonderful we have Saddam, but we seem to have gone to the wrong country and got the wrong criminal leader. Some people are starting to believe that George Bush and his administration are holding a trump card. On Sunday October 31 at approximately 9 P.M. they will hold a live news conference on radio and TV to announce that that they have captured Osama Bin Laden.

Yes. It is extremely important to the safety of all that we capture this terrorist criminal, but we urge all to elect a man who is a real leader who can unify Americans and reorganize an alliance of all the countries to protect world peace.

John Kerry is a diplomat who has charisma, courage and strong leadership skills. No, I’m not suggesting abandoning the war. We must finish what we started, but we must bring it to a conclusion and bring our men and women home safely. The number one issue is terrorism and protecting our country and all the people.

Our nation is strong when we are strong economically. Although our population and the number of people who need jobs continues to grow, we continue to lose jobs under President Bush. We need real jobs that can support a family. We can’t keep giving tax breaks to companies for moving jobs to other countries.

Most people cannot afford the astronomical cost of private health coverage. Most small businesses cannot afford to pay for health coverage for their workers. Most corporations require workers to pay much of their health costs.

The high cost of prescription medicine forces people to choose among paying rent, eating or taking all the medications that their doctor ordered. One catastrophic illness like cancer, stroke, leukemia or a heart attack can wipe out a person financially. The high cost of hospital and nursing home care shows that we need a national health care plan including prescription coverage.

George Bush thinks he gave seniors a gift with prescription drug coverage. With the deductible and the donut (uncovered portion) few people will benefit. We agree with Sen. Kerry that Americans should be able to order prescriptions from Canada. Better yet Americans should be able to bargain with the companies and get the prices that people in Canada pay. In this country many elected officials take money from pharmaceutical companies and don’t have the courage to fight for lower prices.

George Bush has believed in privatizing Social Security for a long time, and has started talking about doing it in his second term. There are two problems with this. Social Security funds must be kept safe. If they are invested in the stock market and the market crashes there would be no money to cover the checks. Money from current workers pays for a large part of the pensions our retired people now get. If many younger workers put their retirement funds in private investments there would not be enough money to pay current pensions.

The flu vaccine shortage also shows another way that the Bush administration does not like to plan ahead. They were warned to get more sources of vaccine. They ignored the warnings. When the British government found that the vaccine was contaminated, they had no plan to get the remaining vaccine to those who really need it.

George Bush is very proud of reducing taxes. This reduced the money available for states and cities. They had to raise their taxes to pay for the services everyone needs. They keep increasing the national debt. This will have to be paid sometime. Then they will have to raise taxes to pay the debts. Our grandchildren will have to pay for the debts the Bush administration is running up now.

The Kerry-Edwards ticket is a breath of fresh air. We believe that if Bush is reelected he will opt for a draft for 18 to 26 year old men and women. Many mothers have said that they are frightened for their children. We are also afraid that few people will join the National Guard because they have to stay overseas for years when they expected to go on active duty a few weeks each year.

We are urging everyone to reelect U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, Congressman Anthony Weiner, Congressman Gregory Meeks, State Senator Malcolm Smith, State Senator Serph Maltese, Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio, Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin and Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer. Vote the Democratic line down through all the judges. I am a Democratic Leader who is proud of all our candidates.

Look for the name of Augustus C. Agate, a candidate for State Supreme Court Justice. It was a great pleasure to work as a team with Augie. He was male leader of the 23 A.D. part A. We attended each other’s Democratic club meetings, dinner dances, and events. He is an easy going personable individual and a great family man. Augie is an example of what a real judge should be; honest, a person of integrity, objective, fair, a gentleman with compassion, a scholar and most of all, a mensch. We are so proud of him in the 23 A.D.

On Thursday October 28 the Good Government Regular Democratic club will hold a candidates night for all our candidates. We meet at 7:45 p.m. at 112-20 Beach Channel Drive upstairs opposite Waldbaum’s. Come up to meet the candidates and talk about the election.

We have invited Congressmen Wein-er and Meeks, Assemblywoman Pheffer, State Senator Malcolm Smith, a surprise guest from the Kerry campaign, and all the judicial candidates including Lee Mayersohn candidate for Civil Court Judge. We serve bagels and cream cheese and coffee and cake courtesy of Beach Bagels and Key Food. All are invited.

Our Atlantic City bus trip will be this Saturday, October 23. We leave at 5:30 P.M. and return at 8 a.m. the cost is $32 with $20 and a 100-minute phone card returned. Call 945-1216 now for seats. The next trip will be on November 13.     

  It has been brought to our attention that swastikas were put on the Rockwood Park Jewish Center bulletin board kiosk as well as on Waldbaum’s on Cross Bay Boulevard and Citibank. During this time of heightened fear of terrorism this is a frightening experience.

We must all continue to work together in unity to stop hatred and bias toward any religion or sect. We are urging District Attorney Richard Brown to prosecute the culprits to the highest standard of bias crime. We urge anyone with any information about this crime to call 945-1216.

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