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Good Morning

Letter: Colleges are cluprits for heavy student debt

Credit: Getty Images/iStock/skynesher

While reading about Sen. Bernie Sanders’ plan to eliminate student debt by taxing certain Wall Street transactions, I found myself at a loss as to why investors should be handed the tab for something that they had no responsibility in creating [“Bill to cancel student debt,” News, June 25].

Both Sanders and fellow presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren seem to be on a nonstop diatribe against corporate America and the “1 percenters,” whose money they want to confiscate to eradicate student debt.

Why don’t they go after the real culprits: bloated, inefficient universities? College costs have risen so fast that they make the increases in medical costs look like a bargain. Universities have had few incentives to control their costs or to run more efficiently. If a student defaults on a loan, it’s no skin off of their backs since they’ve been paid. And since the plans of Sanders and Warren would still leave the universities without skin in the game, they might still raise their costs because, once again, someone else would be picking the tab.

Arthur M. Shatz,

Oakland Gardens

There is precedent for reparations

There is no statute of limitations for crimes against humanity, and slavery is internationally understood to be just such a crime. Americans today don’t want to pay for 250 years of stolen labor despite the savagery of the torture, premature death, rape, segregation and humiliation required to maintain an evil system that generated wealth for many Americans both directly or indirectly involved with the “peculiar institution” [“House panel holds reparations hearing,” News, June 20].

The United States honors treaty obligations wherein the original signers are long dead. The same is true for reparations to victimized Japanese Americans. The precedent exists.

I don’t want to pay for wars that are not in my interest, but I do. I didn’t want to serve in the military in the draft era, but my father and my siblings and I honored that obligation. I’m angered when I see media correspondents, most notably some black correspondents, chuckling sheepishly as they raise the issue of reparations.

If African Americans are authentically Americans, then reparations for slavery and its aftermath are long past due.

Robert Mays,


Mosque has tried to forge good relations

Administrators of the Islamic Association of Long Island have noted the concerns expressed by a neighbor of our mosque on Park Hill Drive in Selden [“Ramadan stress in area with mosque,” Letters, June 10].

Islam preaches respect, kindness and friendliness to thy neighbors. We strive to establish that and are continuously making efforts to have better relations with neighbors.

For example, to reduce crowding, we arranged a second service on Fridays in recent years. We also have deployed security guards for traffic management, deterred illegal parking, given preference to local traffic and school buses over parishioners exiting the mosque, and sought aid from police during any major service. We got the state Department of Transportation to increase the green-light time at Park Hill Drive and Route 25 to improve traffic flow. We also continuously educate and make regular announcements to parishioners to respect the rights of neighbors, not to block mailboxes or driveways, and to maintain quiet outside the mosque.

We are doing our best and will continue to do more to establish a supportive neighborhood and build good relations. We are arranging an open house for our neighbors to visit the mosque and exchange ideas on this effort. Invitations will be sent soon, and we ask all to attend. Visit for information.

Syed H. Rahman,


Editor’s note: The writer is president of the Islamic Association of Long Island.

Gabbard brings foreign policy cred

In “2020 Democrats take the stage” [News, June 27], Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii was mentioned only as one of the participants in Wednesday’s presidential debate. I’ve heard many of her interviews on news networks, and it is apparent that she possesses the integrity and knowledge of foreign policy that is lacking in most of the other Democratic candidates. As a member of the Army, she served two tours in the Middle East.

U.S. foreign policy is arguably the most important issue facing voters. Given the billions in tax dollars we spend every year on regime-change wars in the Middle East, one would think that news outlets would pay more attention to a candidate who I believe would keep the country out of unnecessary conflicts. This could free up money for other Democratic initiatives.

Craig Pratesi,


Trump-Putin talks are our business

President Donald Trump said that what he says to Russian leader Vladimir Putin at the G-20 summit in Japan is “none of your business” [“Trump pushes allies on trade before Putin meet,” News, June 28].

Wrong! What he says and does are our business. He is the employee. We, the American people, are his employers. If he doesn’t want to answer to his employers, he should not have applied for the job!

MaryEllen Scherer,

New Hyde Park