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June 20, 2019

March 15: Rex Tillerson, eating vegan and Louis Farrakhan

March 15, 2018

Tillerson: Another Trump chump

Garwood, N.J.: When I was a lad, there was a retired bookie on our block who went by the moniker Dirty Dave. Dave imparted this bit of ancient Jersey wisdom that I have always found of value: “If you can’t figure out who the mark is at the poker table, it’s you.”

President Trump’s cabinet members should take that to heart sitting around Trump’s table, because every one of them is the mark. How can they ever be surprised at Trump’s humiliation of each member in turn? When Trump glances around the table, he sees all his inadequacies reflected back at him in the faces of people of real intellect, who are far more articulate and informed than he is on any subject in the world.

So like the schoolyard bully young Donnie could never aspire to be back in grade school lest a punk like him wind up a victim of a power wedgie, hanging by his drawers from a low-hanging branch, grownup Donnie now demeans all in his orbit.

Rex Tillerson is upset that Trump humiliated him by firing him via tweet? You should have grown up in Jersey, pal, you would have seen it coming. Mike Gordeuk

Simply the worst

Valley Stream, L.I.: Voicer Irwin Cantos said it perfectly regarding Donald Trump and his moral corruptness: If Barack Obama had committed adultery, paid off a porn star, had a 43% turnover rate in the White House, endorsed for Senate an alleged child molester and pardoned a bigoted sheriff, there would be anarchy in the streets today. No one person, President or not, is bigger than our democratic values. Vincent Sgroi

The press vs. America

Easton, Pa.: Re Richard Cohen’s March 6 column (“The President hasn’t earned our respect”): I guess now that he can no longer push the fake news about collusion with Russia, name-calling is the chosen line of attack. In reality, collusion is between the likes of Cohen and the fake news media and the Democrats, Obama, Hillary Clinton and some in the FBI and Department of Justice. All of the above may control the news, but you don’t control the truth, the facts or millions of patriotic American Trump voters. Enemies, that’s what you all are. Kenneth Smith


Belle Harbor: Dianne Stillman’s March 12 Op-Ed (“A to-do list from a veteran educator”) deserves an A+ grade. She highlights simple and effective measures aimed at returning the NYC schools back to their accomplished ways. We all acknowledge the need for an effective school system in order for our youth to become successful and satisfied citizens. Not every student is equipped to “read Aristotle,” but every student ought to be encouraged to find his or her strengths and should be guided to proudly pursue them. Lastly, the goal of having “strong families involved in their children’s growth” should be on display in each and every NYC public school! Ellen Fitzpatrick

Cut her in

Brooklyn: Our arrogant mayor thinks that his wife should get paid for all the work she does for the city. Well, since he does so little, maybe he should give his check to her. Or better yet, let her in on some of his “special interest” money. Christina C. Anderson

Dying at 90

Bayonne, N.J.: This year’s Oscars were horrible. I am not referring to the winners, but to the presenters — so many D-listers I never heard of. The only bright moments for me were 93-year-old Eva Marie Saint and 86-year-old Rita Moreno. They both looked terrific. They represent the Golden Age of Hollywood. Marsha Adamson

In the crosshairs

Queens Village: To Voicer James Hahn, who accuses parents of using their kids as pawns in their “anti-gun agenda” by putting them on television: Why should they apologize for not wanting their sons and daughters to be brutally killed in their classrooms by assault rifles? The kids are already afraid to go to school. With one massacre after another and the government refusing to protect them, they have had enough. Harry Aydinian

The hunt for sanity

Tuckahoe, N.Y.: Bravo to Michael Che of “Saturday Night Live” for speaking out about hunting, saying, “Maybe now we can stop pretending hunting is a sport — because it’s not. You can’t make terrorizing animals a sport just because you like to do it.” Correct! One tiny addition: Contrary to Che’s advice to eat rice instead of flesh — “although you’ll only go to the bathroom once a year,” as he put it — brown rice, a whole grain, actually increases healthy bacteria in the gut, which helps digestion. Meat takes four hours to digest; brown rice takes 90 minutes. Both the World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health recommend avoiding meat. Numerous physicians state animal flesh is harder to digest and sits longer in the gut — contributing to diverticulitis and bowel cancer. Please keep speaking for the animals; they can’t speak for themselves. Kiley Blackman

A taste of the future?

Manhattan: When I first read “How climate change might eliminate strawberries” (March 7), I admit that the prospect of a shortage of my favorite berry loomed larger in my brain than the effects of drought on California’s farming industry. Such is the human tendency to focus on a single event rather than the event’s cause. Fortunately, Gov. Cuomo has his eye on greenhouse gas emissions. He is taking steps to lessen these pollutants, which are released by burning fossil fuels. The article posits “a very different and even limited diet” in the future because of changes in California agriculture. But that future will not necessarily be dire if we have leaders with foresight. Elizabeth Poreba

White flight

Laurel, Md.: My response to those like Susan Shapiro (“Liberal feminists for Farrakhan?” Op-Ed, March 7) who feel Tamika Mallory should distance herself from the Nation of Islam: Black women should not have to burn our villages of support to appease white feminists. Neither should we have to reject those who helped hold us together to prove we can lead movements that ultimately will benefit all women. Black women’s lives intersect in many ways, and our support systems are made up of individuals with varying political, religious and racial views. If black women rejected every organization or person that made white feminists uncomfortable, we would find ourselves more isolated than some of us felt when first- and second-wave feminism went swaying in the air without proper recognition of the black feminists who cleared the runway for takeoff. Sonja Burketh

Unfairness in the code

Manhattan: Re “Rejigger property taxes now,” (Op-Ed, March 12): Another problem with the property system is that owners of buildings with 10 or more units are required to file yearly with the Department of Finance a form called the Real Property Income and Expense form. For these larger buildings, the DOF uses the owner’s estimated income and expenses for the coming year to calculate the building’s value, upon which the property taxes are based. For buildings with fewer than 10 units, valuation is based on sales of other buildings. This means that if you’ve owned a small house for many decades and do not plan to sell, your valuation is based on speculative purchases of properties other than your own. This is profoundly unfair. The RPIE system has flaws, but at least it’s determining property taxes based purely on facts about the property in question. Benjamin May

Breathing exercises

Alsip, Ill.: Re: “5-year-old dies after doctor refuses to see her for being late” (Feb. 27): I know how I would have reacted at that doctor appointment if I had been in that situation. I would have refused to take “no” for an answer. There would be no way I would have left the office if my child’s breathing had been that problematic! Secondly, since the mother agreed to a next-day appointment, I would have been monitoring my child’s breathing; had it gotten worse, I would have rushed her to the ER to seek treatment! Another option this mother could have taken: bring the child directly to the emergency room for treatment. Getting a nebulizer treatment or a prednisone shot would have helped open up the child’s airways. This poor little girl should still be with us! Rose Walisiak

Bill of goods

East Meadow, L.I.: Re Voicer Tonto Rabinowitz’s suggestion that we bring back the $1,000 bill. What purpose would bringing back that note serve? The majority of stores have enough trouble trying to cash a $100 bill. Esteban Wong

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