to legalize drugs
A letter Tuesday argued that making drugs legal would cut crime. Stop and think for a moment about the results of making drugs legal nationally or internationally.
It would take the bottom out of the illegal drug market. It would stop all that violence in Mexico, for starters. It might well remove the Taliban's primary source of income in Afghanistan.
It would likely eliminate Philadelphia's overcrowded prisons without having to export inmates to other states at an additional cost.
What's to keep any police from moving?
City Councilman Frank Rizzo thinks police officers living in Germantown and Mount Airy will jump at the chance to move out of the city as opposed to the officers living in the Northeast. ("Changes for Phila. police residency rule: Now what?" Dec. 19).
Does Rizzo believe this because Germantown and Mount Airy have more minorities compared with the racial makeup of the Northeast?
Given the recent articles in The Inquirer on crime and the court system, every Philadelphian should soon be headed to the suburbs.
The next judge isn't a big improvement
Given the run-ins involving Common Pleas Court Judge Leslie Fleisher ("Closing arguments for a judge?," Tuesday), how much of an improvement will it be to send some of her cases to Judge Willis W. Berry Jr.?
He will be returning from a four-month suspension for running a real estate business from his court office and other dubious dealings.
The smell emanating from our court system is overwhelming. Berry should be in jail, not in a courtroom.
Elaine H. Rosomoff
Health-care funding doesn't grow on trees
I was struck by the naivete of Tony Auth's cartoon Tuesday featuring happy carolers singing from a book of government-provided goodies while the Scrooge-like Republican elephant skulks away muttering "Bah! Humbug!"
Does Auth really think government-provided health services fall like manna from heaven? Does he really think we need not give up something else when government health care must be purchased with limited means? Apparently so; otherwise he would not pen a cartoon that incorporates fallacious economic concepts.
Just sell off
seats in Congress
The United States should abandon the illusion that elected officials represent the interests of the people. Instead, we should sell the Senate and House seats to the companies and lobbyists who really own them.
The company and industry names could be attached to each seat. For example, the senator from Boeing or the congressman from the drug industry lobby.
Senate seats for Fortune 500 companies could start at $100 million for six years. House seats would be available to smaller companies and lobbyists for $10 million. The damage to taxpayers would be minimal, since this appears to be how the Congress operates today.
Better reporting will not stop violence
U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak's response to problems of violence in our schools is curious ("Know the roots of school violence," Monday).
Philadelphia is one of the very few districts in the country that has reported school-violence statistics accurately enough for many of its schools to earn "persistently dangerous" labels.
But reporting incidents does not create change. Collecting accurate data may be important, but it is not the critical response needed to deal with school violence.
It would be more helpful to hear from the congressman his ideas for schools that face particular challenges, and how these schools could become more effective places of learning. Promising to force accurate counts of violence will not reduce violence that is known but goes unaddressed.
for Children and Youth
Wrong to honor
The Block Award given to Michael Vick "to recognize courage, commitment to sportsmanship, and community service"? I think not ("Vick's not right pick for award in courage," Thursday).
Perhaps the award could be given to the dogs almost destroyed by his dogfighting operation and now being rehabilitated at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah.