A Ukrainian serviceman places flowers on the grave of a...

A Ukrainian serviceman places flowers on the grave of a fallen soldier in a cemetery, in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Friday. Credit: AP/Francisco Seco

Where do candidates stand on Ukraine?

Over the years, when I taught American foreign policy to my 11th-graders, one of the scariest topics was the Cuban Missile Crisis, where the United States and the Soviet Union came close to nuclear catastrophe. Luckily, the leaders of both countries managed to avoid the unthinkable, setting the stage for cooperation the following year on a nuclear test ban.

Sixty years later, the United States finds itself, again, on the brink of nuclear war with Russia ["Biden warns of nuclear threat," Nation, Oct. 8]. Jonathan Schell, an anti-nuclear activist, wrote a book in 1982 titled “The Fate of the Earth.” Incredibly, the planet's fate is again at stake, and not a single question on the war in Ukraine was asked of the candidates in the 3rd Congressional District debate.

Long Islanders are entitled to know what their future representatives plan to do to support negotiations to defuse the crisis in Ukraine and avert nuclear war. With this information, we can vote as if our lives depend on it. As, indeed, they do.

Andrea S. Libresco, Mineola

The writer is a professor of social studies education at Hofstra University.

A reader wrote that President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin must find a mutually agreeable exit ramp that all sides can accept ["Biden and Putin must find exit ramp," Letters, Oct. 11]. I'm curious to know why the reader apparently doesn't think Ukraine should be part of those discussions.

Robert Emproto, Huntington

U.S. should increase oil production

With OPEC+ reducing oil production, President Joe Biden should utilize the Defense Production Act to incentivize increased oil drilling in the United States [“OPEC cuts fuel recession fear,” World & Nation, Oct. 7].

The increased flow should be shared with our allies and countries facing current shortages. We must decrease our dependence on foreign suppliers who do not support our economic and strategic policies.

— Peter Hanson, Nesconset

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s approach to halting inflation by continuing to raise interest rates will primarily have a harsh impact on low-wage earners.

One does not have to have a Nobel Prize for economic research to understand that outsized inflation has been caused by the results of wartime and sustained spikes in the price of oil. We are an energy-driven economy, and we can track inflation by the price of oil.

— Chet Gerstenbluth, Plainview

Do Americans believe that Saudi Arabia and Russia’s decision to cut oil production just 30 days before the midterm election is merely a coincidence?

These countries that are friendly with former President Donald Trump likely want to help elect Trump Republicans. Those two autocrats care little about human rights. They will do what they can to help the Republicans get back in power. As gas prices start to rise again, we know who’s behind it.

— Richard T. DeVito, Long Beach

Helping mentally ill can make streets safer

There appears to be a correlation in the increase of violent crime and the closing and downsizing of state facilities that once housed the mentally ill [“Lurking crisis in Russo death,” Editorial, Oct. 5].

Pilgrim, Kings Park and Creedmore psychiatric centers are just some of the once-functioning facilities that have been abandoned. Don’t we owe it to the mentally ill to provide care they are not capable of? All the modern drugs that were supposed to make these facilities no longer necessary only work when taken as prescribed.

We are living with a problem that we created ourselves.

— Michael J. Genzale, Shoreham

Only a relative few elect the president

My vote for president doesn’t count, as is true of so many in our country [“Electoral College is truly outdated,” Letters, Oct. 9].

In New York, if you don’t vote Democratic for president, why even bother going to the polls except to vote for candidates running for other offices? And I’m sure this skews the other races, too.

This is likely the main reason for small turnouts. The presidential candidates hardly bother to campaign much in states where it is expected that they would win or lose.

With only two main choices, there is little way a third-party candidate stands much of a chance.

Smaller states are worried about losing their influence? The main states that have influence in presidential elections are the swing states, so every voter in most other states already has lost, too.

— Susan Rose, East Meadow

A reader wrote in favor of maintaining the Electoral College as it is, saying “one vote per person is fine in local and state elections, but the vast majority of progressive liberals (in New York and California) do not represent the vast majority of our democratic republic” [“Keep our Electoral College the way it is,” Letters, Oct. 6]. How convenient that it is “fine” some of the time but not all of the time.

I am not a registered Democrat or Republican. I am just an individual who believes in logic and fairness.

Simply, the Electoral College is a bad idea. We are one country, and each and every vote (and voter) should have equal weight. So why should one qualified voter’s vote be less valuable and have less impact in one state than another? Conversely, why should one’s vote have more weight and value? It makes no sense.

One country should mean one equal vote for each and every citizen who chooses to vote.

— Jeff Schwartzberg, Jericho

A reader says that “one vote per person is fine in local and state elections” but not national elections. I missed the part of the Constitution that states that liberal voters should get less representation than other voters. If most voters are liberals, isn’t the country’s preference to have successful liberal candidates?

Keeping an obsolete institution like the Electoral College for the purpose of denying representation to voters based on political preference does not fit what I think most of us feel are the basic principles of our electoral process.

— Brian Morris, Rocky Point

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