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Newsday letters to the editor for Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Former FBI Director James Comey is sworn in

Former FBI Director James Comey is sworn in during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Thursday, June 8, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) Credit: Former FBI Director James Comey is sworn in during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Thursday, June 8, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Disturbed by show of praise for Trump

On June 13, Newsday had an item about President Donald Trump’s Cabinet meeting the day before, which started with Trump’s self-congratulation about his vast accomplishments [“The latest,” News].

That fantasy was then followed by his Cabinet members going around the table to praise him, his wonderful agenda and his leadership. That’s probably exactly how North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s meetings begin.

William Hastback,Smithtown

So what’s next? Call in the Joint Chiefs of Staff and have them extol the president’s greatness? Perhaps while they’re at it, they can pledge allegiance to him personally as well.

America, where are we headed?

Ernst P.A. Vanamson, Sayville

Mixed reactions to Comey testimony

It might take months to determine the outcome of the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller [“Democracy takes charge,” Editorial, June 9]. However, the testimony of former FBI Director James Comey was compelling and a harbinger of a bitter, complex legal battle that will further divide the nation.

Whether you are a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian or independent, one thing is clear. Most Americans are greatly pained by the unfolding events in this highly charged political atmosphere.

Sadly, the pace of American progress and its clout globally are not only stalled, but ebbing.

Atul M. Karnik, Woodside

It’s been said that a successful negotiation is one from which both sides walk away unhappy. That pretty much sums up both Democratic and Republican feelings for James Comey.

But in his testimony in an open hearing and under oath, Comey laid himself bare. He made statements that showed us his heart. “Maybe if I were stronger,” he said, and he was “stunned” and lost his presence of mind.

Many of us can relate to these admissions. This is a man who recognized and admitted his shortcomings and let everyone know how he felt in those situations and how he addressed them as a decent human.

Keith Morris, Huntington

As a retired law enforcement officer, I believe James Comey’s response, “Maybe if I were stronger,” is a great reason why he is no longer FBI director. He was responding to a question about why he didn’t stop President Donald Trump to say their Oval Office conversation was wrong.

Comey was the second-highest cop in the country. I would not want this man as my supervisor. Comey’s testimony revealed how corrupt then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch was in regard to the Hillary Clinton probe. Comey appeased his boss by calling the email investigation a “matter” and by not calling out Lynch for that secret meeting with Bill Clinton. That is cowardice.

John Gelormino, Hicksville

Editor’s note: The writer is a retired sergeant with the NYPD.

Schools, communities must fight bullying

The story “Teen charged with stabbing” [News, June 9], about a fight over a “hurtful” Instagram message, is more evidence that violence has become a daily threat.

There are people for whom bravado is everything, and anything that seems the slightest bit threatening — a put-down, a disagreement, a dirty look — demands retaliation.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that youth homicides and assault-related injuries result in an estimated $16 billion annually in medical and work loss costs.

Violence has intensified along with a broad decline in civility. Some grown-ups don’t think twice about trampling personal boundaries through rude, intimidating and obnoxious behavior. Growing numbers of teens victimize peers through texting or posting online.

New York State’s Dignity for All Students Act, which took effect in 2012, seeks to provide students with a safe and supportive environment free from discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment and bullying on school property, buses or at a school function.

Legislation signed in 2016 requires New York’s public schools to begin providing instruction in mental health after July 1, 2018.

These laws must be complemented by consistent community standards against bullying.

Andrew Malekoff, Long Beach

Editor’s note: The writer is executive director of the nonprofit children’s mental health agency North Shore Child and Family Guidance Center in Roslyn Heights.