The three incidents of vandalism of menorah displays in Suffolk County this month should raise a red flag for all of us ["Menorahs vandalized," News, Dec. 14]. While we are grateful that government officials and others have decried these desecrations, we know that hate crimes such as these, if not aggressively pursued, can escalate into more serious offenses, sometimes with tragic consequences. We hope our law enforcement officials will make arrests and convictions in these cases a top priority.
Editor's note: The writer is director of the American Jewish Committee's Long Island office.
Having previously worked with the Navajo, Sioux and Papago tribes, I am encouraged that the federal government will soon, after 31 years, recognize the Shinnecocks as a viable tribe. It's about time that the Shinnecocks receive the benefits deprived from them for so long.
HuntingtonMTA & public option
So the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has a new budget hole, despite the recent state payroll tax earmarked for its coffers. How many people are comfortable now with that public option for health care? For anyone who still thinks government can do a better job at controlling costs and improving service, please refer to the MTA, the state-run OTB and the federal budget deficit. Also see local water districts, garbage districts, school districts, towns, villages and counties.
I really like Sen. Joe Lieberman, but I think we have to question his motives lately. He is insisting on a health care bill that does not include any type of public option that would compete with private insurance companies ["Democrats hit new health care bumps," News, Dec. 15]. Isn't he from Connecticut, the insurance capital of the world? We can't let Lieberman stop a revolution - we're talking about human progress here.
East Quogue'Day laborers'
It's amazing that people can enter the United States illegally, call themselves "day laborers" instead of the correct term of illegal aliens, and then expect all the benefits and protection under the laws of our country ["Oyster Bay work rules rile Latinos," News, Dec. 15]. These people are here illegally and get medical services, schooling and police protection, all paid for by U.S. citizens. Then, when the citizens get tired of supporting "illegals," they are labeled racists.
Would we receive equal treatment and benefits if we entered their country illegally and became "day laborers"?
Thomas W. Smith