Get serious on ISIS

The long-term strategy to defeat ISIS outlined by Paul McHale is one that needs to be immediately adopted by our political leadership ("The need to defeat the ISIS 'center of gravity'," Dec. 14). His point that our fight against ISIS is an affirmation of civilization itself could not be clearer.

With rampant Islamic extremism causing death and destruction from Nigeria to Afghanistan, one only hopes that President Obama and Congress will see the urgent need to carry out such a strategy. It is a commonsense policy that is both achievable and will save American lives and money in the long run.

|Chuck Riley, Cherry Hill,

Speaking out

My prayers go out to all those affected by the tragic hostage crisis in Australia on Monday ("Sydney hostage crisis ends in gunfire; 3 dead," Dec. 16). As a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association (AMYA) USA, I strongly condemn such acts.

Such acts against peace and humanity have no place in the fold of Islam. Because of this, the AMYA has begun a nationwide "Stop the CrISIS" initiative that aims to educate and inform people about the true principles of Islam. Join us as we speak up against ISIS and other fundamentalists who terrorize in the name of religion.

|Ijaz Ahmed, AMYA USA, Pottstown,


Bright future

A new report by the PennEnvironment Research and Policy Center shows that the sky really is the limit for solar energy. The report was released on the same day that U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D., Pa.) made a strong case for the moral imperative behind tackling climate change. And the report addresses his only doubt: It shows that Pennsylvania can clearly meet the Clean Power Plan's renewable energy goal.

Solar in Pennsylvania has grown by an average of 49 percent each year since 2010. In fact, solar is the nation's fastest-growing industry, and if solar installations continue to increase at the same rate, solar will meet a full 15 percent of our electricity needs by 2025.

|Elowyn Corby, Philadelphia,


Rare look at founding documents

At the National Constitution Center on Monday, Bill of Rights Day was an exciting start to three years of debate and education about the historic and contemporary meaning of the Bill of Rights ("Raising constitutional awareness," Dec. 9). As Inquirer reporter Stephan Salisbury reported, in time for the winter break, we've opened a new exhibit that invites students of all ages to view an original copy of the Bill of Rights here in Philadelphia.

The exhibit tells the story of how the rights that were promised in the Declaration of Independence were implicit in the Constitution and finally codified in the Bill of Rights. The original document, displayed alongside rare copies of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, will be at the center through 2017. It will be the physical centerpiece of our efforts to provide a nonpartisan platform that presents the best arguments on all sides of present-day constitutional debates.

|Jeffrey Rosen, president and chief executive officer, National Constitution Center, Philadelphia


Onlookers can only envy these retirees

Gee, I wonder how many people are affected by government pensions ("Shouldn't break promise," Dec. 15)? And how many more do not receive one, but pay taxes? Gov. Christie inherited a boatload of historic cronyism and debt. Pension reform must occur.

|Mike Woloshin, Medford


Decades-ago teen fantasies about Bryn Athyn

The front-page article on Bryn Athyn brought back memories from when I grew up in Abington Township during the 1950s and - with Bryn Athyn being such a closed community - there sprung up incredible urban legends that were passed from one generation of local teenagers to the next ("Change comes to traditional enclave," Dec. 14). The stories were that the Pitcairns intermarried and so, on summer nights with nothing better to do, whoever had a car would take us on a drive up Huntingdon Pike in hopes of spotting a scary offspring. Of course, we never did, but as urban legends go, everybody knew somebody who knew somebody who thought they had.

Some years later, I worked with a young man who married a Pitcairn, and he was mystified when I told him how Pitcairn legends were a wild and entertaining part of teen years for generations of kids who lived just outside Bryn Athyn.

|Marguerite Sexton, Jenkintown


Thoughful consideration of life's last chapter

Wonderful and important piece in the Sunday Heath section regarding end-of-life issues ("The struggle to tell patients end is near," Dec. 14). Why is it that something we all will face, something many of us think of so often, we speak of so seldom? It's not fun thinking of our mortality, but articles like these make it just a little bit easier. We will all face the end, and denying it will not make it any easier when the time comes.

|Ken Derow, Swarthmore