ISSUE | SHERIFF: Order from the court
The Inquirer editorial concerning some contracts in the Sheriff's Office ignores a fact that the editors are fully aware of: Sheriff Jewell Williams is under a court order that requires the office to hire personnel to meet certain deadlines in the foreclosure and tax-sale process ("New sheriff or same old?" July 8). Both the city and the sheriff are bound by this order. Not less than three times does the court order state, "the sheriff shall take all such action as is necessary, including but not limited to the hiring of personnel and the expenditure of monies to pay salaries and overtime" to meet the stipulated deadlines. A copy of this court order was given to an Inquirer reporter and brought to the Editorial Board's attention the day the article ignoring this fact was published.
|Benjamin Hayllar, chief deputy sheriff, Philadelphia
ISSUE | LOCAL TALENT: Singing to the coast
For vocalist Peggy King, it's not enough to be touring the East Coast with the Philly-based All-Star Jazz Trio. At 84, King has been booked for a special appearance at the Catalina Jazz Club Bar and Grill in Los Angeles with the Corky Hale Trio later this month while vacationing and visiting her daughter there. "Pretty, Perky Peggy" never ceases to amaze.
|Herb Stark, Mooresville, N.C.
ISSUE | BENGHAZI: Time to move on
Why is it news that there were two separate attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi ("2 separate Benghazi attacks?" July 10)? And why, after several public inquiries and reports on those tragic events, is there "newly revealed testimony" coming from House committees still holding political witch hunts with an additional select committee still to come? It's time for the American taxpayers to call a halt to this destructive and repetitive process, which has cost millions and produced no information not available by October 2012, following published eyewitness accounts. Instead, the House should allocate money to increase security at diplomatic outposts. That would be much more effective in solving the problem than endless political dialogue.
|Alison B. Graham, Wynnewood
ISSUE | PENSIONS, HEALTH CARE: Corbett's line in the sand on benefits
Two thumbs up for Gov. Corbett for using his line-item veto on certain sections of the state budget and for holding the legislature's feet to the fire to reform public pensions ("Corbett signs, deletes," July 11). The day is past when public employees should receive guaranteed pensions well in excess of what society can afford. Most privately employed workers enjoy no such guarantee- if they have a pension at all, they must work until 65 for full retirement, and must contribute to their health care on an increasing level.
|Jeff Templeton, Malvern
ISSUE | UNFINISHED BUSINESS: Too little bang for Pa. legislative buck
It's time for voters to do something about Pennsylvania's lackluster legislature ("Their work isn't done," July 11). Vote them all out. Then they'll have all the time they want to adjourn for the summer.
|Flo Palazzolo, Newtown
ISSUE | WORLD PEACE: Remember the carnage, but seek change
Ian Isherwood, an expert on World War I, asks some acute questions about the significance of that war, including the key question - all but forgotten nowadays - as to whether lasting international peace is possible ("A time to remember U.S. rise as a world power," July 11). Believe it or not, according to many thinkers prior to the war, a lasting peace is achievable with the use of global dispute resolution. Former President William Howard Taft was the president of a peace group devoted to this very cause, both prior to and after World War I. Indeed, a close look at U.S. history reveals that the crux of this idea - global dispute resolution - was proposed or adopted by five prior American presidents. All of that has seemingly been forgotten. Remembering World War I - how it started (according to G.J. Meyer, due to a series of "miscues, miscommunications, misunderstandings, and blunders"), how it ended, and how easy it would be to forget its lessons today - would make for an appropriate discussion in this four-year (2014-2018) World War I commemorative period.
|James T. Ranney, Philadelphia, firstname.lastname@example.org
Faith leader working to end Islamic violence
Ramadan is a time for prayer and self-reflection for Muslims around the world. However, as I ended my second week and read over recent news stories, I couldn't help but ask, "Where are the real Muslims?" There is a Muslim who is claiming to be the caliph of Islam, but his followers will kill anyone who does not adhere to their ideology, while wreaking havoc throughout Iraq and Syria. But real Islam lies with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, a 125-year-old peace-loving community. They too have a leader, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad. Yet he has advocated for peace through letters to the world's leaders. This is where I see true Islam.