Letters to the Editor

Posted: June 26, 2010

City needs RDA money

The city of Philadelphia is in a very tight budget crunch this year and in the coming years. Thus, I disagree with The Inquirer's editorial regarding the sale of the property at 1701 Vine ("City roadblocks," Monday).

Mayor Nutter and the Redevelopment Authority have finally taken action to enforce RDA agreements with developers. In this case, the developer has failed to follow the rules and has not developed the property for more than 20 years. Now he stands to make substantial profits but is unwilling to split the profits with the city.

We do not know how much he stands to make on the sale, since the private deal has not been disclosed, but it would be millions. The city could certainly use any of these millions to reinvest in our neighborhoods. The Inquirer should applaud, not criticize, the mayor and the RDA for seeking to recoup the city's fair share of these funds.

Happy Fernandez


Foisting beliefs on the rest of us

I keep reading comments in The Inquirer about accepting and including gay people, in which the writer cites the fact that if the person were black, Hispanic, or Jewish, we would have to accept them into the fold ("No compromise in Boy Scouts case," letter, Wednesday).

I agree that somewhere in the laws of our nation we must accept and include people regardless of race, color, or creed. But nowhere that I am aware of is there a legal reference to sexual preference.

What is wrong with us as a society? How can we allow some overly aggressive folks to foist their beliefs and practices on us?

John Wear

New Hope

Teaching scouts to discriminate

Although I have wonderful memories of my years in the Girl Scouts, I am dismayed by the "victory" of the Boy Scouts ("Jury says scouts can stay rent-free," Thursday).

Scouting has been an important part of growing up for many of us. It taught us about justice and honor and duty and skill development. It's too bad that it is now teaching young people that it's fine to discriminate against homosexuals; in fact, you get away rent-free.

Marie Conn



U.S. needs federal intervention

I've disagreed with a lot of letters that I've read in The Inquirer over the years, but Saturday's letter "Heavy hand could damage the economy" may just be the one I disagree the most with. The point of the letter is that government intervention in the business cycle is bad. It blames the Great Depression on the fact that the federal government did step in during 1929. According to this version of history, Herbert Hoover's real problem was that he was an interventionist.

At this time of economic peril it is important that we get the facts straight: The Great Depression was caused by overproduction and underconsumption. Hoover did very little to rectify this. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, using Keynesian deficit spending, helped to improve things, although he pulled back too much too soon, because of balanced-budget concerns. It took the massive economic stimulus provided by World War II to end the Great Depression.

Goodness knows we don't need any more war (we have two too many already), but we do need continued government intervention in the form of stimulus spending. After we get the economy humming again and tax revenues expand, we can deal with the budget deficit and debt caused by George W. Bush's tax cut for the wealthy, along with his unfunded wars and Medicare expansion.

Thomas J. Lees

Lafayette Hill


U.S. must lead press against Iran

Iran, the leader of international terrorism, will soon be able to blackmail the world with its nuclear capabilities. Should we, as Americans living in the strongest democracy in the world, stand for this? We have to speak out, again and again, while there is still time, which now is in very short supply. Even if other countries do not pursue harsher sanctions, we must stand up and lead the way.

This is our responsibility, and if we are successful, will be among our most important contributions to the future of Western society.

Mark Feitelson

North Wales

Comparisons with Johnson

Our current president has me feeling as though I am reliving the 1960s. I acted as a volunteer on behalf of Lyndon Johnson and his run for president in 1964. But it wasn't long after his election that I found myself disappointed over Johnson's decision to escalate our involvement in Vietnam.

I know - we live in a democracy where the majority rules, and there are some who still believe we did the right thing by fighting that war and the wrong thing by leaving before it was won. Yes, all who fought for America were good and brave soldiers. But while I valued their service, I believe that the more than 58,000 Americans killed were more than 58,000 too many.

I believe President Obama should be closing the door on our current wars now, and not sometime next year. Almost every day that goes by is a day that sees another American soldier killed on foreign soil.

Ian Wachstein


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