Letters: Carter, columnist are both wrong

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Columnist Cathy Young says that former President Jimmy Carter has "crossed the line into absurdity" in his new crusade for women's rights ["Carter peddles misguided message," Opinion, April 1].

In his new book, Carter mentions some instances of unequal pay here in America in the same breath as female infanticide and outright brutality against women in the Third World. Young describes this moral equivalency as "ridiculous."

There are many more areas where Jimmy Carter's positions and platitudes cross the line into absurdity. For example, he has claimed that Palestinians in Gaza are being starved to death.

I wonder why we even care about Jimmy Carter. He was one of the worst presidents in our history.

Wallace Gottlieb, Cedarhurst

Apparently, Cathy Young doesn't like the West included in accusations of mistreating women. Let's see, who is trying to reverse Roe vs. Wade?

Young has some nerve insinuating that some "sexual assaults" are drunken acts involving shared responsibility. Has she never heard of date-rape drugs? Somewhere between 50 percent to 80 percent of rapes are never reported, and the conviction rate is about 25 percent. That means very few rapists go to jail.

In medicine, the malpractice rates went up so much that many obstetricians stopped delivering babies. This threatens women's health.

Maybe Young can't handle the truth, or maybe she is just very insensitive.

Alan Perlmutter, Oceanside

Levy: Stop blaming previous leadership

At some point, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone must stop blaming others for his woes ["Moody's lowers Suffolk bond rating," News, March 26].

The recent downgrading of Suffolk bonds was not due to anything from prior administrations, as Bellone intimates. Rather, it was due to the unprecedented borrowing and use of one-shots by his own administration.

I rejected numerous gimmicks that the current administration has employed, including selling off the Dennison building only to rent it back, bonding salaries, suggesting we defer debt obligations to later years, and backloading an overly generous police union contract.

The budget I submitted for 2012 spent less than in 2008. It was my last budget, not Bellone's first, that reduced the number of employees by the hundreds.

Steve Levy, Bayport

Editor's note: The writer was the Suffolk County executive from 2004 through 2011.

Saddened over historic demolition

Nassau County does it again! Another example of mismanagement and "saving money" no matter how much it costs ["Wrecking ball fells 1833 house," News, March 28].

Why would the county spend so much money in 1963 to move the Bedell House to the Old Bethpage Village Restoration, only to demolish it on March 24? Officials say that perhaps they can incorporate its architectural adornments in a replica, but where do they intend to get the money to do that? And if money is available, why didn't they use it to restore the Bedell House? Did no one look into obtaining a grant from the Preservation League of New York State?

Old Bethpage is in shocking condition. Most of the buildings that were moved from the once-beautiful Victorian Hempstead are in worse condition than when they stood on their original sites.

William Devlin, Rockville Centre

Keep focus on autism causes

Bravo for putting autism on the front page ["Study finds illness affects 1 in 68 children," News, March 28].

This should be on the front page of every newspaper in the country, because the rate of autism is increasing. In addition, the new diagnostic guidelines will hurt many people who have milder forms of autism spectrum disorders, because they might not receive the services they need.

Yes, the new diagnostic guidelines may also "improve" the count of children with autism, but don't be fooled. Though we have many studies that suggest a variety of autism causes, we don't have a smoking gun.

In the meantime, we need to take care of this entire population that needs support and services, not to simply change classifications and deny help to people who need it.

Bea Huste-Petersen, East Islip

Editor's note: The writer is the founder of EJ Autism Foundation, an education and fundraising organization.

Educate college athletes better

Michael Dobie's column on the ruling permitting Northwestern University football players to unionize ["A rim-rattling ruling in college sports," March 30] makes the compelling case that major college athletics are out of control.

Among the examples cited is the recent academic scandal at the University of North Carolina and the abysmal reading levels of its football and basketball players.

But I suggest a different approach to concern over the "exploitation" of these athletes. Instead of turning them into employees, we should be trying to turn them into students.

Patrick Calabria, Seaford

Editor's note: The writer teaches sportswriting at Farmingdale State College.

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