Jonathan R. Verlin
Battery can save lives
Re: Smoke alarms
I conduct a lot of work in homes throughout Philadelphia. If I had a nickel for every time I heard the smoke alarm chirping because of a missing or dead battery, I would be a rich man. The city will even install these alarms, free of charge. Still these fires will continue because of plain laziness, and that's a shame. Like that old saying goes, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink.
Socialism isn't new
Re: "Who's He Calling Greedy?" (Letter, July 12)
Surely you cannot be so misinformed! You say that under President Obama this country is turning socialist? We have been socialist since the Great Depression. That was the last time we let "banks too big to fail" fail. You can't have it both ways, my friend. Either we bail out banks and let them give themselves bonuses with our tax dollars or we let them go under. And as for losing our freedoms, wasn't it George "Weapons of Mass Destruction" Bush who was wiretapping without warrants? Did you write letters then? Obama was handed an economy with not one but two unfunded wars, a banking crisis crippling our economy and a Republican Congress that was willing to let Americans suffer in order to make him a one-term president, and yet he was able to kill Bin Laden and pass a health-care bill! But you still don't see him on the deck of a carrier under a banner stating " Mission Accomplished" because he still has more good works to complete and will, regardless of all the Republican crybabies out there. As I have always said, "You must be really rich or really dumb to vote Republican."
America the Sweltering
This July Fourth, Pennsylvanians wanted to, and maybe did, enjoy the outdoors, share a cookout and watch majestic fireworks, reflecting on the precious gift of freedom that our forefathers and mothers fought to give to us.
But this year, so many people I spoke to just wanted to stay inside and avoid the extreme heat — that is, if they had air conditioning. The record heat wave across the nation over the past week did not spare southeastern Pennsylvania, and while some may have gone to the shore over the holiday, those who stayed in the city, like me, may have connected the temperatures to global warming. I for one believe that climate change is a reality, and the recent sweltering temperatures only serve as a reminder of the extreme weather that comes as a result of global warming.
The best way to honor the work done by generations of Americans past and to protect the rights afforded to us by the Declaration of Independence is to assert our voices and participate in our democracy. We need our elected officials to move forward with strong limits on pollution on power plants to make sure we don't suffer even-worse heat waves.
Erin K. Kelly
A surprising column
Despite Christine Flowers' protests to the contrary (July 13), universal condemnation of child-sex abuse is not a newfangled symptom of our "brave new world." Child-sex abuse was first written about in the mid-1800s, and by 1968, 44 out of 50 U.S. states had enacted mandatory laws requiring physicians to report cases of suspicious child abuse. The Child Abuse and Treatment Act was passed in 1974.
What happened at Penn State is not a case of "brave new world" persecution, as Ms. Flowers contends. It was a crime in which powerful people did nothing to protect vulnerable children, even though they knew what Mr. Sandusky was doing. The Freeh report makes that painfully clear.
I realize Ms. Flowers is given free rein to write whatever hogwash she likes — stop blaming the church for molesting children, breast-feeding is a sexual act, feminists are sluts, "faggot" is a perfectly acceptable word to call John Edwards — but I am, frankly, surprised you would allow such a column to be published. Perhaps it's time to think about retiring her.