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Newsday letters to the editor for Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017

Newsday readers respond to topics covered.

Matt Conroy runs with his fiancee, Eliana Themistocleous,

Matt Conroy runs with his fiancee, Eliana Themistocleous, in Wantagh on Nov. 18, 2017. Conroy is from Lexington, Mass. Photo Credit: Bruce Gilbert

Political right’s been gaining upper hand

The outrage over the Senate tax plan would be amusing if it didn’t highlight the blindness of most citizens to what is the culmination of years of planning [“A tax overhaul in limbo,” News, Dec. 1]. Conservatives have done an excellent job of long-range planning by forming think tanks like the Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, etc.

They’ve provided scholarships, training and job opportunities for young men and women who share their views. They’ve helped these same people get into positions of power in politics, corporations and lobbying. It’s no accident that over the last 10 years, the right has taken over many local and state governments, and taken control of all three branches of the federal government.

The tax bill promotes exactly what the right believes America should be: free from government interference in business, unless it’s to help the largest corporations. Any assistance to people in need merely weakens them, and they should pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. So Medicaid, Medicare, food stamps, public education, etc., are in their opinion morally wrong.

To them, agencies including the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency are obstacles to a free market and need to be dismantled.

Russell Alexander,Brentwood

Trump’s spat with ballplayer’s dad

Can the political scene get any worse? Why would the president of the United States get into a Twitter war with the father of a UCLA basketball player [“Trump spars anew with player’s dad,” News, Nov. 23]?

I would think there are many more important issues that need the president’s attention. It’s also probably true that most people in our country aren’t really interested in this spat. It seems to me that President Donald Trump is trying to deflect our attention from real issues.

Karen Gulli, Lido Beach

Long Island: There’s a lot to love

I so enjoyed Newsday’s article “The Love Islanders” [LI Life, Nov. 26]. As the transplants to Long Island found out, it’s a terrific place to live and raise a family.

Trips to Texas and South Carolina confirmed my belief that, although cheaper, those places do not compare to Long Island. They were full of strip malls and concrete housing. I didn’t see the beautiful fall colors of trees or the spectacular ocean we see here daily.

Trips to Manhattan to see the Rangers and “Hello, Dolly!,” or to walk on the beautiful High Line cannot be beat. Not to mention the easy car ride to The New York Botanical Garden and the Bronx Zoo. Yes, I agree, it’s the best place ever to live.

Mary Ellen Heaney, Floral Park

Payoffs on behalf of Congress are wrong

While revelations of inappropriate behavior by Sen. Al Franken and Rep. John Conyers are bad enough, it is equally repulsive that Congress believes it is perfectly acceptable to use taxpayer dollars to pay off victims and then conceal a representative’s actions via nondisclosure agreements [“Scandals echo in Congress,” News, Nov. 27].

One can only imagine the grandstanding that would transpire if these same members of Congress were on a committee grilling a corporate CEO for engaging in similar behavior.

Arthur M. Shatz,Oakland Gardens

People need to speak up about EPA

Day after day, I read about the atrocities perpetuated on the Environmental Protection Agency by the Trump administration and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt [“Key climate report contradicts Trump,” News, Nov. 4].

I watch in disbelief the people put forth to fill positions, people with no scientific background, bumbling through Senate hearings and trying to answer simple questions regarding climate change and science. I have a real concern about the direction in which the EPA is being taken.

We need to speak up and be heard. Isn’t that what it’s all about to be an American?

I don’t want to be right and prove someone else wrong. I want to be logical, pragmatic and conscientious about the path we take. I am not a politician, but I am passionate about the Earth. All this political turmoil needs to be worked out. We need to come together as a country. We all need to take care of our planet.

Terry Glassman, Old Brookville

Editor’s note: The writer recently trained with the Climate Reality Project, an education and advocacy organization.