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Letters: Endorsement of Zeldin criticized

Your editorial endorsing a Republican newcomer over a seasoned incumbent Democrat, because it is important to vote for someone who can get along with the House majority, is arguably one of the lamest and potentially dangerous reasons for ever voting for anyone ["Send Lee Zeldin to Congress from 1st District," Editorial, Oct. 29].

This is exactly what happens in the nations we seek to democratize. Voters pick members of the majority for fear that if they don't, they won't get their fair share of the pie or suffer retribution.

I am really amazed that the groupthink of your editorial board would include this type of specious reason in any endorsement. I neither know the candidates, nor do I live in the district involved.

Another point: As a longtime Republican, I abhor Grover Norquist's 2006 no-tax-hike pledge and trust that those sensible politicians who signed it will withdraw their names from this polarizing document.

Gabriele K. Libbey, Harbor Isle

Are you kidding me? You're endorsing the Republican, Conservative and tea party candidate because Long Island might be able to get more if its congressman is part of the congressional majority. You wrote that Lee Zeldin "likely will have collected some chits from the leadership if he wins" and "Long Island needs this seat at the Republican table."

Doesn't the fact that Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) has been elected and re-elected to Congress, despite a higher registration of Republican voters in this district, mean anything to you? Your "if you can't beat them, join them" philosophy is totally wrong for us.

You admit that Bishop "knows the job and seems to relish it," that he has been successful at helping college students better afford their educations, and that "he has fought doggedly for the Fire Island-to-Montauk sand replenishment project."

He also has been instrumental in keeping Gabreski Airport open, keeping Brookhaven National Lab running, and helping hundreds of his constituents of all ages -- especially veterans -- no matter what their political leanings. In doing his job, Bishop has worked hard at being apolitical and fair.

Yvette Hohler, Port Jefferson

Live music expects one more hurdle

The enforcement of regulations of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers for the payment of royalties for live and recorded music played in bars and restaurants is tremendously flawed ["Lawsuits on the menu," Business, Oct. 27].

The money cannot be distributed to the correct artists and songwriters because there are no records for which songs were played by the musicians hired by the venue. It's a shakedown. And the fact that it's so arbitrarily enforced makes it even more unfair.

As a musician who has played live music on this Island since 1984, it's one more hurdle for a struggling profession, and one more reason for a club not to hire musicians at all. The fee we receive to play has barely changed in the last 30 years, while the cost of living has gone through the roof. This ASCAP licensing fee could be the final nail in the live-music coffin.

Chris Kinnear, Sea Cliff

Quarantine complaint ignores big picture

One can easily sympathize with the frustration endured by those few forced to undergo the inconvenience of complying with the any enforced Ebola quarantine protocol ["A U.S. focus on Africa," News, Oct. 30].

Complaints that their rights are being violated, however, are invalid. When they believe the public's safety is threatened, elected officials have the authority to make unprecedented decisions. The Ebola virus is such a threat.

Based on what we know, the quarantine precaution is a tool that might prevent the spread of this life-threatening disease. Hopefully this will provide medical researchers with the time needed for the emergence of another Dr. Jonas Salk.

The frustration and inconvenience endured by those few forced to comply with quarantines are unfair, but seem a small price to pay.

William F. Haffey, Massapequa

Extremism is a distortion of Quran

Columnist Cathy Young's "Stirring our muddled views of Islam" [Opinion, Oct. 16] clarifies the misrepresentations made on Bill Maher's "Real Time" show on HBO.

While it's correct to state that Muslims have more extremists than other faiths, it's the height of ignorance to state that Islam is "the mother lode of bad ideas." This erroneous assertion by "Real Time" guest Sam Harris neglects advances in chemistry, physics and mathematics made by Muslims. Words such as arithmetic, algorithm, algebra and abacus all have Arabic roots.

Extreme tolerance and love for education are essential teachings of Islam. The extremism we see today from the Boston Marathon bombings to the Islamic State beheadings is related to political strife and runs counter to every teaching of the prophet Muhammad.

Muslim countries where illiteracy is high, like Pakistan and Afghanistan, have many who hold distorted views. Other Muslims like Egyptians and Palestinians are under the yoke of the mullahs because of conflict with the West and Israel and ultimately succumb to extremist views.

Irrespective of the cause of such intolerance, the holy Quran states, "There is no compulsion in religion" and "For you, your religion and for me, my religion." Now, that's a mother lode of great ideas, if only Maher and Harris would read them.

Irfan Alladin, Syosset