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LETTERS: Door busters, voting and pension loopholes

Some sales play to worst instincts

With regard to Paul Greenberg's offensive essay "Wal-Mart draws a line in the sand" [Opinion, July 25]: Retail events billed as "door busters" are detrimental to a society that values order, safety and neighborliness.

Retailers set the tone of their sales events. The very name implies a sort of frenzy in line with the worst consumer instincts, primarily that of greed.

The case against Wal-Mart regarding the tragic death of Jdimytai Damour should have been made in criminal court based on community standards of order and security. "Incitement to riot" is a good fit.

When the community has spoken with authority, retailers will adjust their advertising to reflect its standards. Greenberg's opinion supports an insane version of reality where the social and legal standards of a community are subjugated by the wealth and lawyers of a single corporate entity. To our horror, this is the world we live in. Shame on Greenberg for defending it.

Jon Zipkin, Bay Shore

This 'lapse' is serious

Kudos for the story on pols who skipped polls ["Rice an absentee for 18 years of voting," News, July 24]. Never in my wildest dreams would I imagine that a politician seeking votes would not take part in the democratic process.

So many Americans - including my father and uncles - have fought and died for our most cherished ideals, including the right to participate in the electoral process.

Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice argues that a "youthful lapse" led to her negligence. She is 45. Consider this: I'm 43. I have voted in every general election since 1984 - even with an absentee ballot while overseas.

"Youthful lapse"? How about a breach in duty?

Suzanne Litrel, East Northport

Fix pension loopholes before it's too late

The measures described in the editorial "Risky assumptions" [Opinion, July 25] are only part of the solution to the pension mess.

The main problem is the excessive expenses caused by massive retirement payouts that become part of final pensions. Too many people milk the system and receive more in pension than their former salary.

The system was set up to provide half-pay of one's annual salary for 20 or 25 years. Then came cost-of-living adjustments and legislation that changed final salary to final compensation, including payouts for unused vacation, sick leave and other perks. There is no private business that pays anyone for unused vacation. In the public sector, sick benefits are highly abused.

If we fail to fix the loopholes, schools and local government will face increasingly higher pension payouts. Cut expenses and the fund will have more to invest.

Joseph F. Birk, Port Washington


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