2012-08-10 / Columnists

Commentary On Things Present

Cry, Thy Beloved Rockaway
Commentary By Peter Stubben

Record crowds, according to The Wave, greeted the Wounded Warriors as they paraded down the Boulevard last month.

No wonder! What extraordinary sacrifice these young men and women have made for us. Some crossed two oceans and climbed 16,000-foot mountains to kill – no, to obliterate – terrorists ... wild fanatics who sowed the seeds of chaos and destruction not just in our city, but throughout the free world. All of us stand safe in their debt. Others embarked to the other ends of the earth into the 100-degree heat of the Plains of Abraham to separate Sunni from Shia, and nation-build.

Who can forget that these foreign clansmen bombed their own kind – mommies and babies in food courts, their own sacred temples, innocents at weddings and funerals – and brave Americans stepped between these two warring factions at enormous danger to themselves and paying a terrible personal price in the name of peace, progress and ‘e pluribus unum.’ For this selfless heroism, the entire world s/b in their debt.

And yet, shockingly, letter-writers to this newspaper wept in protest. Do not, dear letter-writers, cry for these brave Americans and their heroic deeds. Hug them, salute them, support their every need, but do not cry for them.

Weep, dear letter-writers – if you must – for Rockaway and for your neighbors ... for on this very Peninsula Americans willingly and willfully kill fellow Americans. Hamlet announced, as his drama opened last week over at the new and wondrous B 17 Rotunda, - ‘Something is rotten in the state of Denmark’ ... likewise here.

Weep, dear letter-writers, for the families of Shawn Plummer (2012), Brandon Bethea (2009), Patrick Hernandez (2008), Rayquan Elliot (2007), Latina Bilbro, peanut (2006) and Thomas Johnson (2001) – cry for these mothers and fathers who suffer the unexpugnable loss of never recovering their sons and daughters, taken on the streets of our Peninsula. Teens they were, killed by other young Americans for greed, for hatred, for spite and in the name of drugs. Weep also, dear letter-writers, for the collaborators. In Vichy France, French collaborators ‘saw nothing and said nothing’ to preserve themselves, and by their actions perpetuated the Nazi killings and the death camps. On this Peninsula those who ‘see nothing and say nothing’ perpetuate the killings, the greed, the hatred, and the spitefulness.

By granting immunity to the Rockaway perpetrator, they in turn share in this Rockaway calumny ... weep for them.

Cry also dear letter-writers – if you must – for the hypocrites. Weep for the advocates and the leaders on this very Peninsula who shout from rooftops that they themselves and their constituents should pay NO tax, but that others must pay MORE tax. What chutzpah, no? Weep, dear letter-writers, for the advocates and leaders who grandstand and demand for the fit and able – not the infirm – free food, free housing, free drugs, free child care, free health care ... in perpetuity!

America has stored up great reserves – just as Joseph advised Pharaoh in Biblical times – and America has used those reserves for the downtrodden, for the infirm, for American families down on their luck. But for the able-bodied? And, for how long? – endlessly – why? By grandstanding for the strong, for the competent and for the able, these hypocrites share in the sloth ... weep for them.

Cry also dear letter-writers – if you must – for the insouciance of community leaders and advocates on this very Peninsula who believe the curriculum of free workshops – rather than the three R’s – succeed. Workshops against violence (don’t shoot the other guy in cold blood, PLEASE); the anti-drug workshops (in 10,000 feet of drugs your every bone will crack, your every breath will be cut short, your every dream will burn and char on the stake of speed); the pregnant teen workshops (don’t do crack, PLEASE; and don’t drink into drunkenness after your first trimester); the new-mom workshops (don’t beat your baby – don’t shake your baby – and don’t let your boyfriend or husband beat the baby either); the obesity workshops (stop eating Pringle potato chips), etc., etc. It’s a double-dose of disingenuous for these leaders and advocates to waste taxpayer money on these workshops and deride the true source of self-improvement – reading, reason, math, the sciences, history, the arts ... a great liberal arts or hard-sciences education! Weep for these pied pipers who lead our neighbors into oblivion, rather than self-determination.

Among us on this very Peninsula are some great people – the truly worried and the concerned – who stand for a great education and stand against the greed, the hatred, the nihilism and the drugs; and who say what they see. But they are like the lion in the desert – their roar of reason washed away in the wind.

Do not weep for these people, dear letter-writers – hug them, salute them, support their every need, but do not cry for them.

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