Letter to Senator Kerry 4-29-09

Richard J. Garfunkel

2801 Watch Hill Drive

Tarrytown, NY 10591

 

 

Senator John Kerry

218 Russell Building

Washington, DC 20510

 

April 29, 2008

 

Dear Senator Kerry,

 

As I was adjusting my radio dial yesterday and happened to breeze by WABC-770 AM in New York, I had the unpleasant experience of hearing you come on the Imus in the Morning Show.  It would have been one thing if you decided to make an appearance on WABC, because like Daniel in the Lion’s Den, you wished to show your courage. I assume that would be justifiable. That station’s right-wing agenda and reputation would daunt anybody with your democratic record. But, I certainly have no quarrel with any elected official appearing anywhere they wish to be heard. Of course, for me it is a matter of taste, and I would choose my venues more selectively.

 

But, over the years Mr. Don Imus has literally “cut your heart out,” on more than numerous occasions. His insults would have been intolerable to me. It still boggles my mind why he still attracts journalists and some political people to his program. In the past, I happened to catch him, now and again, on WFAN in New York in the morning, because when I took my wife to the railroad station, that band was on from the evening before. I unfortunately got into the habit of listening to him because he had on Jonathan Alter, who I know and correspond with at times. He wrote a great book on FDR, and I lecture of President Roosevelt and am an active member of the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute. Even then I was astounded that legitimate reporters, journalists, and political folk would tolerate his low-level, and often racist, sexist and anti-Semitic banter. I asked Alter about why he was on, and he frankly told me that he rarely listened, but liked the “free” time the show afforded him and the show’s connection to NBC and Newsweek.

 

After his “Rutgers” slur, by the way my daughter was a graduate of Rutgers and currently works at Harvard’s Kennedy School, I was really fed up with him, and worked for his dismissal from WFAN and MSNBC. I was glad he was terminated and I wrote an essay on his career, which I have included with this letter. But, he has a way of surviving and the current marriage with him and WABC seems to be made in heaven.

 

Again, I was surprised and saddened that you lowered and demeaned yourself to being his foil. I didn’t listen to the show after your opening “cute” remark, so I have no real clue what transpired. But for sure, I lost a great deal of respect for you. I worked hard in the 2004 campaign, and in a sense I hold you partially responsible for keeping George W. Bush in office. We are reaping the “bitter harvest” of his terrible legacy. Obviously you are quite aware of how history views you regarding that campaign, but from my perspective, the past is prologue. That election is long over. But your appearance with Don Imus, really offended me, and all of the bitter memories of 2004 were once again rekindled.

 

Yours,

 

 

Richard J. Garfunkel

 

Host of The Advocates

WVOX Radio 1460 AM

Live-Streaming at www.wvox.com

New Rochelle, NY

The Advocates 4-29-09 Bruce Fabricant

“The Advocates”

 With

Richard J. Garfunkel

 WVOX – AM Radio 1460- 12 Noon Wednesday

April 29, 2009

All archived shows at:

http://advocates-wvox.com

 

On Wednesday, April 29, 2009, at 12:00 Noon, I will be hosting my show The Advocates on WVOX- 1460 AM, and you can also listen to the program live streaming on www.wvox.com. One can call the show at 914-636-0110 to reach us on the radio. My guest is Mr. Bruce Fabricant, the author of a That Perfect Season, a story about baseball, the recollections of lostyouth, the lesson of bonding with others, and baseball. Written in the style and spirit of The Glory of Their Times, he travels back fifty years to a bygone and seemingly more innocent era.

 

Bruce is a lifelong Westchester resident.  He grew up and attended public schools in Mount Vernon, raised a family in Ardsley, and now lives in Somers.  After graduating from Michigan State University where he was editor-in-chief for the university’s daily student newspaper, he was lieutenant in the United States Army.   He also worked in public relations for Ford Motor Company before joining the Grey Agency.

 

He has developed powerful public relations oriented campaigns for some of the nation’s most well known products and services including Johnson & Johnson, Kenner Toys, and Greyhound. 

 

Bruce has been able to combine his love of sports with his career in public relations.  He developed a Box Tops for Fun ‘N Fitness School Program for General Foods; promoted Borden’s Cracker Jack baseball card collectibles; and created a national Gordon’s Dry Gin Mixed Doubles Club Tennis Championship.

 

He has written four films for Panasonic’s Sports Film School Library; toured the country with Brooklyn Dodgers relief pitcher Joe Black on behalf of Greyhound; and promoted Getty Oil Company’s NY Yankee Honorary Batboy winners.

 

Before starting his own public relations firm in White Plains in 1991, Bruce Fabricant was for nine years Executive Vice President of GCI Group, a public relations subsidiary of Grey Advertising in New York City. Public Relations Quarterly named him one of the top 100 U.S. public relations consultants.

 

Meanwhile, the mission of the “Advocates” is to bring to the public differing views on current public policy issues. Public policy, therefore, is what we as a nation legally and traditionally follow.

 

My essays on FDR and other subjects at can be accessed at http://www.richardjgarfunkel.com. One can also listen to all of the archived shows at: http://advocates-wvox.com.

 

In the coming weeks I will be hosting Anne Cook, talking about President Obama’s First Hundred Days, Dr. Jacob Appel, discussing medical ethics, and Claudine Bacher discussing the Eleanor Roosevelt’s Val-Kill home and the preservation of historical sites.

 

The Advocates 4-22-09 Dr.Joe Scelsa

“The Advocates”

 With

Richard J. Garfunkel

 WVOX – AM Radio 1460- 12 Noon Wednesday

April 22, 2009

All archived shows at:

http://advocates-wvox.com

On Wednesday, April 22, 2009, at 12:00 Noon, I will be hosting my show The Advocates on WVOX- 1460 AM, and you can also listen to the program live streaming at www.wvox.com. One can call the show at 914-636-0110 to reach us on the radio. My guest is Dr. Joseph V. Scelsa, the Founder and President of the Italian American Museum of New York. Our subject today discusses the classic struggle regarding cultural identity versus assimilation and can hyphenated Americanism lead to potential Balkanization? Also joining us will be Mr. John Puma as a guest panelist.

Dr. Scelsa, a native New Yorker, received his BA Degree from Long Island University and received his Masters Degrees from Lehman College of the City University of New York, and Columbia University. He was awarded his Ed.D also at Columbia University’s Teachers College. He served as the Vice-President of the Queens College Outreach and Cultural Affairs Institutional Development Office from 2000 until his retirement in June of 2008. Dr. Scelsa also has had a long career as an instructor and a professor at Queens College in the departments of History, Italian-American Studies, Special Studies and at Lehman College in the Department of Specialized Education. He has published numerous articles on Italian-American: culture, civil rights, demographics, history, discrimination, career counseling, higher education and women. He is a member, and on the Board of Directors of countless organizations which include; the Rotary, Columbia University Club, Italian Welfare League, Italian Hospital Society, Columbus Citizens Foundation and the Commission for Social Justice/ Order Sons of Italy in America. He has also been the recipient of many awards and honors, which include The Civil Order of the Merit –The House of Savoy, the Good Shepard Award, Knighthood of the Holy Sepulcher. Man of the Year of the National Columbus Association of Civil Service. He is also is listed in Who’s Who in America, and Amongst Italian Americans.

Before founding the Italian American Museum, Dr. Scelsa was the Director and the Executive Director of the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute of CUNY from 1984 through 1999.

John Puma’s has been a guest on The Advocates before and his last appearance was on our December 31st year end roundup. His career has ranged from creating start-up businesses, to developing communications systems for multi-national communication giants, to building housing for the middle and working class citizens, and to developing alternate energy concepts for communities. 

 

Meanwhile, the mission of the “Advocates” is to bring to the public differing views on current public policy issues. Public policy, therefore, is what we as a nation legally and traditionally follow.

 

My essays on FDR and other subjects at can be accessed at http://www.richardjgarfunkel.com. One can also listen to all of the archived shows at: http://advocates-wvox.com.

 

Next week I will be hosting Mr. Bruce Fabricant, author of the Perfect Spring, a story of a magical baseball season played fifty years ago in the City of Mount Vernon by a group of young men coming of age.

 

Easter Sunday in Hyde Park 4-12-09

 

 

Easter Sunday in Hyde Park

April 12, 2009

Richard J. Garfunkel

 

 

It was a sunny and bright, but a cool day for twelve days into April as I drove up the Taconic from Tarrytown. On this day, in Warm Springs, Georgia, 64 years ago, the civilized world was shocked and saddened by the news. There, of course, had been the normal war news that had occupied most adults who were alive during that time. The last German battleship afloat, the Admiral Speer was sunk, the US Army’s 2nd Armored Division was parked about 63 miles from Berlin, B-29 Superforts struck Tokyo again, kamikaze suicide planes were raining death and destruction on our Pacific Fleet and the US First Army under the command of Lt. General Courtney Hodges liberated the ancient German city of Liepzig. At home war work was continuing on a 24 hour basis, the NFL stated that it would schedule ten games for their fall season, and the New York Stock Exchange traded a heavy volume of 1,060,000 shares, as the average went up 1.55 points. It was on that spring day, at almost the very end of the most devastating conflict in history, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States passed away.

 

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the Soldier of Freedom (James McGregor Burns), The Champion of Freedom (Conrad Black), the leader of the free world, the architect of victory, the co-author of the Atlantic Charter, the originator of Lend-Lease, the founder of the United Nations and the savior of humanity as we know it died suddenly in the “Little White House,” his home in Warm Springs. In a way, reflective of Moses, he was denied entrance into the Promise Land of Victory. Almost to the day, eighty years before on April 15, 1865, Lincoln died, and he like Roosevelt, was also deprived by the fates of being able to bask in the glow of victory. Maybe like Moses, Roosevelt had struck the fabled “rock” too often.

 

As the news hit all over the stunned world, Conrad Black, in his epic biography of Roosevelt, wrote, “The world was stupefied by the sudden demise of its most famous and important inhabitant.” Many Americans leaders, both political friend and foe of the late President were stunned. Alban Barkley spoke of “One of the worst tragedies that ever happened.” In proclaiming a national day of mourning, President Harry S Truman wrote, “Though his voice is silent, his courage is not spent.” Even Radio Tokyo, the voice of our mortal enemy, surprisingly announced Roosevelt’s death soberly and played funeral music, “In honor of the passing of a great man.” One, of course, is often measured by the enemies one makes in life, and it was left to the megalomaniac Adolph Hitler to declare that German fortunes would revive because, “Fate has removed the greatest criminal of all time.” He would survive the president for not too much longer, and by the end of April he was dead by his own grisly hand. Of course, the tributes from political friend and foe, the great, the near great, and the average citizen of America and the world came pouring in to all who would listen.

 

In London, Winston Churchill said in his remarks to a joint session of the two houses of Parliament, “I conceived an admiration for him as a statesman, a man of affairs, and a world leader. I felt the utmost confidence in his upright, inspiring character and outlook, a personal regard – affection, I may say-for him beyond my power to express today.” He went on, “What an enviable death was his! He had brought the country through the worst of its perils and the heaviest of its toils. Victory had cast its sure and steady beam upon him. In the days of peace he had broadened and stabilized the foundation of American life and union. In war he had raised the strength, might, and glory of the Great Republic to a height never attained by any nation in history.”

 

In the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, whose April 12th edition came out later in that day, the headlines screamed EXTRA and reported that “Roosevelt Is Dead.” It was in Hawaii, on December 7, 1941, three years and a little more than for months earlier that the war had begun with the Japanese surprise attack. On that day April 12, 1945 along with the tragic news from Warm Springs the paper reported the loss of a US submarine, the report of Nazi cruelty to American POWs, carrier strikes on Formosa, and the loss at sea of the oil tanker Saint Mihiel. Newspapers all over the world carried the same story. Their gigantic black headlines screamed the news to every corner of the world.

 

Churchill spoke with a sense of envy of Roosevelt the warrior, “He died in harness, and we may say in battle harness, like his soldiers, sailors and airmen, who side by side with ours are carrying their task to the end all over the world.” On my desk I have a framed newspaper clipping and it simply lists, “Today’s Army-Navy Casualty List,” and below it says: Washington, Apr. 13—Following are the latest casualties in the military service, including next of kin. Above the Navy Dead, which listed, DECKER, Carlos Anthony, Fireman 1c, Sister, Mrs. Elizabeth Decker Metz, 16 Concord Place, Concord, RI, was ARMY-NAVY DEAD, ROOSEVELT, Franklin D, Commander-in-Chief, wife Mrs. Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, the White House.

 

Churchill concluded his remarks to Parliament by saying that “…in Franklin Roosevelt there died the greatest American friend we have ever known and the greatest champion of freedom who has ever brought help and comfort from the New World to the Old..”

 

Today, in our time, it was a quiet Easter Day in Hyde Park, and there were not many visitors to the museum and the home called Springwood, which stands and looks majestically over FDR’s beloved Hudson River. Because of the holiday, there was scheduled only a small ceremony in the Rose Garden. When I walked into the Garden it was quiet and empty. New fir trees had been planted to replace the ones that had come and gone since the West Point Cadets accompanied President Roosevelt’s remains to his resting place. On that day, in 1945, the afternoon solitude and somberness was broken by the crackling report of a 21-gun salute. Today it was lonely, there was no one to talk to, and as I walked quietly back to the Henry Wallace Center and my car, I wondered to myself what future generations would think of all of this! Another afternoon had flown by, and before long, I was back on the road, and another day in the long history of humankind was quickly flowing into the portals of time.   

  

The Advocates 4-15-09 – Hon. Joseph DioGuardi

“The Advocates”

 With

Richard J. Garfunkel

 WVOX – AM Radio 1460- 12 Noon Wednesday

April 15, 2009

All archived shows at:

http://advocates-wvox.com

On Wednesday, April 15, 2009, at 12:00 Noon, I will be hosting my show The Advocates on WVOX- 1460 AM, and you can also listen to the program live streaming at www.wvox.com. One can call the show at 914-636-0110 to reach us on the radio. My guest is the Honorable Joseph DioGuardi, who represented Westchester County in Congress in the middle 1980’s. Our subject on April 15th, known to all Americans as Tax Day, is the viability of the American financial system and can we afford to continue on America’s current path of “tax and spend” and survive economically.

Joe DioGuardi was raised in the Bronx, New York, where he graduated from Fordham Prep in 1958 and Fordham University with honors in 1962. His late father, who immigrated to America in 1929, was an ethnic Albanian who was born in Greci, the oldest Albanian-speaking village in Italy and his mother is a first-generation Italian American who was born in New York City.

Before coming to Congress, DioGuardi was a practicing CPA who served twenty-two years with the international accounting firm of Arthur Andersen & Co., twelve of them as a partner. In 1984, he became the first practicing certified public accountant ever elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. In addition to his human rights work while in Congress, DioGuardi took the lead in sounding the call for federal financial reform. After leaving Congress, he established a nonpartisan foundation, Truth in Government, and published a book entitled Unaccountable Congress: It Doesn’t Add Up. DioGuardi currently serves on the board of directors of several private and publicly-held U.S. corporations

Joseph DioGuardi was the first Member of Congress to bring the issue of Albanian rights in the Balkans to the attention of the U.S. government through a Congressional Resolution that he sponsored as a new Member in 1986. He was also responsible for the first Congressional hearing on Kosova in 1987.

He has made more than thirty trips to the Balkans since leaving Congress in 1989 in his capacity as the founding, volunteer president of the Albanian American Civic League. As the president of the Albanian American Civic League, DioGuardi has worked with members on both sides of the political aisle in an effort to bring lasting peace and stability to the Southeast Europe.

Meanwhile, the mission of the “Advocates” is to bring to the public differing views on current public policy issues. Public policy, therefore, is what we as a nation legally and traditionally follow.

 

My essays on FDR and other subjects at can be accessed at http://www.richardjgarfunkel.com. One can also listen to all of the archived shows at: http://advocates-wvox.com.

 

Next week I will be hosting Dr. Joseph V. Scelsa, founder of the Italian- American Museum, on Mulberry Street, NYC, and we will be talking about cultural identification and its place in the American melting pot.

The Advocates 4-8-09 -Docot Kenneth Cohn

“The Advocates”

 With

Richard J. Garfunkel

 WVOX – AM Radio 1460- 12 Noon Wednesday

April 8, 2009

All archived shows at:

http://advocates-wvox.com

 

On Wednesday, April 8, 2009, at 12:00 Noon, I will be hosting my show The Advocates on WVOX- 1460 AM, and you can also listen to the program live streaming at www.wvox.com. One can call the show at 914-636-0110 to reach us on the radio. Our guest is Dr. Kenneth Cohn, the author Collaborate for Success, and Better Communication for Better Care, and we will be talking about his ideas on the critical issue of healthcare reform.

 

Dr. Cohn is a board-certified general surgeon who obtained his M.D. degree from Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons Medical School, completed his residency at the Harvard-Deaconess Surgical Service, and performed fellowships in endocrine and oncologic surgery at the Karolinska Hospital and at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, respectively.  He was Assistant Professor of Surgery at SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn and later moved to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center as Associate Professor of Surgery and Chief of Surgical Oncology at the VA Hospital at White River Junction. 

 

Dr. Cohn also is a 1998 graduate of the MBA program of the Tuck School at Dartmouth.  He worked initially as a consultant at Health Advances, assisting 6 firms to commercialize new products.  At Cambridge Management Group, he led change-management initiatives for physicians at affiliated hospitals within the Yale New Haven, Banner Colorado, Cottage Santa Barbara, and Sutter Sacramento Health Systems.

 

 Dr. Cohn remains clinically active, covering surgical practices in New Hampshire and Vermont.  He has been mentoring physicians in leadership development since 1999, finding that physicians enjoy learning from fellow physicians. 

 

 

Dr. Cohn’s writing experience includes over 45 published articles in peer-reviewed healthcare journals.  His article, “The Tectonic Plates Are Shifting: Cultural Change vs. Mural Dyslexia,” won the Dean Conley Award in 2009 from the American College of Healthcare Executives for the best article in a healthcare management publication.

 

He has written two books, Better Communication for Better Care: Mastering Physician-Administration Collaboration, and Collaborate for Success!  Breakthrough Strategies for Engaging Physicians, Nurses, and Hospital Executives, published by Health Administration Press, 2005 and 2006.

 

Dr. Cohn is the editor of The Business of Healthcare, a three-volume set, published December 2007 that comprises practice management, leading healthcare organizations, and improving systems of care.  He is also the editor of Improving Physician-Hospital Relations: A Field-Tested System, a multimedia distance-learning program comprising topics such as engaging physicians to improve care, improving operating room throughput, dealing with disruptive physicians, and employing cutting-edge physician recruiting and retention strategies.  He blogs weekly on topics related to healthcare collaboration at http://healthcarecollaboration.com/blog.

 

Meanwhile, the mission of the “Advocates” is to bring to the public differing views on current public policy issues. Public policy, therefore, is what we as a nation legally and traditionally follow.

 

My essays on FDR and other subjects at can be accessed at http://www.richardjgarfunkel.com. One can also listen to all of the archived shows at: http://advocates-wvox.com.

 

Next week I will be hosting former Congressman Joseph J. DioGuardi, the author of Unaccountable Congress, It Doesn’t Add Up, on income tax day, April 15th.

 

The Advocates 4-1-09 Rick Kelsey and Gary Johnson

“The Advocates”

 With

Richard J. Garfunkel

 WVOX – AM Radio 1460- 12 Noon Wednesday

April 1, 2009

All archived shows at:

http://advocates-wvox.com

 

On Wednesday, April 1, 2009, at 12:00 Noon, I will be hosting my show The Advocates on WVOX- 1460 AM, and you can also listen to the program’s live streaming at www.wvox.com. One can call the show at 914-636-0110 to reach us on the radio. Our guests are Rick Kelsey and Gary Johnson, and our topic today is, “Creating Game-Changers for Education, Through Urban Game Design,” the using of “The Mentoring & Collaboration Model” to solve important technology problems and opportunities at the community level

 

Rick Kelsey (site coordinator) currently serves as the Technology Director for McKinley Technology High School in Washington, DC. Mr. Kelsey also serves as the Director for The Institute of Urban Game Design. Previously, Rick had worked as the Department Chair at the Jeb Stuart High School in Falls Church, Virginia. Before entering the field of education, Mr. Kelsey's career included a twenty-five year focus in healthcare management. Mr. Kelsey served in the role of Vice President of several prestigious hospitals and healthcare firms. From 1977 to 1980, Mr. Kelsey served as Director of the prestigious King Fahd Hospital in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Mr. Kelsey's education includes a MBA in Healthcare Administration from Temple University and a Master in education from American University. He has taught Healthcare Administration courses as an adjunct professor at St. Joseph's University, Temple University, and Kind Faisal University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

 

In 2009, Rick has started his own management and consulting company “Be The Game LLC…” His company provides management and consulting to non profits who wish to support the development of inner city technology training programs for teens, young adults, older adults and seniors. He also has developed a motor coach training center that travels to schools, retirement centers and community events to provide technology training on the motor coach. In 2009,The Game already has clients in Washington DC; Prince Georges County, Maryland; Dallas, Texas; Jefferson, Texas; Orlando, Florida; Oviedo, Florida and Huntsville, Alabama. 

 

Gary Johnson was born and raised in Washington, DC where he attended the public schools and graduated with a BS degree in Organizational Management from Columbia Union College. He also attended Antioch University School of Law, where he studied in the Masters of Legal Science program. At the age of 23, Gary was assigned to The White House where he worked for three Assistants to the President for National Security Affairs. Throughout his 30- year professional working career

He has learned how to use his personal power to define his success. He is the author of the book 25 Things That Really Matter In Life (Courtland Press, ISBN-13: 978-0-9791113-0-3) and was a contributing author to the book IN SEARCH OF FATHERHOOD(R) — TRANSCENDING BOUNDARIES (Publisher: Xlibris Corporation; March 22, 2004, ISBN: 141343777X). The book is a collection of essays and interviews that explore the issues and questions that fathers struggle to resolve on a day-to-day basis. Gary is the owner of Gary A. Johnson Company & Associates, a management training and consultant firm; and two award-winning web sites: Homework Help Page.com and Black MenInAmerica.com.

 

Meanwhile, the mission of the “Advocates” is to bring to the public differing views on current “public policy “issues. “Public policy,” therefore, is what we as a nation legally and traditionally follow.

 

My essays on FDR and other subjects at can be accessed at http://www.richardjgarfunkel.com. One can also listen to all of the archived shows at: http://advocates-wvox.com.

 

Next week I will be hosting Dr. Kenneth Cohn, the author of Collaborate for Success, Break though Strategies for Engaging Physicians, Nurses and Hospital Executives, and the subject will be health care reform in America.