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Just Sayin': Blame GOP, not the Democrats

President Joe Biden signs the $1.2 trillion infrastructure

President Joe Biden signs the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill on Monday at the White House. Credit: James Carbone

Blame GOP, not the Democrats

A reader blamed the Democrats for things Republicans are guilty of ["Democracy going right down the drain," Just Sayin’, Nov. 10].

The Democrats did not send the national debt "through the roof." That was done by former President Donald Trump’s tax plan that made the rich richer. President Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill was desperately needed and will create thousands of jobs and will be worth every penny.

The Democrats didn’t mix politics with health. That was done by Trump, who downplayed the severity of COVID-19 and spewed misinformation about it that is still being touted by ill-informed followers.

Trump wanted to overturn a valid election. He was the epitome of an autocrat. If he had won in 2020, we certainly would be on our way to seeing the destruction of our democracy.

— Lyn Mendelsohn, Oceanside

I am a Democrat. I approve of most of what President Joe Biden is doing. Unlike what a reader wrote, the southern border is not "open" to everyone; it is open to people who are escaping terrible conditions in their own countries. Immigrants here illegally are working jobs that most Americans do not want to do — landscaping, dishwashing, working as health aides, and pumping gas.

The national debt indeed is much too high; this is because the Republicans cut taxes on the wealthy while increasing spending on the military. It’s the Republicans "mixing politics with everybody’s health." The GOP goes against the advice of the scientific community on how to fight the pandemic; it is against wearing masks and against getting the vaccine, and it’s for only political reasons.

I do feel we let down people in Afghanistan who wanted to leave the country since they helped us fight the Taliban.

Inflation is being caused by the pandemic; it hopefully will end next summer. Oil production should be reduced; energy needed should immediately come from sources that do not add to global warming.

— Robert Martin, Mineola

How ironic, that a short letter about "The Night of Broken Glass," Kristallnacht, committed by followers of a psychotic but charismatic leader in pre-World War II Germany, was on the same page as a letter from an apparent Republican.

Across the country, the GOP is passing anti-voting bills and rejecting health mandates and vaccines. It will not support policies it had favored when the GOP was in power but is against now because it could help the Democratic president.

It is interesting that the reader also criticizes the infrastructure bill, which was supported by some Republicans but rebuffed by most.

Our democracy is fine. It’s the Republican Party that is anti-democratic.

— Rony Kessler, Franklin Square

Give adoption day the respect it deserves

Adoption day is supposed to be a highlight of a child’s life. After experiencing loss, abandonment or abuse, this day is supposed to be celebrated as the dawning of a new direction as part of a permanent family.

However, judges in Suffolk County and likely other New York counties have pushed adoption day into the shadows of insignificance.

Rather than host the adoptive child, parents, family and friends in the courtroom to celebrate in the presence of the judge, it is being held over Zoom or Google Meet. No longer is it the priority of those in authority but rather is treated like an afterthought and an inconvenience.

The trauma that these children have endured in their short lifetimes is bad enough. This isn’t simply a matter of COVID-19 protocols or pandemic fears.

I have attended every hearing in court required to complete a lengthy adoption process. In the past, a judge would close the courtroom for other business and welcome parents and children to celebrate in the spotlight, not in the shadows.

— Brooke Taylor, Ridge

The writer is pastor of Missio Church in Ridge.

Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month

Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness among working-age adults, yet most Americans over 40 don’t know symptoms or risk factors. More than 8 million Americans are affected by this complication of diabetes that causes damage to retinal blood vessels.

November is Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month. Help people recognize the risk of diabetic eye disease. Visit to find and share materials.

— Dr. Philip J. Ferrone, Great Neck

The writer is president of the American Society of Retina Specialists.

Online? Shop locally this holiday season

With the holiday season rapidly approaching, we can all  help our communities by buying and shopping locally, at stores and restaurants in our neighborhoods and nearby towns. They are critical to our economy and they depend on us.

I appreciate the convenience and cost savings of shopping online, but it is our local store owners who hire our friends and neighbors, who pay taxes for our roads and schools, who maintain our vibrant and critically important downtowns.

So spend a few extra dollars  around here. And when you eat out, tip generously — our restaurant waitstaffs have been dramatically hurt by this pandemic. And by shopping local, you’ll also get some  exercise.

— Stuart J. Pastrich, Port Washington

When autumn leaves start to fall . . .

It’s that time of year again — lawns covered with colorful autumn leaves. I’m looking forward to clean up this year since I apparently no longer have to rake, pile up and bag my leaves. Why not?

I’ve noticed landscapers just blowing   leaves out into the street, letting them blow toward the neighbors down the street. Apologies in advance to my  neighbors, but I will be doing the same thing. Must be legal, right?

— Joe Kennedy, Syosset

Gerrymandering can be smelly work

Lots of huddling is going on in the government — national, state and local — about redrawing (gerrymandering) district maps for elected politicians from the new 2020 Census. A half-century ago, in my first job, this every-10-year civic exercise is how I met Suffolk County Executive John V.N. Klein.

In the basement of a legislature building in Hauppauge, I printed out maps of the newly minted Suffolk County legislative districts, with revised versions handed to me every few minutes. Some mysterious private meeting was going on upstairs. I looked up at one point and there was Klein, waiting for the latest version.

It must have been pretty important for him to brave the machine’s smelly ammonia fumes himself. So went one of my first exposures to politics. Now the maps are redrawn on computers, but they still have a whiff about them.

— Stephen M. Jones, Bayport

The writer was a Suffolk County Planning Commission chairman and county planning department director.