Any display of faith positive

I agree with Michael Smerconish that we hardly ever hear athletes praise their God following a defeat ("God doesn't pay attention to the game," Sunday). But a show of faith, anytime, is a positive.

Of course, not all celebratory displays may be about faith. I still acknowledge my father, who died in 1982, by looking to the sky when I complete a certain task with skills learned from him.

I never played organized baseball beyond high school, but always blessed myself before each and every at-bat. I even made the sign of the cross during pickup games. It was and is far from cliché.

Perhaps the mechanic, the clerk, the lawyer, and the rest of us should point to the sky more often as a show of whatever faith we have.

Many folks believe that their God has everything to do with everything. And my faith does not have God resting - He is always with me, win or lose.

Kenneth C. Kunz

Mantua

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Hope for change in Philly courts

What an uplifting article ("In search of justice," Sunday). We Philadelphians are so used to reports of nonfunctioning city departments, corrupt city officials, and a general feeling of "nothing will change" that the moves suggested may inspire us to thoughts of real improvement in our court system. Kudos to all who are a part of this exciting effort.

Gladys Pfaff

Philadelphia

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The true cost of extending tax cuts

I keep reading how extending the Bush tax cuts for people earning more than $250,000 a year is going to "cost" $700 billion ("Senate votes down plan on tax breaks," Sunday). If I buy a new flat-screen TV for $1,000, that is a cost to me. If I do not get a $1,000 raise, it doesn't "cost" me anything. I would have less money, but it would have been imprudent of me to spend the raise before I got it. This concept seems to be foreign to our elected representatives in Washington.

If tax cuts are eliminated for people making more than $250,000, it would likely not reduce the deficit to any great extent. The more likely scenario would be a mad scramble in Washington to spend this "found" money as quickly as possible.

Eric Ketterer

Richboro

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With taxes, there is no 'permanent'

I would greatly appreciate it if you would quit using the word

permanent

with respect to any reference to taxes, especially the tax-rate extension proposals being debated in Washington ("Put politics aside," Sunday). I have been practicing accounting and preparing tax returns since the late 1970s. I can barely remember a two-year period when there were not significant changes to the tax code that required changes to both the forms included in my clients' tax returns and the associated instructions. I may be mistaken, but even the MTV generation cannot consider a tax code written in sand "permanent."

Philip B. Goodman

Hatboro

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Humanely correct local deer problem

The commentary opposing the deer hunt ("A case for not killing the Valley Forge deer," Friday) appeals not to the laws of nature but to fantasy. If we continue to stand apart from nature, there is no way to comprehend how we have enabled deer to become so destructive to our common habitat. We are the cause of this problem, and we can humanely correct it by acting as the most appropriate and efficient predator who plays a role in this system.

Nature has "balanced" the deer herd with available resources, and in this instance it has created an unhealthy herd of smaller adult deer who have prevented natural regeneration and destroyed landscaping around private homes. Even eliminating driving through the area would only remove one more "natural" control.

I have never gone hunting, nor do I care to begin. And if I visit Valley Forge, I would be delighted now and then to see a healthy deer. But the claim that the deer population may have stabilized does not mean its numbers are in balance with a healthy ecosystem.

John Wenderoth

Media

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Just the right touch on naming of village

Kudos to Daniel Rubin ("It takes a city to name a village," Thursday) for his light, humorous touch on an issue hardly worth our time and energy in today's world.

The integrative play of diversity is not only a sign of intelligence, but an opportunity to recognize and appreciate the interconnectedness of our mutual belonging, to be good neighbors. Rubin is right, however, in reminding us to be as conscious of other traditions, to acknowledge their holiday season with the same respect.

Lil Needham

Wyndmoor