Reader calls out columnist over his views on politics

I would like to respond to the June 7-13 “On Point’ column by Bob Friedrich headlined “Politics not working right? Columnist knows five reasons why.”

I would like to go over his points one by one:

1. “Government-issued photo IDs are required to purchase allergy medicine, but not to vote?” First, in every place that this has been applied there has been a diminution of the voting of the poor. That is why it is being proposed in all the blue, or Democratic-leaning, states. This is to take the vote away from Democrats. Second, like flag burning, I have not heard of gigantic voter fraud that would precipitate changes to the law.

2. “Political theater or award ceremony?” Friedrich is so guilty of this that to even to list his commissions would take a lot of space. Just look back to when he was running for whatever office he was running for at that time. In his credits below his column he is referred to as a “civic leader and president of the Glen Oaks Village co-op.” His are a perfect example of hypercritical statements.

3. “Two sets of rules: one for politicians and one for the general public?” This one can only be answered as follows: duh! What else is new? Is it because he cannot become an elected politician that he is denigrating other politicians?

4. “No bonuses for outstanding teachers but yes to bonuses for chronically underperforming ones.” Buyouts have been a standard practice of getting rid of underperforming personnel in businesses for a long time. They are not being given bonuses, they are being fired. Just look at the outrageous amounts garnered by the officers of the defunct banks and businesses that lost fortunes. Some of them walked away with millions.

Teachers, as should everyone, have the right to protect their jobs. Friedrich does not seem to remember what it used to be like in the school system when principals ran their schools like fiefdoms and any teacher who showed any gumption was fired. That was before unions.

Who, and by what methods, are teachers to be rated as outstanding? By the scores on standardized tests? We see what is happening around the country when even principals, administrators and school boards are fudging the numbers. By the principals? By the mayor himself? How about Friedrich himself? How does one rate a teacher who has slow but steady progress with the worst performing students but has minimal yearly increase in scores?

Let me say that at no time in my life have I ever had more that a tangential connection with the school system, except as a somewhat less than perfect student.

5. “NYPD’s stop-and-frisk program is a legitimate topic for debate, but that debate must be based on facts and not rhetoric.” Possibly the reason Friedrich has never been stopped is the reason that this is being challenged in federal court. He is white and probably not wandering around minority neighborhoods. Even judges and other politicians have been stopped there, probably without probable cause.

This turned out to be a lot longer than I thought it would.

Jerrold Schreibersdorf


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