If I were being tortured, I would say whatever you wanted me to say to make it stop ("U.S. reviews terror war," Jan. 26). Try to imagine being spirited off to a hellhole such as Abu Ghraib in Iraq or Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and being waterboarded again and again. How long would it be before I, you, or our politicians (except for Sen. John McCain) folded up like Origami and begged our captors to "just tell me what to say" to make it stop.
Torture does not yield information or truth; it just reinforces the preconceived notions of their captors. I doubt the suffering yields useful information, but it provides religious extremists with proof that America is the Great Satan.
Beyond that, it is morally corrupt. The rejection of torture is a prime element of the Geneva Conventions.
Torture works, but only for those who want to see America destroyed.
|Chris Bushnell, Penn Valley
The Republicans have lashed out at Democrats for what they called "partisan, obstructionist moves" in delaying confirmation of President Trump's cabinet appointments ("Dems resist nominees," Wednesday). I recall the Republicans refusing to consider Judge Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama's nominee for the Supreme Court. This is just another example of the Republicans' many hypocrisies.
|David Friedman, Lafayette Hill
I'm getting really sick of letters from all the conservatives whining that the Inquirer - as a true newspaper reporting real, not fake news - feels it must publish. Come on, guys and gals, just look at the piece on Thursday's editorial page about Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch and what a great jurist he is ("Gorsuch an intellectual giant"). This is liberal bias? If you want to read only news that agrees completely with your views, read Breitbart and listen to Fox (Faux) News. The Inquirer is one of the best newspapers in the country, and even though there are times when I, the progressive (for years a Progressive Teddy Roosevelt Republican), want to scream at some things it publishes, I realize it is obligated to report all true news.
|Henry A. Seigel, Philadelphia
John Baer's blog post "Pennsylvania's higher education woes" (Jan. 26, Philly.com) was right on the money. The commonwealth should increase its investment in its postsecondary education system, especially the state's largest provider of postsecondary education: community colleges.
In 2015-16, the colleges enrolled nearly 327,000 students from every county in credit and noncredit programs, with an average tuition of $3,070 - a fraction of the cost of other options.
Increased state support for community colleges is essential if they are to remain a high-quality option for students to complete their first two years of postsecondary education or acquire valuable workforce skills. Our state and employers are depending on it.
|Elizabeth Bolden, president/CEO, Pa. Commission for Community Colleges, Harrisburg, firstname.lastname@example.org
As a social studies teacher, I taught the history of the Emmett Till tragedy more times than I care to remember. When 14-year-old Emmett was murdered in Mississippi in 1955, I was but 3 years old. Reading that the key witness in the murder trial of his alleged assailants lied when she said he had made physical and verbal threats to her ("Key Till witness gave false testimony, book says," Jan. 29), I wept as though I was still 3.
|Ron Ranieri, Dresher
South Jersey Gas Co.'s proposed pipeline to provide natural gas service to the B.L. England electric generation facility in Cape May County could create a reliable, clean energy source and a stimulus to the overall growth of the region.
Economic development incentives initially available to Camden are now available to help Atlantic City diversify its economy. Other incentives for Atlantic and Cape May Counties are being considered by the state Legislature. Towns and counties are rehabilitating public facilities, colleges and universities are expanding their campuses, and school districts are embarking on renovations and construction. These projects lead to the hiring of workers and the construction of homes. The energy needed to meet the demand of this rapidly growing region is paramount.
The state Department of Environmental Protection has found that converting the B.L. England plant from coal and oil to natural gas would ensure gas and electric reliability in Cape May and Atlantic Counties and reduce pollutants in the Pinelands and surrounding communities.
The South New Jersey Development Council gives the construction of this pipeline our full support and is hopeful that you will too.