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Letters: Politics, the wall and the partial federal shutdown

A sign at the Federal Hall National Memorial

A sign at the Federal Hall National Memorial in Manhattan on Wednesday tells visitors about the site's closure due to the partial shutdown of the federal government. Credit: JUSTIN LANE/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutters / JUSTIN LANE/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

In response to the Jan. 2 letter “President oblivious to hardship of workers,” again our president is getting blamed!

Why not blame Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer? In 2013, before Donald Trump came into the picture, he was among Senate Democrats who supported comprehensive legislation for border security and immigration reform that included $8 billion for border fencing. So where is his understanding of the little people who are suffering because of this partial shutdown! Shame on all in Congress who do not support our president!

Enrica Bilello, Bellmore

I read the Jan. 2 news story “Rules are ignored and trash is piling up in unstaffed national parks,” and I have lost my appetite for breakfast!

Yes, the shutdown is unfortunate, but where did common decency go? What kind of people relieve themselves on the sides of our park roads, leave trash and let dogs run free? There are rules posted at the entrances to our national parks and monuments. Just because Big Brother is not watching doesn’t mean it is a free-for-all! This is your country; these are our national treasures. Show respect.

Carol Taddeo, Plainview

A letter that cautions against demonizing nations south of the U.S. border shows that the writer does not get it [“Politics and problems at the border,” Dec. 30]. America has immigration laws. Living in a bad place doesn’t allow anyone to break our laws. Illegal immigration costs the American taxpayer billions of dollars annually. The wall is to enforce our immigration laws, period!

Gregory M. Gusew, Lake Ronkonkoma

The reality is, the government shut down on Jan. 20, 2017.

James A. Clark, Syosset

Pardon my ignorance. I had hoped the election of Donald Trump as president would put partisan policies behind and allow the best objective decisions to the front. What a dope I am. Once again, the greatest democratic government holds the people hostage during this disgraceful shutdown, and because he doesn’t like her or she doesn’t like him or nobody likes anybody, nothing constructive gets accomplished for the health, welfare and good of the people.

Elected officials are called upon to reach the best (albeit complicated) decisions that will protect and serve all the people of this great nation. The health and welfare of all should not be held hostage ever! Forget party lines and do what’s best and right for all.

Michael Haroldsson, Wading River

No evidence in nature for a master plan

A physician writes in a letter that studying the various natural sciences provided an opportunity to marvel at “the order, the mechanism, the purpose, and the beauty in nature,” and to be connected “with the creator/superpower!” [“Nature reveals the creator’s handiwork,” Dec. 21].

“Even diseases have patterns,” the writer tells us. “Nothing is haywire in creation!”

I also am a physician. While I share the writer’s sense of wonder and marvel at the complexity of the natural world, I question the inclusion of the word “purpose.” What, I wonder, was the purpose of smallpox or of polio? Both were creations of the natural world that were scourges for centuries, until science conquered them.

As for nothing in creation being haywire, ever have an impacted wisdom tooth? Or a herniated disc? These are accidents of evolution, leaving humans with less-than-optimum body structures that cause problems more often than not.

Science does allow us to both marvel at the complexities of nature and understand the natural laws that govern it. What it does not provide is a shred of evidence for a master plan or a designing intelligence in the universe.

Dr. Richard Schloss, East Northport

Editor’s note: The writer is president of Long Island Atheists, an organization that advocates for separation of church and state.

Reimbursement rates also lag

So New York State legislators and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo are getting nice pay raises [“Pay hikes among laws on way,” News, Dec. 30]. Lawmakers justified it because they haven’t had raises in 20 years.

I agree that no one should go 20 years without a raise. I am a pediatric physical therapist and own an agency that provides early intervention services and preschool-related services to children with developmental delays. I have not seen a raise in preschool reimbursement rates for 20 years, and none are in sight. Even worse, in 2010 and 2011, the state cut the reimbursement rates for early intervention. We now make 10 to 15 percent less than in 1992. We have advocated and begged to make what we made in 1992, but Cuomo refuses to give us any increase. For a man who says he has done so much for women-owned businesses, he has taken advantage of service providers that are dominated by women.

Ellen Rasmussen, Islip