Trump fails to respect America’s freedoms
Most people know Norman Rockwell’s iconic American paintings “The Four Freedoms” (1943) showing ordinary people enjoying the freedom and security in daily life that our country guarantees.
President Donald Trump, however, does not uphold these historic American rights.
Freedom from Want: Trump seeks to abolish the Affordable Care Act, even though there are more than 20 million Americans, and many more with pre-existing conditions, who before the ACA were uninsured and could not afford to get sick.
Freedom from Fear: Trump pushes a massive wall at the Mexican border by provoking fear of invading hordes of dangerous criminals.
But in fact, the immigrants are mostly asylum seekers who voluntarily enter into custody at normal border crossings, resigned to a prolonged legal wait for a fair hearing.
Freedom of Worship: Trump has moved to block entry into the United States by people from selected, predominately Muslim countries.
And the ambiguity of his words after the Charlottesville violence has helped to unleash an upsurge in anti-Semitic violence.
Freedom of Speech: Trump’s statement following the Mueller investigation labels support of the investigation “treason.” But dissent without fear of retaliation in this country is enshrined in the First Amendment, and for Trump to call it treason is horrific.
So as measured by “The Four Freedoms,” President Trump shows a blatant disregard for sacred American principles. He breaks the presidential oath of office whereby he swore “to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Church must step up on St. Clare’s pension
Kudos to The Gazette for its insightful March 31 editorial regarding the St. Clare’s Pension Fund debacle. As an active, practicing Catholic, I’m embarrassed at the diocese’s handling of the entire situation.
There is plenty of shame to go around. Shame on St. Clare’s for underfunding its pension program for so many years. Shame on Ellis for not making some provision to invest in the pensions of the St. Clare’s employees who would spend a considerable portion of their careers serving the Ellis community. And, finally, uber-shame on the diocese for not stepping up to the plate, especially in light of what the New York State Legislature has offered to provide.
In view of the scandals the church faces on other fronts, you would think that a reasoned and rational leadership would understand one of the most basic maxims of relating with the public: Perception becomes reality.
Instead of pointing fingers and seeking at every turn to explain in legal terms why the diocese has no fiduciary responsibility for the St. Clare’s Pension Fund, the diocese needs to take ownership as the shepherd takes care of his flock.
Appeals and collections that fund far-off lands and macro causes seem hypocritical when we refuse to take care of our own.
Frank J. Ciervo
Let resource officers decide own protection
The folks in Saratoga are engaged in a heated debate: Should school-resource-officers (SRO) carry firearms? The debate has been only yea-or-nay.
Let’s compromise: The Board of Education authorizes the carrying of weapons. It implements a program of qualifying, recruiting and training that ensures well-trained employees. The object is to protect our children while avoiding accidents and/or mistakes. (There are myriad programs available.)
The compromise: Let each SRO now decide whether to arm or not. Some may, some may not.
We know SROs are there for only one reason: Our fear of an active shooter — a lunatic with a gun, intent on mass killing. SROs do not deal with unruly students or passing notes or fighting behind the bleachers. The most important thing? Deal with an active shooter.
We’ve asked these individuals to put their lives on the line to protect our children. We’re asking them to face down an armed assailant. Would they rather do it by jumping up and down, waving their arms and shouting loudly or by being similarly equipped with a firearm? The Gazette has advocated for no firearms in schools. Let those risking their lives decide.
I know what I would choose if it was my job. I know what I’d rather see if it was my child in the classroom. It would be interesting to see what the SROs themselves would choose.