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Muslims and Peace

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Censorship: It’s Real And A Real Threat

By Donald Parker

Books won’t stay banned. They won’t burn, ideas won’t go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas. The source of better ideas is wisdom. Alfred Griswold Whitney

The week of Sept. 21-28 has been designated Banned Books Week by the Office of Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association. During this time, libraries and schools around the country hold programs and readings to celebrate the “right to read.”
Think censorship and banning books are ancient history, or at least not problems we face here on Long Island? Unfortunately, that’s not the case. In fact, there are many myths and misconceptions about censorship that should be challenged. Here are four: [Read more...]

Animal Rescue

You have read of the sorry record of municipal animal shelters. It has been estimated that some 8–10 million animals enter the United States shelters annually. Unfortunately it is also estimated that 4 million of these dogs, puppies, cats and kittens are annually euthanized. That’s 11,000 lives ended daily. [Read more...]

Doctors Need IT Staff

If you’ve visited your doctor in the last year, then you probably had to fill out a ridiculous amount of paperwork — most of it seemingly redundant. The cause of this is the push from the federal government for medical practices to adopt an electronic medical record (EMR) system.

An EMR is a platform, either cloud- or software-based, to collect patient information all into one place, making evaluation of a patient’s overall health, in theory, a simpler task. However, such platforms have the potential for privacy risks if the proper security precautions are not taken. Although the government has required physicians to adopt EMR systems, as of now the responsibility for maintaining Internet security and privacy lies with the health provider. [Read more...]

Doomed From The Start

The disbanding of the Moreland Commission whose job it was to investigate corruption in State government and the ensuing investigation of its workings by The New York Times, is reminiscent of Watergate or even the recent debacle by Governor Christie’s staff regarding the George Washington Bridge. Governor Cuomo founded the Commission amidst much public relations stating that it would restore confidence in government. It did not do that but it did implicate the Governor in the corruption which he said the Moreland Commission would investigate.

While the Governor initially said that the Commission was free to investigate state government as a whole, he and his staff caused subpoenas to be withdrawn when they were issued to Cuomo’s campaign contributors and firms utilized by him for advertising. This smacks of the type of “stonewalling” engaged in by the Nixon Whitehouse and his hatchet men John Ehrlichman and H. R. Haldeman. It reminds all of the firing of Archibald Cox or Captain Queeg in The Caine Mutiny. [Read more...]

Moreno: My Offensive Defensive Driving Class

I’m sure many of you have taken a Defensive Driving class. Having driven on Old Country Road for a few decades, I think the course should be mandatory. Yes, it is a 6-8 hour day, but it’s well worth being reminded of the rules of the road and cautionary driving practices. As an added bonus, you also receive a 10% discount on your car insurance. So with all this in mind, my wife and I registered for the course. What could go wrong? Then again with me, nothing is ever easy.

Betty, the instructor, noticed my eyebrow shift when she an announced that she was Sister Betty and wanted to know if I was suffering from nunphobia. “Well, I was taught by nuns for eight years at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Brooklyn. All I can say is — ‘Regrets, I had a few.’”
“Why don’t you share with me one of those ‘regrets’, Mr. Sinatra? I mean, Fred.” she said. I told Sister Betty about the time when in the fifth grade I played the drums on my locker door during quiet time.

“It was actually the other Freddy in the class, but Sister Julia didn’t believe me,” I explained. “I had to write, ‘I must not play the drums on my locker door’ 400X’s and have it signed by my mother.”

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What Am I Doing Here?

By Fred Moreno

The phone rang at exactly 11:42 a.m. with the good news that after weeks and weeks of intense negotiations, it was finally decided that I could commence firing, I mean writing, for The Westbury Times. The editor told me that that vote was 5-4 with one abstaining due to lack of interest and that the four people who voted “absolutely no” were familiar with the column I have been writing for The Carle Place Frog Horn for the past 20 years. One of them even added, “just don’t do it!” Wasn’t that the Nike slogan? [Read more...]

Avoid The Heroin Highway Detour

A recent article by Senator Jack Martins regarding “The Heroin Highway” touched upon some very important concerns for every parent in our community. And while most of our children do not find themselves on this “highway,” the statistics and trends for drug use and abuse are alarming. And sadly, in spite of our best efforts, they are not decreasing.
Drug use is not a problem we can arrest our way out of. It is not a problem that emerges overnight because of “bad parenting” as some have proclaimed. It is not a problem that emerges because of one choice in one moment, although we do know that for some, lives can be lost that quickly. More often than not, drug use begins because of so many things that have gone wrong or not enough things going right. It often begins not with the use of drugs but with the breakdown of those things we know to be vital for children growing up in today’s times. [Read more...]

Putting the “I” In Illness

In “This Illness Isn’t Treated Like An Illness” (The Weekend, April 9-15), Claudia Peters Ragni makes the case that substance abusers’ addictions to alcohol, pills, and heroin “should be treated the same as other diseases” (because) “treating addicts differently from how we treat people with any chronic disease isn’t okay.” While she briefly concedes that “substance addiction is a disease with a behavioral component,” she seems unwilling to admit what an understandable difference that makes in why “it’s not looked at in the same way.”
I don’t think it’s surprising that people tend to sympathize with “innocent victims” a lot more than with people who cause their own problems by their stubbornly-bad life choices.
Most people suffering from diseases such as muscular dystrophy, leukemia, asthma, sickle cell anemia, ALS, Parkinson’s, arthritis, rheumatism, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and countless other debilitating conditions did nothing to cause it. Whether the “blame” is on bacteria, viruses or defective genes, these victims are suffering through no fault of their own. For them, it was unforseeable and unavoidable. [Read more...]

The Overworked American

I’m a journalist, author and psychoanalyst. I have written editorials and have been editorialized myself in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. When I read Michael Miller’s “Viewpoint” (“American’s Deserve a Life After 6 p.m.,” The Westbury Weekend, April 30-May 6), I recognized it as one of the finest editorial pieces I have ever come across.
I recall the first time I watched the infamous Cadillac commercial Mr. Miller referred to, and how persuasive and really evil it was. For those who have not seen the ad, it was a 60-second spot of a handsome actor walking through his luxury home, past his built-in pool and approaching his new Cadillac. All the while he discusses how ridiculous the lazy French are for taking off “all of August!” and how Americans are so smart to be willing to sacrifice all their time and energy to work and buy and work and buy. [Read more...]