LETTERS - Jan. 12
ISSUE | PARIS ATTACKS Power of cartoons Once again, the pride/shame axis rears its powerful head: There is no more potent force for emotional health than pride and, aside from self-defense, no more powerful motivation for violent behavior than shame ("Stand up for free speech," Jan 8).
ISSUE | PARIS ATTACKS
Power of cartoons
Once again, the pride/shame axis rears its powerful head: There is no more potent force for emotional health than pride and, aside from self-defense, no more powerful motivation for violent behavior than shame ("Stand up for free speech," Jan 8).
Cartoons are provocative because humor cuts to the quick and shame is often triggered. Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, and Mort Sahl knew that.
|John Brodsky, Swarthmore, email@example.com
ISSUE | SHALE-GAS TAX
Wallets to be tapped
A shale-gas tax would be passed on to consumers ("State has an obligation to tax gas extraction," Jan. 1). But should families be forced to pay more to heat their homes simply because Harrisburg is in the red and needs to balance its budget?
Let's stop picking on a job-creating industry and the Pennsylvanians benefitting from it. Instead, let's fix the core of Harrisburg's problem by reforming programs that are driving up costs, like public pensions, Medicaid, and state debt. Natural gas is not a scapegoat; it's a lifeline we can't afford to misuse.
|Elizabeth Stelle, director of policy analysis, Commonwealth Foundation, Harrisburg, firstname.lastname@example.org
ISSUE | PARENTING
Should be proud
Every day I open a newspaper or turn on the TV news, I'm faced with some horrible event in the world. Then I get to deal with the issues in my life - how to make more money and buy more things, which fantastic university my 17-year-old will settle on.
And then I read about what Karen and Adam Owens are doing with their lives in caring for several medically fragile children, and it takes my breath away ("The parent trip," Jan. 7). God bless them both.
|John W. Jones, Solebury
ISSUE | N.J. COMPETITIVENESS
A state on the move - in the wrong direction
More than three years ago, I left New Jersey for the Carolinas. What that region offered was a lower cost of living, warmer winters, free beaches, and the highest mountain peaks east of the Mississippi. I also enjoy pumping my gas and making mid-block U-turns legally.
Last week, New Jersey received news that it was going to lose one of its largest corporate tenants - Mercedes-Benz - to Georgia. And United Van Lines identified New Jersey as the state with the greatest number of people moving out in 2014. Also, companies such as Sealed Air Corp. and MetLife have either vacated or are in the process of leaving the Garden State for the Carolinas.
Let's face it, Jersey companies and residents alike are tired of dealing with the high taxes, and they are flocking to so-called right-to-work states. I'm sure the governor of my adopted state, as well as those of North Carolina and Georgia, could teach the New Jersey Education Associations and Steve Sweeneys of the world a thing or two about promoting a healthy business climate.
|Jay Himelstein, Van Wyck, S.C.
ISSUE | CONGRESSIONAL INQUIRY
An investigation whose time has passed
I greatly resent spending more time and taxpayer money on yet another probe of the Benghazi attack clearly motivated by politics.
|Timothy Walsh, Havertown
ISSUE | STANDARDS
More to well-rounded studies than exams
All the high-stakes testing in the world will only cover the rear ends of school board ideologues who have not supported imaginative, innovative, and dedicated teachers, and have not taken into account children's need to move and play - through art, music, physical education, and collaborative activity. It will only measure how painfully they have failed our children ("Pa. can help children and save the taxpayers money," Jan. 7).
We do need prekindergarten programs of quality for all. If we bore our children to death with tests and forced inactivity, we will kill the interest of even the best-prepared pre-K students who are promoted to higher grades.
|Ben Burrows, Elkins Park
Make vocational education viable again
As a retired public school teacher and present-day community college instructor, I have had to participate in the victimization of students because of the ill-planned No Child Left Behind law. Former President George W. Bush prided himself on his belief that every child should attend college, and with that statement came the demise of quality vocational education. Every day, I and my colleagues see students struggling through developmental courses, which often leads to an excessive dropout rate by the second semester.
Now comes Bush's brother Jeb, and he wants to up the ante. What happens to the students who were left in the dust by No Child Left Behind if people who are clueless about education once again raise the standards? We will simply have more dropouts.
|Edie Sherman, Ambler