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OpinionLetters

Newsday letters to the editor for Monday, Sept. 25, 2017

Members of the MTA Police Department's Emergency Service

Members of the MTA Police Department's Emergency Service Unit patrol outside Penn Station Friday, August 29, 2014. Credit: Craig Ruttle

Put economic pressure on China

One reason for Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor was that we had cut off its rubber and oil supplies. If President Donald Trump cuts off a fair amount of North Korea’s needed supplies or money, leader Kim Jong Un could not survive, so he might have no choice but to attack [“Is it back to basics with North Korea?” Opinion, Sept. 10].

He will hope for a quick, negotiated truce, but I believe he misreads Trump. The 160-mile border between North and South Korea would require only six hydrogen bombs to wipe out the whole area 30 miles north of the border from sea to sea. Trump’s phrase “fire and fury” is the exact description of a hydrogen bomb, and it is very different from an atomic bomb. A hydrogen bomb makes a 30-mile ball of fire and burns everything.

Trump should not disturb trade with China. Instead, our government should determine which products from China are most profitable and ask U.S. manufacturers to copy the Chinese products, make them by automation, and take away China’s sales. This would put their workers out of work.

Clyde Smith, Belle Terre

Editor’s note: The writer is an electrical engineer.

A colossal onion seems insignificant

I was disappointed to see a photo of a 14.5-pound onion in England’s giant vegetable competition in Newsday [“Raising the root,” News, Sept. 16]. On the same page were stories about diplomats being harmed in Cuba and an earthquake hitting Mexico.

With such important world events, do we really need to know about the onion?

Roberta Comerchero, Commack

Centralize command of police forces

On Sept. 15, a homemade bomb exploded on a London subway, injuring 30 people in Britain’s fifth major terrorism incident in six months [“UK subway terror,” News, Sept. 16].

Experts say transportation facilities are favorite targets of terrorists, and more needs to be done locally to centralize security efforts.

Chaos erupted at New York’s Penn Station in April when unfounded reports of a gunshot sparked a stampede. In fact, Amtrak police had used a Taser on a belligerent man. Metropolitan Transportation Authority cops, not knowing what Amtrak police were doing, watched in dismay as commuters scattered for safety.

Multiple police agencies operate as well at Grand Central Terminal and JFK and LaGuardia airports. This leads to duplication of services, mismanagement, poor communication and unnecessary bickering over counterterrorism dollars.

These various police agencies patrolling within the city should be under the operational command of the NYPD commissioner.

Nicholas Casale, Baldwin

Editor’s note: The writer is a retired New York City police detective and a former deputy director of counterterrorism for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Schools have power over teacher speech

I must caution the writer of “Teachers can share their political views” [Letters, Sept. 15] to consider what the U.S. Supreme Court has said on the matter. In a notable case, Garcetti v. Ceballos (2006), the court ruled in favor of the school’s control of the workplace as an employer.

Inside the schoolhouse gates, a teacher should not openly criticize a student’s choice of political expression — in this case, students wearing “Make America great again” T-shirts.

The Georgia school superintendent who said teachers should not share their political views with students appears to have followed the court’s decisions in First Amendment cases. The more appropriate forum for teacher opinion on a shirt and criticism involving political issues would be in a classroom debate.

The superintendent’s comments to the teacher were not, as the writer stated, a violation of the teacher’s constitutional right of expression, but were aimed at protecting students’ rights.

Unless the shirts disrupted the learning environment or violated the school dress code, there was no reason for the teacher’s comment about the content of the shirt outside a planned classroom learning experience.

Patricia Howlett, West Islip

Editor’s note: The writer is a practicing attorney and has taught education law at Molloy College.

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