Dear Editor:

 I am writing in response, about redistricting in Queens vs. redistricting in Brooklyn. The reason we got a better map in Queens than Brooklyn did is because many people stood up and stepped up to the plate in Queens.

Among the people who deserve thanks are Sorelle Idels and Jeff Kohn, who helped organize, and to Sergey Kadinsky, who wrote an article in the Queens Jewish Link helping publicize the issue, as well as the many people who took time out of their day, some of them spending an hour or more waiting an hour or more to testify. Unfortunately, it seems the Jews in Brooklyn did not organize as well as we did in Queens.

Thanks to all those who helped. We were able to get very favorable maps.

 Howard Schoenfeld


 

Spike In Home Energy Costs In New York City

Dear Editor:

 Recently, New York City residents began reporting that their January electricity bills had doubled or even tripled from the previous month. Con Edison, New York City’s energy provider, has stated that the price hikes are the result of an increase in the cost of their energy supply, namely natural gas, which they rely on to provide electricity.

Going up and down the blocks of Kew Gardens Hills, I encountered folks who have all seen significant increases in both electric and gas charges. "Five months worth in just one month. It’s crazy. And we are not home the majority of the day," expressed one resident. Another said that theirs jumped 35% despite being away for yeshivah week.

Regardless of the cause, no one should have to decide between keeping the lights on or buying groceries. I reached out to Con Edison for assistance and was told, "Your bill may be higher than usual this month, even if you didn’t use more energy than usual. That’s mainly because energy supply costs vary. A spike in these costs plus higher energy use during a frigid January has led to bill increases for most customers. Con Edison buys energy on the wholesale market and provides it to customers at the same price we paid without a profit. We don’t generate electricity. We can’t control supply costs, but we can assist with: Level Payment Plans, Payment Agreements, Payment Extensions, and Special Services for Certain Populations."

The offices of elected officials across the state have been bombarded with worried constituents. A well-signed Congressional letter calls on Rory M. Christian, Chair and CEO of the New York State Public Service Commission, to investigate the surge in prices. An effort is also underway urging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to use its existing regulatory authority to ensure that households’ energy bills are not unfairly driven up by the wholesale natural gas markets that Con Edison relies on to supply New York City with electricity. The plan is to hold wholesalers accountable to make sure they are not putting excessive profit ahead of consumers. On a City Council level, other endeavors are brewing to combat the rising costs.

If you are experiencing higher than normal electric bills, you may contact Con Edison at www.coned.com/en/contact-us or call 1-800-752-6633. You may also qualify for the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), a federally funded program that helps low-income homeowners and renters pay for utility and heating bills by calling 1-212-331-3126.

 Shabsie Saphirstein


 

Dear Editor:

After reading the article titled, “New Development to Rise on Vleigh,” one questions whether this is free advertising for this seven-story building or an objective piece of journalism. The owner and developer of this project was the sole person interviewed and quoted in the article. No one from our community was interviewed about the impact that a building this size will have on our neighborhood. The physical make-up of the neighborhood is low-rise, with many single-family homes, and putting a building here that is four stories higher than the highest buildings is not a good idea.

 Barbara and Peter Tuckel
Kew Gardens Hills, New York


 

Dear Editor:

Many in the media, shul communities, and even several politicians were shocked and troubled by the anti-Semitic, racist remarks spewed by The View’s Whoopi Goldberg, claiming that the Holocaust was not about race. She confidently repeated that revolting statement several times, and further displayed her ignorance by ending her rant with claiming that the Holocaust was “two groups of white people fighting each other.”

I wonder, Whoopi, which white group started the “fight”? Did the Jews attack the Nazis, and in order to protect themselves, the Nazis were forced to build gas chambers and crematoria?

As a child of Holocaust survivors, I was very pained by Goldberg’s comments. Perhaps we should designate one of the days in February for a Holocaust History Day!

 Susan Inhaber
Holliswood, New York


 

Introduction to The Federalist

Dear Editor:

I’m introducing your readers to a new series of letters that I hope to publish from time to time, a series dedicated to analyzing and understanding The Federalist, considered one of the most brilliant political works ever published on American soil. Each letter will briefly examine and summarize the most germane parts of every essay in The Federalist – 85 essays in all.

I felt obligated to embark on such a consequential project as this is for the benefit of the public, and for those who have a veritable interest in American history and political science. The Federalist is undeniably one of the most encyclopedic works ever written on the subject of democratic governance, which brilliantly synthesizes the Framers’ extensive knowledge of political philosophy, economics, and history into a single book. All students of political science should commence their studies with The Federalist, as these 85 essays offer us direct insight into the minds of those who were instrumental in drafting, and ultimately ratifying, the Constitution of the United States.

Before we plunge into the depths of The Federalist, however, a very brief history that led to the publication of The Federalist is in order. Toward the conclusion of the American Revolutionary War, the Second Continental Congress established a new government under the Articles of Confederation – the fledgling nation’s new constitution – which was adopted by all 13 states on March 1, 1781. Given the haste with which The Articles were debated and written, it’s to be expected that such a document, upon further examination, should be found to be severely flawed, and inadequate to serve the purposes for which it was adopted.

To address these concerns, a convention was held in Annapolis, Maryland, on September 11, 1786, which, to the chagrin of many, went nowhere. A second convention was convened several months later in Philadelphia on May 25, 1787, in Philadelphia’s Pennsylvania State House, now Independence Hall. Delegates from every state except Rhode Island were present at the convention – 55 in total. George Washington agreed to attend the Convention, but in the capacity of a spectator. He was chosen unanimously as its president. The only notable aspect of Washington’s presence was his opening remarks at the convention, after which he ceased to involve himself any further in its affairs.

The convention’s original mandate was to amend The Articles, but a considerable number of delegates contended that The Articles were inherently flawed, and mere revisions or amendments wouldn’t fix its underlying defects. This view attracted many adherents who evinced similar feelings on the subject. The convention decided that the most pragmatic approach, therefore, was to scratch the document altogether and start anew.

The delegates at the convention expended countless hours of their time and energy in the secrecy of the Pennsylvania State House between May 25, 1787, and September 17, 1787, and most of those days were spent in the scorching heat of the summer months. Every single component of the new government was subject to debate – some parts more vehemently than others – from the composition of the legislature to the election of the president, to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, and so on. The only extant records of what occurred in the convention are James Madison’s Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787, in which he recorded the debates in their entirety.

The Constitution was adopted by the convention on September 17, 1787; it had 39 signatures. Copies of the Constitution were sent to the states, and the states held their own ratifying conventions. A national debate ensued whether the Constitution should be ratified or not. The group of people who supported ratification called themselves “Federalists,” and they called their political opponents “Anti-Federalists.” The Anti-Federalists published essays in various newspapers, railing against and assailing the Constitution. The primary arguments from the Anti-Federalists against the Constitution were threefold: It centralized power in the hands of a national government; it posed a grave threat to states’ rights and individual liberty; and it lacked a bill of rights.

On the other side of the debate, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay published essays of their own in support of the Constitution, and they responded to many arguments of the Anti-Federalists. The essays appeared in various newspapers and journals in New York. Together, the trio published 85 essays over the course of many months. Hamilton wrote the highest number of essays, followed by Madison and Jay, respectively. Jay only wrote six essays since he was out of the country most of the time during that period. Each essay was published individually under the pseudonym Publius. Publius was a Roman statesman and founder of the Roman Republic, and the Federalists signed off each essay with his name as a tribute to his legacy.

Several years following the Constitution’s ratification by the states, Hamilton decided to compile the essays together and publish them in book form, calling it The Federalist.

During and after ratification, there was a controversy whether a bill of rights should be included in the Constitution. The Anti-Federalists supported it; the Federalists initially didn’t support it. Since the Federalists needed Anti-Federalist support to ratify the Constitution, they eventually changed their minds. Two noted Anti-Federalists, John Hancock and Samuel Adams, helped resolve the controversy and negotiated a compromise between the Federalists and Anti-Federalists that became known as the Massachusetts Compromise. According to the terms of the compromise, the Anti-Federalists agreed to support ratification with recommendations for future amendments, and the Federalists would support said amendments.

On June 8, 1789, Madison addressed the House of Representatives and introduced a series of amendments to the Constitution. Madison proposed 17 amendments to the House. The amendments were then sent to the Senate, which approved 12 of the original 17. The states eventually ratified 10 of the 12 amendments on December 15, 1791.

In less than a year after the Constitutional Convention adjourned, and after many fierce battles and extraordinary political maneuvering, the required number of states eventually adopted the Constitution. On June 21, 1788, the Constitution became the official framework of the government of the United States when New Hampshire became the 13th state to ratify it.

In light of this brief background and introduction, I shall dedicate my ensuing letters to plummeting the depths of The Federalist.

 Rafi Metz


 

Welcome To Your New Bronx, Westchester, Queens, Nassau & Suffolk County 3rd Congressional District

Dear Editor:

The new boundaries for the 3rd Congressional District is the most egregious case of gerrymandering. “The Most Crowded Local Congressional Race” (Sergey Kadinsky – February 10) was insightful reporting. Up until the 1962 reapportionment, Congressional boundaries usually attempted to keep villages, towns, cities, and counties within the same district.

The 3rd CD is currently represented by Democratic Congress Member Tom Suozzi. This district has been previously gerrymandered with the help of Democratic Assembly Speakers under several reapportionments. Boundaries were extended beyond Nassau County west to Queens and east into Suffolk County. Adding the Bronx and Westchester to the district under the latest reapportionment represents the very worst in gerrymandering. Placing Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Pelham, Pelham Manor, Port Chester, New Rochelle, and Rye (which could have been placed with 16th CD Congress Member Jamaal Bowman), the eastern most Bronx waterfront neighborhoods (which could have been with 14th CD Congress Member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez), northeast corner of Queens (which could have been part of 6th CD Congress Member Grace Meng), North Hempstead, Oyster Bay, and Glen Cove in Nassau County along Huntington and Smithtown in Suffolk County within the same CD boundaries makes no sense. The next Congress Member will need a speed boat to travel across and around Long Island Sound to visit all his new constituents. It illustrates the pitfalls of reapportionment, when you have a veto-proof, one-party control of both the State Assembly and the Senate. State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, and Governor Kathy Hochul should be ashamed of this travesty.

Sincerely,
Larry Penner
Great Neck, New York
(Resident, Taxpayer and Voter of the 3rd Congressional District for Decades)


 

Dear Editor:

I would like to respond to Many Behar on his article, “Who is blocking the Iron Dome?” He states that Democrats and Republicans are both to blame and that we cannot label the Democratic Party as anti-Semitic or anti-Israel.

Nothing is further from the truth. Members of the Democratic “Squad” have referred to Jews as traitors to this country who only care about money. The “Squad” also compares Israel to Nazi Germany and supports the BDS movement. If Goebbels were alive, he would congratulate the “Squad.” Pelosi, Biden, and the rest of the Democratic Party have praised the “Squad” and the “Squad” members are sitting on important committees.

The Dems used to support Israel. What has changed? The answer is George Soros. Jews have thrived in America for many years. Soros is committed to changing that. He pours billions of dollars into the campaigns of radical anti-Semitic candidates. That is how we got the “Squad.” The rest of the Democrats have taken note and have largely dropped their opposition to anti-Semitism. The Dems obey the puppet master (Soros). Soros also supports prosecutors who support the rights of criminals and not the victims.

The only Democrat with the courage to speak against the “Squad” was Elliot Engel. Soros supported an anti-Semite to challenge him in the Democratic primary. Soros was successful, and now we have another “Squad” member. There is nobody in the Republican Party who is comparable to the anti-Semitism of the “Squad.” Rand Paul is not an anti-Semite. Rand Paul says that he wants to take funding from the Taliban and use it to fund the Iron Dome. I agree with Rand Paul’s goal but not his tactics. He needs to wait for Republicans to win back Congress first. The bottom line is if you vote for a Democrat over a Republican, you are supporting the party of George Soros.

As a final note, I would like to comment on the geopolitical crises. Biden cut our oil production and allowed the Russians to build their pipeline to Germany. This was great for Russia and bad for America. Biden also bungled the Afghanistan withdrawal by abandoning our military base first and leaving people stranded. Now he wants to help fund Iran’s terrorism. This display of weakness has emboldened Iran, Russia, and China to get more aggressive. It is no coincidence that when Trump was president we never had this. We need a strong president who believes in America First. Not this pretender. Warren Hecht loves Biden and hates Trump. He is afflicted with Trump Derangement Syndrome and cannot see the truth.

 Eric Rubin


 

Dear Editor:

Mr. Pecoraro last week corrected me that illegals are not permitted to vote in state elections. I thank him for that correction. However, I believe we all figure that the law will be abused, and illegals will be voting in more than just citywide elections.

President Biden is not taking a tough stance on Russia, contrary to what Mr. Hecht thinks. He has surrounded himself with the same bad cast of foreign policy characters that President Obama had in his administration. Russia invaded Crimea – Obama did nothing. Obama had a translucent red line in Syria as Assad was chemically gassing his own people.

These bureaucrats aren’t going to do anything to stop Putin despite the rhetoric. Putin is laughing at us and will “eat Biden’s lunch.” Next will be President Xi of China invading Taiwan. Afterwards, Iran will have a nuclear weapon with which they will destroy Israel and possibly aim at the United States.

See, tweets are narishkeit. Who wouldn’t give to have Trump and his foreign policy team in charge right about now?

 Shalom Markowitz 

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