BEN CARSON News & Opinion homage to the writings of Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, who wrote prolifically about political theories. One of his most well-known works is “The Spirit of the Laws.” In this book, he eloquently argues for the concept of separation of powers. That argument seems to emanate from the Bible’s book of Isaiah, 33:22, which states, “The Lord is our judge (judicial branch), the Lord is our lawgiver (legislative branch), the Lord is our King (executive branch).” Certainly this system of government has worked well for us in the past, helping to establish the United States of America as the most powerful nation the world has ever known within a relatively short period of time. In order for a divided government to work, each branch must respect the other two branches. There always have been and always will be squabbles between the branches, but the big problem now is that the executive branch has decided to ignore anyone with whom it disagrees, including Congress. Nowhere was this blatant disregard of Congress more clearly manifested than in President Obama’s inappropriate “recess” appointments of three people to the National Labor Relations Board. He redefined the word “recess” in order to appoint individuals who might TIMES, THURSDAY, JULY 3, 2014 • 4 COPYRIGHT 2013 RIDGEWOOD TIMES PRINTING & PUBLISHING CO., INC. Since 1908 Published Every Thursday By RIDGEWOOD TIMES PRINTING & PUBLISHING COMPANY, INC. General Publication Office: P.O. Box 863299 Ridgewood, N.Y. 11386-0299 60-71 Woodbine St., Ridgewood, N.Y. 11385 Periodicals Postage Paid At Flushing, N.Y. 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Elmhurst, Woodside, Sunnyside, Astoria, Long Island City, Ozone Park, South Ozone Park, Howard Beach, Richmond Hill, Rego Park, Forest Hills, Woodhaven, Elmhurst, And Kew Gardens. Reaching The Brooklyn Homes Of Ridgewood, Bushwick, Cypress Hills, East Williamsburg And Williamsburg. COMPOSITION RESPONSIBILITY: Accuracy in receiving ads over the telephone cannot be guaranteed. This newspaper is responsible for only one incorrect insertion and only for that portion of the ad in which the error appears. It is the responsibility of the advertiser to make sure copy does not contravene the Consumer Protection Law or any other requirement. The Wisdom Of A Divided Government House Speaker John Boehner recently shocked many of us when he announced that he is planning a lawsuit against the president for abuse of power. Many Americans feel that a harmonious working relationship between the branches of government has been seriously compromised in recent years. But when Alexis de Tocqueville visited America in 1831 to perform an in-depth analysis of the American phenomenon, he was impressed with our well-structured divided government and its separation of powers. The writings of the founders of this nation certainly referenced the Bible frequently, but they also paid -SEE CARSON ON PG. 24- EDITORIAL The road to hell is paved with good intentions—and, apparently, lined with bullet casings. New York City saw a rash in shootings this past weekend that left four dead and 19 injured. Through Sunday, June 29, approximately 611 people were shot in the five boroughs year-todate, a 10 percent increase from the same period last year. Could it be that the diminished NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy—condemned as discriminatory by the courts and liberal lawmakers—has something to do with this shooting spike? The NYPD is presently examining data to determine what kind of impact, if any, stop-and-frisk had on overall crime. Police Commissioner Bill Bratton recently stated that the tactic’s use is “down dramatically,” but the department’s “arrests number sic are staying as they have been, so it’s a bit of a contradiction.” There can be no doubt, however, that stop-and-frisk was an effective, if not flawed, crime deterrent, namely in stopping the flow of illegal guns on city streets. It was reported that some gun runners, in conversations recorded by authorities, told each other to avoid city streets for fear of being caught with illegal weapons. But like any other police tactic, there are those who charged that some officers misused or outright abused the stop-and-frisk policy to target people of color. The outrage of such malpractice of law led the city to pass the Community Safety Act, legislation aimed at controlling the NYPD and barring “bias-based profiling.” This also led to Floyd v. The City of New York and a ruling by federal Judge Shira Scheindlin ordering a federal monitor to oversee the NYPD’s reform of the stop-and-frisk policy. Mayor Michael Bloomberg fought the decision in his last year in office, but Mayor Bill de Blasio dropped the city’s appeal in his first year at City Hall. Now, with the Police Department trying to retool the policy, we see a rise in gun violence on our streets. Coincidence? Well, the bad guys read the papers, too. They pay attention to the TV news. They know the NYPD is under greater scrutiny over stop-and-frisk, and they know police officers will likely be more hesitant to stop anyone out of fear of reprimand and litigation. Certainly, with the number of stops down, more armed criminals seem to be slipping through the cracks—and pulling the trigger—on city streets. Perhaps the tide of public opinion on stop-and-frisk is turning a bit. At the June 83rd Precinct Community Council meeting, for example, some residents insisted that police should have stopped and frisked more people at the scene of a recent Bushwick shooting. But then there’s City Council Member Jumaane Williams, one of the biggest critics of stop-and-frisk. He insists that “even if it did work, we as a society have said that the Constitution means something, and that we do not want to live in a police state,” as he told the New York Daily News. No one wants a police state, but no one wants to live in fear of being gunned down on city streets, as we did more than 20 years ago. No one, however, should conclude that the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy is without purpose or value. It needs reform, but it doesn’t need to be sent to the policy graveyard. As one resident said at the 83rd Precinct Council meeting, “Let the cop do his job ... If you’ve got nothing to hide, then don’t worry about it.” Letters To The Editor New Traffic Laws Only Half An Answer Dear Editor: Any measures that the city/state takes to reduce pedestrian injuries and fatalities is great, but I believe that our lawmakers are focusing entirely too much on the drivers and not enough on the people riding bicycles and walking. (“Mayor Visits Woodside, Inks Vision Zero Laws,” June 26 issue, available online at www.timesnewsweekly.com.) Intro 238A establishes penalties for vehicles that fail to yield to pedestrians and bicyclists. It fails to give any responsibility to unsafe and illegal actions that they engage in. A couple of weeks ago I narrowly missed running over a middle-aged man on Fresh Pond Road. He strolled across the street in the middle of the block with his head completely turned in the opposite direction. As I jammed on my brakes, bystanders yelled at him, but he seemed oblivious to how close he came to dying. We have all witnessed people so engaged in their smartphones or media players that they are oblivious to everything around them as they wander the streets bumping into other people and not noticing traffic as they stroll across the street. When driving a vehicle, we expect certain things. Other vehicles will stay in their lane, respect traffic signals, bicycles will obey the rules of the road, and nobody will suddenly dart from in-between cars attempting to cross the street in the middle of the block. Another problem that has to be -SEE LETTERS ON PG. 26- Join The 104th Precinct Civilian Observation Patrol Volunteers Needed from Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village & Ridgewood ©Times Newsweekly 2014 – GCOP 718-497-1500 NEXT MEETING: will be held in the UNITED TALMUDICAL SEMINARY 74-10 88th Street, Glendale Thurs., July 10, 2014 at 8:00 pm Installation of newly elected officers and board members. All It Takes For Evil To Thrive Is For Good Men & Women To Do Nothing Library Fix At Board 5 Meet Wed. The impending Glendale library renovation will be the focus of Community Board 5’s next meeting on Wednesday night, July 9, in Middle Village. As announced by District Manager Gary Giordano, the session takes place at 7:30 p.m. at Christ the King Regional High School’s CNL Center, located at 68-02 Metropolitan Ave. (third floor, enter through Door 10, located in the rear). The agenda includes a presentation by Queens Borough Public Library representatives and architects on the upcoming capital project for the Glendale library. Also on the agenda are the public forum; a review of demolition notices and liquor license applications; reports by District Manager Giordano and Chairperson Vincent Arcuri; and committee reports. For additional information or to register to speak in advance, call Board 5’s Glendale office at 1-718-366-1834.
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