The people who are worried about privacy have a legitimate worry. But we live in a complex world where you're going to have to have a level of security greater than you did back in the olden days, if you will. And our laws and our interpretation of the Constitution, I think, have to change.
We all know that election reform takes time. That's because those who have benefited from the system are the ones who fight hardest to preserve it. So if we're going to succeed, we need an independent coalition of citizens who believe in reform, who believe that our election laws should treat every voter equally, who believe that low levels of competition and participation are not healthy for democracy. The Independence Party is helping to build that coalition and I am happy to join you in doing so.
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Most gun dealers follow the law and run honest businesses. But the statistics show that 1 percent of dealers sell more than half of all illegal guns. Why isn't the federal government going after them? Here's one reason: unlike mayors, members of Congress don't get a phone call in the middle of the night when a cop is shot and killed. They don't deliver the eulogies.
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The problem of dealing with the financial industry is that you can measure it with interest rates coming down. You can measure it with the quantity of loans, and that sort of thing. The problem is, that nobody wants to take the loans. Once the banks are willing to give it, that's only half the problem.
And if I were the president, I'd go out there and I'd emphasize the things I have done, and I'd say, 'Some things haven't worked, and I'm sorry about that, but I keep trying.' And I'm - and I think the president is a very viable candidate, and you're going to have a real horse race here no matter who the Republican nominee is.
Look at all of the great strengths of America: entrepreneurialship, work ethic, natural resources, a democracy, a transparency, a willingness to be critical. Around the world, they look at us, and they say, "Why are you criticizing yourself? Why are you people arguing during the political process to elect a president or somebody else?" That's the great strength of this country.
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We may not always agree with every one of our neighbors. That's life. And it's part of living in such a diverse and dense city. But we also recognize that part of being a New Yorker is living with your neighbors in mutual respect and tolerance. It was exactly that spirit of openness and acceptance that was attacked on 9/11, 2001.
Graffiti is just one of those things that destroys our quality of life, and why anybody thinks that it's funny or cute to encourage kids to go do that, I don't know. We have talked to them and asked them to not have a subway car motif to write graffiti. This is not really art or expression. This is - let's be honest about what it is - it's trying to encourage people to do something that's not in anybody's interest.
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When I care about something, I care about something. I think I have an obligation as an American to - and as a citizen, as - as a human being, to help others. Smoking is going to kill a billion people this century. I've put six hundred million dollars from my own money into trying to stop the tobacco companies from getting kids to smoke and convincing adults that it's not in their health.
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I've always wondered if people who block each other from expressing their opinions do so because they have so little confidence in their own. To me, encountering an opposing point of view is a chance to gain a deeper understanding of the issues at stake and develop my own point of view. But the first thing you've got to do is you've got to let people speak and you've got to listen. And that's what the first amendment is all about. That's what really distinguishes this country from others.
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My father, a bookkeeper who never earned more than $11,000 a year in his life, sat there, writing out a $25 check to the NAACP. When I asked him why, he said discrimination against anyone is discrimination against us all. And I never forgot that. Indeed, his philanthropy was a gift, not just to that organization, but to me.
Ten years have passed since a perfect blue sky morning turned into the blackest of nights. Since then we've lived in sunshine and in shadow, and although we can never unsee what happened here, we can also see that children who lost their parents have grown into young adults, grandchildren have been born and good works and public service have taken root to honor those we loved and lost.
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In 1975, Congress passed a law requiring fuel efficiency standards to double over 10 years, with incremental targets that auto manufacturers were required to meet. That was the responsible approach, and it worked. But since 1985, we've done nothing - even as technology has moved at light speed.
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The estate taxes, on balance, are good. They get people to give money to charity, and they prevent these family dynasties which keep other people from having opportunities. It may be good for a family, but for society it's probably not good. And I've always been in favor of having an estate tax.