I was deeply concerned that Democrats in Congress, including New York Sen. Charles Schumer, were supporting a bill, now tabled, that would have incurred strict new sanctions on Iran.
This action would have derailed ongoing negotiations, ended President Barack Obama's diplomatic efforts for a peaceful resolution, and increased the likelihood of a military response with U.S. involvement. Members of Congress have been under pressure from our allies, Israel and Saudi Arabia, as well as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a powerful Israeli lobby.
They apparently see any nuclear agreement by the United States with Iran as a threat to their interests and power in the region. Why do some of our elected officials pursue a strategy with little regard for our own interests?
The United States should not be held captive to the demands of any nation. Involvement in another Middle East conflict is not what the people in this country want.
Jack Pepitone, West Hempstead
Stricter beliefs and intermarriage
While the letter writer's comment is accurate that intermarriage is not well accepted by a majority of Jews ["Intermarriage column response not typical," Jan. 20], it also reveals a deeper problem: Why has Orthodox Judaism lost so many adherents to the Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist branches?
Once you agree to follow a more lenient and accepting form of any religion, you are going to meet and attract those who are not necessarily of your original faith.
And at that juncture, you either have to proclaim the hypocrisy of your brand of religion and return to the stricter and older version, or stand firm in your beliefs and extend open arms to all.
I am formerly Orthodox and now Reform.
Joe Hoenig, East Meadow
Paying the bills, but a Forgotten Man
With all the hand wringing about "young people" leaving Long Island and the lack of affordable apartments for the poor and unemployed ["Counting the homeless," News, Jan. 23], has anyone stopped to consider the plight of the Forgotten Man (or Woman)? This is the homeowner struggling to pay the outrageous property taxes that support the philanthropy of society's do-gooders.
In case you don't know, to paraphrase William Graham Sumner, an early libertarian, the Forgotten Man is the average man who doesn't belong to a special lobby or civic group that gets taxpayer-funded parks.
Neither does he qualify for subsidized housing because of his income. He is stuck somewhere in the middle.
He doesn't go to town hall to complain or grandstand with a self-righteousness that borders on delusional. He doesn't lobby and suck up to the local politicians to keep a zone change away from his property and closer to another's.
He doesn't start phony civic organizations that falsely claim to represent neighborhoods that never heard of him.
The Forgotten Man is none of these. He is, however, the victim of his own apathy, brought about by a political system that keeps him at arm's length, and which only allows him closer when either votes or donations are needed.
He is too disgusted to care, too tired to complain and too broke to move.
Peter Nichols, Melville
Sleddding hill cherished by kids
The residents of Plandome Manor must really live charmed lives if their only problem is children sledding on Plandome Country Club property ["Taking back the hill," News, Jan. 15].
Is sledding on this property, and the additional parking on public streets, really such an inconvenience? Are these residents really so controlling that they must dash the winter enjoyment of countless children?
Adrienne Bryant, Northport
LIRR should send bus transports
Regarding "LIRR train stuck for two hours" [News, Jan. 13], this has happened to me numerous times. Sometimes the police have stopped the train, or a person was hit on the track. Sometimes the explanation is there is "debris on the track."
The bottom line is, why should passengers have to sit on a stopped train for two hours?
I've had to call a taxi to get to my station, at a huge cost, at least six times over the past few years.
The Long Island Rail Road sometimes sends a bus to pick up stranded passengers, but I believe they should do it more often.
Delores Plunkett, Sayville
Drivers must clear roof too
Please remove the snow from the roof of your vehicle ["At the mercy of the elements," Editorial, Jan. 23].
I do not need it coming at my windshield at 60 mph on the parkways or the Expressway. I'm sure others share my sentiment.
John Lambert, North Babylon