Letter wrong: The Palestinians started it and have kept it going
Re Tom Ellis’ Oct. 27 letter, “Israel has rejected all Palestinian peace offers”: I don’t know where Mr. Ellis has been for the last several decades.
It wasn’t the new state of Israel that attacked the Arabs in 1948; it was the Arab armies that attacked the new nation. All the wars since then came about due to Arab attacks and/or deadly threats.
In recent years, Israel has returned the Gaza Strip in the hope of a peaceful Palestinian area; instead it received almost continuous rocket attacks.
Hamas has pledged it will never make peace with Israel. Instead, it calls for Israel’s extermination. How do you make peace with a government that calls for your eradication?
Israel returned South Lebanon to Lebanon after being continuously attacked from that strip of land. The United Nations promised the land would be mostly demilitarized. Since then, terrorist Hezbollah has taken over the area and is dug in with massive amount of rockets. I haven’t heard the U.N. say a word about the massive buildup of weaponry on Israel’s northern border.
Mr. Ellis is either full of hatred for Israel, deeply biased or refuses to remove his blinders. For his information, the Palestinians already have a large state: Jordan, where about three quarters of the population are Palestinians.
Media can’t properly cover Occupy movement
The Occupy Wall Street movement is the first major technology-driven movement of the 21st century.
Impervious to media spin, there is a resounding feeling that no media outlet has yet captured the sentiments of the protesters.
What the Occupy movement really represents is America’s collective conscience that thinks a system of booms and busts, where gains are privatized and losses are socialized, is not just irresponsible but repugnant.
Gone are the days where the hypocrisy of an economic modality that systematically serves the upper class is only discussed in small circles of friends and co-workers in dimly lit warehouses and offices. Occupiers demand a fair shake from a country that has always been a reflection of the people who live in it, not the people who own it.
Protesters gain resolve in the notion that there are thousands who share the same conviction and sense of fairness.
Twenty-four hour media outlets are no longer the gatekeepers to a successful movement. For the first time, their individual bias has been circumvented, allowing us with ease to become participants, not spectators. Never before has a movement been so accessible to those who wish to be part of something that is capable of such palpable change.
Student loan bailout plan driven by politics, period
Re Oct. 27 AP article, “Obama pushes student loan relief”: This so-called solution to student debt is just another glossing over “bailout” — destined to cost us (the ones who are paying and have paid) even more money!
It is just another “vote for me” ploy that won’t solve the real problem but will grab headlines!
It would be nice if Obama actually had some answers, but all that he offers is smoke and mirrors. What else can we expect from a man who got the Nobel Peace Prize for nothing!
Many reasons for workers to approve PEF contract
Some recent opinions in this paper regarding the Public Employees Federation require further clarification.
A rejection of the new contract affects not only the 3,496 people who will lose their jobs but also will impact upwards of 10,000 PEF employees who will be demoted. PEF also stands to lose thousands more in the coming months as the union currently has no layoff protection, whereas the Civil Service Employees Association ratified contract and PEFs new contract provide layoff protection.
So, in the end, voting down the new contract will likely affect close to 20,000 PEF employees, or one third of the membership.
Another misconception is that only those with low seniority are being affected or laid off. While it may be true that many with seniority are being demoted rather than laid off, I personally know several people with 20-plus years in state service who would lose their jobs.
State employees did not cause this financial mess for New York, as state employees account for only a small fraction of the overall state budget. But for those with a vendetta against the governor — this is not that fight. In voting “no” on this contract, you will be hurting your fellow PEF brethren, not the governor.
In addition, if you think your local economy will improve when thousands of state employees lose their jobs, think again.
These are people in your communities who will fall behind on their mortgages or go into default; these people won’t be shopping during the holidays; these people will be competing with your college-age children for work.
You will be paying for their unemployment benefits with your tax dollars but you will not be receiving the state services they provide.
Vote “yes” — it’s better for everyone.
The writer is a state Department of Transportation employee.