Readers sound off on James Bond, Columbus Day and NYPD greeters – New York Daily News

Portland, Maine: The return of James Bond is just days away. With “No Time to Die,” the franchise’s 25th official installment, set for release on Friday, Oct. 8, hundreds of millions of fans are ready to watch their beloved Brit in action one more time. On some level, the appeal is superficial. As the old adage goes, “Men want to be him and women want to be with him.”
The Bond character is capable. He dresses exquisitely and orders adult beverages equally so. He skis, he snowboards and he dominates the poker table. He can charm femme fatales and super-villains alike with clever turns of phrase. And Bond is capable because he strives. He tries. He is present. Such subtleties elude the leftist critiques of Bond, who is portrayed as an all-powerful misogynist embodying homophobia, imperialism and xenophobia. Dig into the source material and you find a human, deeply flawed character who has been betrayed, tortured and nearly killed time and time again.
While Bond is certainly not perfect, he approaches new experiences and confronts new challenges head-on. Whether he invents a cocktail recipe or vanquishes a deadly foe, capability follows curiosity. In a world where passive consumerism has largely replaced active participation in society, role models like James Bond are needed to save it. There is a place for social media and other forms of technology, but not to supplant the fulfillment associated with personal hobbies.
Young Americans, myself included, need to resist the impulses of the day and keep striving. We may never be Bond types, but the quest for self-improvement is the point. To strive is to live. As millions of people flock to the cinemas, James Bond will provide a glimpse of the male ideal. Hopefully, our idealism results in practical, positive change. Luka Ladan
Bronx: Dear Voicer Rosario A. Iaconis: As a Black woman, I wholeheartedly agree with your opinion. It’s nice to know we have an ally when it comes to harmful stereotyping that maintains racism and discrimination. African-Americans, who were forced into this country in chains to build this country with blood, sweat and tears, are still fighting overt and systemic oppression. The difference here is that while Italian contributions to the world are celebrated, contributions from African-Americans are ignored or denied. Africa is the birthplace of civilization. African-American history is the history of the United States, yet schools are refusing to teach this history due to a lack of understanding of critical race theory, which, judging by the theme of your letter, you seem to understand quite well. Thank you for writing this. Renee Barrett
Seaside Heights, N.J.: As an Italian, I am deeply offended by Columbus Day. Why do we continue to pay homage to a fraud? Christopher Columbus was an “imbroglione” — a trickster who bamboozled the Spanish aristocracy into going along with his scheme. Unfortunately, that scheme resulted in the exploitation of the Native American population. There is nothing honorable about Columbus. Truth is, he was nothing more than a murderer, a slave trader and a pimp. There are many Italians more deserving of honor and recognition, such as Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini, who did more for the Italian immigrants than Columbus could ever do. I have had enough of Columbus! He is an embarrassment and a disgrace to the Italian people. Igor LaManna
Flushing: To Voicer Chana Schwartz: If Trump were president, there would be no information from Dr. Anthony Fauci. Trump never let him speak and his puppet Deborah Birx lied just as often as he did. Even Kamala Harris said she would not take a vaccine pushed by Trump. I, too, follow the science, and thankfully, science is being listened to by our current president. I also believe all city, state and federal employees should be mandated to take the vaccine, not just a select group. Susan Scharf
Swarthmore, Pa.: Over the next 10 years, U.S. spending on national defense, based on current budgets, will equal almost $8 trillion. President Biden’s Build Back Better social infrastructure plan, if enacted at the maximum dollar value being proposed, would expend less than $4 trillion. Let’s compare the amount of congressional, media and public debate about this profound difference in proposed spending. The proposed spending on defense, despite being more than twice the dollar level of the social infrastructure plan, garners virtually no debate, no pushback, no serious talks to scale it back. The social safety net plan, which would provide funding for child and elder care, expand Medicare, cut prescription drug prices and more, not only has no Republican support; it has generated fierce debate even among congressional Democrats whose leader, Biden, has staked his presidency on getting it passed. What is going on? Ken Derow
Redondo Beach, Calif.: According to the Supreme Court, the residents of Texas are not protected by the Constitution. John Chevedden
Brooklyn: Voicers Maria McCormick and Lawrence N. Finkel are correct that there is not enough room on the streets for everything. As a small business owner, the impacts of the changes so far have been a disaster for my company. I provide clients with technical work at their location. Driving to the locations and parking used to take 20% of my day. Now it’s more than 50% and getting worse every time they remove parking spots, add bike lanes, remove lanes of traffic, etc. That means an increase in the cost of every service and item in the city. Add congestion pricing that will make it worse. How far are they going to go? How much do they think we can take? What a huge failure for the drivers of New York City. Greg Ahl
Valhalla, N.Y.: Re “It’s ‘howdy duty’ time” (Oct. 1): “Hello, how are you today? Welcome to our police station. We’re very happy to see you. And what brings you to us today? Oh, you stabbed someone. Okay, well I’m sure there was a good reason for that. Anyway, while you’re here with us waiting for the judge to determine the length of your stay, please make yourself comfortable and if you find you need anything — anything at all — please don’t hesitate to ask. We’ll try to make your stay with us as comfortable as possible. Thank you for coming and have a nice day!” Michael Grisanti
Manhattan: After nearly eight years of failure at prison reform, an exploding homeless crisis and a missing $1 billion from ThriveNYC, Dollar Bill has at last found his legacy: He is going to turn NYC precinct houses into Walmarts by posting greeters at the door. Maybe Dick Cheney wants to come out of retirement. Here’s to a new mayor, a better city and goodbye to a man who put his political donors on speed dial. Louie Russo
Brooklyn: With only months left in his mayoral term, Bill de Blasio may have come up with the worst idea since pineapple pizza. The NYPD greeters program should be buried and defunded before it begins. There are surely more acceptable and appropriate undertakings to boost community engagement than this silly notion. Neil S. Friedman
Bradley Beach, N.J.: Mayor de Blasio’s meet-and-greet idea at precincts is nothing new. When I worked in the 48th Precinct in the Bronx in the 1970s, we had an administrative aide (PAA) at the front of the station house to greet and direct civilians. Albeit precincts now have to have armed officers in front of the station. Patrick Freeman
Forest Hills: The mayor is again showing his signature phrase in his ideas of zero vision. Having greeters at the police stations? It is a waste of money and resources — there are people there and security at the front. The police station is not Walmart or TGI Fridays. How about spending the money on getting rid of the open heroin deals and use around Times Square? What’s next, free jalapeño poppers with every crime reported? If there was ever a question that this mayor had no ideas or ability to govern, this should seal it. Vision zero indeed. Matthew N. Ross

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