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OpinionLetters

Newsday letters to the editor for Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017

Newsday readers respond to topics covered.

This 2013 photo shows the Republic of Councils

This 2013 photo shows the Republic of Councils Monument, a statue of a worker charging forward, now located in Memento Park, a field about 30 minutes away from central Budapest in Hungary. Photo Credit: AP / Sisi Tang

7 years in prison too little for drug dealer

A drug dealer who was part of a network that sold 4,000 bags of heroin a week pleaded guilty to two felony charges and will be sentenced to 7 years in prison and 5 years of post-release supervision [“DA: Drug distributor to get 8 years,” News, Aug. 18]. I assume that if he behaves, he may be released sooner.

When one considers the horror that these drug dealers cause in our communities, 7 years seems woefully inadequate. It was just six years ago that four people were brutally murdered in a Medford pharmacy by an addict in search of painkillers. The destruction of individuals, communities and families, not to mention crime and violence, is not sufficiently deterred by a 7-year sentence.

If I had my way, the sentence would be commensurate to the harm inflicted on society. That would be the death penalty or life imprisonment.

Peter Kelly, Medford

Reflections on statues and history

I would hope that we can make the distinction between celebrating and recognizing an individual [“In Charlottesville’s deadly wake,” Letters, Aug. 25].

Removing statues and plaques doesn’t change history. Trying to erase or rewrite history smacks of Russia, where Vladimir Lenin mandated removing monuments erected in honor of the czars — a selective history of Russia’s past before the 1917 revolution.

Is this what we are coming to in the United States?

Michael Genzale, Shoreham

The destruction of Confederate statues can rewrite history. When there is nothing left to look at or read, it means that whoever is in control has the power.

It reminds me of the Taliban destroying statues that were great works of art. Power, fear and ignorance, when mixed well, will give rise to another kind of America, and not one that bodes well for our children and grandchildren.

Carole Lucca, Huntington

Philosopher George Santayana said those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

This has particular import to the debate about what to do with statues and other monuments dedicated to the memory of several “heroes” of the Civil War who fought on the side of the enslavement and subjugation of a whole race of people. While there will always be fringe groups that would like nothing better than to return to that despicable past, there are countless more mainstream Americans who, with the proper education, can be taught from a young age that there is no place for such treatment of our fellow humans.

A few years ago, I visited Memento Park in Budapest, Hungary, which is dedicated to statues from the Communist period. When the Iron Curtain fell, these statues were gathered to remind people of just how wrong and hurtful the Communist way of life was.

When visiting Memento Park, there is little danger that anyone will become inspired to become a Communist. In fact, the opposite is true.

David Ardam, Commack

Borrowing for a budget isn’t balancing it

So Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos has, by undertaking his own survey, made the startling discovery that commuters are dissatisfied with the service provided by the Long Island Rail Road [“Maragos hits MTA,” News, Aug. 24]! That must elevate him to the stature of world-famous explorers. Perhaps he could also be compared with President Donald Trump, who surprised the public with his own remarkable discovery: “Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated.”

Maragos has also distinguished himself by contending that the county has achieved a budgetary balance by borrowing the amount of the shortfall between its revenues and its expenditures! Who knew that accounting principles recognize the receipt of funds from incurring more debt as equivalent to some combination of raising revenues or cutting expenses?

Dropping the sarcasm, I am struck that anyone who believes that the fiscal deficit of a public jurisdiction is balanced by the act of borrowing the shortfall has shown conclusively that he or she is not qualified to serve as the chief financial officer of a significant governmental body.

Robert I. Adler, Port Washington

Editor’s note: The writer is a certified financial analyst and has worked on North Hempstead Democratic campaigns.

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