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Neighbor to Neighbor: Political figures must put Americans’ interests first

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One thing we are having is change. Where do we go from here? When Ian Bowrey told me he was afraid he would have to close his pharmacy if he could not get funding, I had hoped that the necessary money would surely be available for such a business. Though it was classified as a “small business,” it was an important part of our communities for about 20 years, employed many local citizens and was loyal here even after criminal attacks.

The day he told me that, I bought and gave him a lottery ticket, hoping he would hit a multimillion-dollar jackpot. Unfortunately, no such luck. All our other efforts to find sources of legitimate funding also failed. As he anticipated, Bowrey’s Pharmacy is now closed and the T-shirt he gave me for helping him set up shop when he moved from 219th Street to his last location is now a valued reminder that sometimes our tax dollars are being spent on frivolity, even in these desperate times, instead of on things that just might be essential to the community.

Every week, at least once a week, I listen to Gov. David Paterson pleading for help in curtailing spending. Mayor Michael Bloomberg echoes the same pleas. Those to whom the pleas are directed must hear them because they do answer, generally, no. “Get your money somewhere else but not from me nor from those on my side,” they answer. Such is cooperation these days. I would be willing to buy lottery tickets for both our state and city if there is some way to set up such a fund, and maybe other frustrated souls who want to help would do the same.

In the meantime, may we, the members of the voting public who are all too often being ignored by our electeds, suggest that our dollars should stop being used for unnecessary stuff like trips, parties and awards until the emergency is over? We were told parades would be eliminated or limited, but they continue. Even during the Great Depression there were no free bus passes or free school lunches for students. In fact, there were often more than 40 students per classroom, some sitting two in each individual seat.

We witnessed our federal electeds’ regard for us when we were told by U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that we would find out what is in the health care bill “after it is signed into law.” It will still be a long time away when we will find out — except we already know our electeds exempted themselves, as we suspected they would.

President Barack Obama has also told us we have no money to spend except on essentials. That prompted me to tighten my belt, but I then heard he promptly gave the Palestinians $400 million of our money without first advising, let alone consulting, Congress. He and Vice President Joe Biden also continue their heavy party-giving schedules — Biden’s even including squirt gun fights with congressional guests.

We understand this administration is young, but can’t we limit some of this stuff or, for once, can’t we think of the United States first? We have this oil mess that could and should have been mitigated by using the suggestion made by Shell Oil in the beginning — to use super tankers to vacuum up the oil and water as was once done by the Saudis, who then separated and sold the oil and dumped the water.

At least some of the wild life could have been spared. Once again, the innocent pay the price for some bad political decision.

Speaking about political decisions, you may be asked to make a political decision to sign a petition for someone who wants to run for political office. Please remember you may only sign one petition for an office and you must only sign a petition for the political party in which you are registered. Your choice is important — not only to you and your choice for political office, but to all of us and our country. Stay safe in a fireworks-free Fourth of July.

Updated 5:56 pm, October 10, 2011
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