Oh glory days! The federal government shutdown has been averted! Another “crisis” has been avoided. Ladies and gentlemen, Japan is facing a crisis with a nuclear meltdown, after recordbreaking earthquakes and tsunamis. We are not facing a crisis. We are facing government legislators who are playing “chicken” with their political opponents, in order to further their own political agendas. The Cuban missile crisis was a crisis that needed immediate action because of a life changing effect that was looming. The word “crisis” is overused and making us all crazy. We have a housing “crisis”, education “crisis”, financial “crisis,” energy “crisis,” food “crisis,” and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There is no question that the “Good Times” have rolled on by and now it is time to correct the path that has been taken so that future generations will be able to live a quality life with the delivered promise of an excellent education, access to affordable healthcare and not have to live in a box, should they choose not to.
New York State has delivered an on time budget this year after trimming $10,000,000,000, that’s 10 billion dollars, from spending and the Senate and Assembly along with the Governor are to be commended. The Federal Government has finally agreed to trim the 2011 budget, yes that is right, this year’s budget, can you believe?-by a mere $38,500,000,000, 38.5 billion dollars, even though 100 billion dollars was promised during elections by the Republican party. The Democrats chose to make the debate about Planned Parenthood rather than budget management. Ladies and gentlemen, the 2012 budget is talking about spending cuts of 6.2 trillion dollars, that’s $6,200,000,000,000. That’s 12 zeros, not 9! Let’s bring out the hatchet. Running a household, we all face budget management issues and I am sure that the decisions that we all have to make do not come lightly. I do not think that our Congressmen take their decisions lightly but they really seem to be procrastinators because they certainly knew that they were facing this budget deadline and I do not think that they were negotiating earnestly in a timely fashion to avert yet another financial “crisis.” Shame on them for causing the American people all this anxiety and shame on them for using the military and their pay as a pawn in the game! Sometimes it feels as if everyone is running around like Chicken Little saying, “The sky is falling, the sky is falling,” when of course we all well know it is not. Our next “crisis” is now whether or not we should raise the deficit ceiling. You will be hearing more on a daily basis to see what will be done to avert this crisis. Stay tuned.
I have seen a tremendous growth of political activism and involvement in the last five years. Shame on us all for not being more involved in the good times, but it seems that government and elected officials now have gotten our attention and this is a good thing. It is time to once again, teach our children what it means to take responsibility for our actions and what it means to be an American. We have not done our children a service by sheltering them from the hard choices that need to be made in their own personal lives and from the hard choices that government must make. We all have had a hard time saying, “NO.” It is something that needs to be practiced and, trust me, it does get easier and if the reasons for the, “NO” are explained, those decisions are more easily lived with. Try saying “no” to the next outing, or dinner out, or movie, but explain that it is because you cannot afford it, there are bills that need to be paid. Then make the suggestion to do something free, like go to the Rockaway Little League Ball game, where I had the pleasure of being this past Saturday to enjoy Opening Day. More than 600 children and parents were there enjoying the fresh air, the children’s games, the children’s laughter, the chatter of good neighbors and I could not help but think, “Life is good!”
Congressman Anthony Weiner was there to welcome the crowds after spending the night in Washington, to pass the budget and I had just seen him at the Broad Channel American Legion on Wednesday night, where he flew in from Washington to inform the crowd that he is opposed to the proposal to extend JFK runways into Jamaica Bay. I thank him for his opposition but then again, I can’t imagine any official in this district not opposing a proposal that would impact on the ecosystem of Jamaica Bay, presenting the quality of life issues that accompany such a proposal. He had said he was flying right back to Washington after addressing the crowd and I could not help but think he had a representative there that could have delivered his message, so I was disappointed that he was using my tax dollars to fly back and forth when the message could have been easily delivered by his representative.
There is a spearheading of Rockaway residents who would very much like to celebrate all that the Rockaway Peninsula offers youngsters 12- to 19- years-of-age and they are working very hard to recruit mentors/coaches of any and all sports that are available on the Peninsula to participate in drafting and working with children to culminate in the 2012 Rockaway Olympics. This is a peninsula-wide, including Broad Channel, effort to bring together the youths and to not only provide an opportunity to compete in sports but to also offer health workshops.
This is an opportunity for anyone who wants to make a difference, and we all make a difference, good or bad, either by being a role model or by doing nothing, to check out their website at www.rockaway- olympics.com/ and see if there is something you can use your talents for. Kudos go out to Denean Ferguson and Brett Scudder for the beautiful website. As it says, “Bring it on!”