Not exactly Philly's finest
When you think you've read and seen everything, go out your front door and pick up your copy of The Inquirer.
I read with wonderment about the suspension of Willie Singletary, a Philadelphia Traffic Court judge, for alleged sexual harassment. Here's a man who has no legal training or education, had racked up $11,500 in traffic fines, promises campaign contributors special treatment, and gets a job as a judge at $85,000 a year. Then he allegedly shows a photo of his private parts to a court worker and is involved with a federal investigation. Now I don't know if Philadelphia is the only city that elects judges this way, but it's enough to be a major embarrassment to Philadelphia and Philadelphians alike.
Robert Morgan, Southampton
Here's who's to blame in tax-cut fight
One cannot take seriously John Boehner's and several letter writers' complaint that the Democrats should have accommodated the House GOP's request to negotiate a one-year extension of the payroll-tax cut, instead of accepting the widely bipartisan, two-month compromise accepted by the Senate. The obstructionist GOP House has no intention of accepting any part of a millionaires' tax to pay for the payroll tax cut - it is more dedicated to its Grover Norquist no-tax pledge than to partially resolving our financial crisis. Negotiation and compromise are not part of the Republican right-wing agenda.
While difficult negotiations will ensue over the next two months, there would have been no payroll-tax-cut extension in January under current House GOP leadership and proposals, which continue to wage war on the middle class.
Elkan Katz, Philadelphia
Pay it forward and help those in need
Two recent commentaries truly embody the spirit of the holiday season. Liz Dow's piece ("Becoming attuned to needs around us," Sunday) extols the virtues of "paying it forward," a concept underscored by my belief that this fractured world of ours will only be made whole when we follow that author's advice that we "act upon the impulse to serve." Farah Jimenez's plea that we aggressively address the alarming rise in the number of homeless children ("A shelter from the storm," Monday) is a clarion call that all of us should heed.
It has been said that the true character of a society can be measured by the manner in which we attend to the needs of the most vulnerable among us. Surely, the reality of millions of poor and homeless children in America cries out for our collective attention.
In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, "Our lives begin to end on the day we become silent about things that matter." We must not remain silent when the lives of the most vulnerable among us are in jeopardy. On their behalf, we have a moral obligation to "pay it forward."
Peter C. McVeigh, Oreland, firstname.lastname@example.org
Private students deserve bus rides
In the article "Montco districts' struggle with joint busing plan for private schools" (Dec. 24), you failed to mention that each nonpublic school family pays public school taxes. We pay about $4,500 a year for school tax and get nothing else for our money. I think we deserve a 10-minute bus ride. You have made nonpublic students look like a burden on the system.
Paul Meiers, North Wales
Stand up against corporate power
On Jan. 21, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that corporations can spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections, giving corporations even more control over our government than they previously enjoyed.
As we approach the second anniversary of the disastrous ruling, the "99 percent" of us must continue our fight via "Occupy" and other groups to end the disparity of income and further disintegration of our democracy. One way would be to reverse this ruling. Several members of Congress have proposed the necessary constitutional amendment.
Take notice and get involved. Contact your member of Congress and ask him/her to co-sponsor the People's Rights Amendment, House Joint Resolution 88. Bill Moyers writes that it "could be our best hope to save the great American experiment."
Maria Duca, Philadelphia
Republicans have good candidates
Dick Polman's column "Will Ron Paul break the spell?" (Dec. 22) is on target. However, despite the major media and Polman in particular portraying this interesting array of Republican presidential possibilities as "unpalatable,"
"a motley crew," and generally of one political view, this is not the case. One could say that this group of politicians represents a cross section of America not limited to the big government policies that Polman and many information outlets represent.