Prosecutors must go

Americans for Democratic Action of Southeastern Pennsylvania joins the Philadelphia chapter of the National Organization for Women, Philadelphia's city councilwomen, and many progressive civic organizations in demanding the ouster of Assistant District Attorneys Frank Fina, Patrick Blessington, and Marc Costanzo ("Prosecutorial indiscretion," Wednesday).

While employed by the state, and before being hired by the District Attorney's Office, Fina, Blessington, and Costanzo received and, in Fina's case, sent racist, misogynist, and homophobic emails. They manifested contempt for more than half the citizens they were appointed to serve impartially.

They should not continue to serve citizens they hold in such disdain. Their conduct has brought the entire criminal justice system into question and raises concern about their judgment in all aspects of their work.

Can African Americans, members of the LGBT community, and women - whether they are victims or possible criminals - feel secure that their cases will be investigated fairly and impartially? We think not. The criminal justice system must be above reproach. The public must have absolute assurance that the system acts with probity and integrity.

District Attorney Seth Williams has the power and the responsibility to mitigate this problem. He should immediately demand the resignations of Fina, Blessington, and Constanzo.

|Glenavie Norton, chair, Americans for Democratic Action of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Philadelphia


Feeling love along city streets

I'm a Philly native but have lived in the Orlando area for nine years. I returned early for Thanksgiving to participate in the Philadelphia Half Marathon and was blown away by the incredible crowd support. I've run in more than 30 races and never seen anything like it.

It was a tough race, especially for my thin Florida blood in the cold snap, but the cheering people lining the streets for 13.1 miles brought warmth that no amount of clothing could have. I was traveling with a friend, and I was so proud that this was her first time in Philly as she gushed about the crowd support. Long-distance running can be lonely, but I felt lifted throughout by people cheering and calling my name. And how many races have a mayor at the starting line to high-five participants?

While road races can be big burdens on cities - some of which are limiting events - being welcomed with open arms was an amazing experience. I am so happy that I came back early and started my time of giving thanks with 60,000 new friends.

|Kristin Durfee, Apopka, Fla.


We have met the enemy

There are still those who blame successful terrorist recruitment on lack of jobs, political oppression, etc. But by now it is well known that many if not most of the militants in question are middle and upper class, with good educations and opportunities.

More realistically, the traditional rabbinic duality of yetzer ha-ra and yetzer ha-tov describes an evil inclination and a good inclination innate to every human, with the evil, ha-ra, predominant until one is molded into a decent human being. We are seeing individuals who have plugged into an ideology that justifies and even celebrates their evil inclination.

Although a segment of Islam provides an especially vicious example of this, it is not unique to Islam. The same problem plagued various societies throughout history. Nazism was the most dangerous such international plague in the last century. Like Nazism, the current manifestation cannot be fought or defeated with politically correct platitudes.

|Arthur Rabin, Wynnewood