ISSUE | PRISON FILE

Six who stood up

As the mother of one inmate, I thank The Inquirer for its coverage of the six State Correctional Institution at Dallas inmates who blew the whistle on coerced suicide and abuse at the prison in Luzerne County ("Advocates for 6 prisoners in Phila. to seek support," Oct. 25). I also offer this clarification so that readers understand the impossibility of rioting from solitary confinement: Neither then-inmate Derrick Stanley nor any of the other men still confined were outside their solitary-confinement cells.

Prisoners exit such cells only after being shackled. The prisoners cannot see one another, but heard the assaults. They covered their cell windows to attract intervention. Stanley was kneeling with his hands behind his back when guards entered wearing riot gear and beat him, then the others.

While covering a cell window is commonly handled through the prison disciplinary system, the Dallas Six were charged with rioting for whistle-blowing about torture they endured and witnessed. How many of us would have shown such courage and character? They should be praised, not framed.

|Shandre Delaney, coordinator, Justice for Dallas 6 Campaign, Pittsburgh, sd4hrc@gmail.com

ISSUE | ARTISTIC LICENSE

Opera goes too far

The Inquirer's music critic David Patrick Stearns was out of tune in deriding the motivations of protesters of the controversial opera The Death of Klinghoffer for being in a "blind rage" or "unaware of how opera slots work" ("Met's 'Death of Klinghoffer' staged at the wrong time," Oct. 23). On the contrary, it is Stearns who displays a lack of knowledge of the objections to what protesters understand as the opera's desire to find justifying reasons for terror and the supposed humanity of its propagators, its propaganda, dishonesty in misrepresenting facts, and its disregard for the feelings of slain cruise-ship passenger Leon Klinghoffer's family and other terror victims, and examples of the anti-Semitism in its libretto.

Stearns may also be unaware that among the protesters were many fellow opera lovers. However, we decided that art cannot be more important than honesty, and that the giving of a sympathetic audience to terrorism in any form is vile, no matter how beautifully it is orchestrated.

|Helen Fass, Philadelphia

ISSUE | LIVING WAGE

Look homeward, Gov. Christie

Gov. Christie finally decided to take some time off from his perambulations as chair of the Republican Governors Association to reiterate his opposition to raising the minimum wage ("Christie backs up stand on raise in minimum wage," Oct. 24). In the snide and condescending fashion that he has been trying to keep hidden while preparing his presidential run, Christie makes the assumption that all minimum wage earners are teens. Of course, that assumption has been proven incorrect, but the governor - with his close to three-quarters of a million income last year, mostly due to his wife's Wall Street earnings - finds it difficult to empathize with families trying to survive on that unlivable income. It's also convenient for him to take this approach, since it solidifies conservative support.

Christie's extended absences while campaigning have left him out of touch with what's needed in his own state.

|Marlene Lieber, Medford

ISSUE | ROLE MODELS

Young laureate's inspiration touches region

How inspiring was the commentary by Kathleen Brabson, president of Mount St. Joseph Academy, concerning her students' perseverance and determination to share Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai's message on the importance of the education of women and on the students' chance to meet their inspiring role model in person ("A chance to change the world," Oct. 21). The Mount's own mission statement says it all: "On the education of women largely depends the future of society."

|Rosemary A. Sullivan, Yardley, sullivanras7@gmail.com

ISSUE | EBOLA QUARANTINE

Protesting nurse obscured her contributions

Nurse Kaci Hickox is certainly to be commended for working in Liberia. However, she dimishes herself by complaining about her human rights being violated. I am sure her living conditions were somewhat difficult, but quarantine facilities are not available at the Four Seasons Hotel. The greater good outweighed her personal comfort.

|Marc Horman, M.D., Doylestown, lizmarc@comcast.net

ISSUE | GUN VIOLENCE

Harrisburg joins NRA on wrong side of debate

It's absolutely ridiculous that Harrisburg voted to allow the National Rifle Association to sue municipalities that enact gun ordinances designed to protect innocent citizens while not taking away any law-abiding citizen's right to own and use a gun ("Will Corbett stand?" Oct. 24). Since when is a requirement to report a lost or stolen gun in any way an infringement on the Second Amendment? When is the NRA going to do the right thing and support the police in their efforts to catch felons with weapons and to stop or reduce gun violence? And when are our legislators and Gov. Corbett going to stand up to the NRA when it tries to block sensible gun-law measures that do nothing to limit gun owners' rights?

|Robert Turnbull, Hatboro