LETTERS

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Oh, those loopy

conservatives

Richard N. Bond needs to get his head out of the sand and face both reality and

history ["Supreme Court will be Bush's legacy," Opinion, Oct. 5]. He equates

"loopy liberals" with Democrats, although the policies he seems to abhor - big

government, regulation of business, raising taxes to pay for these programs -

began with the Progressive Republicans of the early 20th century.

He attacks the Democrats for rejecting judicial appointees because of their

ideology. What about the scores of Bill Clinton appointees never approved by a

Republican Senate? What about President George W. Bush's desire to remake the

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court in the image of justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas - based on

ideology? What about Harriet Miers, the president's newest appointment, facing

conservatives' attacks because of her unproven ideology?

And Bond seems to ignore conservative justices' readiness to ignore ideology

for political purposes, as in disregarding federalism to hand George W. Bush

the 2000 election.

I guess Bond is one of those "loopy conservatives" who are against government

inspection of food, consumer protection, health insurance.

Jeffrey Gurwitz

Mount Sinai

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Put the racers

on the right track

Regarding "Night riders" [News, Oct. 6]: Maybe the auto makers and the

television networks could work together and not promote ads that impress our

younger generation by how fast a model or a particular make of car can go from

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zero to 60 mph. In a sense, they are selling speed. As we know, speed kills.

Tobacco ads have been taken off TV. I'm not saying auto ads should be banned,

but some discretion should be used.

John Volpe

Massapequa

As an ex-street racer, I know the dangers and consequences of this lifestyle.

These illegal races won't stop due to fines, confiscation of cars and/or jail

time alone. Long Island and the City of New York need to realize that a local

race track is needed. NIMBY people need to evaluate if noise pollution and

added traffic are that bad compared to a traffic tragedy.

If given a legal and safer area to race, illegal street racers will not have an

excuse to street race/drag race in public streets. Adding a local race track

and imposing harsher penalties for illegal street racing will inevitably go a

long way in providing a solution.

George Fuentes

Valley Stream

Fuel surcharge

is unfair

According to "LIPA set to boost fuel surcharge" [News, Sept. 30], the Long

Island Power Authority needs to collect a year's worth of surcharge in the

remaining three months of the year to end 2005 with balanced books. That means

the effective rate of the surcharge in the three remaining bills will be 54.2

percent of the base bill - and LIPA is discriminating against homeowners with

electric heat and those using electric heaters in homes and businesses having

under-powered space heating systems.

It also discriminates against homeowners who may want to save oil and gas by

turning down the thermostat, then use electric space heaters to heat a baby's

bedroom, for example.

To be fair, LIPA should spread the cost over the last six moths of this year,

retroactive to July 8 - not effective Oct. 8, as Newsday reported. Since LIPA

is a summer-peaking utility, the surcharge would be lower, hence far less

discriminatory.

Carmine F. Vasile

Patchogue

Give Wal-Mart

some respect

In their rush, once again, to become first in the nation with a restrictive

mandate, Suffolk County legislators gullibly swallowed union propaganda and

labeled an anti-Wal-Mart action as a heath bill ["Suffolk health bill is

unfriendly to business," Opinion, Oct. 3]. Legis. Allan Binder (R-Huntington)

deserves kudos for being the only Suffolk County legislator to oppose this

anti-business and anti-consumer action.

Activists want Wal-Mart to be the standard bearer for higher wages because it

is the largest employer. We should not repeat mistakes that caused major

companies, such as U.S. Steel and General Motors, to falter. If Wal-Mart paid

workers less than other major retail chains and local retailers, employees

would leave Wal-Mart to go elsewhere. In fact, workers line up for jobs at

Wal-Mart. Retailers pay low wages. Don't vilify Wal-Mart for being more

productive than its peers. Suffolk County should not

make it more difficult for residents to find work while preventing shoppers

from obtaining savings on their purchases.

Bernard Sosnick

Melville

Remember all our immigrants

Newsday's Q & A with Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy was both revealing

and alarming ["In a sit-down, Levy has his say," Newsday.com, Oct. 4]. Levy's

blanket dismissal, negative characterizations and name-calling of the many

human rights groups, labor unions and community-based organizations working to

defend immigrants' basic human and labor rights is insulting.

Our current immigration system is undeniably broken and most elected

officials, as well as the general public, recognize the need for immediate,

comprehensive and nationwide immigration reform. Over the past year, Levy's

targeting of Latino immigrants has become a major cause of concern and has made

Levy and Long Island a perfect example of the ongoing struggle America has

with new immigrants. We need and want their labor but don't want them as our

neighbors once their work is done.

This approach to new immigrants is racist and unproductive. Long Island

needs leadership that brings residents and new immigrants together around a

mutually beneficial agenda including access to affordable housing, better

schools and enhanced labor protections for all workers. Long Island does not

need anti-immigrant and anti-Latino policies cloaked in a false security

blanket claiming to protect our neighborhoods or the "suburban lifestyle."

Just like the rest of our nation, Long Island was built by and continues to

flourish because of immigrants. Today, new immigrants happen to be more brown

than white. But their goals and dreams are the same as those immigrants who

came here from Italy, Ireland or Germany - a better life for themselves and

their families.

Gouri Sadhwani

Editor's note: The writer is executive director of the New York Civic

Participation Project & La Fuente Inc.

Manhattan

"Vow to break camp" [News, Sept. 30] says in part: "The day laborers say

they are living there because they have no place else to go."

Hmmmm. Does "back across the U.S.-Mexico border" come to mind? Just

wondering.

Thomas Smith

Jamesport

No doubts about 9/11 responsibility

Imam Intikab Habib seems to forget we are losing American troops (almost

2,000 casualties now) fighting for his religious freedom ["Chaplain doubts 9/11

story" News, Sept. 30]. His apologies are meaningless. The fact that he was

even considered by the Fire Department of New York to be one of their chaplains

is beyond belief.

James D. McNaughton

Lake Ronkonkoma

Make vaccines widely available

I just read "Killer could have been stopped" [News, Oct. 5] about the

spread of encephalitis in India and was truly angered at the response of the

Indian government. How can it not work harder to vaccinate children against a

known killer? People should urge their elected officials in Washington to

pressure the United Nations to distribute this vaccine to the world's poorest

areas to make sure this does not happen again. Children should not be dying

when a vaccine is available.

Mindy Abraham

Oceanside

Bush's heart may be good, but it's not good enough

President George W. Bush told us early in his administration that he spoke

directly to his "higher father" rather than his biological one on matters of

state. Later, he looked into Vladimir Putin's eyes and said that he recognized

a kindred spirit. Now he stands before the public once again to assert that

Harriet Miers is "one of us" ["Bush: She's one of us," News, Oct. 5]. He tells

us: "I know her heart." And "I know her well enough to be able to say that

she's not going to change; that 20 years from now she'll be the same person,

with the same philosophy, that she is today."

When will we say enough to these kinds of personally based assertions being

substituted for rational, fact-based choices that affect how our government

operates? If peering into Putin's eyes can show how his foreign policy

interests will impact upon our own, let's patent the process. And if the mere

assertion of what an old pal, confidante and lawyer is going to do in an

entirely new setting as associate justice of the Supreme Court is sufficient to

sway the Senate into confirming her, then it is time to rid ourselves of them

all.

The people we need to be statesmen, justices and policy makers must have

factual, actual histories sufficient for us to examine, discuss and acknowledge

as the appropriate kinds of life experiences the state requires to assure the

degree of competence representing the people in whatever respective roles

requires. We do not need a reading of tea leaves to foretell the future.

John Greeley

Oceanside

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