Letters to the editor: Sept. 26, 2012 edition

But­ters melts your heart

The purrfect soul­mate
“Hey, lady! Do you want her?!” called out the gruff wo­man to the For­got­ten Cats vo­lun­teer while the vo­lun­teer was on an­oth­er res­cue mis­sion.
The vo­lun­teer glanced over at the trem­bling tabby hid­ing be­hind a trash can. She asked the wo­man, “Is this little cat, yours?”
“I threw her out,” the wo­man said. “That cat already had her second lit­ter and I’m tired of find­ing them homes and stuff.”
The vo­lun­teer ex­pressed a hope­ful smile. “I can help with hav­ing the kitty spayed for you. If so, would you take her back?”
The wo­man stayed si­lent and shook her head: “Nope, I don’t need her any­more. I kept one of the kit­tens.” It was then that the vo­lun­teer’s hopes and smile dropped im­me­di­ately.
So this ter­rible cycle re­peats it­self con­tinu­ously. For people do not seem to grasp the man­dat­ory concept of pet com­mit­ment and spay­ing and neu­ter­ing. Al­ter­ing won’t make your pet lazy or fat; that is pure myth. As long as you feed and care for them prop­erly, your pets will be hap­pi­er and health­i­er when altered. Also and very im­port­antly, you will be NOT be adding to the pet over­pop­u­la­tion crisis.
The un­wanted moth­er cat, who has now been dubbed But­ters, is safe and vet­ted. She needs to be the only kitty, but friendly dogs and kids are fine. If someone out there can provide this petite girl a furr-ever home, please e-mail me, her foster mom: Gden­ofa@aol.com
Thank you for read­ing, and little But­ters purrs “thank you,” too.
Gina De­N­ofa

Take me out to the wait­ing game
On Sat­urday, Sept. 8, Phil­lies fans ex­per­i­enced a rain delay of al­most three hours be­fore the game was called. This is out­rageous to make fans wait this long.
The or­gan­iz­a­tion had drawn sel­lout crowds for over two years and even now, at­tend­ance is near ca­pa­city. These fans de­serve more con­sid­er­a­tion.
Ma­jor League Base­ball should have a rule that rain delays be­fore a game starts should be no more than one hour. After that, the game has to be res­ched­uled. Games that are in play and are hal­ted by the um­pires should also have a time lim­it.
Wal­ter M. Desh­er

Re­gister! Vote!
Now that the Re­pub­lic­an and Demo­crat con­ven­tions are over, it is up to the Amer­ic­an people to vote. No mat­ter what party af­fil­i­ation you are, get out and vote.
If you have not re­gistered, re­gister. If you feel that the gov­ern­ment does noth­ing, you can only point fin­gers at your­self when something is not to your lik­ing.
Re­mem­ber, we have been giv­en the right to vote, the right to choose who is best to be the pres­id­ent of the United States. Stand up, give a voice and vote.
Mar­ie Pat­ton
Fox Chase

May­fair’s not the only neigh­bor­hood on the de­cline
I agree with the let­ter from Jill Elms of May­fair (May­fair has turned in­to an­oth­er Kens­ing­ton, Sept. 12 edi­tion).
I have lived throughout the great city of Phil­adelphia since I was born (60+ years). I have seen so many neigh­bor­hoods change, fall apart and go down for sev­er­al reas­ons: 1. Sec­tion 8. 2. Trashy people 3. People who rent feel, “It’s not my prop­erty, why should I keep it clean?”
There are more reas­ons but not enough space right now. The only thing I take ex­cep­tion to, Jill, is the AC­CESS card is­sue. It is needed to help people get on their feet some­times.
If it had not been for sur­plus food back in the 1940s to ’60s, my fath­er would not have been able to feed his wife/moth­er of three kids while between jobs. We were able to have full bel­lies, get edu­cated, get mar­ried, have chil­dren, have grand­chil­dren, all white col­lar jobs to this day.
I’m re­tired in Ta­cony now. In just the past five years my area is fall­ing apart also. These people have no pride. There is no en­ti­tle­ment un­less you work for it with an hon­est job, flip­ping bur­gers, desk jobs — whatever, just do it.
Geor­gette Dav­is

• • •

I think the trash oc­cur­rence in Philly is a dis­grace to our beau­ti­ful city and Moth­er Nature. It’s just mak­ing our city look second grade and de­grad­ing our qual­ity of life.
Are there any pro­grams set in place that people can vo­lun­teer to large groups or something that will wipe out the prob­lem as well as show a pres­ence that people will see and want to join in?
I don’t know of any pro­grams of this type and want to help out in any way I can. Jill Elms wrote a good art­icle.
Matt Jolly

May­fair taught great les­son in team­work
I would like to send a heart­felt thank you to all of the res­id­ents and busi­ness own­ers of May­fair who sup­por­ted the Ova­tions Academy of Dance Com­pet­i­tion Team bake sale on Sept. 15. Our girls were out­side at Cottman and Frank­ford av­en­ues for hours, work­ing hard to raise funds to at­tend what can some­times be costly com­pet­i­tions.
I am a lifelong res­id­ent of May­fair and grow­ing up, this was what it was all about, every­one help­ing every­one else.
So many shops were will­ing to place our fli­er in the win­dows, and many of the busi­nesses bought baked goods. You all gave a group of little girls a valu­able les­son in the be­ne­fits of work­ing as a team and the kind­ness of oth­er people. I am so proud to be a res­id­ent of May­fair.
Susan Hemphill

Many thanks for help­ing my hus­band
I want to thank our neigh­bor, John, who is also a Phil­adelphia fire­fight­er, for help­ing my hus­band.
My hus­band, who is ill, was on his way to an ap­point­ment when he fell in the street try­ing to get to his car. John saw him and called Phil­adelphia Res­cue; all the while I was at work and did not know this had happened.
My hus­band had his cell phone with him, which had ICE (in case of emer­gency) num­bers. The nurse at the emer­gency de­part­ment was able to con­tact me be­cause of this.
I thank John, Phil­adelphia Res­cue, and Aria Hos­pit­al’s emer­gency de­part­ment for help­ing to save my hus­band from what could have been a fatal out­come.
Lor­raine Kolibabek
Walton Park

Mitt Rom­ney’s 47 per­cent solu­tion is a prob­lem
Pres­id­en­tial can­did­ate and former Mas­sachu­setts Gov. Mitt Rom­ney stated re­cently at a fund-raiser at­ten­ded by his col­leagues that nearly half of all Amer­ic­ans pay no in­come tax and are “de­pend­ent on gov­ern­ment” and un­will­ing to take re­spons­ib­il­ity for their lives.”
While the fig­ure of 47 per­cent is fairly ac­cur­ate, it in­cludes a lot of people who are not ir­re­spons­ible or dead­beats. About half that num­ber in­cludes seni­or cit­izens on So­cial Se­cur­ity who worked and paid taxes all their lives, mil­it­ary per­son­nel who pay no in­come tax while in a war zone, and the work­ing poor.
The 47 per­cent also in­cludes about 4,000 mil­lion­aires whose in­come is mostly cap­it­al gains and make use of (leg­al) loop­holes to avoid pay­ing fed­er­al taxes. It is also pos­sible that the es­teemed Mr. Rom­ney may be part of that group. He re­fuses to re­lease most of his in­come tax re­turns, which may show little or no taxes paid in pre­vi­ous years. The bulk of his in­come is from in­vest­ments and cap­it­al gains that are sub­ject to the afore­men­tioned loop­holes, or may be hid­den in off­shore bank ac­counts. It is not­able that many of the 47 per­cent who were dissed paid a high­er rate than Rom­ney showed in his re­leased tax re­turns.
There is also the large group of low-in­come wage earners who pay no in­come tax simply be­cause they do not earn enough. In­clude also the many who re­ceive earned-in­come or child-tax cred­its, elim­in­at­ing the in­come tax ob­lig­a­tion. They pay no in­come tax but do pay payroll tax and are not ir­re­spons­ible non-work­ers who ex­pect the gov­ern­ment to care for them.
Rom­ney dis­reg­ards the votes of mil­lions of hard-work­ing Amer­ic­ans, many of whom are Re­pub­lic­ans and may have voted for him any­way. Also dis­missed are mil­lions of seni­or cit­izens, also many of whom are Re­pub­lic­ans, who may not be work­ing now but were nev­er ir­re­spons­ible or liv­ing off en­ti­tle­ments, but did their sol­emn best to provide for them­selves, their fam­il­ies and con­trib­uted their fair share of in­come taxes and nev­er be­lieved they were vic­tims or ex­pec­ted handouts.
Many of the above, while not leg­ally ob­lig­ated to pay in­come taxes, do pay real es­tate taxes, payroll taxes, con­trib­ute to So­cial Se­cur­ity and are sub­ject to Medi­care with­hold­ings and sales taxes.
It is fairly ob­vi­ous that Mr. Rom­ney was pan­der­ing to this par­tic­u­lar group of con­trib­ut­ors and his base of right-wing hard-liners, fail­ing to real­ize that his com­ments might ali­en­ate many of the 47 per­cent who were already in his camp. His com­ments were spe­cif­ic, re­fer­ring to the 47 per­cent who “pay no in­come tax,” sug­gest­ing dir­ectly or sub­con­sciously that all of the 47 per­cent cited are non-work­ing, non-con­trib­ut­ing, en­ti­tle­ment-seek­ing mem­bers of so­ci­ety.
Jaime Reyes

Voter ID needed? Just check the facts
I’ve read many dif­fer­ing views on the new Pennsylvania voter ID law in the North­east Times.
I’m glad people think it ser­i­ous enough to ex­press con­cerns, but too much is based on emo­tion.
 I get emo­tion­al, too, when I see rock con­certs be­ing turned in­to voter re­gis­tra­tion drives, or when a Black Pan­ther is stand­ing in front of a vot­ing place with a stick. (Re­mem­ber that one?) So as Joe Fri­day once said: “Just the facts, ma’am.”
 The non-par­tis­an PEW Cen­ter has de­term­ined that 2.8 mil­lion voters are re­gistered in mul­tiple states; that 1.8 mil­lion “cur­rently re­gistered” voters in this coun­try are ac­tu­ally dead. This is not proof of cheat­ing, but add the 11 mil­lion il­leg­als in this coun­try, and I think most of us have little faith in the sys­tem’s in­teg­rity. No won­der 75 per­cent of Amer­ic­ans sup­port voter ID. It’s one of the few is­sues where there is sup­port from every seg­ment of so­ci­ety.
In fact, it’s time to dis­cuss a bolder idea — a na­tion­al ID card that cross-ref­er­ences mo­tor vehicle and work re­cords, death cer­ti­fic­ates, etc. Make it fool­proof, with fin­ger­prints or med­ic­al data em­bed­ded, and safer and easi­er to get on a plane, enter a pub­lic build­ing, catch a ter­ror­ist — or vote.
Richard Iac­on­elli

• • •

I fail to see why the state has less rights to ask for an ID to put someone in­to polit­ic­al of­fice, than they have the right to ask for a driver’s li­cense in or­der to drive, or ID in or­der to drink.
Joe Kuchs

Don’t let gov­ern­ment con­trol the people
Are you bet­ter off today than you were four years ago? Good ques­tion. Un­em­ploy­ment has re­mained at 8 per­cent and above for the past four years. Col­lege gradu­ates have moved back to their child­hood bed­rooms since they can’t find jobs, and they can re­main on mom and dad’s health in­sur­ance un­til they are 26. So sad.
A gal­lon of gas for cars cost $1.75 in 2007; today you pay over $4. Food stamps have reached a re­cord high of 46.7 mil­lion. The eco­nomy is in the tank. The fed­er­al debt is over $16 tril­lion. Do we want four more years of this type of lead­er­ship?
The lead­er­ship of the pres­id­ent today is for free con­tra­cept­ives, abor­tions, il­leg­al ali­ens and gay mar­riages. Say­ing that to get the coun­try back on track will take time, so give me four more years? I don’t think so!
I say it’s time for a change. When you are in the work world and you can’t get the job done, you are giv­en your walk­ing pa­pers. This elec­tion is too im­port­ant for Amer­ic­ans. We need the eco­nomy to get go­ing in the right dir­ec­tion if we hope to sur­vive and not be taken over by the gov­ern­ment.
Mari­an C. Borell

Why I choose peace and obed­i­ence over rage
Guest Opin­ion
By the Rev. Owen Grif­fiths
I saw the flames at the U.S. con­su­late in Benghazi, Libya, on my tele­vi­sion screen and thought to my­self, “Those an­im­als! After all we’ve done for them! This is how they re­pay us — with blood­shed, hatred and murder.”
The vi­ol­ent at­tack on the Amer­ic­an em­bassies in Libya, Egypt, and Ye­men, the murder of U.S. Am­bas­sad­or Chris Stevens and three oth­er Amer­ic­ans, once again leaves us star­ing in­to the mor­ass of in­com­pre­hen­sion that is the Muslim world and ask­ing, “Why?”
Even as I choke back my out­rage at the sight of my coun­try’s flag be­ing shred­ded by an angry mob and try to ap­proach this situ­ation from my po­s­i­tion as a Chris­ti­an cler­gy­man, I find em­pathy dif­fi­cult. In my theo­logy, there is simply no par­al­lel. Had Je­sus Christ been the ob­ject of ri­dicule in Na­koula Basse­ley Na­koula’s video, would there have been a sim­il­ar re­ac­tion from the Chris­ti­an world? Of course not.
It is, you see, im­possible to in­sult the Chris­ti­an proph­et. This proph­et, in his own life­time, had been called a fraud, a blas­phemer, and a crim­in­al. He had been pub­licly dis­graced, beaten and spat upon. He was stripped na­ked, im­paled on a cross of wood and left to die while his op­pon­ents openly mocked him. Is there any pos­sible in­sult that could have more im­pact than that?
And what is even more stag­ger­ing than the shame which this proph­et en­dured is his in­struc­tion to his fol­low­ers that they em­brace this shame them­selves. “If any want to be­come my fol­low­ers, let them deny them­selves and take up their cross and fol­low me.” (Mat­thew 8:34)
So in obed­i­ence to my proph­et, I strive to look through his eyes which re­cog­nize un­speak­able in­sult and shame. This is no simple task for me,  a min­is­ter of the world’s largest re­li­gion and a cit­izen of the world’s wealth­i­est and most power­ful na­tion. Nev­er­the­less, what I see through the lens of my proph­et’s dis­grace are people re­act­ing less out of re­li­gious in­dig­na­tion and more as a res­ult of their de­bas­ing vic­tim­iz­a­tion.
Few Amer­ic­ans, my­self in­cluded, can con­ceive the day-to-day ex­per­i­ence of the av­er­age Liby­an, Egyp­tian or Ye­meni. We may nev­er think of the mil­it­ary op­pres­sion, the cor­rup­tion and the suf­foc­at­ing poverty, which is the nor­mal lot of so many on this globe. If we did, would it sur­prise us when we see sim­mer­ing out­rage erupt as it has?
Both lo­gic and com­pas­sion should dic­tate that there are many more lay­ers — cul­tur­al, polit­ic­al, and oth­er­wise — to the events earli­er this month than we can eas­ily dis­cern. Sim­il­arly, there are many is­sues to con­sider as we form our re­sponse.
Even with the above be­ing said, I long to be obed­i­ent to my own proph­et and try to put on the gar­ment of hu­mil­ity he wore, a gar­ment which came out of his own cul­ture, that of a hu­mi­li­ated people. Can I, to­geth­er with all Amer­ic­ans still reel­ing from the wounds of 9/11, em­brace the role of the Suf­fer­ing Ser­vant de­scribed by the proph­et Isai­ah:
“I gave my back to those who struck me,
and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard;
I did not hide my face
from in­sult and spit­ting.” (Isai­ah 50:6)
That is, can we will­ingly swal­low our own in­dig­na­tion for the sake of great­er good? Can we, as a na­tion, look past the in­sults we have suffered to see the wounds of those who in­flict such in­sults? Can we con­tin­ue to en­gage with our Muslim broth­ers and sis­ters in the de­vel­op­ing world without con­des­cen­sion and bit­ter­ness, re­mem­ber­ing that vi­ol­ence will be­get vi­ol­ence and con­tempt will be­get con­tempt?
Can we be the new Suf­fer­ing Ser­vant, the ex­ample of peace and for­bear­ance to the peoples of the earth? It will take mor­al cour­age to re­spond to out­rage with com­pas­sion, but such cour­age ul­ti­mately re­veals our strength as a na­tion.
The Rev. Owen Grif­fiths is pas­tor of Faith Luther­an Church, 4150 Wood­haven Road. His blog is oldre­li­gious­guy.blog­spot.com

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