I write to you regarding last week’s issue (September 3) of the Queens Jewish Link, specifically Mr. Warren Hecht’s article: “Trump Family Hour.” As is (hopefully) clear by now, the current era is one in which literally everything, from pandemics to policing, is politicized, and we are all entitled to share our political opinions. That being said, the point at which a media outlet publishes material that is either false or grossly misconstrued represents a line that should never be crossed. Nevertheless, there are two particular claims Mr. Hecht makes, the publishing of which demonstrates a crossing of this line.
Mr. Hecht states that the Hatch Act was repeatedly violated, due to “federal employees…engaging in political activity under various circumstances,” conveniently leaving out any clarification as to what those circumstances are. In case you were wondering, they require that federal employees advance a partisan agenda while in their official capacity or that they do so in government offices. The Act also explicitly excludes the President and Vice President from its prohibitions. So where exactly are these violations?
The second claim is blatantly laid out for us readers in the pull quote: “The self-proclaimed law and order president…repeatedly violated the law – or the spirit of the law – before, during, and after the gathering.” I am at a complete loss when it comes to comprehending how Mr. Hecht can believe what he writes. In what sort of world is there any equivalency between a not fully socially distanced gathering and the persistent violence perpetrated by members of the political party of which Mr. Hecht finds himself at home?
Enough said, I think.
Sergey Kadinsky says “Queens is Not Dead!” However, if it continues to be run by one-party Democratic rule, it most likely will be before long. Even so-called “moderate” elected officials such as Rory Lancman (one of the best friends that criminals ever had) and Daniel Rosenthal (who voted for abortion through the ninth month of pregnancy, until the time of birth) do not reflect the needs of their constituents. Wake up voters! You see what Democratic rule is doing to cities around the country. New York City could very well be next. Each voting cycle brings more radically liberal Democratic candidates than the one preceding it.
Further, why would Mr. Kadinsky sing the praises of West Hempstead in an article about how desirable Jewish communities in Queens are? To add insult to injury, he states that West Hempstead is where he plans to make his future home. He’s not very supportive of his current community or neighbors. It’s a poor message indeed to be expressed in a widely circulated local Jewish newspaper.
I am a long-time reader of your publication, and I have admired how you have, for the most part, maintained an even-keeled and semi-balanced position on religion, politics, and the Jewish sociological scene. However, I believe you are to be chastised for language you allowed to be printed in Mr. Zwiren’s column printed last week, on September 3. If you intend to be a source of information, opinion, and musar for our community, then you have to obey certain standards and not succumb to the public decline of civility, culture, and language that seems to have embraced us the last few years. Perhaps it is the trickle-down effect from Washington that has inured us to a lower threshold.
In my opinion, it was completely irresponsible and inexcusable for Mr. Zwiren to have referred to Mr. Blake as a “scumbag.” Surely there are more decorous yet appropriate pejoratives that could have been utilized, rather than a common street profanity that should not be printed in a newspaper destined for the Jewish home. If Rabbi Schonfeld or Rabbi Oelbaum utilized that term in a speech or sermon, the audience would be appalled. If Goldie Krantz were asked, she would certainly give shidduch demerits for such language. I just wonder how your paper had the temerity to validate the propagation of a vulgarity into our Jewish homes and what additional surprises await us in the future.
It’s Time to Reopen Indoor Dinning At NYC Restaurants
It’s ironic that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo claim to be advocates and friends for working and middle-class New Yorkers. It is pure class warfare by de Blasio to claim that only wealthy people can afford to dine out. Millions of working and middle-class people pre-COVID-19 would eat out several days per week. Yet these are the same people Cuomo and de Blasio continue to deny the opportunity to go back to work. As each week goes by, hundreds more restaurants – small, medium, and large – will permanently close their doors. After six months, it is becoming more and more difficult to remain in business with no income coming in.
Follow the New Jersey model and allow New York City restaurants to reopen on October 1 at 25%. Follow common sense health protocols. Wait four weeks. If there is no significant spike in COVID-19 cases, proceed to 33% indoor capacity on November 1. Again, if there is no significant spike in COVID-19 cases, move on to 50% on December 1. Pause at 50% until we have distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine. We can then proceed to permit 75% and 100% capacity over a shorter time period.
Winter business for restaurants is always difficult. Bring back the Early Bird Specials between 3 and 6 p.m. to attract customers. Offer other discounts on slower early weekdays.
(a frequent patron of NYC diners and restaurants for over 50 years)
This Hill May Be Hazardous
to Your Health
After reading his last article, I can’t tell if Moshe Hill puts any thought into what he writes. I know that’s probably untrue, though. It’s such a ridiculous statement, and it seems obvious that it’s blatantly wrong. Well, if that assessment is wrong, Moshe Hill is even worse than I originally thought. Week after week, Hill consistently tries to fear-monger his readers by spreading conspiracy theories about the state of America, based on little to no evidence. Just this past week, he tried to make grand, bold criticisms at the systematic problems of the “Left” (the “Left” being entirely what he wants it to be each week), based entirely on quotes either taken out of context, or completely mischaracterized. I could spend my time dissecting each individual quote he gives, but I value my time too much to do that. What is necessary, however, is to respond to his overall worldview. Throughout Hill’s rambles, one theme is constant: The Black Lives Matter movement is violent, hateful, and a cover-up for the Democratic Party to use fear to push its agenda. This is untrue and frankly racist on many levels.
There is no evidence for the notion that BLM is a cover-up for the Democratic Party to push violence. Hill (and other conservatives) frequently cite the Democratic Party’s general support of BLM’s message as evidence that they use fear to push its agenda. Even if BLM is considered a violent organization, the basic message of it doesn’t change, so supporting the message shouldn’t change either. Agreeing with messages of movements does not automatically mean you condone the actions they take or methods they use. I think most people have been in a situation where they thought the message or result of something would be good, but the means to it are not good. That doesn’t mean you start to disagree with the overall messaging or intention of the movement. To say that Democrats push for violence solely because they support the message of the movement is illogical. You may say, “Why aren’t Democrats denouncing BLM for their violence?” Based on my argument, it’s not an unfair question. Democrats don’t condemn Black Lives Matter – not because they don’t care about violence, but because Black Lives Matter isn’t a violent organization.
In their US Crisis Monitor, The ACLED (Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project) tracked data related to political violence and demonstrations in America from May 26 to August 29 (all data points will be within this period). It found that out of all political demonstrations, 68% were associated with Black Lives Matter. Out of all Black Lives Matter demonstrations, 91% of them were considered non-violent. If we look at the numbers, the two states with the biggest number of protests were New York and California. Out of 628 political demonstrations in New York, only three involved political violence. Only nine demonstrations out of 1,257 turned violent in California. This doesn’t mean that there isn’t any violence happening inside of the country at all; but most incidents (like lootings) involve individual people or those who aren’t associated with BLM. Relative to the number of peaceful protests, few instances of political violence related to the movement happened at all. If any readers are interested in looking at more data, I would recommend reading their US Crisis Monitor from the ACLED.
Since Black Lives Matter is not a violent movement, and Democrats aren’t trying to destroy America, this situation poses a question. Why are so many conservatives hell-bent on demonizing the movement with inflammatory remarks? There are two answers to this. Firstly, Black Lives Matter, as a movement, is generally made up of Democratic voters. This, combined with the fact that the main bloc of Republican voters is not in favor of BLM, shows how conservatives are using inflammatory rhetoric to demonize a movement and party to appeal to voters (or readers, in Hill’s case). Secondly, this unwarranted backlash against protests for justice and the attempt to demonize said movements show, consciously or not, the bigotry that many people still have in America today.
This is not about whether or not you agree with the message of Black Lives Matter or not. It’s not about agreeing or disagreeing about defunding the police, or any specific issue. This is about the demonization of a peaceful movement for racial justice, made out to be an evil, violent organization for political purposes. Whether or not you agree with the messaging is irrelevant. How could one sincerely look at the conduct that’s being taken by the GOP and conservatives in general with regard to BLM and not admit something is wrong? Unfortunately, Moshe Hill is just the local example of the sentiment expressed by many in his party. So, my message to him is simple: Stop demonizing a movement for racial justice by calling it violent. Stop demonizing the opposing party to you by saying they want to destroy America. Stop using inflammatory remarks to entertain your readers. Last but not least, put some more thought into your articles. Revision is an important part of the writing process.
Mr. Hecht’s account of the Democratic National Convention was comical. I was laughing as I read his piece in the August 27 edition of the Queens Jewish Link. His colleague, Moshe Hill, did a fantastic job of properly noting just how utterly boring and contemptible the DNC really was. It was more of a death dirge than a convention for a national political party. All we heard was how America is terrible and Orange Man is bad. Who could possibly take that for four straight days?
In the September 3 edition, Hecht makes a poor attempt at criticizing the Republican National Convention. It was a polar opposite of the DNC – it was not only a celebration of everything that makes America unique and wonderful, it had live events!
Next, Hecht complains that Trump’s adult children spoke. Wow! They are adult children; why shouldn’t they speak in their father’s favor? Hunter and Ashley Biden spoke in favor of their father, Joe, at the DNC. That fact seems to have slipped Hecht’s mind.
His next attack is on Trump’s speech, on which he writes, “Trump’s false and misleading statements. He did put some in the speech…” His speech clearly laid out that Biden, who has been in Washington, DC, for 47 years, has a record of nothing to account for. Biden has embraced segregationists, racists, and anti-Semites. Trump called him out on it – as he should. While his delivery was dry, the message was not lost. It was a great speech.
Hecht, like the entire DNC, fails to even discuss the violence, rioting, looting, and destruction going on in the major cities of this country. Democrats are mayors in all ten, and Democrats are governors in nine out the ten states, that those cities are in. Since the President cannot send federal law enforcement into these cities without consent of the mayors without triggering the Insurrection Act, it is the Democrats who are complicit and accept all responsibility for what is taking place. Instead, Hecht deflects and writes about Trump not being a religious person so he shouldn’t be bringing G-d, faith, and religion into his speech. Meanwhile, Trump has huge favorability among Evangelical Christians and other religious peoples. Why is keeping “under G-d” in our pledge of allegiance a disqualifier? If anything, it is Joe Biden and the Democrats who want to remove G-d and all religion – that should be disqualifying!
Mr. Hecht next claims there were violations of the Hatch Act. Mr. Hecht graduated from law school and is a practicing attorney, as his bio says. He should be properly trained to read a federal statute. However, again he gets this one wrong. I would like to give credit to David Rivkin and Lee Casey for their opinion piece at TheHill.com. The President and Vice President are exempt from the Hatch Act. The President is the Executive Branch and, as such, a co-equal branch of government. Congress cannot pass a law that restricts or limit his activities. Additionally, the Act states “in any room or building occupied.” The South Lawn is outside the White House – not inside – and, therefore, not subject to the restrictions of the Hatch Act. If Hecht wants to argue that what Mr. Pompeo did was a violation, the campaign and State Department have already stated that Mr. Pompeo was acting in a civilian capacity, and not as Secretary of State, when he made his speech.
Mr. Hecht has an issue with Trump pardoning an African American woman who had paid her debt to society, spending many years in jail for a non-violent offense. It was Kim Kardashian-West who brought her story and plight to the attention of the President. There is no reason why she should not be given a second chance. Other Black Americans spoke at the RNC, including former NFL players Herschel Walker and Burgess Owens. There was also Vernon Jones, a Democratic State Representative from Georgia. Why doesn’t Hecht have a problem with that? After all, he thinks Mrs. McCain and John Kasich are national heroes for being Republicans and speaking at the Democratic National Convention. I wonder why Hecht has a problem with Alice Johnson?
He concludes that the “President has gone against traditions and laws with no consequence.” Attorney General William Barr is a man of utmost integrity and highly respected. I believe he would not have accepted the position when asked by President Trump if he thought Trump was committing crimes. In fact, if that continued today, he would certainly resign immediately. Additionally, the Attorney General concluded that whatever role Russia played in the 2016 election, it was not of any Trump’s doing. In fact, he is currently looking into what it was exactly that the Obama-Biden administration did to illegally spy on the Trump campaign and cover it up! I believe aiding and abetting is a crime. Kamala Harris is directly linked to paying bail for some rioters in Minneapolis. I do not think that having been arrested and released and bail paid by the Democratic nominee for Vice President is going to deter them from further criminal activity. Tradition? Both Ford and Carter used the White House for campaign events, so there is precedent there.
Can’t wait for the debates!