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Newsday letters to the editor for Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Twin Towers on 9/11.

The Twin Towers on 9/11. Credit: YouTube

Illegal fireworks are everywhere on LI

I hear and see fireworks in my neighborhood almost daily once we hit Memorial Day.

The Fourth of July seems like a war zone once dusk approaches. The air is thick with smoke from fireworks [“July 4 injuries, arrests, keep officers busy,” News, July 6].

If the same amount of enforcement is given to Nassau County’s new sparkler ban as other illegal fireworks, then I don’t think this ban will amount to much.

While walking my dog after the Fourth of July I took a picture of a neighbor’s garbage. I think it tells the whole story of banned fireworks. They’re everywhere.

Tony Fleck,Farmingdale

End LI’s electoral cross-endorsements

Newsday’s June 29 editorial, “Backroom deals insult voters,” was a primer on the reality of Long Island politics. Major and minor parties that should be philosophical opposites conspire to make cross-endorsements to elect candidates and control patronage.

The voters, in many cases, are left with no choice of candidates and they see no reason to go to the polls.

Lack of voter participation is such a threat to the democratic process that cross-endorsements are not permitted in 42 states. This practice must be ended on Long Island if we are ever going to have government of the people, by the people and for the people.

Joseph Powers,Bay Shore

Don’t link travel ban with 9/11 attackers

Two letter writers indicated that 9/11 is justification for President Donald Trump’s travel ban [“Travel ban, 9/11 and religious freedom,” July 5].

However, 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, two were from the United Arab Emirates, one was from Egypt and one from Lebanon. The countries covered by the travel ban are North Korea, Syria, Iran, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Venezuela. See the problem?

Mike Calma,Hicksville

In discussing the travel ban, one of the letter writers referred to the plight of Jewish ancestors as well as refugees of today. There is no comparison other than both fit the description of refugees.

Jewish refugees fled pogroms and genocide. They had no desire other than to come here, become citizens and raise families. None attacked the United States or killed Americans. There was no belief that killing in the name of God was acceptable, and they never believed that they had to force others to submit to the religion that they practiced.

These are problems some refugees exhibit today. One need only look at the “freedom” afforded women, gay people and members of other faiths in the many majority-Muslim countries. The ancestors of the writer never posed any threat to America. They abhorred the political system they were fleeing.

The writer also said the upholding of the travel ban showed a failure of the system of checks and balances. In fact, the Supreme Court’s decision is an example of checks and balances working. The court did what it is supposed to do. It reviewed the action of the executive branch and, in this case, a majority agreed.

Bernard A. Bilawsky,North Massapequa

A reader stated, “There’s nothing wrong with a travel ban for residents of countries that hate the United States and would love to cause us harm.” But most of the 9/11 terrorists came from Saudi Arabia, which is not part of the travel ban. Coincidentally, President Donald Trump has financial interests in that country. The list also excludes the United Arab Emirates, another wealthy Muslim-majority nation where the Trump Organization has business interests.

Should we protect our country against those who support terrorists unless our president has a financial interest there?

Lynn Baglio,Mount Sinai

For many years, I taught argument and logic in New York City High Schools. Hard as I tried, not all students passed.

Two letters in “Travel ban, 9/11 and religious” used faulty deductive (Aristotelian syllogistic) reasoning. Here is an example of a deductive argument:

Major premise: Some members of the 1930s and ’40s organized crime group dubbed Murder Inc. were Jewish. (True.)

Minor premise: I am Jewish. (True.)

Conclusion: I am a member of Murder Inc. (False, please believe me.)

The conclusion is false, but the definition of a syllogism says that if the major premise and the minor premise are true, the conclusion must be true. How can this conclusion be false? That “all radical Islamic terrorists” are Muslim is no reason to ban all Muslims.

Arnold Holtzman,Plainview