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Newsday letters to the editor for Tuesday, May 8, 2018

A sign in a Starbucks.

A sign in a Starbucks. Credit: AP / Gene J. Puskar

Moral hazards in choosing your baby

The article “Picking your baby” in the health pages of May 1’s exploreLI left me confused and outraged.

It describes how someday it might be possible to select the healthiest candidate from hundreds of embryos. The article describes how humans naturally shed our cells, and how ordinary cells might someday be turned into sperm and egg cells. It speculates that any human, say Brad Pitt, might father a child unknowingly from cells left on a coffee cup! Scientists say they have created sperm and egg cells from ordinary cells in mice.

This health-page article didn’t sound very healthy for anyone — at least not for Pitt or the thousands of babies who would be discarded for being less desirable. Such embryos would have been studied and prodded. If it were determined there was a high probability of disease; if the desired sex, hair or eye color weren’t present; or when too many embryos were created in the lab, these undesirables would be discarded.

Although a scholar who works in bioethics was quoted, there was no question about moral, ethical or criminal issues. Have we become so desensitized and selfish to care so little about human life?

Mary Grace Lynch,Stony Brook

Kanye West not really a freethinker

“Clarifying his remarks,” Newsday’s May 3 Flash! story about Kanye West’s controversial statements on slavery, cites West writing, “We need free thought now. Even the statement [about slavery] was an example of free thought. It was just an idea. Once again I am being attacked for presenting new ideas.”

This is not freethinking. As the founder of Long Island Secular Humanists and co-founder of the Center for Inquiry Long Island, organizations that welcomed freethinkers, we consider a freethinker a person who forms opinions on the basis of reason, independent of authority or tradition, especially a person whose religious opinions differ from established belief.

West believes freethinking is based on expressing one’s feeling, independent of reason, facts or evidence. He also has expressed much dependence on authority and tradition. For example, in his 2004 track “Jesus Walks,” he accepts Jesus as his savior. West’s style of thinking is the opposite of freethinking. It is emotional, based on faith, and adheres to a long-established religious tradition.

Gerry Dantone,Coram

N. Hempstead should follow Curran example

I applaud Nassau County Executive Laura Curran’s new policy to eliminate names of elected politicians from signs at county parks and golf courses [“Nassau’s big signoff,” News, April 29].

The previous policy of listing politicians on signs served no purpose but to provide them with name recognition. People should learn who their elected officials are not from signs, but from their actions and involvement in their communities. Actions speak louder than words.

I hope North Hempstead Supervisor Judy Bosworth will adopt the same policy for parks and pools in our town to avoid the cost of replacing some names every two years.

Stephen Nasta,Great Neck Plaza

Editor’s note: The writer was defeated in a run for supervisor in 2017.

Men at Starbucks should have ordered

Far from showing racism, the ejection of two men at a Starbucks in Philadelphia showed quite another problem [“Fallout from Starbucks incident,” Letters, April 24].

The idea that a person of any race can sit at a table in a restaurant and refuse repeated requests from management to order something or leave is ridiculous.

These men easily could have ordered coffee, bottles of water or something to eat. They could have complied with one of the requests that they simply leave if they were not going to purchase anything. The problem is not racism, it is the prevalent belief that, “I can do whatever I want, and any rules or laws do not apply to me.”

Charles Blatt,Levittown

I certainly sympathize with a reader’s belief that equality for African-Americans is a myth in this society [“Starbucks shows myth of equality,” Letters, April 30]. However, I take issue with one statement. She writes, “If black and white can’t be equal over a cup of coffee, where is my hope for a better future?”

But there was no cup of coffee. I would think that if I walked into Starbucks to hang out, did not purchase anything, and refused to leave if asked, I would be treated the same way.

Starbucks is a business. It does not profit from people loitering, regardless of race, religion or background.

William M. Fucci,


Business travel is key to air routes’ success

Frontier Airlines will end service from Long Island MacArthur Airport to Detroit and Minneapolis on July 5 [“Frontier changing routes,” News, April 28].

Those flights are not offered daily. Airlines must provide daily service with a sustained business travel base. Long Island does not have that business base any longer. Vacation travelers do not fill these flights. Islip Town officials and airport managers must think about new ways to offset operating costs.

Jerry Connors,

Point Lookout