2007-07-20 / Columnists

It's My Turn

By Peter Stubben President Neponsit Homeowners Association

Gang-infested neighborhoods and gang-infused residents of Far Rockaway are ferociously violent, as The Wave reports all-too-regularly.

Our peninsula's crime and violence - this tragic, deathly nihilism - can be tracked and calibrated, but much harder and more tragic to assess is the pervasive overhang of fear in Far Rock's playgrounds and senior centers.

Amidst this perverse overhang, I'm stupefied to read that some local school students read and write at the 25th to 35th percentiles while other peninsula students perform at the 85th to 95th percentiles.

I would like to think our poor testers must be recent immigrants who don't know English and return to their homes where no English is spoken. Tragically though, it's the reverse: some of our students can trace their American heritage back 400 years and yet refuse to this day to read or do math.

In their homes, is education - the great enabler for generations of Americans - discredited or ignored?

Do these American families fear, distrust, or consider irrelevant to their own personal lives the last 150 years of "The American Experience," almost two centuries of wave after wave of "destitutes," speaking the world's languages and practicing the world's religions, crossing our borders and subsequently prospering through freedom, education and hard work?

Of course, today's Far Rockaway - like too many other urban centers - is a government experiment gone horribly wrong. Aseaside community was transformed into an urban oasis on the periphery of the city's borders by our liberal legislators some 50 years ago. Their experiments in munificence and socialism have not worked and can never work. So-called beneficiaries of these do-gooders who now live in public housing have no personal stake in their own home, their block, their neighborhood, their school, or their city. This liberal coddling - subsidized allotments and preferences - debases, defrauds & ignores 'The American Experience'...that freedom, education, and hard work prevail.

As Franz Kafka forewarned in his writings, Soviet spiritlessness and soullessness doomed their socio-economic experiment. Ghastly, though, are the similarities between Soviet bloc housing and our own public housing and the resultant alienation of Soviet citizens then and residents of America's projects now. Russians turned to vodka and poetry; Americans to hallucinogens and rap. No nation as rich and as powerful as we should refuse care to our own indigents.

Likewise, the American Dream, won family-by-family, person-by-person, ethnic group-by-ethnic group, should never be denied nor legislatively muted by liberal do-gooders who deny the obvious and destroy the human spirit of natural inquisitiveness and economic growth.

American blacks first served, shackled, in America's failed economic experiments with plantation agriculture; and today, perhaps willingly, I don't know, in America's failing sociopolitical experiments with socialism.

To our present-day legislators: Pound a stake through the heart of these nihilistic experiments in socialism.

To our present-day legislators: Throw open the doors to The American Experience...the freedom to fail, the freedom to follow your dream, and perversely, freedom from the sad, shallow, stultifying bureaucracy.

To our present-day legislators: A remembrance of Dickens' closing words in his 1859 masterpiece, writings from another time and place, reflecting I sometimes think, our own present-day Peninsula - "A Tale of Two Cities"...

It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known.

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