Letters to the editor: Oct. 3, 2012 edition
Let the people decide on the death penalty
With all the senseless killings in every major city in the United States, I believe we should have a referendum here in Pennsylvania, like Texas, to regularly use the death sentence.
It costs $100,000 a year to pay for the perpetrator to live. Are we not allowed to punish the perpetrators? Must we reward them and let them live, when they extinguish another life?
Edmund Burke, English statesman, said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil, is that good men do nothing.”
Get your free smoke detectors
October is Fire Prevention Month, and I want to inform the readers about the free smoke detectors available to them through the Fire Department. The firemen come to the house and install the alarms (they’re now screwed into the ceiling. They previously used adhesive strips, which didn’t work). The detectors never need a battery change and are good for 10 years. No one should be without smoke detectors.
For information, call 215-686-1176.
’Tis the season to be helping the poor people
The holiday season is a natural time to open your hearts and wallets for others, but you don’t have to wait until November or December to begin giving. There are many young children living in Philadelphia County who desperately need our help now.
More than 20 percent of children under the age of 6 are currently living in poverty throughout Pennsylvania. These disadvantaged kids are in need of everything from socks and underwear to basic school supplies.
By getting into the giving spirit early this year, you can help ensure that a child shows up to school warm and with the tools she needs to learn every day.
My colleagues and I at Shire Pharmaceuticals encourage everyone in Philadelphia County to join us in helping out Cradles to Crayons, an outstanding non-profit that distributes the necessities to children age 12 and younger through local partner agencies.
Your donations will directly benefit local kids through organizations such as CHOP, Lutheran Children and Family Services, Maternity Care Coalition, People’s Emergency Center and the School District of Philadelphia.
So summon the good will of the holiday season early by cleaning out your closet or starting a drive at your local school, sports league or community organization. Then join others with big hearts at Shire’s Big Give on Oct. 12 and 13 at Wilson Farm Park in the Chesterbrook Corporate Center in Wayne, Pa., or one of the drop-off sites located across the Greater Philadelphia region.
Together we’ll harness the region’s generosity and fill a tractor trailer full of hope for thousands of children who will receive an early gift when they need it most.
Visit www.shirebiggive.com for more information.
Socks & underwear also help the poor
The need for clothing remains a very basic human necessity. Many families in our community continue to struggle to support, provide for, and clothe their families in this challenging economic climate.
In partnership with the local branch of the Needlework Guild of America (NGA), during the month of October, I am collecting new socks and underwear to be donated to local families and individuals. During this drive, we are only asking for socks and underwear. To make a donation of new socks or underwear, please drop them off at my district office at 19 South York Road in Hatboro.
If anyone wants to make another type of new clothing donation, NGA has an active local branch that meets weekly at the Hatboro Baptist Church Annex located on North York Road.
If you would like to donate, volunteer, or participate in the NGA, please call them at 267-240-6940 for more information.
Rep. Thomas P. Murt
152nd Legislative District
Report dead birds
Dead birds should not be ignored! Anyone spotting any can and should report the location of the carcass immediately to the Philadelphia Department of Health at 215-685-9005.
By so doing, you will help prevent the spread of West Nile Virus by contaminated birds and you will protect your community, children and other animals. If necessary, keep calling until you get confirmation of your report.
If Obama loses, we’ll be stuck with Nutter
Dear Mr. Mayor, I was unlucky enough to see you on the 11 o’clock news at the Democratic National Convention spewing your usual liberal rhetoric, most notably the part where you said, “I know what Philly wants.”
Do me a favor and don’t lump me in with the rest of the morons in this city who fell for the “messiah.” Don’t presume for one second that you speak for the whole city of Philadelphia. I know firsthand your idiotic policies of “let’s tax ’em to death” that have never worked in the past and certainly won’t work in the future.
Billions wasted on the failing school district, including the Ackerman debacle, soaring murder rates, a seemingly endless number of police and firefighters killed in the line of duty, three out of four municipal unions working without a contract, and the list goes on and on. Let me tell you what I want.
How about a break on the property tax increases — you know, the ones that you think will help balance the school district budget? With three years in a row, do you see an improvement besides all the free meals the taxpayers are providing for the deadbeats? Didn’t think so.
Of course, if Barry loses, that means we’re stuck with you until the lame duck session ends. God help the city of Philadelphia! In the words of some past mayor, “will the last person to leave the city please turn off the lights?”
Francis M. Palmer
Does Obama know what the debt is?
Apparently, Obama does not know how much money we owe, nor does he seem to care.
While trying to appear very intelligent and worldly on the David Letterman show recently, he said that he inherited a trillion-dollar debt from the Republicans, and when Letterman tried to correct him, suggesting that it may have been $10 trillion, he said, “I don’t remember what the actual figure was,” and continued speaking.
How in the world are we supposed to have faith in a guy who added $5 trillion of our money to the national debt, who doesn’t even know what it is? Hell, every free-thinking taxpayer in the country knows how much we owe, and the guy responsible for one-third of that debt doesn’t know how much it is?
Somebody stop this train, I wanna get off! The really sad part of this whole scenario is that the Republicans would most probably be worse; they certainly aren’t helping right now.
Poor Mitt Romney, he was born into wealth
A recent letter to The Philadelphia Inquirer claiming that Mitt Romney was not born into wealth is not accurate. As can be verified by a computer search on Google, his father, George Romney, was president of American Motors when Mitt was 7 years old and governor of Michigan when Mitt was 16.
In 1968 when he was a candidate for president, George Romney released 12 years of his tax returns showing that between 1955 and 1966 (when income was far lower than today and the dollar worth much more) his gross income was as high as $661,427 (1960), $566,771 (1963) with a total dividends and capital gains over the 12-year period of more than $1.6 million.
In 1947, Willard Mitt Romney was named after his father’s friend, J. Willard Marriott, billionaire owner of the hotel chain and other holdings.
Ann Romney’s father was the founder of a company that made heavy machinery for marine use. Her claim — repeated at the Republican National Convention — that after their 1969 marriage they were forced to live in a $62-a-month basement apartment with cement floors and in order to make ends meet had to eat a lot of pasta and tuna fish, is absurd.
Why you can blame the Republicans
Keep these things in mind on Election Day Nov. 6:
It was the GOP who threw the former slaves under the bus when they withdrew the troops ending reconstruction in order to ensure the election of President Rutherford B. Hayes.
That created a gap for groups like the KKK to fill. That enabled the Dixiecrats to enact Jim Crow laws.
The GOP demonized the Democrats as the party of rum, Romanism and rebellion. It was George Wallace who was helped by blacks to win his last term as Alabama governor. LBJ was not forced into signing the Civil Rights Act. He could have won the 1964 election with or without the black vote.
When Al Smith ran for president, so-called Protestant “clergymen” like Bishop Cannon promulgated the big lie that if Smith had won, the pope was going to have a tunnel built to Washington.
Too many people actually believed it. Not many in the GOP repudiated him. Although not bigoted themselves, they benefited from it and were afraid of the KKK.
The latter also was strong in northern GOP-controlled states such as Maine, New Jersey, Indiana and Oregon.
When JFK ran for president, other so-called Protestant “clergymen” like the “Rev.” Daniel Poling of Philadelphia’s Chapel of The Four Chaplains questioned his devotion to the Constitution and his military heroism, PT 109 notwithstanding.
He was forced to defend his Americanism in a masterful speech which could be summarized in these words: “I get my religion from Rome, and my politics from home.” (Daniel O’Connell, the Great Liberator, who obtained the right to vote for Catholics in the entire British Empire.)
Neither party has a monopoly on vice nor virtue.
Payday lending bill is a big loser
I and other members of the St. Vincent DePaul Society Council of Philadelphia recently attended a public hearing on HB 2191, a bill that would legalize payday lending at 300 percent APR in the commonwealth.
We are so concerned about this bill that we traveled to Harrisburg, hoping to witness meaningful consideration by our legislators. We were appalled at what occurred.
First, the only people to testify in favor of these high-cost loans were the out-of-state companies that stand to profit from this bill. On the other side were a long list of groups serving Pennsylvanians — AARP, Community Legal Services, the Military Officers Association and the social services ministry Lutheran Congregational Services. Citizens from across the state were present to witness and express our opposition.
With the line in the sand so clear that Pennsylvanians don’t want these predatory loans, you would think our elected officials would not be inclined to support this bill. Instead, several committee members were hostile and disrespectful to these groups who showed up to express the “real world” concern for the harmful impact this bill will have on low-income families, seniors and veterans. At the very least, we’d hope our legislators would feel accountable to us, the voters, when we are right there in the room, rather than beholden to the big-moneyed out-of-state payday lenders.
We would like to thank state Sens. Mike Stack and Larry Farnese, who attended the hearing and asked thoughtful and insightful questions that revealed the long-term debt trap these loans perpetuate, and treated their constituents present with interest and courtesy.
While state Sen. Anthony Williams was not at the hearing, we hope all of these gentlemen will make the clear, simple choice to oppose HB 2191.
Dominick F. Bucciarelli
President, NE/South Phila. District Councils
St. Anselm SVDP Conference
Speak your mind . . .
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