Letters to the Editor: July 31, 2013

More lo­gic is needed in the world

Some let­ters on the opin­ion page in­dic­ate the need for a high school unit on lo­gic.

To ar­gue that if event B oc­curs after event A, there­fore Event A caused event B, is a prime ex­ample. Say­ing that, since May­or Jones took of­fice the murder rate has doubled does not show that Jones caused the rise in hom­icides.

If the graphs of the in­crease in glob­al warm­ing and the in­crease in dog bites match, it is as lo­gic­al to con­clude that the dog bites caused glob­al warm­ing as that the glob­al warm­ing caused the dog bites.

Stu­dents would learn to de­tect the fal­lacy in, “All men are voters, X is a voter, X is a man,” if they sub­sti­tuted Jane for X.

An opin­ion prin­ted in the North­east Times one week will, the fol­low­ing week, eli­cit at­tacks on the per­son rather than ar­guing that the per­son’s po­s­i­tion is wrong, and then of­fer­ing a counter-ar­gu­ment. For ex­ample, my thoughts on same-sex mar­riage the fol­low­ing week res­ul­ted in a pun on my fam­ily name. Such com­ments may gen­er­ate heat but they shed no light on the is­sue.

An­oth­er faulty ar­gu­ment is the set­ting up of a “straw man” to be blown away, such as when one per­son ac­tu­ally asked the ques­tion, “If we al­low same sex mar­riage, what will they want next, the right for a man to marry his horse?”

Ad­vert­ising is equally guilty when a com­mer­cial shows a shiny new car with an at­tract­ive girl in a skimpy bikini sit­ting on the fend­er. I sup­pose that this im­plies that she is an in­cluded ac­cess­ory, or maybe if you buy the car she will fall in­to your arms.

If we are to be wise voters and con­sumers, we need to learn to de­tect such lo­gic­al flaws.

Mel Flit­ter


Last Mass at St. Leo’s

On Sunday, June 30, 2013, my wife and I went to Mass at St. Leo’s, know­ing that this was the last week­end for Sunday de­vo­tion, and I had to go. With all the rain that we have been get­ting of late, God was good and let the sun shine down on us, for the roof leaks. We were told that if it did rain, Mass would have been held in the lower church, called “Rev­er­end Thomas Con­nell Hall.”

There was no air-con­di­tion­ing, but just two noisy fans push­ing more hot air around us. The cel­eb­rant talked so softly that you could not hear what he was say­ing. The lect­or, whom I did not know, was also up in her years. You could hear her voice, but not much more than Fath­er’s.

As I sat through the Sunday ser­vice, my mind nat­ur­ally went back to my youth. I re­mem­ber the fans, the heat and Chil­dren’s Mass at 8:45 a.m. The up­per church would be bul­ging at the seams with all the pa­rish­ion­ers here for their weekly Sunday duty.  As I was walk­ing back to the pew after re­ceiv­ing Com­mu­nion, I looked up to the choir loft. I could still see Sis­ter Con­so­lotta dir­ect­ing us, the little an­gels that we were, with Mrs. Domin­ic play­ing the or­gan. Each child would re­ceive a dol­lar after mid­night Christ­mas Mass, an East­er egg for that par­tic­u­lar sea­son and a bus trip at the end of the school year to Wil­low Grove Park, where “Life is a lark at Wil­low Grove Park.” After our day of fun, Sis­ter would bring out her pitch pipe. It was a small in­stru­ment that she would blow in­to so that we would start the hymn on the cor­rect note. Sis­ter Con­so­lotta would tell us that we would sing for the bus driver. If the bus driver was of a dif­fer­ent faith, I am sure he was just thrilled to hear re­li­gious Cath­ol­ic hymns.

Just be­fore Mass ended, a few awards were giv­en out, and Mass was fi­nally over. It was time to leave. As my wife and I were walk­ing out of the church for the last time, I had to turn around and look at the front of the church. All I could hear was, “To St. Leo the Great, let our feast day praises ring…..” That was when I turned around and walked out.

Mi­chael Corcor­an

Walton Park

Shame on Times for story on Play­mate

You showed poor judg­ment when you put the art­icle, “The Girl Next Door,” on the front page of your Ju­ly 17 edi­tion.  

It mys­ti­fies me why you would think a girl who takes off her clothes for money is worth pro­mot­ing. There are many oth­er young adults out there who are work­ing hard to make something of their lives and don’t re­sort to strip­ping down for the pub­lic to do it. Why wouldn’t you write about one of them?  

When the au­thor of the art­icle in­forms his read­ers, “It is weird, a bit un­nerv­ing really, to see a former cowork­er in the buff, and then to see her again with all her clothes on,” and the fact that he has been “a Play­boy sub­scriber of many years,” it is not only too much in­form­a­tion, it is down­right creepy!  

I was also dis­mayed when bar own­er, John Reedy, made the state­ment, “She was al­ways a classy girl.” I think Mr. Reedy needs to con­sult a dic­tion­ary for the mean­ing of the word, “classy.” Per­haps he meant to say, “class­less.”  

Please don’t sub­ject your read­ers to any more stor­ies of this kind.   

Cath­er­ine Mor­ris­on

Far North­east

Trash or a me­mori­al?

I am writ­ing to speak my mind. Re­cently, my hus­band and I were tak­ing T-shirts off crosses that were on our church’s lawn, St. John’s Luther­an Church, 3101 Tyson Ave. These T-shirts and crosses are a me­mori­al to the lost and cre­ated by Heed­ing God’s Call, a group in­spir­ing hope, rais­ing voices and tak­ing ac­tion to end gun vi­ol­ence. These T-shirts rep­res­ent 288 people aged 6 to 80 who were killed in Phil­adelphia in 2012 by cross­fire or mis­taken iden­tity.

A lady drove by the me­mori­al and called out the win­dow, “It’s about time you’re tak­ing down that trash!” I answered back, “A me­mori­al to these 288 people killed by gun vi­ol­ence in Phil­adelphia is not trash.” I know that people can have dif­fer­ent opin­ions, but to call a me­mori­al “trash” just irked me.

Vicki Schempp


Kev­in Boyle needs a real­ity check 

I do be­lieve that our state Rep. Mr. Kev­in Boyle should make a real­ity check. It’s not the li­censed-to-carry cit­izens pulling out guns and shoot­ing people on the streets over gang or drug-re­lated is­sues. I have ser­i­ous doubts that some 17- or 18-year-old has a per­mit.

The prob­lem is so bad that a bill was in­tro­duced in the Pennsylvania House by Re­pub­lic­an Rep. John Taylor in­creas­ing sen­ten­cing to two years min­im­um with no pa­role, pro­ba­tion or fur­lough (no sus­pen­ded sen­ten­cing) if con­victed of “Car­ry­ing a Fire­arm Without a Li­cense in Phil­adelphia.”

The en­tire pur­pose of hav­ing a non-sport weapon is to pro­tect your fam­ily and your­self. In­stead of try­ing to get his name in the news, I sug­gest Boyle read the news. Do a web search us­ing “Home In­va­sion Phil­adelphia,” then click on the link that says “Home In­va­sion CBS Philly.” It’s al­most a city sport these days.

Jump­ing on the Mar­tin/Zi­m­mer­man me­dia cir­cus band­wag­on as a reas­on to deny people the right to self de­fense? Maybe if my home is in­vaded, in­stead of us­ing a gun, I can ask them to wait a second while I call the po­lice. How does the murder tri­al of an egot­ist­ic­al, wan­nabe rent-a-cop in a state about a thou­sand miles away who was found in­no­cent in a court of law have any­thing to do with what is hap­pen­ing in Phil­adelphia? It doesn’t.

Heza­ki­ah Lev­in­son


Bravo to Rep. King for con­demning il­leg­als 

Truth is now “rep­re­hens­ible.”

U.S. Rep. Steve King re­cently stated that he is sym­path­et­ic to the situ­ation in which many un­doc­u­mented chil­dren find them­selves. He said that, while some of these chil­dren were brought to the U.S. by their par­ents and are so-called “Dream­ers” (brought to the U.S. be­fore they were 16 and are not yet 30 years of age), they wer­en’t all brought here by their par­ents.

He stated that not all so-called “Dream­ers” are cre­ated equal. For every one who is a va­le­dictori­an, there are an­oth­er hun­dred out there haul­ing marijuana across the desert.  However, un­der Sen­ate Bill 744, all would po­ten­tially be leg­al­ized. For speak­ing the truth, he was be­rated by his Re­pub­lic­an col­leagues John Boehner, Eric Can­tor and Trey Gowdy. His lan­guage was called “hate­ful” and his re­marks were called “rep­re­hens­ible.” Flor­ida Demo­crat­ic Rep. Joe Gar­cia found his re­marks “be­neath the dig­nity” of a mem­ber of Con­gress. When did truth be­come hate­ful or rep­re­hens­ible or be­neath the dig­nity of a mem­ber of Con­gress?

What is rep­re­hens­ible is 19-year old Ser­gio Perez, a sus­pec­ted il­leg­al ali­en, who al­legedly beat and raped a 93-year-old wo­man last week in Neb­raska. Her cheekbones, nose and sev­er­al teeth were broken in the or­deal and she died after a short hos­pit­al stay. What is rep­re­hens­ible is a 13-year old fe­male be­ing raped for sev­er­al hours last week in Texas, al­legedly by a large group of il­leg­al ali­ens. What is rep­re­hens­ible is a 9-month-old Cali­for­nia baby be­ing raped and killed last month, al­legedly by an il­leg­al ali­en.

The words spoken by Rep. Steve King are not rep­re­hens­ible but true. The ac­tions of il­leg­al ali­en crim­in­als are what should be con­demned and con­sidered rep­re­hens­ible by our un­in­formed le­gis­lat­ors. Wake up to real­ity! The pro­posed path­way to cit­izen­ship for law­break­ers is un­just, un­fair and anti-Amer­ic­an. 

Mar­gie We­st­on


Tire­some let­ter writer 

First, Richard Iac­on­elli, you con­tin­ue to con­flate “gay” mar­riage with “gay” ad­op­tion. One doesn’t ne­ces­sit­ate the oth­er. I wish you could at least get this part right.

Now let’s briefly dis­cuss self-af­firmed con­ser­vat­ive Robert Lopez’s art­icle.

I can feel Mr. Lopez’s pain. It is dif­fi­cult grow­ing up “dif­fer­ent.” There is a mul­ti­tude of situ­ations in which a child may feel dif­fer­ent: di­vorced par­ents in a neigh­bor­hood where most par­ents are still mar­ried to each oth­er, or be­ing raised by a single par­ent (of either gender), or hav­ing par­ents of dif­fer­ent races, or par­ents of dif­fer­ent re­li­gions, or hav­ing a men­tal ill­ness, or be­ing too fat, or be­ing an ath­let­ic girl, or be­ing raised in a re­li­gion that is dif­fer­ent from that of your neigh­bors, or be­ing too skinny, or be­ing an in­tel­lec­tu­al, or wear­ing hand-me-down cloth­ing when your peers have name brands, or hav­ing a chron­ic ill­ness, or be­ing ve­gan, or a mil­lion and one oth­er things.

One might make the case that people on the aut­ism spec­trum shouldn’t marry and have chil­dren be­cause they won’t know how to give their kids the emo­tion­al nur­tur­ing chil­dren need. Or in­ter­ra­cial couples shouldn’t marry and have chil­dren be­cause the mixed-race child will suf­fer so­cially. Both of these scen­ari­os are com­pletely ab­surd. 

Mi­chael Al­ex­an­der


Gay ad­op­tion is not gay mar­riage 

Mr. Iac­on­elli, if you are weary of people at­tack­ing you per­son­ally for your biased views on gay mar­riage, why don’t you stop ex­press­ing them? You quote from a book writ­ten by thepub­licdis­course.com, a for­um backed by the With­er­spoon Group, a bunch of self-right­eous mor­al­ists who would im­pose their slanted ideas on every­one. I’m sure that chil­dren raised by gay couples have prob­lems as do the chil­dren of all mar­ried couples and single par­ents. Do you have any in­form­a­tion or stat­ist­ics com­par­ing these chil­dren?

Of course you don’t. There prob­ably isn’t any. As far as ex­pos­ure to gays is con­cerned, I doubt there any people among us who don’t have good re­la­tion­ships with them, wheth­er with fam­ily mem­bers or friends.

Don’t mor­al­ize, Mr. Iac­on­elli. We’ll handle this in our own way without your help.

Joseph Oren­stein


Sup­port staff does great work in schools

I would like to com­ment on Peter Di­Gi­useppe’s let­ter to the ed­it­or titled “Philly pub­lic school teach­ers need to suck it up.” I have been a sup­port ser­vices as­sist­ant for the School Dis­trict of Phil­adelphia for more than 13 years.  I feel Mr. Di­Gi­useppe needs to be more in­formed about a few things.  People don’t be­come teach­ers be­cause they think they will be guar­an­teed a job for life but do so be­cause they care about the edu­ca­tion of chil­dren.

As for the pop­u­la­tion de­creas­ing over the years, I worked for 12 years at Loes­che Ele­ment­ary, and there was al­ways a steady at­tend­ance re­cord of more than 800 stu­dents dur­ing all those years.  Few­er schools avail­able to house the same num­ber of stu­dents leads to over­crowding.

The re­cent lay­offs of more than 3,000 people from the school dis­trict ba­sic­ally did not af­fect teach­ers but the sup­port staff.  A teach­er gen­er­ally is only re­spons­ible for the stu­dents in her class, but the sup­port staff in­ter­acts every day with the ma­jor­ity of the school pop­u­la­tion.  Mr. Di­Gi­useppe, how would you feel if you went to re­gister your child for school and there was no sec­ret­ary to do so?  How would you feel if your child had a med­ic­al is­sue and there was no nurse avail­able? How would you feel if your child had is­sues in school or at home and there was no coun­selor?  How would you feel if your child had a learn­ing dis­ab­il­ity and was not at grade level in read­ing or math and there was no sup­port ser­vices as­sist­ant to give your child the ex­tra sup­port he needs?  How would you feel if your kinder­gart­ner could not open his milk or juice or spilled his lunch and there was no noon-time aide to help? And let us not for­get the as­sist­ant prin­cipals who help the prin­cip­al make sure the school runs smoothly on a daily basis. Then there’s the is­sue of safety.  The sup­port staff are gen­er­ally the eyes and ears of the school, mak­ing sure the school is safe for your child. 

I am happy that my own chil­dren have long since gradu­ated from the Phil­adelphia school dis­trict but am saddened that the edu­ca­tion of fu­ture gen­er­a­tions is tak­ing a back seat to the almighty dol­lar.

Spend­ing money to build a pris­on in­stead of giv­ing it to schools is just not right; I guess they are plan­ning for the fu­ture.

Mr. Di­Gi­useppe, would you still be telling the teach­ers to suck it up if it were your wife, son or daugh­ter who was one of those 3,000 who was re­cently laid off from the school dis­trict?

Ren­ate Pittmann

Re­cently laid-off Sup­port Ser­vices As­sist­ant School Dis­trict of Phil­adelphia

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