Don't tax sodas;
cut City Hall's fat
I refuse to pay more taxes and fees to fund an inefficient and unproductive city government. Mayor Nutter must cut waste and reduce spending first. Let's get rid of all these unnecessary and overpaid deputy mayors, assistant managing directors, and executive directors of commissions.
Eliminate the antiquated row offices, which are nothing but patronage havens for unemployable political hacks. Collect the millions in past- due taxes, bail money, and fines from deadbeats. Force the state to pay for the First Judicial District, as required by law. All it takes is smart and bold leadership, both sorely lacking in this administration.
is what's needed
I take exception to Anthony Tarricone's diatribe ("Tort reform is a distraction," Thursday). In Pennsylvania, where there is no tort reform, our doctors pay tens of thousands of dollars of their hard-earned income for malpractice insurance due to the fact that a litigious patient could sue them for real or imagined "pain and suffering" that could bring the patient (and his lawyer) millions of dollars in a court-ordered award.
I'd like to challenge Tarricone to show his readers how he calculated that only 0.5 percent of the nation's total health-care costs would be saved by legislating tort reform. Perhaps they don't need tort reform in those states whose legislatures have seen the light and already limited pain-and-suffering awards.
Defensive medicine is a direct result of the lack of tort reform.
Streets safer when
citizens are armed
Re: "Gun case courts disaster," Wednesday:
Did I miss it? Have the draconian gun restrictions in Chicago worked, eliminating all crime? The Inquirer continues its mantra of "guns are bad" even as the Supreme Court is about to rule that the Second Amendment applies to all Americans, even law-abiding citizens in Chicago. It will be interesting to see your response, or lack of it, when the crime rate goes down as citizens regain the power to fight back.
Strangely, the criminals don't seem to like it when their victims shoot at them, or might shoot at them. How's a thug supposed to make a living under those hazardous working conditions?
New Jersey schools have been conducting the High School Proficiency Assessment tests. Teachers and administrators are jumping through hoops to teach to the test, for reputational and financial reasons.
There's nothing in our Constitution that mandates the government to regulate our schools. But that is exactly what the federal No Child Left Behind law is doing. We shouldn't be focusing on making everyone achieve in the same way. We should be encouraging individual differences and skills.
I depend upon construction workers and physicians, hairstylists and police officers, chefs and painters. Among other things, testing ignores musical ability, trade skills, and more important, independent-living skills. We should be making a commotion about NCLB and mandated testing.
is warranted route
Re: "Reconciliation not appropriate," Thursday:
Democrats in Congress are not seeking the "overhaul of one-sixth of our economy" via the reconciliation process. The House voted for its health-care reform bill by a simple majority; the Senate voted for its bill by a supermajority of 60-40. The reconciliation process is simply to clean up the loose ends.
Yes, the Republican Party of the 1930s and 1960s did join with Democrats to pass progressive legislation, but those days are long behind us. As to polls, whether people say they approve of the health bill or not depends on how the question is asked. Knowledge of what is in the bill is difficult to come by because our press corps no longer takes its responsibilities seriously.
Richmond L. Gardner
Abusive priests deserve the most severe penalty
Re: "S.J. priest defrocked over abuse of teenager," Wednesday:
There is a difference in canon law between being removed from ministry and being laicized, or removed from the priesthood, which is what is meant by the more commonplace word defrocked. According to your article, the Camden Diocese said only that the Rev. Brendan V. Sullivan was removed from ministry and no longer permitted to present himself publicly as a priest due to credible accusations of sexual abuse to which he admitted. Of course, Sullivan has been retired from ministry since 2004, so the action had little real meaning.
While I agree with diocesan spokesman Andrew Walton that "the betrayal of the trust of a young person in this way is a terrible, grave offense that can never be tolerated, no matter how long ago the abuse took place," the punishment is hardly appropriate. Such a wanton violation of a child by a trusted individual should result in that individual's complete canonical removal from the priesthood. Sullivan should be defrocked. He should be laicized by the Holy See. It is sad enough that such individuals - be they priest, minister, rabbi, or imam - cannot be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law because of inadequate criminal and civil statutes in New Jersey.
But what about the other retired, known sexual predators belonging to the Camden Diocese? Where are they? Are their addresses posted on the diocesan Web site, as they should be for the protection of all?
Sister Maureen Paul Turlish
New Castle, Del.