We must protect our great protectors
When an officer or firefighter passes away, the city joins together in supporting these fallen heroes. We clasp hands and collectively grieve for these members.
In our prayers and conversations we recognize the tremendous sacrifices they make, and commend them for their heroism. Sometimes it takes a tragedy to bring our thoughts to center stage.
All firefighters in our city need our support now more than ever. Every day these men and women make our homes safer, yet whether it is because of waves of brown-outs or a never-ending contract dispute, they are under attack.
It is imperative that we stand in solidarity with our firefighters. We are all quick to recognize their need for support in the face of tragedy, but frankly the current environment they must endure is also a grave tragedy. Our neighborhood protectors should not have to worry about the ability to make ends meet.
Our entire neighborhood should be grieving at the loss of respect given to these brave souls. Every day they stand up ready to make the ultimate sacrifice, and as their friends, family, and neighbors, we need to stand up with them.
I recently sent a letter to Mayor Nutter asking him to accept the terms of the binding arbitration process.
It is my hope that you will join me in fervent support for our firefighters.
State Rep. Kevin Boyle
172nd Legislative District
Gutless theft of a flag
After returning from vacation, we couldn’t believe our eyes when we realized someone had stolen our American flag. It had been on our front lawn since Sept. 11, 2001.
Hopefully the person or persons who had the guts to steal it, have the same kind of guts it takes to protect it, like our men and women are doing right now overseas. My guess is they probably don’t.
Same-sex marriages are anything but traditional
Ah, the left! Always ready to put out rhetorical fiction to advance an agenda. That was my reaction upon reading the lengthy letter by Kimberly Kunda justifying her “marriage” to her same-sex partner (Same-sex wife appeals for mutual respect, Aug. 15 edition). Her piece is pure rhetoric, because it rests on the flimsiest reasoning I have seen in some time.
First, she contradicts herself. She states that “free speech is a sacred, American right” then, later on, she writes that others don’t “have the right to have an opinion” on her marriage. Kim, isn’t that what freedom of speech is, the right to have and publicly state opinions? And that includes expressing opinions we may not like to hear, even ones that do not support certain so-called “lifestyles.”
And, Kim, the fact that we debate marriage is not absurd, as you state, but is an exercise in free speech. The debate you decry came from YOUR side because your side made the redefinition of marriage an issue in the first place! And, in an era when children more than ever need both strong male and female role models as parents, the benefits provided by solid heterosexual marriages need to be aired thoroughly, publicly and completely. This is called responsible citizenship, and both citizens and public officials alike have the duty to protect and preserve fundamental human institutions.
These are institutions (of which traditional marriage is but one) that have been devised by humanity via trial and error over the course of millennia because they are most likely to produce happiness for individuals and benefits for the wider scope of whole societies.
These institutions are so vital that governments have no right to tamper with them, and they most definitely trump American values like “equal rights.” Preserving these institutions is called responsible stewardship, and it falls to all of us to rise above the narrowness of self-interest and half-baked ideological schemes and defend them.
Even you, Kim. Meanwhile, I’ve got a challenge for you: how about applying your writing skills to genuine literary fiction and avoid ideologically driven screeds? As for the rest of us, to avoid falling for such folderol, we should definitely “eat mor chikin” and pray fervently for heaven to touch these misguided souls.
• • •
Kimberly Kunda’s letter extolling her “marriage” to another woman is another example of the hypocrisy same-sex marriage advocates engage in to advance their agenda. In the beginning of her letter, she acknowledges that free speech is a “sacred, American right.” But later in the letter, she states that others don’t have the right to hold an opinion on the social acceptability of her relationship. How is that not contradictory?
Kunda states that because she and her “wife” love each other and have the same challenges that heterosexual married couples do, they are just like anyone else. But, like many same-sex marriage advocates, she completely ignores the basic difference between her relationship and a heterosexual relationship. Her relationship cannot generate offspring like a heterosexual relationship can. That is the whole point of her being homosexual. For those opposed to same-sex marriage, this difference outweighs the similarities Kunda claims her relationship has. Her not acknowledging this point simply does not make it go away.
Gay rights advocates emphasize that being different from heterosexual couples presents no moral issues. Then, for marriage purposes, they wish to downplay that difference for the purpose of portraying their relationships as no different than heterosexual couples. It’s the classic “have your cake and eat it too” scenario. Let’s all realize how disingenuous this tactic is.
Michael L. Bane
Blame it on the Democrats
Keep these things in mind on Nov. 6:
It was the Democrats that started the KKK.
It was the Democrats that enacted the Jim Crow law.
It was a Democrat, George Wallace, that blocked the schoolhouse door to keep black children out.
It was a Democrat, Robert Byrd, that was a member of the KKK.
LBJ, a Democrat, had to be forced into signing the Civil Rights Act.
Now the Democrats have turned their racism toward white people. Look at all the major cities in America: Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, Oakland, just to name a few. Who has been “in charge” for decades? Democrats. They have done a stellar job, especially in Chicago, with those values Mayor Rahm Emanuel is so proud of.
Big ticket concerts a big loser
According to the TV news, the city was actually going to lose money from the staging of paid admission pop music concerts on the Parkway over the Labor Day holiday weekend. This is on top of security fences that hampered the movements of local residents and other city dwellers.
With ticket prices in the hundreds of dollars, I imagine that anyone trying to “crash” the events and watch for free might well have been shot on sight. I suppose they could have used goons from the Parking Authority, CLIP or the trash police for security. Is it just me, or is there something wrong with this picture?
In my experience of the last 40 years, these concerts were always free events staged for the whole city. They were a source of pleasure and pride and unity for all Philadelphia’s people. Big-ticket events only serve to divide the city.
Show me the numbers, Mayor
For nearly four long, frustrating years, Mayor Michael Nutter has denied the city’s firefighters any pay increase whatsoever and continues to fight our fair, affordable and binding arbitration award. Somehow, however, this mayor found the money to give his staff raises and to stage a massive, two-day concert on the Parkway at taxpayers’ expense. To add insult to injury, Nutter refuses to say how much the city was spending on this self-serving ego-fest, so he could rub shoulders with Jay-Z and buff-up his national profile while the city continues to fall apart.
It’s a disgrace. The mayor owes it to the taxpayers of this city to come clean on how much the city was wasting on this concert, and he owes the city’s firefighters the raise they’ve earned and the respect they deserve.
President, Local 22, Philadelphia Firefighters/Medics Union
Voter ID law is fraud
This letter is a response to the rebuttal offered by Ms. Stephanie Burke to my letter in the Aug. 22 edition (Voter ID is stirring our readers’ hornet’s nest).
There are so many things wrong with Ms Burke’s letter, starting with the condescending way she states poor and under-educated people have the same advantages as all others so they “apparently don’t want help and are happy with the way things are, or don’t care.”
That remark exemplifies all that is wrong with the conservative right Republican ideology today, implying that people who are of lower income and less privileged choose to be that way so they’re getting what they deserve.
No one who has ever been successful in this country has done it solely on their own. Somewhere along the line they got assistance from other Americans — either as consumers of their products, employees who helped them build a business or participants in their community whose taxes help fund the public schools they attended, the services they used such as streets, libraries, etc. — so this notion of “I got mine so now I should keep it all” really has to stop!
However since this debate is about the new voter ID laws, the real error with Ms. Burke’s response was the end paragraph where she states, “Do you mean to tell me since the last election, the ‘poor people’ have not gotten any kind of identification. Give me a break.”
That statement illustrates that Ms. Burke doesn’t even know the voter ID law recently put into effect. The new law now requires that all voters have a valid photo ID, and that was not a requirement in any other election year before NOW.
Therefore, Ms. Burke, these people had proper ID, which allowed them to vote, as the United States Constitution stated was their God-given right as American citizens, until Gov. Corbett and the Republican Party took control in Pennsylvania.
The editorial posted in the Northeast Times the same day as Ms. Burke’s letter, titled Do the Math, illustrates how it is impossible for all the estimated 750,000 Pennsylvania residents affected by the new law to obtain the state-required photo ID in time for the presidential election. So, as I stated in my original letter, the new voter ID laws in Pennsylvania are about voter suppression, which is a form of voter fraud, nothing more.
Voter ID law is an outrage
A photo ID is easily available to most Pennsylvania voters. The Republican Party knows that the thousands who do not have photo identification are poor and elderly who do not drive and who tend to vote for Democrats.
Did you ever see a bill get pushed through faster than the voter ID? This bill has a stench like no other, deliberately designed to shift the vote to Romney because Pennsylvania is a swing state, with the poll numbers so close that this dirty scheme could work. For that reason alone, the law should be suspended until after the November elections.
Those who argue that it’s easy to get ID neglect to realize that, particularly for women, names have changed multiple times since the birth certificate. I could not present my birth certificate as proof of who I am; I’d have to bring marriage and divorce records.
Not only that, but for many of our seniors, who came to this country in their youth, immigration changed their names. Two of my uncles, who are brothers, have dramatically different spellings of their surname.
Bring proof of residence? Sure, except maybe you don’t pay utilities because it’s included in your rent or a family member or roommate pays it. My guess is that half of those who do not have the appropriate ID may not even be aware of the new law requiring it, so they will appear at the polls with their voter registration card and be turned away. This is an outrage and I can only hope the appeal to overturn or suspend the law will happen before November.
What’s all the fuss about?
Reading your recent letters to the editor about the new photo ID law, I don’t know what all the fuss is about. I’m sure there are more drivers in Pennsylvania than there are people without photo ID. My wife didn’t have one, and getting it was no problem. We waited about 30 minutes and that was that.
The great African-American actor Morgan Freeman claims that Barack Obama is not the first African-American president because he is of two races, black and white. So out of respect to both of his parents I will address him as Mr. 50-50. That’s more than fair.
Speak your mind …
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