Distributed with Staten island Advance
#17 FEBRUARY 2012
This special section is written by the Citizens Magazine staff and does not involve the reporting or editorial staff of the Staten Island Advance
We are the Citizens!
e are great success of this country. We came here with nothing but enthusiasm and belief in America. Now we are the one of the most rapidly growing economical and political power here. We have extraordinary businessmen like Sergei Brin, brilliant Olimpic athletes like Lenny Krayzelburg, fantastic world champions like feather-weight boxer Dmitry Salita, State Assemblymen like Alex BrookKrasnyi and phenomenal singer-songwriters like Regina Spector. New gen-
Education is the most important thing Sam Pirizzolo, Staten island resident
eration of Russian-American politicians are starting their careers – attorney Continued on page 2
Congratulations to my friends at Citizens Magazine for their fine journalism and substantial contributions to the Staten Island and Brooklyn communities. It is exciting to learn that Citizens Magazine will be distributed in our community as an insert to the Staten Island Advance. The Russian community is growing on Staten Island, not just in population but in its commitment to the civic-mindedness of our borough and city. This publication is vital to project the needs and values, as well as the contributions and successes of the Russian Community. We all benefit as our Russian neighbors eagerly assimilate into this community. This November will be the most important election of our lifetime. It is imperative that our entire community take an active role to ensure that our liberties remain protected from an overreaching government and that we all retain the opportunity to pursue happiness as we, not the as the government, sees it. I encourage Citizen’s Magazine to remain involved by voicing the opinions and concerns of the Russian community and to continue to provide information to the less informed, and most importantly, motivate all to get involved in our political process. Best of luck with the new publication. Frank P. Aversa, First Vice Chair Richmond County Republican Committee
Janine Materna: I’m a third generation Staten Islander Janine Materna, Staten Island resident
Dear Readers of Citizens Magazine: My name is Sam Pirozzolo and I am proud to be writing to you in the inaugural issue of Citizens Magazine appearing in the Staten Island Advance. I hold the position of President of the Community Education Council of District 31 (Staten Island), also known as CEC 31. CEC 31 is a group of 11 parent volunteers, 9 elected and 2 appointed: • CEC members represent students and parents, acting as advocates for our school district. • Nine of our members must be parents of children attending school in this school district and two members are appointed by the Staten Island Borough President. • We advise the Schools Chancellor & NYC Department of Education about student & parent needs & concerns. • We do NOT work for the Department of Education & are NOT controlled by the DoE. • We receive NO SALARY for holding our positions on the CEC. • Each school district has its own Council but CEC 31 covers the entire borough of Staten Island.
Voting Irresponsibly Guarantees a Return to The Past By Ralph J. Rubinek, Staten Island resident
• We also participate in shaping the educational programs of the district. Over the last 4 years, CEC 31 has been very active in the Staten Island school system, helping to establish the Middle School Scholars Program, rezoning some North Shore school zones, fighting to get school bus service restored to Staten Island students and requesting that the DoE allow students to carry cell phones so they are safer while traveling to-and-from school. I hope to bring you information on educational matters of interest to Staten Island parents, including discussions on school report cards, legislative topics, school progress reports and other subjects that affect your schoolchildren. My writings will focus on broad educational themes - not to offer advice on individual concerns- but to help parents navigate the NYC Department of Education, learn about Staten Island schools and become more involved in your children’s education. At CEC 31 our motto is “Helping You to Help Your Children”. I hope to do that for the readers of Citizens Magazine. Sincerely, Sam Pirozzolo President, CEC 31 www.cec31.org
My view on “Obamacare” By Dr. V. Gressel, Brooklyn resident
#17 FEBRUARY 2012 CITIZENS26@GMAIL.COM
Continued from page 1
David Storobin wants to take over disgraced ex-pol Carl Kruger’s senate seat. We are proud to be an Americans of Russian descent with unique experience and distinctive political preferences, based on mentality and historical development. We started this publication as sort of a bridge between Russian-American Community and American Main Street and we are ready and willing to introduce ourselves. Here is some data to show how is wrong popular sentiment of Russians as welfare abusing, Democrat voting, fur coat wearing slobs. And truth is... Since the collapse of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, North America has become home to over 6.5 million people sharing a common linguistic and cultural identity. Over 1.6 million of former USSR citizens reside in the New York Ti-State area, successfully making it is the seventh largest Russian-speaking city in the world. Highly educated and trained, Russian speaking immigrants are dedicated to pursuing their own “American Dream”, making sure that the lifestyle they lead is of a much higher quality than what they could have back
in USSR. As a result, many of those immigrants have reached a high degree of success in the fields of their professional practice: medical, legal, business, scientific research, computer programming, real estate and manufacturing. Statistics indicate that marketing driven sales in the Russian speaking communities have yielded greatest results compared with any other ethnic group. Putting together all this data, we get one of the most affluent and rapidly growing ethnic communities in the country, yet fully integrated in American mainstream. life
Demographics Russian American population is estimated at approximately 2.9 million people. It’s the 2nd largest ethnic market representing 10.3% (2.9 Million people) of the total foreign-born population of 28.4 million. Russian speaking population in USA and Canada is estimated to be about 6.5 million. Leading States: New York; California; Illinois; Pennsylvania; Massachusetts. Leading Cities: New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Detroit. New York Population leads the nation in the number of Russian Americans. About 1.6 Million reside in New York Ti-State area. About
600,000 reside in the City of New York representing 8% of the population. Numbers exceed those of other leading ethnic groups like Chinese (760,000) and Dominican (620,000).
rates (57% vs. 41%) and smaller family size (1.60 vs. 2.44) compared to overall US foreign-born population – translated to more wealth per household and less governmental support.
There are an estimated 6.5 million Russian-speaking people in the Unites States. Most Russian- speakers are bilingual. They generally prefer to speak their native language at home, but fluent in English nevertheless.
Overall Russian population Median Annual Household Income is about $50,500. For New York, the median income of Russian-Americans was $47,000 compared to $38,866 for the general population, $42,199 for the Chinese and $19,800 for the Dominican community. 18% of Russian population makes under $30K; 20% earn $30K to $50K; 33% earn $50K to $80K; 29% - make $80K and over.
Household 64% are married with an average of 1.6 children per family. Higher home ownerships
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Education 53% hold a bachelor’s degree or higher. 80.3% have completed a HS Diploma compared to 67% for the foreign born population. Russian community has an inclination towards higher education, high-paying employment and general readership.
Media Consumption • 63% regularly read American publications • 73% regularly watch American TV • 75% regularly listens to American radio • Computer & Web • 81% have computer at home
• 73% use internet on regular basis • 82% of computer users have internet connection at home
Employment Being an educated community, Russian Americans focus more on post-collegiate work participation and are involved in higher-paying employment. 67.5% are in managerial, professional, technical and sales occupations (compared to 45.6% for all foreign-born). 21.4% are involved in service occupations (compared to 31.2% for all foreign-born). 11.9% work as operators, fabricators, and laborers (compared to 18.7% for all foreign born). 0.06% hold farming, forestry, and fishing jobs (compared to 4.6% for all foreign-born). Labor force participation for the community was 23 years and older (compared to 16 years and older for all foreign-born)
Political Preferences • • • •
62% vote Republican 23% vote Democrat 12% vote Independent 3% vote Libertarian These statistics are based on data from American Census Bureau as per year 2010. We hope, that facts will change your perception of us and our community. Thank you for your interest. We are open for dialog.
“Our Staten Island” by Albert J. Albanese, Executive Producer at Eight Days Productions Let me introduce myself, I am a lifelong 3rd generation Staten Islander, I produce 8 TV shows that air on Verizon FiOS & Time Warner Cable. The shows we produce at Eight Days Productions focus on the good things that Staten Islanders do and the wonderful events that take place on Staten Island. On our shows you will see the unsung heroes, the people who deserve credit for the wonderful things they do. The reason I decided to start producing these shows was to show the good things people do. It seems the news media only shows bad things. We also show the services available on Staten Island and talk to the experts in the field so our viewers will have a better understanding of these services. Our shows air on FiOS & Time Warner Cable Richmond County Mustangs air on Mondays at 9:30PM on channel 34 Amanda on the Island airs Mondays at 11PM on channel 34 Staten Island Community Events airs Tuesdays at 6:30PM on channel 35 Meet the People airs Tuesdays at 7:30 PM on channel 35 Your Island Now airs Thursdays at 5PM on channel 34
Ride for the 84+1 airs Thursdays at 6:30PM on channel 34 Democratic Party Events airs Fridays at 4PM on channel 34 Off White Trash airs Saturdays at 11:30PM on channel 34 Richmond County Mustangs, hosted by Mustang Helen & Dawn Malvasio brings you to the various car shows on Staten Island and we interview the owners of those cars. The show also will give you information about the car clubs enthusiasts can join. Amanda on the Island hosted by Amanda Grossman is all about the fun things on the island, bands, events, art & fashion. Staten Island Community Events hosted by Jennifer Saladis brings Staten Island events right into your living room. Meet the People hosted by Brooke Lopez, Janette McGilligan, Jenniffer Brown,
Noelle Prideaux & Lori Rhodes features interviews with Staten Islanders who have done great things. Your Island Now hosted by Gloria Castelucci show events on the island and information on services available on the island. The Ride for the 84 + 1 is an annual motorcycle fun in honor of the 85 Staten Islanders who gave their lives in the Vietnam War. The motorcycle community raises money for many charities. Democratic Party Events shows the events sponsored by the Democratic Party and gives information about democratic candidates running for office. Off White Trash is a local Staten Island classic rock band this show brings you their music to enjoy. Future columns here will tell you all about events and features we at Eight Days Productions will bring to you on our many shows.
#17 FEBRUARY 2012 CITIZENS26@GMAIL.COM
Janine Materna: I’m a third generation Staten Islander
Janine Materna, Staten island resident
y name is Janine Materna and I’m a third generation Staten Islander. I’m the daughter of two loving hard working parents Joseph and Dolores Materna. From an early childhood, my parents instilled in me the values of honesty, self respect and respect for others. I’m the youngest of three girls. We are a very close-knit family that can truly rely on one another through thick and thin. I love tradition and enjoy celebrating my ethnic background, which is of Italian, Polish and Russian descent. I was born in Great Kills and raised in Prince’s Bay. I’m the proud product of the New York City public school education. I graduated from Columbia University with a Political Science and Environmental Science degree. I also received a Graduate Certificate from the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University. I have worked in the financial services industry for a number of years, consulting Fortune 500 companies both domestically and globally.
I have a strong interest in autism. I learned about autism when I ran for New York City Council back in 2009. After going from town to town, knocking on doors and meeting people, I was taken back to learn about the high amount of families touched by a loved one with autism. After awhile, it felt like every other house I visited was impacted. I began studying the subject more and more, and found it to be really interesting, so much so, that I’m currently working towards my Masters Degree in Childhood and Special Education from St. John’s University. There is just something so special about children that I love. Special needs children hold a special place in my heart and I hope to one day truly make a positive difference in their lives. I’m involved a variety of organizations including serving as the President of the largest Civic Association on the South Shore of Staten Island the Pleasant Plains, Prince’s
Bay, Richmond Valley Civic Association, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York Junior Board, Co-Chair the Alumni Representative Committee Columbia University, New York Junior League, and the Women’s Auxiliary of the Staten Island Historical Society at Historic Richmond town. I also serve on a variety of fundraising committees JCC, American Cancer Society and the March of Dimes.
With Congressman Michael Grimm
My passion for the community stems from an early age, when I noticed that helping others in need, giving back to my community and investigating the issues that concerned others all gave me a sense of fulfillment in improving society. From grammar school, high school, college and beyond I have always been involved in some leadership capacity. Back in high school, I received the prestigious New York City Public
High School Distinguished Graduate of 2001 from Mayor Rudy Giuliani for demonstrating outstanding leadership, community service and scholarship. In addition, I received several Certificate of Outstanding Community Service awards from the former Congressman Vito Fossella, Former City Councilman Stephen Fialla, Former Congressman Michael McMahon, Assemblyman Matthew Titone, and Councilwoman Debi Rose.
Now more than ever is when every concerned citizen should belong to a civic association. I believe it’s important for people to get involved in their community by having a voice. The Pleasant Plains, Prince’s Bay, Richmond Valley Civic Association serves as a wonderful opportunity for committed residents of our community to address current issues that impact our community. From the past to today, the Civic Association has been influential on variety of issues from zoning, land use, potholes, sidewalks, beautifying the community to restoring the WWII monument in Pleasant Plains Plaza. Most importantly, we strive each day to fulfill our motto in preserving the smalltown quality of life. Some issues we plan on addressing this year is to work towards finding a better solution to the Methadone Clinic at SIUH (South), securing a fast
community builders for neighbors, business owners, families and friends alike to join forces and be a voice in our community. We strive to keep events as low cost as possible with the generous support of some local businesses to encourage more people of our community to get involved. If you have an idea that you believe would improve the quality of life for you and/or your family, let us know. We meet the second Monday of each from 8:00pm – 9:30pm at the CYO-MIV Community Center at Mount Loretto. All are welcome!
ferry to Manhattan, which was promised by local officials, but yet not delivered, establishing smart Park & Ride facilities at our 3 train stations, beautifying the community by planting flow-
ers, conducting beach cleanups, and hosting additional cost effective family friendly events to bring the three towns together. We host a variety of community events ranging from the
Meet the Candidates Forum, Christmas tree and Menorah Lighting Ceremony, Holiday Party and the Great American Barbecue held at the Seguine Mansion. These events serve as
For more information, please e-mail Janine at Janine.Materna@gmail. com Link to the Civic Association on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ groups/101814983200899/
#17 FEBRUARY 2012 CITIZENS26@GMAIL.COM
A Captain. Not Dear Leader Boris A. Borovoy
hey say that the Dali Lama once said, “When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.” Regardless, his meaning is clear: learn from your mistakes. If you’ve never made any mistakes, a presidential primary season is a tough time to learn from them. Mitt Romney did just that. For those who fell apart earlier in the nomination season, most had never lost an election before. Texas Gov. Rick Perry had an unbeaten streak before this year, but
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www.citizensmagazine.com Arkadiy Fridman — president Boris Borovoy – contributing editor Ilya Galak — general manager For Advertising contact Elena Vennikov 212-748-9345 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Bright One Communications, Inc. (official Advertising Agency for Citizen Magazine) tel: 718-605-0158 fax: 718-880-5012 Design by Design2pro.com Design & Production Michael Kurov Art Director Website powered by Edward Web Design Company (646)535-0035 www.EdwardWebDesign.com Editorial views do not always coincide with the opinion of the authors. We are open for discussion and debate. Welcome any opinions and suggestions. Thank you for being with us. Please send your comments to: Citizens26@gmail.com
never figured out how to regain his footing after stumbling in early debates. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann had never lost a contest, and seemed befuddled after her postIowa straw poll collapse. Jon Huntsman seemed to coast to easy wins in Utah as governor, but found the New Hampshire Primary to be a harsh teacher about the art of loseing. Social conservatives and liberals both love to accuse Mitt of “flipflopping” on his opinions. Yes, it’s true. Does it matter? No. He learned his lessons. Therefore he is armed to win. With all due regards to my fellow right-wingers, I respectfully disagree on one important subject: enough with the revolutions, we don’t need to grab turmoil. We need a Great America once again. This needs to be the stepping stone necessary for a successful presidential run. Let’s look at his “flip-flops” a bit closer… Romney changed his mind on abortion — not when it was politically advantageous, but when it mattered. As governor of liberal, prochoice Massachusetts, he vetoed in an embryonic stem cell bill and “worked closely” with Massachusetts Citizens for Life. The president of MCL recently issued a statement saying that, “since being elected governor, Mitt Romney has had a consistent commitment to the culture of life.” He didn’t defend his changed position by saying he was a “historian,” or denounce people who raised the switch as “fundamentally” dishonest asking “absurd” questions, or go back and forth and back and forth. He just said he changed his mind. Hasn’t everyone done just this? Romney is now the only remaining candidate for president who opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants. (Ever since President Bush’s amnesty plan cratered on the shoals of public opposition, no Republican will ever use the word “amnesty,” despite wanting to keep illegal immigrants here — just
as Democrats refuse to say “abortion,” while supporting every manner of destroying human life.) Romney supports E-Verify and a fence on the border. As governor he promoted English immersion programs for immigrants, signed an agreement with the federal government allowing state troopers to enforce federal immigration laws, and opposed efforts to give illegal immigrants in-state tuition or driver’s licenses. At the same time, Romney says he’d like to staple a green card to the diploma of every immigrant here on a student visa who gets a higher degree in math or science. Is this bad thing? Nope. Romney supports entitlement reform along the lines of the Paul Ryan plan, as he has said plainly, but without histrionics, in the debates. As for “crony capitalism”, Romney made all his money in the private sector using his own diligence and talent — even giving away all the money he inherited from his parents. He’s never lived in Washington or traded on access to government officials. Romney could not be more forceful in saying he will issue a 50-state waiver to Obamacare his first day in office and then seek its formal repeal. Whether you like a statewide insurance mandate or not, it’s a world of difference when the federal government does it. Conservatives, having
read the Constitution, ought to understand this. Romney supported the idea of other states doing something along the lines of his health care bill, but always opposed insurance mandates from the federal government. In a world where words have meaning, Mitt Romney is not the “moderate” in this race. He is the most conservative candidate still standing, with the possible exception of Rick Santorum, who is really bad on illegal immigration. (Santorum voted in the Senate against even the voluntary use of E-Verify by employers, which means he doesn’t want to do anything about illegal immigration at all.) Romney is “moderate” only in demeanor. His positions now are more conservative than anyone, who proclaims himself “conservative” , but he doesn’t scare independents as evangelicals do. Ronald Reagan and Jesse Helms were moderate in demeanor, too. No one would call them political moderates, right? Romney is the most electable candidate not only because it will be nearly impossible for the media to demonize this self-made Mormon square, devoted to his wife and church, but precisely because he is the most conservative, mature and weathered candidate. He’ll be a great Captain, but never - our Dear Leader. That’s exactly what our Republic needs.
Wouldnâ€™t you like to be able to ďŹ re people who provide services to you? By Boris Borovoy
itt Romney captured the New Hampshire primary Tuesday night easily beating back his Republican competitors by a wide margin, with Ron Paul finishing in a strong second place and an energized Jon Huntsman coming in third. The landslide for the former Massachusetts governor follows on the heels of his Iowa success. The first time Republican has won both contests since 1976 and he took 13 delegates. At stake in the New Hampshire contest are 12 delegates. Perfect shot! If Romney wins the nomination, he may prove a more formidable fall opponent than some of Barack Obamaâ€™s advisers currently believe. Rhoadesâ€™ team has spent the better part of a year gathering material to use against the President once the primaries are over. Among the most promising: putting a human face on the nationâ€™s grim economic statistics. Obamaâ€™s lieutenants, no slouches themselves at dragon slaying, plan to showcase the names and stories of workers who lost jobs at the hands of Romneyâ€™s companies.Â Romneyâ€™s ultimate margin of victory will have a significant bearing on the story coming out of New Hampshire. His numbers appeared to be slipping in some
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polls over the weekend as he weathered sustained criticism for his private-sector career with equity firm Bain Capital. Romneyâ€™s critics accused the firm of predatory practices that led to unnecessarily large job losses among companies it bought and sold. Oh, yes, he like to fire people. He is enjoing it! Earlier, Mitt Romney got into trouble for saying, â€œI like being able to fire people who provide services to me.â€? To comprehend why the political class reacted as if Romney had just praised Hitler, you must understand
For years, the New York City school budget included $35 million to $65 million a year to place hundreds of teachers in â€œrubber rooms,â€? after they had committed such serious offens-
that his critics live in a world in which no one can ever be fired. A world known as â€œthe government.â€? Wherever there is government, there is malfeasance and criminality and government employees who can never be fired.
es that they were barred from classrooms. Teachers accused of raping students sat in rooms doing no work all day, still collecting government paychecks because they couldnâ€™t be fired. In 2010, 33 employees of the Securities and Exchange Commission -- half making
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$100,000 to $200,000 per year -were found to have spent most of their workdays downloading Internet pornography over a five-year period. Not one of the porn-surfing employees of the SEC was fired. They werenâ€™t even embarrassed. One appealed his 10-day suspension, complaining that it was too severe. The government refused to release any of their names. How splendid! These are the people who are going to be controlling your life if Obama wouldâ€™t be out of his office. There will be only one insurance provider, and you wonâ€™t be able to switch, even if the service is lousy (and it surely will be). There will be bunch of regulations of what you eating, drinking, smoking etc. done by the same douchebags. Obamacare employees will
spend their days surfing pornography, instead of approving your heart operation. They can steal from you and even physically assault you. And they can never be fired. Period. What Romney said is: â€œI want individuals to have their own insurance. That means the insurance company will have an incentive to keep you healthy. It also means if you donâ€™t like what they do, you can fire them. I like being able to fire people who provide services to me. You know, if someone doesnâ€™t give me a good service that I need, I want to say Iâ€™m going to go get someone else to provide that service to me.â€? Thatâ€™s one huge difference between community organizer and governor right there: If you donâ€™t like what your insurer is doing in Massachusetts, you can get a new one. Now, wouldnâ€™t you like to be able to fire people who provide services to you? I do.
#17 FEBRUARY 2012 CITIZENS26@GMAIL.COM
Voting Irresponsibly Guarantees a Return to The Past
By Ralph J. Rubinek, Staten island resident n one decade so many innocent lives destroyed, Jews, Christians and individuals of thought. I will memorialize my parents, their pain and suffering, my childhood, which was taken as their experiences, touched my very soul and to this I remain a torchbearer to hope and vision only if we as a nation of free men and woman never forget. As a child I knew I was different than all the other children there were no sounds of family especially at holidays. My Mother, Chaya Hershberg was born in Olkuse, Poland to a family of blue-collar workers. Father, Mordcha Rubinek born in Kielzer, Poland to a family of industrialists. Both lead very different lives before the war only to meet as survivors of Hitler’s final solution. Jews in Europe prior to the Second World War lived in relative peace and tranquility. They were accepted in every avenue of industry and government until one day hate was projected upon them for Europe, Germany in particular needed to find blame for its failed economy and collapsing social structure. Vague depictions were cast upon the Jewish people by controlling factions of the media starting in 1930 in Germany. Der Strummer the leading periodical of the time even claimed Jews used human blood in sacramental meals during Passover. A madman, Adolph Hitler was elected to power. The night of “Broken Glass” was the culmination of reconstructionalism and
propaganda. Today, how can we forget, least it will happen again? When the Nazis invaded Poland almost immediately they began to round up the Jewish people. They were assisted by anti Jewish sentiment, which had spread throughout Europe were Jews were systematically identified, herded and maintained in ghettos. No, mother told me Hitler didn’t want the final solution at first, only after the world showed they didn’t want the Jewish refugee from Europe. Thousands of Jews were allowed to flee only to be denied entry to any safe haven There was no Israel, no right of return nowhere to go except to the final solution as the world watched. Mother and father both told me how their families were rounded up and mur-
dered, a miracle alone they survived only to be tortured in Concentration Camps, mother in Auschwitz father late in the war, in Buchenwald. Father very German looking and fluent in German was able to flee to Italy, mother saved by the Roman Catholic Church acting with Jewish partisans. Though the Nazis were no longer in control, they were still murdering the remaining Jews. Mother too was able to escape to Italy where Jews on the whole were protected by the Italian people and little known as the “Secret” the church. My parents met in Italy and immigrated to Israel upon its creation, there they married. Both after such inhuman conditions during the Holocaust saw the creation of the Jewish State however couldn’t bear the sight of constant war in Eretz Yisroel.
They left the land of “Milk and Honey”. Immigrating to the United States in the Mid 50’s they made their new life and enjoyed liberty however never free of their sad memories. I was born in August of 1958, although my life bore witness to sadness and tribulation I can proudly say there is hope as long as we remember not to forget and not to hate. Both my parents taught me this virtue. We must remain vigilant and hopeful. In memory of six million Jews murdered by ignorance and in memory of my parents, Motek and Chaya whose knowledge as Holocaust survivors lit up my world. Both knew how the mechanics of Socialism highjacked the causative and mechanical nature of the Holocaust
inquires how such atrocities occur. This publication will address the ideology of hatred through conditioning and subliminal suggestion on many levels to include self hatred. Many leaders of this ilk present unattainable and unprincipled benevolence as a wrapping in order to attract the ignorant and those with preponderance toward hate into the fold. America has fallen asleep. My mother and father came to America to escape the chains of Europe; the very Europe America’s founders op-
My Mother, Chaya Hershberg was born in Olkuse, Poland
as its hideous ideology unfolds to this very day. My focus is my family and personal history as it contains a parallel to today. Without memorialization based upon history our world is doomed to relive one of history’s darkest chapters. I am a Second Generation survivor who had to learn to be self sufficient and responsible at age sixteen. I learned the
best lessons of life are self motivation where limitation of government sets the stage for motivation, innovation and the fruits of success, the American dream. To do otherwise shortchanges society where reliance to government sets the foundation of servitude and the atrocities of Hitler’s final solution. Society
posed setting the course toward revolution. As Lexington and Concord culminated a gathering of patriots to oppose the might of England then whereas the same band of formerly oppressed Jews escaped Europe attaining arms to confront tyranny after the Holocaust by combating the British Mandate in the Mideast in 1947... Hence claiming independence of the Promised Land away from England in the like of America’s founders. As citizens, let us remember what brought us here, I will vote responsibly as I do not wish to lose what my parents came to America in the first place.
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My view on “Obamacare” By Dr. V. Gressel, Brooklyn resident ecently, people began to ask my opinion on the “affordable” healthcare reform, also widely known as “Obamacare”. Strangely enough, nobody bother to ask us, practicing doctors, prior to the congressional vote on this “reform”, before it became a law. Well – these are my points on Obamacare:
Ponzi-Madoff Scheme: America is a “dream comes true” country for every immigrant for the last 200 years, regardless of the period they immigrated. You should remember those Irish and Germans of the late 18th century, Eastern European Jews of the 19th, Cubans fleeing Fidel’s “paradise ” island, and, of course, the latest waves of Mexicans, Dominicans, Pakistanis, and let’s not forget us, Russian Jews in the 1970-1990. We all came here for a dream, and we all got one. Yes, it was the same dream for everybody: we all choose the prosperous life, not miserable substandard survival and constant struggle with poverty in our native countries. Sure enough, some of us achieved this dream very soon by working hard in a tradition this country was built upon, but lately we can see that more and more of the recent immigrants manage to obtain their dream in the totally different fashion. They work hard milking “The System”, actively pursuing the “free stuff ”. Well, you can ask me about nature of this mysterious “System”. Our country is well-known for its free-market capitalist economic system, which made it so great. How can you “milk” this capitalist system, which supposed to promote hard work and innovations, support taking risks and individual responsibilities? Unfortunately, the other system was born and grew in our country since early 1900’s. The system which offers wonderful American Dream to everybody disregarding their talents, hard work, ethics or even respect to the law. This system was sold (and still selling) to us by the politicians the same way Mr. Ponzi did it in the early 1920s: promise Continued on page 11
the great returns for the small investment in your future. More than that, according to the promises, this future is GUARANTEED by the government! Social Security - failed, almost bankrupt, Medicare - already bankrupt, Medicaid - all in red ink. There is none, repeat, not a single one federal program currently in existence which is financially solvent and is delivering what it was designed to do. And results of these experiments in the “progressive” capitalism are devastating for our children’s future: almost 100 trillion dollars in the unfunded liabilities for bankrupt programs mentioned above and tens of millions of the people who became dependent on these programs. I should mention also the food stamps, the “affordable“ housing programs, “free” education, forever extended unemployment benefits, innumerous welfare programs and on, and on, and on….. It is all done with one purpose only. Government can grow only if it controls your life as much as possible, through taxes, regulations and…benefits, the notorious “free stuff ”. When you become addicted to this “free stuff ”, you will beg
your government as an alcoholic to give you more and more…. in exchange for more and more of your freedom. If you think that Obamacare will be somewhat different, please, don’t fool yourselves. It is not simply another PonziMadoff style “progressive” lie. This time it is much more dangerous than you think. Let’s measure some facts in respect to the “progressive’s” Obamacare selling points, myths vs reality:
Myth No 1: “New law will decrease cost of private medical insurance.” False. Last year, even though the main components of Obamacare will begin only in 2013, average cost of the private insurance increased dramatically, by average of 12-15%. Why? Because insurance companies were forced to hire the large legal teams desperately trying to figure out how to comply with this new, more than 2400 pages, monstrosity. You got that right, the only people who will benefit from Obamacare are lawyers. And again, you’re right if you guessed that the major supporters who lobbied this law in Congress
were LAWYERS, not doctors. According to the new law, if you failed just a few from the myriads of the new regulations, your insurance company could be kicked out of business. Also, last year all insurances were forced to insure the so called “kids” until the age of 26 for free (before the age limit was 21). They also will be forced to insure everybody regardless of their prior medical history for the same price. Would you like as a business owner to run your business without profit? Well, of course, not! It is against the nature of any private business and you will increase the prices for the premiums across the board just to cover your losses. Equal prices for the newly insured sick people would force you to spread the risk (and prices). Even my teenage son understands it, but our politicians pretend that they are not.
Myth No 2: “New law will provide medical coverage (via mandatory insurance) to everybody, which will in turn put control on overall cost of healthcare, at least theoretically.
The argument was, that by insuring everybody we would dramatically decrease number of ER visits; that these people will have general access to the regular checkups and by the early prevention we would save tons of money on hospitalizations.” False. Besides the fact, that it is unconstitutional for the federal government to force somebody to buy any product (like insurance), insuring everybody could mean the only one thing: now the patient could see a doctor without paying out of pocket. Those 32 million uninsured Americans consist of two separate groups: the ones who obtained the coverage as a free gift from the government and others who must buy it since they have sufficient income. Latter group mostly consists of the young working people who didn’t have to spend money on insurance before since they didn’t feel this necessity being young and healthy. Now, since they Continued on page 12
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must invest their hard earned money in the health insurance, they would be able to visit doctors as often as possible, and demand expensive services, just to make sure their good health is still “very good”. Some of them probably would agree to pay penalties for not buying insurance, if it would appear cheaper for them, while consider that they could always go to ER anyway, the same old way. But the first group attitude will make things even worse. They could do anything they want with “free” healthcare services since it doesn’t cost them anything. This will drastically increase taxpayers’ burden, as we see it with Medicaid.
Myth No 3: “New law will dramatically improve quality of medical care” You got to be kidding! How in the world we can improve it with sudden influx of 32 million new customers and no new service providers. Actually, we have significant shortage of doctors in this country now. More than that, 46% (sic!) of physicians consider leaving private
practice in medicine or work part time only, if Obamacare will be implemented. Do you really want to be seen by the doctor, who doesn’t have time to look at you, being busy writing filing on his computer your visit’s note to your EMR (electronic medical record). By the way this is another news for you: your EMR should (and will!) be available for the governmental agencies reviews without your consent. And don’t forget about computer hackers: if they can get into the Pentagon’s files, stealing your medical record from the government’s sites is for sure a piece of cake for them.
Myth No 4: “Our senior’s Medicare program will not be affected, it will only improve.” I wonder how this miracle would happen? May be, by cutting its funding by 500 billion dollars? Or by cutting doctor’s fees by average 25% in 2013? In 10 short
years we’re expecting 30% more Medicare recipients due to the demographic changes (people generally live longer, in addition to the growing number of the retiring “baby boomers”). Who is going to take care of them? More and more doctors thinking to opt out from Medicare, since it pays less and less while they have
to spend more time with those patients as they get older to provide quality care.
Myth No 5: “Nobody will be telling your doctor how to treat you.” Another lie. Actually, the very scary one. Most of you don’t know yet that
Welcome, Citizens! We consider ourselves lucky, as should all Staten Islanders, to have your publication become a regular part of our information feed. Your unique perspective is a breath of fresh air, and teaches us that no person has a greater appreciation of freedom and liberty than those to whom it has been denied. It was only ﬁfty years ago the Soviet Union and the United States were locked in a Cold War of mistrust that threatened the world with nuclear destruction, yet now we ﬁnd Russian-American citizens of the United States standing shoulderto-shoulder with their freedom-loving neighbors in our ﬁght to preserve all of our rights as individuals, including the glorious guarantee of a free press. It is our ﬁrm belief that all members and followers of the Staten Island Tea Party, a group dedicated to limited government, ﬁscal sanity and free markets, recognize and appreciate the contributions that the Russian-American community has made, is making and will continue to make for generations to come. We welcome you, a new group of passionate and patriotic Americans, to our melting pot. We are a better borough, a better city and a better country because you are here. Frank Santarpia & Lorraine Scanni The Staten Island Tea Party www.teapartyinfo.com
Obamacare is in fact a part two of the healthcare reform. The first part was sneaked in as a part of the near 1 trillion dollars stimulus bill early in 2009. In this bill 1,1 billion dollars were allocated to create Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research. Just three days after passage of the Stimulus Bill, Obama appointed all 15 members of this Council. The Federal Council is modeled after one particular British committee, UK Health board. This board approves or rejects treatments using a formula that divides the cost of the treatment by the number of years the patient is likely to benefit from the treatment. Naturally, treatments for the younger patients are more often approved than the treatments for diseases that affect the elderly, such as osteoporosis. In 2006, a U.K. health board decreed that elderly patients with the macular degeneration had to wait until they went blind in one eye before they could get a costly new drug to save the other eye. It took almost three years of public protests before the board reversed its decision. Later, in Obamacare bill, another new bureaucracy, the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, was created with the purpose to monitor patient’s treatments to ensure that your doctor is doing whatever the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective. The goal is to reduce costs and “guide” your doctor’s decisions. Keeping doctors informed of the newest medical findings is important, but enforcing uniformity goes too far. More than that, hospitals and doctors neglected to be the “meaningful users” of the new system will face penalties. However, term “meaningful user” isn’t clearly defined in the bill. It will be left to the bureaucrats at Health and Human Services Department, who
will be empowered to impose “more stringent measures of meaningful use over time”. This vagueness is intentional : what penalties would not deter your doctor to go beyond the electronically delivered protocols when your condition is atypical or you need an experimental treatment? Anyway we’ll have another appointed body with vast powers to make the “tough” decisions our politicians refuse to make.
Myth No 6: “Doctors support Obamacare.” Simply, not true. Obama’s administration singled out the American Medical Association, who endorsed Obamacare, but membership of this organization dropped dramatically in the last 10 years. AMA does not represent physicians for a long time; it became another political lobbying entity for the special interests. You might ask me about solutions, what would I do to improve healthcare and make it more affordable. The answer is always in the free market, not in the governmental bureaucracy. About 60 years ago there were very few healthcare insurances, no Medicare or Medicaid and 85% of all Americans were able to afford their doctor and hospital admissions. People understood then that they had to prioritize their budget: how much to save for the medical care and how much – for the entertainment, travel, extra clothing etc. Personal responsibilities were taught by parents and in the schools. Now our economy and government experience serious financial troubles and yet we hear from progressive school of thought about “right to have free medical care”. I am aware of only three unalienable rights: right for Life, right for Liberty and right to pursue Happiness. Give con-
sumers (patients) power to choose the doctor or the hospital they would like to attend and let the service’s providers (doctors and hospitals) have freedom to decide how much they want to charge. Remove thousands of regulations and inefficient policies and these charges will drop dramatically… You can argue that the straight road back to the good old times when nobody was standing between doctor and patient is unrealistic. Sadly, I agree with you. But nothing is preventing us from the common sense healthcare policies’ changes which don’t require spending of the single taxpayer’s penny, yet must be implemented immediately to avoid disaster.
Suggestions: First: Obamacare must be repealed RIGHT NOW Second: Healthcare insurance should be available for
purchase across state lines Third: Stop the threat of unscrupulous lawyers, suing everybody for everything, hanging over every single doctor in this country (Doctors are forced to order multiple expensive and sometimes unnecessary tests just to protect themselves from the lawsuits; malpractice insurance for OB/GYN specialist in NYC is approximately $180,000.00 a year!) Fourth: Reform Medicare ASAP, before it completely collapsed.
Prediction: If Obamacare is here to stay with us, my predictions for the next 10-15 years are very pessimistic: 1. Most of the specialists will stop seeing patients with any insurance, including Medicare, and accept only private payments plans. 2. Most of the primary care doctors will be forced out
from the private practice and compel to work only for the big hospitals or governmentsponsored clinics. 3. In about 15-20 years public will demand from government access to specialists and doctors in general, due to the tremendous shortage of physicians. In response, as the only way out, government will employ all doctors (and all other licensed medical professionals) in order to provide promised medical care to the population. If you, as a physician, disagree to work for them, you license will be suspended. Do not forget, that it is the State who granted medical licenses for the physicians.
Advice: My advice for everybody: let’s hope for the best in 2012 elections, but prepare for the worst as your American dream could become another socialist nightmare.
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How FDR got us out of the Great Depression: Lessons for today
Doug Wead is a presidential historian, New York Times bestselling author and adviser to two presidents. He served as special assistant to the president in the George Herbert Walker Bush White House. In 1979 he co-founded Mercy Corps and the International Charity Awards.
recovery. Written four years before the recent crisis the report concludes that “ill conceived stimulus policies” prolonged the Depression. But the conventional wisdom of history flows with such force that in 2008 George W. Bush dare not risk laissez faire. The real story of how America came out of the Great Depression, and FDR’s role in the process, may be less about liberal and conservative government policies and more about good business sense than most modern ideologues might suspect. The real story is about gold. And FDR’s frugal, exacting, yes even “conservative,” management style. What unfolding historic records now show is that FDR picked the British clean, that is, he rearmed Britain in her hour of
took much of the French gold that had been smuggled out before the collapse of France and much of the Czech gold that had been smuggled out before the collapse of Czechoslovakia. When the gold bullion was gone, we picked up military bases on British soil around the
of Chicago. Any work of British scientists is downplayed. The Maud Committee, which operated in Great Britain in 1940, and developed the concepts of uranium enrichment and fission bomb design, is almost never mentioned. To give you an idea of how all of this put America to work
world. At one point, Churchill offered the American president entire islands but FDR was too shrewd for that. It would mean caring for the natives, providing food and employment. No, FDR just took naval bases, thank you. And when those were all strategically selected, he took intellectual property, such as radar and the beginnings of our atomic research, a story that until now, has been conveniently ignored by history. To hear our version, it all happened under the bleachers at the University
and not only primed the pump and brought us out of the Great Depression but launched us into Super Power status, consider a communiqué from British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill to Harry Hopkins, Franklin Roosevelt’s personal envoy. The time is June, 1941, when Hitler is launching Barbarossa, his invasion of the Soviet Union. On the 26th Churchill writes that Britain will need seven months, maybe even nine months, of all available American tank production. Imagine, no show rooms, no
d u o r p m a I , a y l I of what you are doing.
onservatives and Liberals still argue about government’s role in ending the Great Depression and many people see the discussion more relevant today than ever before. Conservatives point to a compelling 2004 study by two UCLA economics professors showing that Roosevelt’s New Deal policies actually prolonged the
need, giving her the weapons to stand up against Hitler, but only in exchange for “real wealth.” First it was gold bullion. At one point, when Britain dallied, claiming difficulty in getting the gold safely transported, a helpful FDR dispatched an American Battleship to Cape Town, South Africa to complete the task. We not only took Britain’s gold, we
salesmen, no newspaper advertising needed. Everything being manufactured is already sold in advance. You get a bit of the picture of how American rocketed out of the Great Depression. Before the war was over workers at General Motors and Ford in Detroit, Michigan, NashKelvinator in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Studebaker in South Bend, Indiana, were all working in shifts around the clock, manufacturing armed vehicles for the USA, Britain and the Soviet Union. This was not government stimulus. This was American work, productivity. We were manufacturing something that others were willing to buy. Many times FDR’s emissaries would return from visits to Churchill’s weekend retreat, completely convinced that the cupboard’s were empty, that there was nothing left in Britain to pay for more American production, that the British Empire had been stripped clean. We now had a moral imperative to defend Britain freely, they would say, to save Western Civilization. But the wily Roosevelt was always dubious. There had to be something more, natural resources from the colonies, perhaps something more from Canada or elsewhere that can be bartered and sent our way. Only when Great Britain was absolutely threadbare, and the Commonwealth reasonably raided as well, and FDR’s many envoys and spies assured him that there was nothing left, did he generously announce “Lend Lease,” which meant we would now finally “loan” Britain the money to buy even more from us. That was 18 months
after the beginning of World War Two. This is not to say that we Americans were not generous. At the end of the war, under Harry Truman we offered magnificent loans of product and equipment to Great Britain, with minimal interest. Our Marshall Plan saved France and Germany and the rest of Europe from descending into poverty. It alone represented a subsidy of $13 billion at a time when our national GDP was $258 billion. But rather this is to show how American production, not American deficit spending, brought us out of the Great Depression. And how our initial management of that production created the wealth we could later shower upon the world. It was the biggest transfer of wealth in the shortest period of time in modern history. It dwarfs what the oil cartel has done since the 1970’s. The British finally paid back their debts to the United States in December, 2006. Well, you might say, “Why haven’t I heard about all of this before?” And the answer is that only now are historians beginning to catch up with the truth of those years for much of it was buried as “classified” by the Anglo-American governments. And then, interested parties had their own political reasons for crafting alternative versions. Churchill, for example, had no desire to go down in history as the man who lost the British Empire. Indeed as politicians often do, he successfully portrayed himself as the very opposite, the man who tried to hold it together, wrapping himself in the Union Jack and openly mourning the ongoing loss of British colonies. Keep in mind. Wealth is basically what people want. It may be oil to run automobiles, or timber to build houses and schools. In the middle ages, timber was so scarce in Great Britain that stealing wood was a hanging offense. Just as steal-
ing a horse was in the American West. So wealth may be a horse, or timber, iron, oil, diamonds or gold. And while man can often create his own wealth, such as mixing cooper with iron to create the more malleable bronze for fashioning new weapons or tools, or today building computers or automobiles in a manufacturing plant, much of the wealth of the world is natural, God given, taken from the land and then transformed by man. The British Empire had virtually ruled the world for a hundred of its three hundred years of existence. The sun never set on their Empire. So for years this natural wealth flowed in ships to the British Isles or was traded with neighboring nations for something else and that resource or luxury was then brought home. It was extracted from the earth by colonial labor, a more politically acceptable form of serfdom. And all those years those tiny British Isles were defended by the world’s greatest navy. Now, all of this begs the following questions. If FDR would not accept paper notes as repayment for American loans to
our English speaking brothers, if he demanded gold bullion, iron ore, oil, diamonds, timber, intellectual property, military bases, all at a time when Hitler threatened western civilization, then why would the communist regime in the People’s Republic of China accept anything less? Why would China subsidize and finance a trillion dollar American war in Iraq and accept printed paper money, diluted in value
by inflation, as its repayment? In 1940-41, Great Britain used her wealth to buy product from the United States, the greatest manufacturer on earth. And when she had no wealth, we loaned her the money to buy even more and indebt future generations. Today, the United States has used its wealth to buy product from the People’s Republic of China, the greatest manufacturer on earth. And
now that we have no wealth, she is loaning us the money to buy more. So what will China now demand in repayment? Will she demand intellectual property? Weapon research? Military bases? Natural resources? The British repaid us in 2006, when will we repay China? America’s economic and political future depends on your view of history. If you still believe that she emerged from the great depression through government deficit spending and stimulus programs, our future will be bright indeed. For our spending today in relation to GDP is staggering and is not far off from our spending of 1941-45. But if you believe that America worked or produced her way out of the Great Depression in exchange for “wealth.” If you believe that the bulging gold reserves of Fort Knox made us the world’s richest nation, then we may soon find ourselves in the position of Great Britain and Europe at the end of World War Two. They were then at the mercy of the generosity of the United States. We will be at the mercy of the People’s Republic of China. http://dougwead.wordpress.com
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My name is Michael Califra, a native of Dongan Hills, and I’m delighted to be writing in this inaugural edition of Citizens Magazine for the Staten Island Advance. I am a Media Strategist and Project Finance Consultant who has worked on many political campaigns over the years, and for Jimmy Carter’s White House Advance Staff. A delegate or political operative at two Democratic presidential nominating conventions, I enjoy surveying the political landscape, particularly for the conventional wisdom that everyone knows to be true - but turns out to be false. One of my favorites is the national debt crisis that isn’t.
Why there is no “Debt Crisis” in America What “Everybody Knows” is often not worth knowing.
e need to stop the spending! The country is broke! We’re passing on a crushing burden of debt to our children! How many times have you heard those words over the last few years? How many times have you recited them yourself? They do sound logical. After all, the country has a trillion-dollar plus deficit and a 15 trillion-dollar national debt. So the need to slash government expenditures is just a simple fact of life, right? Wrong. The problem is that most people think of government finances in terms of households or companies. When households or companies pile on too much debt they have to tighten their belts; another phrase we hear a lot. But government finances are nothing like those of households or companies. Governments don’t have a limited working life during which they have to save for a (hopefully) lengthy retirement. Nor do they have to earn ever-increasing profits or worry about share prices. Governments also have the ability to print money, raise taxes and control interest rates – something households and companies cannot do. But there is another important distinction: households and companies have to pay
back the money they borrow. Governments don’t. Yes, you read that correctly. A government does not have to pay back the money it borrows. Not in the traditional sense. When governments incur debt, that debt automatically gets smaller in relation to the economy as the economy grows.
The government simply had to keep paying the interest until the principal just about disappeared. And today, the demand for US Treasuries is so high that the government’s borrowing costs when adjusted for inflation are effectively zero; a good argument for borrowing more to put millions of idle people to
Think of a nation’s economy as an inflating balloon that gets bigger and bigger over time as the amount of debt within it gets correspondingly smaller. As an example, take the United States during World War II; a war the country had to borrow twice its GPD – nearly $30 TRILLION in today’s dollars – to fight and win. The result was a debt to GDP ratio much higher than anything we know today, (125% of GDP in 1946). Yet economic expansion, with help from inflation, eroded that debt, so by the 1970s it was negligible in relation to the size of our economy.
work rebuilding this country’s outdated and dilapidated infrastructure. Such a strategy would spark economic growth, increasing tax revenues to the treasury and decreasing the national debt. (Yes, countries can fight a debt problem with more debt. Often it is the only way to do it. ) But what about Greece? Aren’t the Greeks buried under a crushing mountain of debt that is wreaking havoc with their economy? The answer is yes. But profligate spending in Greece is nothing new. What is new is the euro. When the Greeks gave up the drachma, and with it their
central bank, they also gave up the ability to inflate their way out of debt by weakening the currency, which would ignite exports and tourism and help expand the economy. For them, it’s not unlike being on the old gold standard, which takes away the tools a country needs to fight recession and unemployment. That’s a problem the United States cannot have as long as we keep the dollar. Then there is China. Everyone knows that the Chinese own so much of our debt that they could ruin us any time they want by calling it all in, right? Wrong. There two misconceptions about China: the amount of US debt they own and why they own it. Of the $15 trillion total US national debt, the Chinese own just over $1.1 trillion. Those are dollars the Chinese earned with their exports and need to be parked somewhere. Converting them into renminbi would increase the value of the currency and make China’s exports less competitive around the world. So they choose to keep their surplus dollars in US Treasuries, because Treasury Bills are the safest interest-bearing investments in the world. But there is another reason the Chinese would never demand their money: we would pay them. Unlike Greece, we still control our currency. The Treasury would simply print the money and pay the Chinese. The down side is that printing all those dollars would devalue them, so China would wind up
shooting themselves in the foot. Does all this sound too good to be true? No. It’s just basic macroeconomics that you can read in any textbook. Textbook economics aside, try to imagine the economic hell this country would be today if we hadn’t been deficit spending on things like unemployment insurance, FDIC insurance and Medicaid over the last three years. Millions of American families would have been made utterly destitute by the Great Recession, losing not just their homes, but their bank deposits and their health. Demand would have collapsed even further as the government pulled back spending at the same time as consumers, deepening the crisis with even higher unemployment following a contracting economy in a downward spiral; a situation that would decrease the tax revenues and just balloon the national debt even more. Is there a point where the national debt can become destructive? Probably. But we are nowhere near that point, just as we weren’t when the US had or borrow so heavily during WWII. So the next time you hear politicians or talking heads rant about a “debt crisis” that means there are things this country can simply no longer afford – things that always seem to benefit the poor, elderly and middle class -- you should know that they are either ignorant or being deliberately deceitful. And usually it’s both.
By Mark Berny, Russian – speaking resident of Brooklyn emocrats proposed ‘Reasonable Profits Board’ to regulate oil and gas companies and apply “windfall profit tax”. Children are banned from blowing up balloons under new European Union safety rules. The UK tax collection agency is putting a proposal that all employees send employee paychecks to the government, after which the government deduct what it deems as the appropriate tax and pay the employees by bank transfer. Michelle Obama would like to see more healthy choices for Americans dining out, even if it means a restaurant deleting a best selling menu item. What is the common denominator for the headlines above? It seems that ultimate ideas are rather noble. Show the greedy
“The Science of Freedom”
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oil and gas companies their place – do not let them exploit consumers. Protect the children who may suffocate by blowing up birthday balloons. Make the tax system more convenient for government, eliminate tax avoidance and collect more ‘tax revenues’. Make Americans healthier by altering restaurant menus. These ‘righteous’ ideas share the same characteristic: Someone else makes a decision for you whether you are an oil company owner, a 12-year old kid blowing up a balloon or a restaurant patron choosing between a salad and French fries.
Motivation Basically, throughout the human history there were only two types of political philosophy: Freedom and Authority. Either people were allowed to live their lives and respect the rights of others or they were allowed to impose views and actions on others, controlling their property and lives. It is hardly surprising that philosophy of
authority dominated in most regimes and had different names: Despotism, theocracy, socialism, fascism, communism, monarchy or welfare state. The arguments in favor of such regimes were quite assorted, nonetheless the essence couldn’t be hidden – oppression and enslavement of one individual by another. The philosophy of freedom was tagged creatively too, however, all freedom followers were tight by one string: Respect to other’s individual and property rights and one’s ability to make qualified decisions regarding own life. This notion implied total
rejection of violence and force as an instrument to achieve the desired result. Up to this day, the Western world proven that a free society produces by far better results in terms of life expectancy and quality of living in every aspect: From access to medical services and nutrition to speed of travel and exposure to arts and culture. Why would results produced by variously organized societies vary that much? What is the source of the Western world domination? What is the underlying reason for great achievements of United States and great suffer of people in China, Soviet Union or North Korea?
In the following series of articles we will examine the fundamental principles that comprise a corner stone of today’s free society, we will inspect what outcomes are achieved by applying libertarian ideas in everyday life and finally we will inspect the effects of practices and laws that disregard ideas of freedom.
principle that no one can kill, enslave, beat or rob is obvious to you, congratulations – you recognize the main libertarian principle. What does it mean – self ownership? If you own a car, a business or company shares – you and only you may decide what to do with these possessions. In the same way owning yourself means that no one can decide what you are going to do with your deeds, words, energy, aspirations and property. No one can force you to act despite your will or interest (as perceived by yourself.) Interestingly, any other individual also owns him or herself. Therefore, the respect of the concept ‘one belongs to himself’ is completely mutual and symmetric. You can not force other individual to live or act on your command, no matter how noble or great you defined the purpose. Consequently, you bear full and entire responsibility for you life, and no urgent needs or wills give you the moral right to claim other’s individual life, property or fruits of labor. The libertarian principle is supported by a central concept: No individual or a group of individuals may aggress against another individual or his property. The aggression is defined as use of threat, straightforward physical violence or invasion to the private property.
The main idea of libertarianism can be summarized in one simple sentence: YOU BELONG TO YOURSELF This statement may seem trivial. If the
The very atomic right that is defined by libertarianism is property right. This is the most fundamental, inherent and natural right that an individual pos-
sesses regardless of external factors. The rest simply follows. Let’s re-state it: Property right. First and foremost, it implies the two basic rights: (1) the right to your own body and (2) the right to any property you acquired in a fair way. A fair way means that the property was either created by you or obtained through a voluntary exchange with another individual. The concept of voluntary exchange is another corner stone of a free society. If every individual owns the property and has the full right to do whatever he pleases he also has the right to give that property away and to exchange it for the property of others. The free voluntary exchange and libertarians’ view of the unrestricted property rights together define a system called “laissez-faire capitalism.”
The Society “Society” is often presented as superior or divine entity that can choose or act. This obscures and distorts the reality and facts. The “society” is nothing else but a set of interacting individuals. The society doesn’t feel or think – individuals do. It is a collective definition, convenient to designate a number of people and not an extra entity in your interactions with others. Whenever you hear the terms “greater good” or “society needs” it is an immediate hint that intervention into individual life is about to begin.
Voluntary exchange There are only two ways for an individual to obtain a property – create/ exchange it or expropriate by force. While the former can be called economical way: creating, producing and exchanging the products with others, the latter would be rather political: One side forcefully takes over the creations and production of another for the sake of a certain idea or without any justification. Voluntary exchange, thereof, is an expression of freedom. It serves as a keystone of the free market. (We will discuss the economic principles and free market model in a separate article.) If the exchange is performed in free, peaceful and voluntary manner then no third party can interrupt or otherwise control such an exchange. Nor anyone is allowed to claim any share of that transaction (unless, of course, it was agreed prior to that – a mediator would be such an example.)
Example Demystiﬁed Rarely those who propose another tax or ban a certain activity think be-
yond step one. You don’t have to be an Economics Nobel Prize laureate to unfold a simple chain reaction in the marketplace caused by such tax or ban. Let’s examine the situation with potential “Reasonable profit committee.” The players are: An individual (or a group of individuals) who owns the oil company, pany, exex plores develops and produces oill o oi products and an n endconsumer er who buys the e product. Some me committee is assembled d from individuals uals that took no partt in any of the oill delivery phase – neither in exploration, tion, development ent or production nor in refining, processing of crude e oil and gas products, their distribution stribution and marketing. Thiss group with some special political itical interests regulates
the voluntary exchange between the oil company and the end consumer claiming some part of the performed transaction in a form of a tax. Committee’s tax will lead to the lack of motivation of an oil company to produce more of its products, therefore increasing the price of oil product to the end consumer. Since there is no ecocompany to nomic incentive for an oil co profit more from increasing its output, products on the the total amount of oil produ market will drop, consequently consequen raising the price (given that demand stays the same). In the meantime, the committee m mi ttee will bite share from its sh the oil company profits and reroute the funds to some special som interest group inte in form of grants under any noble purpose they can come up with. In the end of the day, what hapw
pened here is simple robbery of one individual by an organized group of other individuals, hurting the pocket of an end consumer along the way and benefiting yet another individual who never was a part of the process by handing out collected cash.
Conclusion Applying the libertarian principles when analyzing any kind of this transaction clearly demonstrates how individual rights and property rights are violated numerous times every day and every minute. One particular dilemma often questions the libertarian approach: Is freedom practical? The less constraints the government puts on people – the better people handle everyday problems? Or the lack of centralized coordination brings only chaos? We will try to these very questions in this series. In the next article we will discuss the role of government, what it should and shouldn’t do, what activities it is engaged in and what the consequences of government regulation on our lives are.
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20 CITIZENS MAGAZINE
Staten Island now has By Linda Mercaldo
erhaps it’s for turning heads as you sip champagne under the stars at that special black-tie affair, or for dancing the night away at the wedding of your precious child. Or perhaps, as it was for actress Melissa Hunter, it’s to dazzle the paparazzi as you take
a turn down the Red Carpet at the Oscars. Whatever the occasion, when you want to stun, you need to know one name: Couture Fort Desire. Galit and Andre, designers in the finest European tradition, opened Couture Fort Desire (AKA Galit Couture) in Brooklyn, 15 years ago. Using only the finest fabrics and materials, their opulent evening and bridal
gowns are created to not only meet, but to consistently exceed their clients’ expectations. Galit’s designs have appeared in Contemporary Bride magazine and she was recently the focus of an article in the New York Times. How lucky to have a designer of international importance so close to home – and now, with the opening of their new Couture Fort Desire (AKA Galit Couture)
our own grand designers! location at 1470 Hylan Boulevard on Staten Island, owning a creation by Galit and Andre has become easier and more convenient than ever. Picture yourself in a dramatic creation rendered in silks, satins and lace. Imagine the secret thrill when you realize that they are looking at you, as you walk through the room in a strikingly beautiful creation worn with
comfort and ease. It’s as if you were born for this moment… and perhaps you were. If you’re ready to experience Couture Fort Desire (AKA Galit Couture), if you’re ready to explore the possibilities, if you’re ready to see fantasies of high-fashion brought to life in glorious colors and textures, then you are invited to join Galit and Andre at a gala fashion show
Fashion Show Thursday, March 22, 2012 at 7:00pm. Admission is free – bring only your sense of wonder and your willingness to picture yourself in one of their unique creations. For reservation please call: 718-646-8190
to celebrate the opening of their new store. The date is Thursday, March 22, 2012 at 7:00 pm. Admission is free – bring only your sense of wonder and your willingness to picture yourself in one of their unique creations. For reservation please call: 718-646-8190 But most of all – be ready to imagine yourself dressed to stun.
#17 FEBRUARY 2012 CITIZENS26@GMAIL.COM
Occupy Wall street
ther was a staunch Republican. Based on the lectures that she had participated in, and the occasional chat with a professor,
DiďŹ€erence Between Republicans and Democrats A Republican and a Democrat were walking down the street when they came to a homeless person. The Republican gave the homeless person his business card and told him to come to his business for a job. He then took twenty dollars out of his pocket and gave it to the homeless person. The Democrat was very impressed, and when they came to another homeless person, he decided to help. He walked over to the homeless person
and gave him directions to the welfare office. He then reached into the Republicanâ€™s pocket and gave the homeless person fifty dollars. Now you understand the difference between Republicans and Democrats
Welcome to the Republican Party...? A young woman was about to finish her first year of college. Like so many others her age, she considered herself a very liberal Democrat and was very much in favor of redistribution of wealth. She was ashamed that her fa-
Occupy Wall street
she felt that her father had for years harbored an evil, selfish desire to keep what he thought should be his.
One day she was challenging her father on his opposition to higher taxes and the addition of more govern-
CITIZENS MAGAZINE 23
ment welfare programs. He responded by asking her how she was doing in school. She answered rather haughtily that she had a 4.0 GPA, and that it was tough to maintain, insisting that she was taking a very difficult course load and was constantly studying, with no time to go out and party like other students. She didnâ€™t even have time for a boyfriend. Her father listened and then asked, â€œHow is your friend Audrey doing?â€? She replied, â€œAudrey is barely getting by. All she takes are easy classes, she never studies, and she barely has a 2.0 GPA She is so popular on campus, college for her is a blast. Sheâ€™s always invited to all the parties, and lots of times she doesnâ€™t even show up for classes because sheâ€™s too hung over. â€œHer wise father asked his daughter, â€œWhy donâ€™t you go to the Deanâ€™s office and ask him to deduct a 1.0 off your 4.0 GPA and give it to your friend who only has a 2.0. That way you will both have a 3.0 GPA and certainly that would be a fair and equal distribution of GPA.â€? The daughter, visibly shocked by her fatherâ€™s suggestion, angrily fired back, â€œThat wouldnâ€™t be fair! I have worked really hard for my grades! Iâ€™ve
invested a lot of time, and a lot of hard work! Audrey has done next to nothing toward her degree! She played while I worked my tail off!â€? The father slowly smiled and said gently, â€œWelcome to the Republican Partyâ€?
Things Found Only in America 1. Only in America......can a pizza get to your house faster than an ambulance. 2. Only in America......are there handicap parking places in front of a skating rink. 3. Only in America......do drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front. 4. Only in America......do people order double cheese burgers, large fries, and a diet Coke. 5. Only in America......do banks leave both doors to the vault open and then chain the pens to the counters. 6. Only in America......do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and put our useless junk in the garage. 7. Only in America......do we use answering machines to screen calls and then have call waiting so we wonâ€™t miss a call from someone we didnâ€™t want to talk to in the first place. 8. Only in America......do we buy hot dogs in packages of ten and buns in packages of eight.
How Government Works
9. Only in America......do we use the word â€˜politicsâ€™ to describe the process so well: Poliâ€™ in Latin meaning â€˜manyâ€™ and â€˜ticsâ€™ meaning â€˜bloodsucking creaturesâ€™. 10. Only in America......do they have drive-up ATM machines with Braille lettering.
The government had a vast scrap yard in the middle of a desert. Congress said someone may steal from it at night; so they created a night watchman, and hired a person for the job. Then Congress said, â€œHow does the watchman do his job without instruction?â€? So they created a planning division and hired two people, one person to write the instructions and one person to do time studies. Then Congress said, â€œHow will we know the night watchman is doing the tasks correctly?â€? So they created a quality control (QC) division and hired two people, one to do the studies and one to write the reports. Then Congress said, â€œHow are these people going to get paid?â€? So they created a payroll division and hired two more people a time keeper and a payroll officer.
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Then Congress said, â€œWho will be accountable for all of these people?â€? So they created an administrative division and hired three more people: an Admin Officer, Assistant Admin Officer and a Legal Secretary. Then, one year later, Congress reviewed the operation of the desert scrap yard and said, â€œWe have had this command in operation for one year and we are $22,000 over budget. We must cut back overall costs!â€? So they eliminated the night watchman. Comment (borrowed from Beverly Gordon): Just found a solution for the deficit from Warren Buffett. In a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best quotes Iâ€™ve heard in all this drama about the debt ceiling: â€œI could end the deficit in 5 minutes.â€? â€œYou just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election.â€?
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