Letters to the Editor

Tommy Lee Jones portrays ...
Tommy Lee Jones portrays ...
Posted: November 28, 2012

GOP, follow Stevens' example

Will Pennsylvania ever produce another Republican leader on par with Thaddeus Stevens ("'Lincoln' lays bare messy reality of process," Sunday)? Stevens' adamant promotion of equality and opportunity contrasts starkly with the present state GOP. Whether it is the voter-ID law that would disproportionately impact communities of color, or the push to replace public schools with charter schools, we have clearly regressed from the civil rights standards set by Stevens.

Stevens would be appalled at the state's educational achievement gap, especially the differences between the high school graduation rate for whites vs. Hispanics, African Americans, and Native Americans. He also would be steaming mad at the recent report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Economic Policy Institute that shows the substantial growth in income inequality in Pennsylvania over the last decade.

The state's economic competitiveness is predicated on its ability to ensure an educated, skilled, and thriving workforce; a healthy middle class; and fewer poor people on the government dole. None of that is possible as long as the income inequality rates are rising and educational opportunity remains elusive for many minorities.

It behooves the state GOP to take a lesson from Stevens, for the good of all citizens, for the sake of the economy, and for the survival of the party.

Michael Shank, Washington, D.C., michael.john.shank@gmail.com

First, support Constitution

The article "Signals mixed on Norquist's grip" (Sunday) cites an increasing number of senators and representatives who no longer feel compelled to place their first allegiance to Grover Norquist's mandate of never increasing taxes. For signing this pledge, lawmakers received conservative backing, both financial and otherwise.

As a retired federal employee, I also took a pledge when entering government service, much the same as our elected officials. We all raised our right hand, and swore to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic." When elected officials place their loyalty, which has been bought and paid for by one individual, above their sworn duty to the Constitution, they have subverted their duties and should be investigated.

Sheldon Williams, Haddonfield

Updated Christmas classic

Following the mantra that anoints the rich as job creators, some politicians today would be comfortable in an updated setting of A Christmas Carol. Instead of Ebenezer Scrooge being a rich old miser, he would be a job creator. Bob Cratchit would no longer be the faithful employee who labors long hours without complaint for a mere pittance, but rather, he would a typical taker - part of the 47 percent - who just wants free stuff and contributes nothing to human life.

Wayne Williams, Malvern

Light display, action

The front-page article on Silver Linings Playbook certainly appeals to the Philadelphia crowd ("Movie really hits home," Nov. 15). I would add that the final "kiss" scene was changed from the Ben Franklin House to Jewelers' Row, the oldest jewelry district in America, dating back to 1851. After the shoot, the entire Christmas street lighting set was purchased by the Philadelphia Jewelers' Row Association and is now a permanent display. It can be viewed on the 700 block of Sansom, and Eighth Street between Chestnut and Walnut.

Hy Goldberg, president, Philadelphia Jewelers' Row Association, diamonds@safianrudolph.com

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