Speaking of free speech ...

Posted: July 03, 2012

I FEAR YOUR readers were greatly misled by Michael Kubacki's Tuesday June 26 letter to the editor about the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision. He suggests that big corporations like BP, Monsanto and Target have long been "silenced" in the political realm while newspapers like the Daily News offered unlimited opinions.

Mr. Kubacki is confused.

Nothing has ever kept big corporations from buying advertising in print or broadcast outlets to express their views — nor, indeed, from starting their own newspapers to do so. BP has spent millions of dollars in the last decade on its "greenwashing" advertisements to persuade Americans that oil production and use is benign. Big corporations have always been able to express themselves as abundantly as they wished.

They have been somewhat more restricted — until recently — in making campaign contributions. But those laws also applied to newspapers and TV stations and their parent companies.

So Mr. Kubacki's thesis — that media outlets somehow had greater speech rights, before Citizens United, than other businesses — is simply, demonstrably wrong. One type of "speech" is not exactly the same as another. It's unfortunate he was able to give an incorrect account of the facts without contradiction.

Joel Mathis

Philadelphia

Escaping punishment

I pray that the evil and depraved person who set the pit bull on fire in East Germantown is haunted by the dog, named Chloe, every day for the rest of his or her miserable life. Ideally, I'd like Chloe's killer to spend a minimum of 25 years in jail. But that'll never happen given our wimpy/wussy system of justice. The best I can hope for is that the killer, a la Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart," hears the whimpers, screeches and howls of that poor dog every night, all night, so that sleep is impossible. That's my prayer for today. Amen.

Jim Acton

Collegeville

Clean up their act

It was reported recently that children are drinking hand sanitizer.

When I was a kid my mother would tell me that if I said "dirty words" she would wash my mouth out with soap.

I guess today's mothers will need to find another method.

Mayer Krain

Philadelphia

Argument for vouchers

Pennsylvania is being encouraged by Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput to pass a voucher program for those attending private schools. Currently, there are 16 states and Washington, D.C., that have already approved such support because vouchers can present several advantages in both culture and economics.

America was founded in the 18th century based on Christian-Judeo values, and for its continuation as a democratic nation it must have a population with solid education and high levels of integrity and honesty. The principal development of such qualities is in solid families, where parents teach children right and wrong. Other sources are churches and schools.

In 2011, the total N.J. public-school budget was $26.4 billion per year, and that averaged $19,154 per pupil. This is more than two times the Catholic-school average. Vouchers may enable parents to send their students to private schools and also to reduce the overall tax costs. New Jersey's politics are very much influenced by its large public-sector unions, so no matter what the advantages are,vouchers will meet significant opposition. The words "honor, duty, God and country" will likely continue to fade.

Donald Dunn

Turnersville, N.J.

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