Someone once said that though the death penalty has never been proven to prevent crime, it at least prevents one person from committing a crime. Unfortunately, that does not balance the scales when innocent people are executed ("Head opposes execution; the heart can be trickier," Sunday).
From a practical point of view, it is more expensive to sentence a criminal to death than incarcerate him for life. Execution is quick, one hopes painless, and certainly final, which doesn't exact the revenge victims would like. Life in a maximum-security prison is a harsher penalty.
Though the claim we are a Christian nation may be moot, there is no doubt that many of our citizens believe in heaven and hell, as described in the Bible.
If that is the case, who are we to usurp the Creator? Eternity is a long time, so there is no hurry for judgment to be rendered and penalties assessed.
Ralph D. Bloch
So Rep. Joe Pitts (R., Pa.) and his allies are salivating at the opportunity to curtail abortion rights ("Abortion foe set for key House post," Sunday). Pitts will do this because "the protection of the sanctity of innocent human life" is "the cornerstone of his service in the House."
Does Pitts realize that children without adequate food, housing, education, and access to health care are innocent life? Does he realize that the Iraqi and Afghan civilian victims of our military incursions are innocent life? Does he realize that the unemployed, whose benefits were held hostage to continued financial breaks for the super-rich, are innocent life?
Being antiabortion is one thing; being pro-life is quite another. Life is life, from womb to tomb. If Pitts expends his energy and newly bestowed power exclusively on the issue of abortion, he most certainly will not be considered pro-life.
The editorial "A socialist he's not" (Sunday) would have us believe that President Obama's compromise on the tax-cut deal is proof, along with his compromises on health care and Afghanistan, that he is a centrist. That is like telling us that the Russians and Chinese are moderates because they have made compromises toward state-controlled capitalism.
For Obama, this is about survival. Bill Clinton "survived" a GOP takeover of the House by moving to the center. And so, to survive politically, Obama will move there, too.
But the liberal-socialist moniker was applied to Obama based on his own words and voting record. Political expedience is a means to an end and should not be confused with a change in one's nature.
Please refrain from making DeSean Jackson larger than life on the front page of the paper ("Eagles dump Dallas," Monday). Also, please don't publish pictures of him dancing backward into the end zone. He is not an appropriate role model for our young people. Those who practice good sportsmanship and responsibility are role models.
Perhaps Jackson could take lessons from Coach Derrick Williams and the North Philly Blackhawks, a football team for preteen boys ("Return of a team that went all the way," Monday). Congratulations to the Pop Warner champions!
As a white male contractor, I take great offense at the fiasco that is going on in the Philadelphia School District in the name of diversity ("Firm lost district job despite vow of diversity," Sunday).
Any contract for work, whether for the school district or any other public entity, should be awarded to the lowest qualified bidder, regardless of ethnicity. This is public tax money being spent. Any emergency work should be awarded on the same basis to prequalified firms. There is no reason minority-owned firms cannot compete on the same basis as other firms, and it is an insult to the minority firms to make people think that they need preferential treatment. The bottom line is to get the best job for the lowest price.
My 78-year-old mother has borne a grudge against the Phillies ever since they traded away Cliff Lee. "All he did," I agreed, "was go undefeated in the postseason and win both games he pitched in the World Series. Why in the world would the Phillies want to keep him?"
While it would have been sweet revenge for Lee to get his championship ring this year, he'll only have to wait one more to earn it as an indispensable member of the 2011 World Series champions, the Phillies.
Welcome home, Cliff.