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Letters to the Editor: Jan.2-Jan. 7

Law and order

To the Editor:

In the last year I have seen both the Left and Right take their allegiances to dangerous levels to appease their bases. Maybe it’s time they both started looking out for the rest of us.

I saw hordes of people, some of them armed, a few months ago rioting and looting, burning and bullying, in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and calls to  defund the police. And the Right, correctly, decried this as dangerous and barbaric.

On Jan. 6, I saw hordes of people, some of them armed, taking over the Capitol of this country in protest of the outcome of an election that has been controversial, yes, but by all legitimate accounts relatively free and fair.

These were the same people crying out for law and order just a few months prior. Mr. Biden called their actions an “insurrection.” I wonder what the rioting and looting was?

People were hurt. People died. And for what? What is it that we are fighting about? Of course there are legitimate gripes on both sides, but is tearing down our democracy a sensible approach to finding resolutions?

How can we continue to put up with this level of hypocrisy from our leaders? How can we let them fuel the fires of division time and again for their gain while the majority of us sit and watch as we tear ourselves apart?

America has a lot of work to do, and we can’t carry the tools of progress if our hands are full of yesterday’s baggage. Republicans and Democrats have turned in to the Sunnis and the Shi’ites, ready to kill over which prophet we follow.

None of this makes any sense to me at all. Americans can’t even get sick and die together any more. We turned a pandemic into a political cudgel used to batter the “others.”

Americans better gets their heads in the right place, because our enemies — and we do have them — are no doubt ecstatic at the display we’ve provided for the world to see.

The sad truth is, however, that we are still our own worst enemies. If we don’t want to end up a third world country, we need to change that. Democracy hinges on free expression, but also law and order. Without both, we are doomed.

PAUL SHEPHERD, former Shelter Island town councilman

Zeldin must go

To the Editor:

Rep. Lee Zeldin violated his oath to “… support and defend the Constitution …” on Jan. 6.

Per federal statute: States sent “lawfully certified” votes to be tabulated by Congress. Mr. Zeldin’s duty in Congress was to count the electoral votes. That’s it.

Mr. Zeldin failed to “… faithfully discharge the duties of the office …” by objecting to counting lawfully certified electoral votes. Since Mr. Zeldin would not fulfill his congressional responsibilities, he should vacate his office; ideally by resignation, if needed, by recall.

DAVID RUBY, Shelter Island


To the Editor:

Please write about the vaccine distribution on Shelter Island. Who gets it first, and when will they get it? I think there should be a defined list of people, with names, reason they are at their spot and in a specific order of priority (first responders, which first responders and why, #1, #2, etc., seniors by age with their age listed).

I heard on Facebook that Chief Jim Read has or will be making a list? I also understand from Dr. Josh Potter that Stonybrook has already allocated doses to Shelter Island, but I’m not sure about this. I think it is very important that we publish this list, and make a firm timetable for who gets vaccinated.

It needs to be transparent and public. Some people who are put on the list may not want the vaccine, and this will open up the shot for the next person. Please help our Island by having one of your reporters get on this very important topic, make the list public, and help to make it fair. I really feel this is important, and must start now.

JAMES DAWSON, Shelter Island

Editor’s note: See “No Island site for COVID vaccine,” Jan. 7. The Reporter will continue to bring vaccine information to our readers.