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OpinionLetters

Letter: Have a heart for struggling motorists

As a citizen, homeowner, taxpayer and Long Islander -- who happens to be a state trooper on Long Island -- I cannot more strongly disagree with a Newsday editorial that said motorists who are ticketed for minor equipment violations should still have to pay an "administrative fee" to the government ["Don't return all ticket fees," June 15].

At what point do we say, enough is enough, and stop our government from picking our pockets for revenue at every opportunity?

When a motorist escapes a state trooper like myself with only a ticket for a lightbulb that burned out, or a muffler that rusted through, it means that motorist passed the test of a valid license, legal car and valid insurance. Thousands of other motorists traveling down the same road cannot pass such an assessment and are dealt with accordingly.

Also, many police officers sometimes pull people over for larger offenses but use the minor violations we find instead. This is a way to let our fellow citizens know that -- as they travel between their multiple jobs, try to keep their heads above water, and pay the already ridiculous taxes levied upon us by every segment of government -- every once in awhile an agent of the government can acknowledge their struggle and give them a break on the moving violation by issuing a ticket for a light they have to fix anyhow. This allows the vehicle to get repaired for safety.

Mike Mawn, Bohemia

VA hospital treated dad very well

The Department of Veterans Affairs has been in the news over problems getting veterans timely appointments and care at VA hospitals ["Senate bill: Add $35B for veterans care," News, June 15]. My father, who recently passed away at 98, was taken care of at the New York City VA, then more recently at the Northport VA. The doctors, nurses and staff were outstanding, providing care that helped my dad live to a ripe old age.

Absolutely change what needs changing, but please give credit where credit is due.

Nancy Kaplan, Shoreham

Overturn ruling on political money

Why aren't there at least 200 co-sponsors in the House to overturn the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision?

Our founding fathers wanted "we the people" to rule our government. The court's 2010 Citizens United decision to set aside some prohibitions on campaign funding has taken that away. Shame on us all that we need a constitutional amendment to give us back what was originally intended.

Laura Matturro, Smithtown

Over-regulation burdens health care

He put up a gallant fight ["Poll: Many still struggle to pay health premiums," News, June 20]. In the end, however the burden was more than he could handle. He was once considered the best. Slowly, bits and pieces were pecked away from him. Yes, I'm talking about health care in the United States.

Over the past several years, health care has been under attack. We hear about cost constraints, quality improvement and many other catchphrases. Unfortunately, all of these are euphemisms for overregulation. We now have "core measures" and "meaningful use." The paperwork burden placed on health care teams is astounding.

Electronic medical records have become the latest nail in the coffin. When a physician spends time entering orders in a computer rather than with the patient, it leads to extra testing and poorer care. You would never expect a pilot to leave the cockpit to serve drinks, yet in health care, physicians have been relegated to clerical duty.

No one advocates more for the patient than physicians. We fight the insurance companies for tests that are necessary. We fight the government for our patients. Yet we are often made to appear as villains.

The system is collapsing under the weight of regulation. We are in the midst of destroying what once was great.

Dr. Vlassi Baktidy, Manhasset

Feminists hate patriarchy, not men

Regarding Cathy Young's op-ed about Karen DeCrow, "A feminist who also cared about men" [Opinion, June 17], I object to both the title and the substance, as would my friend Karen DeCrow.

Karen and I both agreed that it was words like these that stereotype feminists, who do not dislike men but rather dislike the patriarchy that still traps both men and women.

The assumption that feminists hate men is a technique for blocking women's activism. Men are not our enemy, patriarchy is. Women still make 77 cents on the male dollar and even birth control is now under attack across the United States.

As past president of the 36,000-member National Organization for Women-NYS, I can attest to the fact that the majority of our members have husbands, sons and grandsons whom we dearly love.

Marilyn Fitterman, East Hampton

Editor's note: The writer is the president of East End NOW.

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