Common Sense: Making Excuses

Did you notice that several city government officials blamed a recent weekend’s gigantic increase in shootings and killings on the warmer weather? We should all be outraged that anyone in a responsible position in city government would have the nerve to make such a claim.

Fortunately, it was not members of the NYPD, who certainly know better than to make excuses, but rather people who work for the mayor – the people who were not traveling with him around the country that weekend.

Frankly, I was never a fan of Rudy Giuliani, but one thing is for sure — he would not have allowed such an excuse to be issued through any official channels. I probably thought even less of Mike Bloomberg, but I am equally certain that he would not make excuses.

Maybe Mayor de Blasio considers the increase the new normal. I know a lot of New Yorkers do think things when it comes to crime have changed for the worse. And many of them do not believe things are likely to get better under this mayor.

Possibly this might be the reason why Councilmember Gentile — who was practically attached to candidate de Blasio’s hip in the 2013 primary and general election, and was quick to defend all of the de Blasio administration’s policies — has chosen to keep the mayor’s endorsement of him out of his mailings, literature and advertisements.

Special Election Day is Tuesday, May 5 – just a few days from now.  Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.  Unless the Board of Elections sent you a card indicating your polling site has changed, you vote at your usual voting location. Turnout is expected to be as low as 11 or 12 percent of registered voters

To send an individual to Congress — where decisions are made on everything from a trillion dollar budget to approving military actions — is serious business. An individual who can vote and does not vote should be ashamed of him or herself.  And since the records indicating whether a person voted or not are public (of course, not whom you voted for), simply voting makes you recognizable as a more serious participant in government.


My wife Janet and I visited Gettysburg during a break we had recently. She had never been to this famous Civil War battlefield site and I had not been there since being a teenager many years ago. The National Park Service does an amazing job at all their properties, but probably no better than the battlefields they administer.

In the case of Gettysburg, numerous methods are available to learn and explore, ranging from Parks-approved guides to various CD narrated tours to simply reading the many markers. We chose the more detailed three-hour CD tour which we combined with a great deal of walking, resulting in our tour taking around six hours. It was well worth it.

Adjacent to the battlefield and also administered by the Park Service is the Eisenhower Farm where the president had his home when he was not in the White House from 1950 to his death in 1969. Mamie Eisenhower lived there until her passing in 1979 when the property per prior agreement was turned over to the federal government.

While we were there, the president’s granddaughter Susan was giving a tour to a group of young people. She is apparently a frequent visitor, often bringing groups to see a place where she rode horses and did sleepovers growing up.

Gettysburg is about 210 highway miles from Brooklyn, a bit long, but with the exception of the part through Staten Island relatively quick moving.



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