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Readers weigh in on the Albany pay raise, Trump Jr., and the Serpent

Albany politicians take public funds.
Re “State legislators vote ‘yes’ on $32K pay raise” (Dec. 23): Looking at the bleak economic indicators on Main Street for the affordability of daily groceries and basic necessities across the country, I am astounded by the massive pay raise awarded to New York state lawmakers, making them the highest paid legislators in the country.

In my opinion, a dizzying raise of $32,000 — 29% of their current salary of $110,000 — cannot be justified in any way, especially when the average person is struggling to keep up with the galloping inflation to put food on the table even after factoring in a cost of living adjustment (COLA), while elected officials have casually clinched a Wall Street-style salary raise.
As a voter and taxpayer, I believe that the disproportionate and inequitable wage increase for state legislators is a slap in the face to every hardworking New Yorker who is still struggling to make ends meet and lives paycheck to paycheck. In fact, the salary increase should have been limited to 8.7%, the COLA adjustment made by the Social Security Administration beginning in January 2023 nationwide. I hope Governor Hochul vetoes the state legislature’s unjustified and self-approved salary increase. Mr. Atul M. Karnik

Unfair distribution
Greenwood Lake, New York: While I believe we should assist Ukraine, I do not believe we should provide 12 times the amount of military aid that the top European donor is providing. This is a European issue, and if they are concerned, they should do more. We have enough financial problems at home and should prioritise border security. While it’s great that everyone is concerned about the possibility of WWIII, you’d think the European nations would be more concerned and put their money where their mouths are. Fioramonti, Joe

Make use of diplomacy.
Manhattan: Throughout history, vengeance has been a driving force in starting and sustaining wars. The conflict in Ukraine is no exception. A negotiated settlement is the only way out of this. Where is the United Nations? Everyone understands that this is a one-way street in which Russia can bomb and invade Ukraine but Ukraine cannot bomb and invade Russia. Before Ukraine is bombed off the map, there must be a negotiated settlement. The priority should be to rebuild Ukraine, not to destroy it. Leonard Smoke Jr.

In poor taste
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada: I read your item (“Don Jr.’s Zelenskyy/nude”) with great interest. “Hunter Biden tweet nixed,” Dec. 23), noting that Twitter removed a bogus image of the president’s son standing naked next to Ukraine’s president. The former “Apprentice” host’s eldest son referred to Zelenskyy as a “international welfare queen.” DJTJ is offended by a man who refuses to submit to Vladimir Putin, does not support himself financially, and must rely entirely on others for his income. If only everyone could be as successful as Jr.! Mr. Scott Baker

Angry potshots
Old Tappan, New Jersey: As a result, DJTJ, You’re the big brave man who mocked President Zelenskyy by calling him a welfare queen on Twitter? You’re a treasonous coward like your father, a thief who lies, cheats, and steals. Instead of tweeting about Zelenskyy, tough guy, why not challenge him to a real fight? If you have an issue with him, I’m sure he’d be glad to “discuss” it with you. You and I are the same age and size. Despite the fact that he is more jacked than you, he is a real man leading his country in a war (that your father helped facilitate by denying Ukraine support that would have made Putin stop and think). Why not put your words into action? Because you know he’d smoke your butt and make you cry and beg for him to stop! How much money has daddy had to give you so far, welfare queens? Carl Graves’s

The same old, same old Cincinnati: Donald Trump’s three-ring circus of megalomania, mendacity, and mindlessness has been joined by a fourth: monotony. He is now the national bore, a monotonous and extremely loud distraction of unending and tiresome victimhood. Was there such widespread fraud in the 2020 presidential election that Trump was declared the winner? We haven’t seen any proof yet. Was the suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story a political ploy to benefit President Biden? Yes. Is that abhorrent? Yes. Should those who colluded with Twitter in the suppression be publicly called out? Yes. But Trump should be wary of putting the perpetrators in a metaphorical stockade, lest public opinion turn against them. Bloustein, Paul

distorted worldview
Lackawaxen, Pennsylvania: Voicer and Grinch Gregory J. Topliff delivers another of his regular rants, this time about the Democrats recognising the existence of rich and poor people in America and proposing some ameliorative measures to reduce inequality. This does not sit well with the Voicer, who has a Marine and law enforcement background, because our forefathers imbued the Constitution with a set of values that, by inference, include a preference for a particular economic system. Topliff “went to Vietnam to prevent the communists from taking over the world” as a result (his reading of the Constitution also empowering us to decide what values others should possess). Democrats are now slamming all of Trump’s accomplishments. Of course, Trump reportedly thinks Topliff and his fellow GIs are “suckers” and “losers.” A. John MacKinnon

The great segregator
Manhattan: Yes, we are a divided people, thanks to the great rust-haired one, Voicer Gregory J. Topliff. You claim that the Democrats are to blame. If the fat dingleberry is convicted of sedition and crimes committed while in office, you might want to bring flowers and candy to him in jail. He pitted Americans against each other, never bringing them together! Meanwhile, putz, Merry Christmas! Anthony Warren

A home run
Robert De Niro’s home in Oceanside, Long Island, is broken into (“De Niro meets the Grinch,” Dec. 20). Now that an elite residence has been breached, perhaps — just perhaps — some action will be taken to address the no-bail nonsense that has been a scourge on all citizens, particularly the non-elite. These cretins who prey on unsuspecting citizens, such as subway riders, dog walkers, and strollers, must be protected. We need the security that existed before this non-president and this uncaring governor took office. Only God can now save us. God bless the United States. Rossano, John F.

Monitor the mail
Manhattan: The USPS can smack the crime right in the middle to stop mailbox theft nationwide, and here’s how: Install outgoing mailboxes in every apartment building, store, and office building across the country to keep them off the streets. Let us make it more difficult for the average thief to steal street mailboxes by mounting cameras in front of them. Mrs. Helen Murphy

Brooklyn, pony up: To voice actor Jaime Geiger: “Dixie governors” are sick of footing the bill for Democrats’ blunders. How much should El Paso and other similar towns get if Mayor Adams wants a billion dollars? Democrats must learn accountability, responsibility, and logic. Mr. Michael Castagna

Service time
Staten Island, New York: The Serpent, a French serial killer, has been released from prison in Nepal. His release is due to heart disease and good behaviour. Why should he be released? The victims’ families have lost their loved ones. Should the general public sympathise with this murderer? Or any other murderer? Perhaps the so-called Serpent should thank Nepali authorities for his release. This government’s laws should be reviewed. In my opinion, I don’t think this would happen in, say, Russia. I’m not sure I understand. I used to believe that prison was used to punish all kinds of crimes. Every day, I learn something new.

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