Letters to the Editor (July 10, 2013)

Gov. Corbett tries to pull a fast one on seni­ors

The fi­nal two weeks of June saw a lot of ex­cite­ment in Har­ris­burg and very little ac­tion. Un­for­tu­nately, the needs of the people of North­east Phil­adelphia were not ad­dressed.

In the fi­nal days of budget ne­go­ti­ations, un­der the nose of the Pennsylvania voters, Gov. Corbett made an­oth­er shad­owy at­tempt to sneak in the out­sourcing of the Pennsylvania Lot­tery to a UK firm. It could not be clear­er that the gov­ernor is pla­cing private in­terests above the good of the people of this com­mon­wealth.

Every dol­lar that the gov­ernor in­tends to take away from the Pennsylvania Lot­tery and di­vert to a firm is a dol­lar taken away from cru­cial pro­grams that be­ne­fit seni­ors across the state. The lot­tery has con­trib­uted more than $22.6 bil­lion in as­sist­ance for low-cost pre­scrip­tion drugs, free and re­duced trans­it fare, prop­erty tax and rent re­bates, long-term liv­ing ser­vices and seni­or cen­ters. 

What’s more is there is no reas­on to out­source the lot­tery. It has nev­er been more prof­it­able. As a mat­ter of fact, Gov. Corbett’s privat­iz­a­tion scheme has already cost the people of Pennsylvania $4.4 mil­lion in pay­ments to con­sult­ants.

How can Gov. Corbett jus­ti­fy pla­cing more bur­den upon our seni­ors? The real an­swer is that he can’t. The gov­ernor may at­tempt to use spin in or­der to con­vey that there is too much gov­ern­ment in gov­ern­ment, but his agenda is cost­ing us dearly.

Al­though Gov. Corbett was un­suc­cess­ful in his most re­cent at­tempt to pull a fast one against the people of Pennsylvania, we can be sure that these un­der­han­ded at­tempts will con­tin­ue in the fall. Upon re­turn­ing to Har­ris­burg in Septem­ber, I in­tend to make it clear that the in­terests of seni­ors, and all the people across North­east Philly, are not for sale.

State Rep. Brendan Boyle

Re­move the dam on Pennypack Creek

The dam on the Pennypack Creek at Roosevelt Boulevard should be re­moved.

It no longer serves any pur­pose, adds to up­stream flood­ing, blocks fish mi­gra­tion and is a deathtrap for teen­age boys. 

Neil J. Rosen


Great job by Tara

I would like to con­grat­u­late my grand­daugh­ter, Tara Behr, for win­ning second place in an art con­test. Her art teach­er entered her in the an­nu­al Dan Ezzio Me­mori­al Tri-State Labor Day Art Con­test. At the an­nu­al AFL-CIO Labor Day Parade, Tara has been in­vited to ride on the float with the oth­er four win­ners. 

Tara goes to North­east High School. She is in the mag­net pro­gram. Her re­port card was great, and she will be a seni­or now. I am so proud of her, as is her fam­ily.

Alma Hoff­man

West May­fair

Holo­caust mu­seum edu­cates the pub­lic

Re­spect­fully reply­ing to Le­onard Roberts’ let­ter of June 26, the le­gis­la­tion pro­posed by Rep. Brendan Boyle and Mr. Feld­man was not just for the Holo­caust of the Jews and Hitler’s “Fi­nal Solu­tion.” That is not what the Holo­caust Aware­ness and Edu­ca­tion Mu­seum is about. Read­ing the books is ne­ces­sary and be­ne­fi­cial, and has im­pacted many people. But to view the Holo­caust as a tragedy that happened in the past is to miss the point of the mu­seum’s mis­sion.

The Holo­caust was not “just” about the Jews and Hitler. It is not about le­gis­lat­ing any one eth­nic, re­li­gious, cul­tur­al, ra­cial or oth­er type of group. Bigotry, pre­ju­dice, in­tol­er­ance, ig­nor­ance and hatred do not re­spect these bound­ar­ies. Look at North Korea (pris­on camps hold­ing tens of thou­sands or more). Look at Greece (in­tern­ment camps for “mi­grants”). Look at Dar­fur and oth­er places of war, gen­o­cide and un­speak­able vi­ol­ence in Africa. There are oth­er places also, too many to men­tion. Gen­o­cide, pre­ju­dice and ra­cial/eth­nic cleans­ing and vi­ol­ence are still hap­pen­ing around the world — and (ac­cord­ing to some) in Amer­ica. Hitler died a long time ago, as did oth­er vi­ol­ent dic­tat­ors — but the vi­ol­ence con­tin­ues. 

The say­ing, “Those who do not learn from his­tory are destined to re­peat it,” bears con­sid­er­a­tion here. The way to learn from the Holo­caust and to stop the ones that ex­ist now is to study what causes it, and listen to the sur­viv­ors. Turn­ing a blind eye and pre­tend­ing they don’t ex­ist any­more just al­lows them to grow like a ma­lig­nant can­cer.

As for the ad­vice to “find a col­lege that of­fers more de­tails on such sub­jects” — not every­one can af­ford col­lege classes. And this also is the pur­pose of the mu­seum — to edu­cate and spread aware­ness which, if the le­gis­la­tion had been passed, would have made this edu­ca­tion ac­cess­ible to all schools and to all pop­u­la­tions.

To learn more about the mu­seum vis­it www.holo­caust­aware­ness­mu­seum.org or call 215-464-4701 for more in­form­a­tion.

Kim Wilson


Obama’s com­ments in Ire­land were di­vis­ive 

I wish to com­ment about Obama’s re­cent re­marks in Ire­land in which he stated that Cath­ol­ic and Prot­est­ant schools are di­vis­ive. On the con­trary, Mr. Pres­id­ent, I have been a CCD teach­er for about 15 years, and one thing that neither I, nor the Church teach­ings, will stand for is di­vis­ive­ness. We teach re­spect for all peoples and faiths as I am sure do any oth­er Chris­ti­an and Jew­ish schools that ad­here to their own prin­ciples.

If a par­tic­u­lar faith wants to have its own school where their re­li­gion is taught, or their stand­ards up­held, I fail to see the prob­lem. Cer­tainly a core cur­riculum must be ad­hered to, but so long as that is done, and no law broken, there should be no cri­ti­cism. 

It is es­pe­cially sad that Obama chose a place such as Ire­land, which has had its own di­vi­sions for so many cen­tur­ies, to try to re­open old wounds with his own agenda of in­tol­er­ance.

Le­onard T. Roberts


Gay par­ents can raise chil­dren just fine 

Richard Iac­on­elli, that’s aw­fully caring of you that you seem to be con­cerned with what a girl reach­ing pu­berty or a boy reach­ing man­hood needs. 

You may say that people re­sort to name-call­ing, well, when you re-read your let­ter from June 5, there’s a new way to put a spin on name-call­ing. I love how you say “gay man as her moth­er” and “les­bi­an dad.” Are you try­ing to be a comedi­an? 

Who cares where any par­ent­al sup­port comes from, wheth­er it be a les­bi­an mom or a gay dad? Kids are screwed up enough as it is without both par­ents be­ing in the pic­ture. Where are your angry let­ters to single par­ents? 

I’m sorry, but the rights and needs of chil­dren know no sexu­al ori­ent­a­tion. As long as they get the love, sup­port and care from their straight, gay, les­bi­an, trans­gendered or bi-sexu­al par­ent, why be so con­cerned? 

Did you ever check out the video on You­Tube that Mr. Al­ex­an­der sug­ges­ted you watch? Des­pite what you think, chil­dren will be just fine when raised in a house­hold with les­bi­an or gay par­ents. I have many friends with well-be­haved, won­der­ful, in­tel­lec­tu­al chil­dren who do not need your con­cern. I’ve seen more screwed-up kids in a “tra­di­tion­al” house­hold. What are you afraid of, Richard? What are you so con­cerned with? 

I don’t think that a son of two gay fath­ers will “catch” any­thing that will make the son gay. 

Most of these anti-gay rants make me laugh, be­cause it’s al­most as if the ho­mo­phobes are afraid ho­mo­sexu­al­ity might rub off on them (some­times I think a lot has to do with sup­pres­sion). 

I think your fo­cus should be on the chil­dren who are com­mit­ting crimes, roam­ing the streets well past dark and ones who need love and sup­port. Guar­an­teed, those chil­dren aren’t the ones with the les­bi­an mommy or gay daddy. 

I see your point, I get your con­cern, and I still stand by my ini­tial let­ter to you: re­turn to your rock, sir.

Heath­er Stein­berg


Big mouths for gay mar­riage are all talk

I’ve grown quite weary of people at­tack­ing me per­son­ally for my op­pos­i­tion to gay mar­riage. 

I re­mem­ber back in the 1980s, the Phil­adelphia De­part­ment of Health fun­ded a cut­ting-edge video called, “AIDS: A Mat­ter of Life.” The doc­u­ment­ary went in­to the homes of dy­ing gay men, black churches, even a pris­on, warn­ing of the fatal links between drugs and AIDS. The video was widely dis­trib­uted, com­for­ted many, and may have saved lives. 

I dir­ec­ted that video — yes, me the “hater.” I ask the big mouths who cri­ti­cize me — how many gay lives have you touched?

If any­one wishes to know the harm gay par­ent­ing can do to chil­dren, please read the es­say “Grow­ing Up With Two Moms” by pro­fess­or Robert Lopez. He is now 41 years old and has nev­er got­ten over the prob­lems re­lated to his up­bring­ing. He knows oth­er chil­dren of gays who have ser­i­ous de­pres­sion, drug and so­cial prob­lems. (Read it at: thepub­licdis­course.com.)

A so­ci­ety must be judged on how it treats its most de­fense­less mem­bers — I stand proudly in de­fense of chil­dren. The fact that so many do not is a na­tion­al dis­grace.

Richard Iac­on­elli


Elect Schwartz to bring gay mar­riage to Pa.

On June 26, 2013, the Su­preme Court struck down Sec­tion 3 of the De­fense of Mar­riage Act, which for­bade fed­er­al re­cog­ni­tion of gay mar­riage. Like oth­er Amer­ic­ans, I was ex­hil­ar­ated to see that the Su­preme Court’s vote re­flec­ted Amer­ica’s grow­ing ac­cept­ance of the LGBT com­munity.

However, in Pennsylvania, the state gov­ern­ment has con­tin­ued to re­strict the mar­riage and rights of LGBTs through dis­crim­in­at­ory laws. Every oth­er state in the north­east­ern United States al­lows same-sex mar­riage ex­cept New Jer­sey, and it al­lows civil uni­ons. Pennsylvania doesn’t even al­low civil uni­ons. 

Non­ethe­less, there is hope for someone who can change these laws to en­sure a bright fu­ture for the LGBT com­munity. Allyson Schwartz knows the im­port­ance of equal­ity un­der the law for all in­di­vidu­als; in fact, she was one of five state sen­at­ors who voted against Pennsylvania’s DOMA. Pennsylvania needs Allyson Schwartz, who will help guar­an­tee the LGBT com­munity their rights in Pennsylvania and stand up for the equal pro­tec­tion of all in­di­vidu­als un­der the law. 

Talai­al Alina


Dems pro­mote a Nanny State

It looks as though the IRS and De­part­ment of Justice are op­er­at­ing as the Gestapo for the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Con­ser­vat­ives tar­geted as well as Chris­ti­an groups but not a single lib­er­al group. Some things just don’t smell right. The IRS is scary all the time, and with the IRS tak­ing con­trol of Obama­care, it will be­come a night­mare.

The two-party sys­tem in the last five years has be­come one big screw-up. The ideo­logy on both sides has be­come un­bear­able. The Demo­crat­ic Party be­lieves the Amer­ic­an people are stu­pid and need someone like Moth­er Gov­ern­ment to guide them. From cradle to grave, the Nanny State is needed. The Amer­ic­an Dream to be all you can be is out the win­dow. In fact, you are now pun­ished for ac­com­plish­ing suc­cess.

The Re­pub­lic­ans (at least the RI­NOs) have their heads in the sand about taxes on any­one. They cred­it the Amer­ic­an people with enough smarts to un­der­stand what’s go­ing on but I be­lieve they’re wrong on that.

The Amer­ic­an people have learned to ac­cept so­cial­ism and en­ti­tle­ments. By the end of the Obama term, the coun­try will prob­ably be maybe 70 per­cent on some type of gov­ern­ment as­sist­ance. Food stamps are out of con­trol.

The Amer­ic­an people have short memor­ies, un­like oth­er cul­tures.  They don’t seem to care that four Amer­ic­ans died in Benghazi be­cause of in­com­pet­ence at the state de­part­ment and our White House. 

The stone­walling for the last 10 months is as­ton­ish­ing, and we still don’t know what happened. Who changed the talk­ing points, who gave the or­der to stand down? Whose idea was it to use the You­Tube video as an ex­cuse for the at­tack, and why did it take so long for the truth about the video to come out? Where is the out­rage?

They seem to have no in­terest that the gov­ern­ment in­volved in “Fast & Furi­ous” cost an Amer­ic­an bor­der guard his life as well as thou­sands of Mex­ic­ans. Two years later, we still know noth­ing.

Sad to say, but I be­lieve the Dems have it right. The Amer­ic­an people are lean­ing more to the stu­pid side and need guid­ance by mak­ing gov­ern­ment big­ger.

Our youths are be­ing brain­washed by the over­whelm­ing amount of lib­er­al teach­ers all prac­ti­cing their ideo­logy on our kids from kinder­garten through col­lege. Over­whelm­ingly, our schools are staffed by lib­er­als.

Wil­li­am Wal­ters


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