We The People: Oregon heroes are an inspiration to all

After 20 plus years of honorable service in the U.S. Army, Ricky John Best, a father of four, gave his life defending two fellow Americans against a white supremacist on a train in Oregon.

Best was a Catholic who together with two other modern-day Good Samaritans protected two young girls, one wearing a hijab or Muslim headscarf, when they were being terrorized by a 35-year-old drifter and convicted felon who screamed anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant threats at them.

The trio protected the innocent girls and the fiend killed Best and Taliesin Namkai-Meche, a 23-year-old who had recently graduated college, with a knife. The other man was hospitalized with serious injuries. The murderer fled like a coward but was apprehended by police with assistance from bystanders who pointed him out.

These heroes were killed and injured protecting other Americans from a criminal and a murderer. They did the right thing. Their selflessness and heroism are an inspiration to every American. We must value life, protect one another and bring justice to the guilty. The protectors must be honored and the miserable miscreant should receive swift justice and absolutely no recognition.

In London, the jihadists responsible for the knife attack that killed seven innocent people were identified. They murdered seven people in a craven and despicable manner before being shot by police. Over 100 Muslim clerics in England announced that there would be no funeral prayers for the terrorists. The decision will deny the murderers funeral rites and the religious leaders urged others to join them.

They stated, “We, as Muslim imams, … condemn the recent terror attacks in Manchester and London … we have come together to express our shock and utter disgust at these cold-blooded murders. We are deeply hurt that a spate of terror attacks have been committed in our country once more by murderers … their reprehensible actions have neither legitimacy nor our sympathy.”

Terrorists dishonor the core teachings of Islam.  Ecumenical cooperation is needed to defeat hate and evil. It is time for good people of all faiths to abide by a golden rule: do no harm to others and allow no harm to come to others. The good must be recognized and remembered while evil men must be stopped and forgotten.

Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, the head of our municipal legislature, tried to have Oscar Lopez Rivera, a convicted terrorist, honored as a hero at the New York City Puerto Rican Day parade, although he bombed a restaurant in Manhattan and killed four innocent people to “free” Puerto Rico in 1975. Why should a cowardly and murderous terrorist be honored?

Ms. Mark-Viverito’s efforts transformed a joyous cultural celebration into a controversial stage to rationalize radical and violent action. Sponsors and political figures decided not to participate in this parade even after Lopez Rivera belatedly declined to be honored. Ms. Mark-Viverito’s efforts and energies should be directed toward helping the people of the City of New York.

She has been busy working on the New York City budget, too. Although she owes her position to the efforts of Mayor de Blasio, she supposedly defied him and stuck a $26 million provision in the $85.2 billion budget to fund legal representation for convicted criminals when the federal government tries to deport them.

This funding goes to convicted felons who are also an illegal immigrants. The City Council rubber-stamped the spending to fight the federal government in its effort to deport illegal immigrants convicted of serious crimes.

Mayor de Blasio wanted to add a restriction to the program so that those convicted of crimes like murder, rape and criminal possession of a firearm would not get the legal representation.

Although no deportee has a Constitutional right to an attorney in federal immigration proceedings, the city had been providing representation to them since 2013. The Speaker removed limiting language from this “free lawyers to illegal immigrant convict deportees protection program.”

The Council voted 49-0 to approve it so deportation lawyers will defend illegal immigrants convicted of the most serious felonies with taxpayer dollars. Either Ms. Mark-Viverito is daring the mayor to issue his first veto or the mayor arranged for this and she agreed to take the heat for him, allowing the continuation of this insane program.

The solution is crystal clear: VETO the budget and let the City Council summon the nerve to override it. These are not the immigrants that we want in our country and these are not the people who deserve our tax dollars.

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