Dennis Kulchinsky, Prospect Park
Mumia banner was a bummer
The Made in America festival held over the Labor Day weekend was by all accounts a success. But I found it ironic that one of the acts, Public Enemy, felt it necessary to display a "Free Mumia" banner at the venue. This action, representing support for the convicted murderer of Police Officer Daniel Faulkner, was taken as the Police Department was providing support and protection not only for the crowds in attendance, but also for the entertainers, their staffs, and their equipment, including the members of Public Enemy. The view from the stage must be entirely different from the view from street level.
Tom Corcoran, Philadelphia
Whistle-blowers before snitchers
On the heels of so much condemnation of Bradley/Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, and others for daring to snitch about government misdeeds, it is almost funny to see The Inquirer advocating snitching on criminals ("Crime witnesses must believe it's safe to testify," Aug. 26). Safety for whistle-blowers, or snitchers, is rarely demanded for those who expose government and corporate crimes. As we speak, laws are being created to criminalize exposing illegal treatment of animals in meat production facilities. Attempts are made to criminalize recording and reporting of illegal police actions. But at the same time, one faces big trouble, even life in prison, torture, and death, if dutifully, patriotically exposing government crimes. Individual criminals who act to silence witnesses seem to be getting their witness-intimidation ideas from role models within the federal government. The Inquirer editorial and the district attorney arbitrarily support small-time snitching, but not big-time snitching.
John Jonik, Philadelphia, email@example.com
Driving away those baby strollers
Another proud moment for Pennsylvania and the Corbett administration: After savaging public education, Gov. Corbett has reached a new low by dropping many children, families, and pregnant women from Medicaid. If you look at the states that have the highest proportion of elderly, Pennsylvania is in the top five. So it would behoove the commonwealth to attract younger couples of childbearing age. But Corbett's misguided education and health-care policies seem designed to do just the opposite.
Eric Schott, West Grove, firstname.lastname@example.org