Editorial: The big chill

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Tom Manton and the Queens Democratic Machine are to democracy what Hugh Hefner and Playboy are to chastity. The boss and his powerful machine have held onto power in Queens by making certain that no one gets elected in Queens without their blessing.

The Machine, which is trying to knock City Councilman Allan Jennings (D-Jamaica) off the ballot for City Council, has given its support to Yvonne Reddick. To ensure that the Jennings' candidacy was properly disposed of, Manton sent at least two of his law partners to court to challenge the petitions submitted by Jennings. This is the Machine’s specialty. It is Manton’s job to make sure that the Machine’s candidates run unopposed.

It would be interesting to see Reddick and Jennings face-off in a series of debates leading up to Election Day. Both candidates are well-known in southeast Queens. The voters would have a real choice.

We wouldn’t presume to tell you which candidates, in our opinion, would make better council members. But we strongly believe that you should have a choice on Election Day.

In the city's incestuous political system, judges who were elected with the blessing of the Machine rule on challenges raised by party lawyers. Meanwhile, legislators equally indebted to party machines refuse to change the system.

We look forward to the day when a man or woman of courage will fight to change the arcane laws even if it means going toe to toe with the party machines.

Editorial: Idiots

Three Sikhs were attacked and beaten last week in Woodside by a group of white men who thought they were Muslims. The idiots allegedly shouted “Bin Laden! Go back to your country!”

Police say the incident might have turned into tragedy where it not for the bravery of a pizza deliveryman who scared away the thugs. Greg Hodge, a pizza deliveryman for the nearby Woodside Pizza, chased away the drunken cowards who picked on the Sikhs because one of them happened to be wearing a turban.

It is particularly annoying that these bigots would use the horror of 9/11 to justify their hateful attack. The Sikhs, of course, are not Muslims and have nothing even remotely to do with the attack on the World Trade Center. That also applies to the millions of devout followers of Islam who have condemned Bin Laden and his terrorists.

Just as there should be no tolerance for people who kill in the name of religious fanaticism, there can be no tolerance for people who verbally or physically abuse people who dress or look different. In doing so they dishonor the thousands of people who lost their lives at the World Trade Center.

Updated 7:24 pm, October 10, 2011
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