Letters to the editor: Dec. 19, 2012 edition

Ques­tions about of­ficer’s real es­tate deals
A fe­male po­lice of­ficer was linked to sev­er­al prop­er­ties that al­legedly were trans­ferred to her without her pay­ing city and state trans­fer taxes.
The reas­ons for ex­emp­tion giv­en were that those pre­vi­ous own­ers   were either her moth­er, fath­er or sis­ter.
Po­lice Com­mis­sion­er Ram­sey is cor­rect to or­der a hear­ing for her, be­cause the taxes that she failed to pay were due her em­ploy­er (the city).
 I would hope there were not oth­er “oaths” (writ­ten or verbal) she took and de­cided not to ad­here to.
May­er Krain
Mod­ena Park

Tax the ex­iles, ease up on the loc­als
All our politi­cians are try­ing to fig­ure out who should be taxed. We should look at what star­ted this ter­rible un­em­ploy­ment prob­lem. It star­ted years ago when Amer­ic­an com­pan­ies left to go to oth­er coun­tries where they got people to work for slave wages. Then they send their products back here to sell at our prices.
I sug­gest that our politi­cians tax these com­pan­ies and any in­vest­ments in them, and any com­pan­ies that stayed here should get tax breaks.
John F. Rauchut

For Christ’s sake, it’s still our hol­i­day
Christ­mas has nev­er been taken away from Chris­ti­ans, John O’Neill (Give Christ­mas back to us Chris­ti­ans, Dec. 12 let­ter).
Let’s ig­nore the fact that “Christ­mas” is a hol­i­day taken from the Ro­man cel­eb­ra­tion of Sat­urnalia, and that the ever­green wreaths and trees are yet an­oth­er Chris­ti­an ad­op­tion of an­cient pa­gan ritu­al. So per­haps they should be called Christ­mas trees. Chris­ti­ans stole the idea fair and square. Let us even forgo men­tion­ing the bib­lic­al verse Jeremi­ah 10:2 ad­mon­ish­ing Chris­ti­ans against the dec­or­a­tion of ever­green trees (i.e. these hol­i­day trees you speak of).
Even most bib­lic­al his­tor­i­ans will tell you that the birth of this Je­sus char­ac­ter would not have been in Decem­ber. No. This per­ceived Christ­mas war that is pro­claimed by Chris­ti­ans is more about the gov­ern­ment not en­dors­ing ANY re­li­gion. It is Jef­fer­son’s wall of sep­ar­a­tion between church and state.
It is gov­ern­ment prop­erty dec­or­at­ing with a nativ­ity scene, cross, Star of Dav­id, men­orah, star and cres­cent, etc. that is at is­sue, but it is only the Chris­ti­ans that seem to be in­sist­ent that the gov­ern­ment do en­dorse their re­li­gion. I can’t walk down the street without bump­ing in­to an in­flat­able Santa, ro­bot­ic reindeer, plastic snow­men or blind­ing lights. I have yet to see a nativ­ity scene or cross in the Ir­ish-Cath­ol­ic neigh­bor­hood in which I reside. But THEY are free to do so if they wish. Even com­pan­ies are free to do so (per­haps at risk of of­fend­ing non-Chris­ti­an cus­tom­ers). But if it is a pub­lic piece of prop­erty, main­tained with cit­izens’ tax dol­lars, then no, re­li­gious icons should not be dis­played.
Christ­mas shop­ping this year has even ex­ten­ded to Thanks­giv­ing Day! As Mr. Jon Stew­art has said, “Christ­mas is so big, it’s start­ing to eat oth­er hol­i­days. Watch out Hal­loween!”
Now, to the prob­lem with your idea. Come this time of the year, all one would have to do is lay claim to this re­li­gion in or­der to stay home from work. The ma­jor­ity of people would not come to work then, since the ma­jor­ity of the pop­u­la­tion is some de­nom­in­a­tion of Chris­ti­an. I can hear some say­ing to them­selves, “Since the ma­jor­ity of the pop­u­la­tion of the coun­try are Chris­ti­ans, why do we have to kneel to the minor­ity?” Ma­jor­ity does not equate to right is the an­swer.
Whenev­er you find your­self on the side of the ma­jor­ity, it is time to pause and re­flect.
— Mark Twain.  
Wrong does not cease to be wrong be­cause the ma­jor­ity share in it. — Leo Tol­stoy
In mat­ters of con­science, the law of the ma­jor­ity has no place.
— Ma­hatma Ghandi
It does not re­quire a ma­jor­ity to pre­vail, but rather an ir­ate, tire­less minor­ity keen to set brush fires in people’s minds.
— Samuel Adams
So to you, I say Merry Christ­mas. To oth­ers, Happy Ha­nukkah. Still to oth­ers, Happy Kwan­zaa. To every­one, Happy New Year. You know what? Happy Hol­i­days to all.
Mike Al­ex­an­der

Turned off by the trash that’s on TV
Am I start­ing to get old or is everything on TV lame? We have this crazy cool HD, 3D, LED, gi­ant flat screen that every­one says “Wow!” when they see it. You know what? It’s just the same crap. Real­ity TV? C’mon, man. TMZ’s ver­sion of magazine news on ster­oids. Amer­ic­an Idol and the rest of that karaoke junk where most of the time they stand around talk­ing about ab­so­lutely noth­ing. Net­work com­ed­ies? I’m lucky if I even chuckle at that dumbed-down lame­ness.
News is con­stantly bait­ing me to wait un­til after the com­mer­cial to view some video of a car crash or something else. I am ac­tu­ally em­bar­rassed for the an­chors be­cause their pro­fes­sion was re­duced to this. However, I love The Walk­ing Dead.
The simple an­swer is I don’t have to watch it. Maybe I’ll take the lead from Steve Schmidt of Ol­ney, who sponsored a gift pro­gram with his sis­ter Maryl­ou for un­der­priv­ileged kids last week, and get out of the house and vo­lun­teer for something in 2013. Way to go, Steve, good for you! Merry Christ­mas! It’s not like I’m go­ing to miss something good on TV.
Steve Mad­den

Vi­gil for the an­gels on Sat.
As the na­tion mourns the vic­tims of the New­town, Conn., tragedy, let us all come to­geth­er from the West Coast to the East Coast.
As part of a na­tion­al ef­fort called Candles Across Amer­ica, this Sat­urday at 8 p.m., stand out­side wherever you are, or or­gan­ize a gath­er­ing at your loc­al park, a street corner, etc., with candles, and let’s con­nect every­one to­geth­er and show our sup­port and love for one an­oth­er.
Show the fam­il­ies and friends that have been tor­men­ted by this in­cid­ent that the na­tion is mourn­ing with them and that we will all come to­geth­er on this day to show our love.
 I am or­gan­iz­ing a vi­gil at the Frank­lin Mills mall park­ing lot on Sat­urday. We hope for a big turnout in our neigh­bor­hood for the an­gels that we have lost and the ones that need our help. Please bring a candle and join us.
Rose­mary Santan­gelo

Tragedy in Amer­ica, again
Since 1964 there have been mass murders and mul­tiple in­jur­ies at 11 schools, killing scores of in­no­cent chil­dren and in­jur­ing count­less oth­ers. Most of the carnage has oc­curred in the United States. The worst mas­sacre of all time took place at the Be­slan School in Europe, where 386 were killed and 700 chil­dren in­jured. Be­fore 1964 there is no doc­u­ment­a­tion of killings of the mag­nitude lis­ted here.
Be­fore speak­ing to the latest mas­sacre in Con­necti­c­ut, al­low me to provide you with a com­pil­a­tion of these events in nu­mer­ic­al or­der.
1) Be­slan School in Rus­sia: 386 dead, 700 in­jured, 9/15/2004
2) Bath School dis­aster in Michigan: 45 dead, 58 in­jured, 5/18/1927
3) Vir­gin­ia Tech: 32 dead, many in­jured, 4/16/2007
4) Ma’alot mas­sacre in Is­rael: 26 dead, 60 in­jured, 5/15/1974
5) Er­furt mas­sacre in Ger­many: 17 dead, sev­en in­jured, 4/26/2002
6) Dun­blane School mas­sacre in Scot­land: 18 dead, 3/13/1996
7) Uni­versity of Texas Tower: 18 dead, 31 in­jured, 4/01/1966
8) Columbine: 15 dead, 24 in­jured, 4/20/1999
9) Ecole Poly­tech in Montreal: 15 dead, 14 in­jured, 12/6/1989
10) Co­logne School in Ger­many: 11 dead, 22 in­jured, 6/11/1964
11) Red Lake High School in Min­nesota, 10 dead, 12 in­jured, 3/31/2005
Sev­er­al hours be­fore the Con­necti­c­ut mas­sacre, a 36-year-old man at­tacked 22 chil­dren in China. No one was killed. The as­sail­ant used a knife. We live in a world where chil­dren are ex­posed to vi­ol­ence via TV news, Xbox and prime- time TV shows, such as The Fam­ily Guy, which is off the charts. Yet, grade school kids watch.
May­or Mi­chael Bloomberg said on Meet the Press Sunday, “We have heard from gun sup­port­ers after Columbine who said, ‘It’s too soon to dis­cuss it!’ After Vir­gin­ia Tech, ditto. Pres­id­ent Obama spoke to the is­sue when run­ning for his first term in 2008. He de­cried AF-48s and oth­er semi­auto­mat­ic weapons as prob­lem­at­ic. I will have them banned, said the pres­id­ent. May­or Bloomberg con­tin­ued, “For every day we wait, 34 more people will be killed by guns.”
If we con­tin­ue with the status quo, by the end of Pres­id­ent Obama’s term, 48,000 more people will be dead, in part, be­cause of the NRA and politi­cians they have in their back pock­et. This in­si­di­ous num­ber is high­er than all of our mil­it­ary killed in Vi­et­nam.
John T. Fritz

Blame the NRA and cow­ards in Con­gress
The NRA pushed hard to pre­vent the re­in­state­ment of the ban on the sale of as­sault weapons when the bill was be­fore Con­gress in 2004. Many cow­ardly con­gress­men, fear­ing the wrath of the NRA, bowed to their de­mands and voted against re­in­stat­ing the ban. Be­cause of that, the ban was not re­in­stated. Had that ban been en­acted, there would not have been an as­sault rifle avail­able for the mur­der­er to mas­sacre those chil­dren at Sandy Hook School.
So it is fair to con­clude that the blood of those in­no­cent chil­dren is on the hands of the NRA and those cow­ards in Con­gress who lacked the cour­age to stand up to the NRA.
When will we have rep­res­ent­at­ives in Con­gress who will show the cour­age to stand up to spe­cial in­terest groups like the NRA and vote in a way that pro­tects Amer­ic­an cit­izens in­stead of pro­tect­ing their own seats in Con­gress?
Wil­li­am Cooney
Fox Chase

Fo­cus on edu­ca­tion of stricter gun laws
Once again, our na­tion mourns for vic­tims of a mass shoot­ing. This time, 20 chil­dren and six adults were shot to death. Pres­id­ent Obama should en­act laws to cur­tail easy ac­cess to guns. But the fact re­mains, we have the free­dom to pos­sess guns.
On an­oth­er note, many times the shoot­ers have men­tal health prob­lems. Fam­il­ies of such people need to be aware of vari­ous signs — signs that could lead to such vi­ol­ent be­ha­vi­or.
Per­haps edu­ca­tion as well as en­force­ment of stricter gun laws will help to cur­tail these hor­rible acts of vi­ol­ence and cur­tail an­oth­er mass shoot­ing.
Mar­ie Pat­ton
Fox Chase

Do­ing a lot of noth­ing about something
We the people have al­lowed power to leave our hands and go in­to the hands of lob­by­ists, cor­por­a­tions and long­stand­ing politi­cians. The fo­cus won’t be on what really caused it, the fo­cus will be on Adam Lanza, the per­son that caused it. That’s what will al­low the vic­tims of the mas­sacre at Sandy Hook Ele­ment­ary School in New­town, Conn., to be bur­ied and things will move on in the sim­il­ar fash­ion.
Re­fer­ring it to grief coun­selors won’t change what has been al­lowed. Guns didn’t kill the vic­tims at Sandy Hook Ele­ment­ary School. Dol­lars go­ing in­to politi­cians’ elec­tion cam­paign funds from the NRA and polit­ics did.
We the people love to look at those in power at­tempt­ing to get away with do­ing noth­ing about something that is ab­so­lutely wrong, know­ing that they can do something.
The rest of us look on, merely hop­ing that someday we will be in the same po­s­i­tion of power to change things, un­til such a tragedy hap­pens to us. Then we won­der what happened.
Larry Il­aria

The Field Trip
Please don’t be sad, we’re OK
We went on a field trip today
A secret place where there’s fun to be had
And the prin­cip­al’s with us, so we won’t be bad
It’s full of toys and rain­bow slides
Cot­ton candy and high cloud rides
A funny zoo full of dif­fer­ent things
I even saw a girl with wings
We’re not alone so don’t be scared
We’re chap­eroned by an­gels here
It’s really nice so I think I’ll stay
And hold your spot till your field trip day
I know Christ­mas is here and there are toys to be giv­en
So please tell Santa that he needs to send them to heav­en
Sophia De­S­antis
Age 10

In­to The Dark­ness
You stand there judge and jury
De­cid­ing what oth­er lives you’ll end
Be­cause you see no way through
You want oth­ers to come with you
In­to the dark­ness away from the light
Re­moved from touch cause you hurt so much
You want oth­ers to feel the way you do
That’s why you strike, ’cause you feel it’s right
To take the in­no­cent on your flight to hell
The life you see be­fore your eyes
Has be­come a bed of end­less lies
Pain is your best friend ’til the end
Al­though you know you’re not alone
Good­bye let­ters you may de­cide to leave
Or a mes­sage on some­body’s tele­phone
You choose to take oth­ers in your world
When you take the life of a boy or a girl
The walls of san­ity seem to crumble away
You be­lieve there’s noth­ing any­one can say
You don’t want to be the only one to feel pain
So you make sure some of the in­no­cents re­main
In­to the dark­ness away from the light
Re­moved from touch cause you hurt so much
You want oth­ers to feel the way you do
That’s why you strike cause you feel it’s right
To take the in­no­cent on your flight to hell
John J. Rup­pert

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