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Letters: Violence in Islamic world

Once again an American journalist meets a grisly and propagandized end, and the murderers tell us that another captive journalist will suffer the same fate if President Barack Obama doesn't alter U.S. actions in the Middle East ["Officials: U.S. journalist beheaded," News, Aug. 20]. The killing is similar to the murder of Wall Street Journal journalist Daniel Pearl in Pakistan in 2002.

In the intervening years, horror has been piled upon horror. The organizations use different names -- Islamic Jihad, ISIS, Muslim Brotherhood, Boko Haram, Hamas, Al Shabaab, al-Qaida, Hezbollah, Abu Sayyaf, Ansar al-Sharia, Hizb ut-Tahrir -- but they have a commonality.

They each claim to act and speak in the name of Islam which, Americans are constantly reminded by politicians and media, is a religion of peace. It is difficult to reconcile this worldwide violence in the name of Islam.

Bernard A. Bilawsky, North Massapequa

The horrific beheading of journalist James Foley had better be the wake-up call for President Barack Obama to take decisive action beyond expressing outrage. There are other journalists in that region who are in danger.

Foley was a brave American doing what he loved -- reporting and photographing events in Syria and surrounding areas. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and colleagues.

John Amato, Fresh Meadows

Ice bucket challenge for Ferguson?

Here's a thought: Why don't the people who are rioting and causing chaos in Ferguson, Missouri, take the ice bucket challenge? ["Nat'l Guard told to leave Ferguson," News, Aug. 22].

That would literally cool them off, and they could donate money to honor Michael Brown -- perhaps a scholarship fund in his name or give the money to the family.

This is in no way honoring his life. The riots will always be associated with his name.

Geraldine O'Keeffe, St. James

Preparing ahead for extreme weather

Regarding "A drenching reminder to keep improving" [Editorial, Aug. 13], Newsday is spot-on: We have a tremendous amount of work ahead to get Long Island ready for climate change and the extreme weather events scientists predict for our region.

Fortunately, we can get started right away. A bill passed by the State Legislature in June -- called the Community Risk and Resiliency Act -- is headed to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's desk for his signature. He should sign it as soon as possible.

The act requires New York to consider climate change and extreme weather when allocating state money or issuing permits. It also calls for the creation of model local laws concerning climate change risk that will help Long Island cities and towns prepare.

For too long, Long Island has been reacting to these weather events, rather than making the changes that we need ahead of time. This legislation marks a transition to working proactively to reduce risk and increase community resilience.

Mitchell Pally, Stony Brook

Editor's note: The writer is the Long Island chapter chairman of the New York League of Conservation Voters.

Walgreen met with official intimidation

Unlike other industrialized nations, the United States taxes domestic corporations on profits made overseas, even though they are already taxed by the foreign country ["Keep the companies in this country," Opinion, Aug. 14]. In addition, U.S. companies are taxed at the highest rate among developed nations: 35 percent.

Columnist Anne Michaud wrote that the average effective corporate tax rate is 12 percent, but this figure is misleading, as it doesn't account for all taxes paid. President Barack Obama, and other members of the political class, have labeled corporations as unpatriotic when they merge with foreign firms to lower their tax liability. Michaud was also critical of corporate inversions.

A company fulfilling a fiduciary duty to shareholders by maximizing profits -- which in turn benefits employees and consumers and strengthens the economy -- is far from unpatriotic. However, what is un-American is a U.S. senator threatening the future success of an American company. When Walgreen was considering an inversion, by relocating its headquarters to Switzerland, one of the most powerful U.S. senators, Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), wrote to Walgreen that nearly 25 percent of its profits were from government-funded Medicare and Medicaid programs.

The implication was clear: If you act in the best interest of your company, you'll risk losing 25 percent of your business. Durbin's campaign of intimidation was successful. As a consequence, Walgreen lowered its expected earnings, costing shareholders, employees and customers.

Margaret Read Federico, Massapequa

Corruption probe should carry on

Long Island owes a debt of gratitude to Newsday for supporting the investigation of correction officer Edward Walsh ["Nothing routine in Walsh probe," Editorial, Aug. 21].

Few can circumvent the good-old-boys club embodied by Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota, Walsh and others. Corruption is as old as the hills, but we've increasingly turned our heads away in these last years, as more and more politicians both engage in and get away with it.

Jacqueline Clark, Islip