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Protesting masks, tax loopholes

Rose Stein, of Massapequa, speaks during an Unmask

Rose Stein, of Massapequa, speaks during an Unmask Our Kids rally on the steps of the Nassau County legislative building on Wednesday. Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara

It’s time to stop protesting masks

I am tired. I am tired of teaching with a mask on all day. I am tired of lugging a cart from room to room and building to building because I have lost my classroom of 20-plus years due to social distancing. I could go on!

But I am far more tired of hearing loud, demeaning, protesters screaming at people who aren’t in charge ["No masking their displeasure," News, June 10].

I’m tired of parents’ absurd proclamations of abuse and loss of freedom. One Smithtown protester claims that masked children are quiet, obedient and rule-following. Based on the past 10 months, that is not true. They’re the same as they’ve been for the 28 years I’ve been teaching. They laugh, they have fun, they learn. Is it optimal? No. Are they suffering irreparable harm? No. You would think in a world with so much hatred, poverty, illness — heart-wrenching tragedies — people would realize that the families who lost their loved ones are the ones truly suffering. Enough protesting.

— Tiffanie Kempf, Remsenburg-Speonk

Many residents of Smithtown have been protesting the continued requirement of mask wearing in schools. I couldn’t help but notice that Newsday also reported the daily increase in new coronavirus cases per 1,000 residents in Smithtown was 1.14, while in the neighboring communities it was much lower, 0.43 in Commack and zero in Dix Hills.

While science and facts seem to be out of style the past four years, maybe there really is something to it.

— Jeffrey Rothburd, Dix Hills

Looking at the picture of the adults from Massapequa with bullhorns, and the children holding signs about not wearing masks, two sayings come to mind: "Children learn what they live" and "Give me liberty or give me death," which in this case, unfortunately, may well come to pass ["Demanding end to mask mandate," News, June 10]. So what will these children be like whenever they become adults? Will they remember the masks or will they remember their loud, screaming helicopter parents?

— Susan Hennings-Lowe, Huntington

I don’t know if some Long Islanders are unknowing, hypocritical or a combination. How is wearing a mask in public a burden on you or your children? In the past week, I heard people claiming that their kids are being "carbon-dioxide poisoned" and are at risk of "catching some communicable illness from a COVID vaccine."

Many, if not most, of these people are the same ones waving Blue Lives Matter, Confederate and Trump 2024 flags on our busiest streets.

How do they process first responders slowly withering and dying off because they had no masks nearly 20 years ago after 9/11? I wonder how many of their moms and dads died way too early because they decided to go to a super-spreader event and showed no symptoms. Their wanting to go out to bars is a poor argument in their claims of the "dangers" of mask wearing.

Maybe this is a product of the everyone-gets-a-trophy generation now having children. Maybe this is why so many do not want standardized testing because it would expose a true lack of critical thinking the loudest group has.

— David Nadler, North Bellmore

Congress has chance closing tax loopholes

What a coincidence that at the very time heated partisan debates are happening in Washington about the rich not paying their fair share of taxes and proposed tax increases on them, up pop private and confidential tax data on some of the wealthiest American billionaires ["Uber-rich and taxes," LI Business, June 9]. Every American should be concerned that the data were illegally leaked to ProPublica by an anonymous source.

A close examination of the techniques used by these people to reduce their tax burdens is needed. There are no charges that anything illegal was done. They simply used the tax code.

Many people have said that rather than raise taxes, Congress should look to close tax loopholes to raise revenue. Congress now has a perfect test case to see how the already absurdly complex tax code can be simplified to close the loopholes that have allowed the wealthy to pass the buck.

— Arthur M. Shatz, Oakland Gardens

"I believe the money will be of more use to society if disbursed philanthropically than if used to slightly reduce an ever-increasing U.S. debt," billionaire Warren Buffett wrote in a statement. It seems to me that he thinks that average Americans, often struggling to make ends meet and unable to find their way out of paying their tax share, should be left to carry the burden of the U.S. on their own. How dare he!

— Patty Felice, Patchogue