Letters to the Editor: July 31, 2013

More logic is needed in the world

Some letters on the opinion page indicate the need for a high school unit on logic.

To argue that if event B occurs after event A, therefore Event A caused event B, is a prime example. Saying that, since Mayor Jones took office the murder rate has doubled does not show that Jones caused the rise in homicides.

If the graphs of the increase in global warming and the increase in dog bites match, it is as logical to conclude that the dog bites caused global warming as that the global warming caused the dog bites.

Students would learn to detect the fallacy in, “All men are voters, X is a voter, X is a man,” if they substituted Jane for X.

An opinion printed in the Northeast Times one week will, the following week, elicit attacks on the person rather than arguing that the person’s position is wrong, and then offering a counter-argument. For example, my thoughts on same-sex marriage the following week resulted in a pun on my family name. Such comments may generate heat but they shed no light on the issue.

Another faulty argument is the setting up of a “straw man” to be blown away, such as when one person actually asked the question, “If we allow same sex marriage, what will they want next, the right for a man to marry his horse?”

Advertising is equally guilty when a commercial shows a shiny new car with an attractive girl in a skimpy bikini sitting on the fender. I suppose that this implies that she is an included accessory, or maybe if you buy the car she will fall into your arms.

If we are to be wise voters and consumers, we need to learn to detect such logical flaws.

Mel Flitter

Somerton

Last Mass at St. Leo’s

On Sunday, June 30, 2013, my wife and I went to Mass at St. Leo’s, knowing that this was the last weekend for Sunday devotion, and I had to go. With all the rain that we have been getting of late, God was good and let the sun shine down on us, for the roof leaks. We were told that if it did rain, Mass would have been held in the lower church, called “Reverend Thomas Connell Hall.”

There was no air-conditioning, but just two noisy fans pushing more hot air around us. The celebrant talked so softly that you could not hear what he was saying. The lector, whom I did not know, was also up in her years. You could hear her voice, but not much more than Father’s.

As I sat through the Sunday service, my mind naturally went back to my youth. I remember the fans, the heat and Children’s Mass at 8:45 a.m. The upper church would be bulging at the seams with all the parishioners here for their weekly Sunday duty. As I was walking back to the pew after receiving Communion, I looked up to the choir loft. I could still see Sister Consolotta directing us, the little angels that we were, with Mrs. Dominic playing the organ. Each child would receive a dollar after midnight Christmas Mass, an Easter egg for that particular season and a bus trip at the end of the school year to Willow Grove Park, where “Life is a lark at Willow Grove Park.” After our day of fun, Sister would bring out her pitch pipe. It was a small instrument that she would blow into so that we would start the hymn on the correct note. Sister Consolotta would tell us that we would sing for the bus driver. If the bus driver was of a different faith, I am sure he was just thrilled to hear religious Catholic hymns.

Just before Mass ended, a few awards were given out, and Mass was finally over. It was time to leave. As my wife and I were walking out of the church for the last time, I had to turn around and look at the front of the church. All I could hear was, “To St. Leo the Great, let our feast day praises ring…..” That was when I turned around and walked out.

Michael Corcoran

Walton Park

Shame on Times for story on Playmate

You showed poor judgment when you put the article, “The Girl Next Door,” on the front page of your July 17 edition.

It mystifies me why you would think a girl who takes off her clothes for money is worth promoting. There are many other young adults out there who are working hard to make something of their lives and don’t resort to stripping down for the public to do it. Why wouldn’t you write about one of them?

When the author of the article informs his readers, “It is weird, a bit unnerving really, to see a former coworker in the buff, and then to see her again with all her clothes on,” and the fact that he has been “a Playboy subscriber of many years,” it is not only too much information, it is downright creepy!

I was also dismayed when bar owner, John Reedy, made the statement, “She was always a classy girl.” I think Mr. Reedy needs to consult a dictionary for the meaning of the word, “classy.” Perhaps he meant to say, “classless.”

Please don’t subject your readers to any more stories of this kind.

Catherine Morrison

Far Northeast

Trash or a memorial?

I am writing to speak my mind. Recently, my husband and I were taking T-shirts off crosses that were on our church’s lawn, St. John’s Lutheran Church, 3101 Tyson Ave. These T-shirts and crosses are a memorial to the lost and created by Heeding God’s Call, a group inspiring hope, raising voices and taking action to end gun violence. These T-shirts represent 288 people aged 6 to 80 who were killed in Philadelphia in 2012 by crossfire or mistaken identity.

A lady drove by the memorial and called out the window, “It’s about time you’re taking down that trash!” I answered back, “A memorial to these 288 people killed by gun violence in Philadelphia is not trash.” I know that people can have different opinions, but to call a memorial “trash” just irked me.

Vicki Schempp

Tacony

Kevin Boyle needs a reality check

I do believe that our state Rep. Mr. Kevin Boyle should make a reality check. It’s not the licensed-to-carry citizens pulling out guns and shooting people on the streets over gang or drug-related issues. I have serious doubts that some 17- or 18-year-old has a permit.

The problem is so bad that a bill was introduced in the Pennsylvania House by Republican Rep. John Taylor increasing sentencing to two years minimum with no parole, probation or furlough (no suspended sentencing) if convicted of “Carrying a Firearm Without a License in Philadelphia.”

The entire purpose of having a non-sport weapon is to protect your family and yourself. Instead of trying to get his name in the news, I suggest Boyle read the news. Do a web search using “Home Invasion Philadelphia,” then click on the link that says “Home Invasion CBS Philly.” It’s almost a city sport these days.

Jumping on the Martin/Zimmerman media circus bandwagon as a reason to deny people the right to self defense? Maybe if my home is invaded, instead of using a gun, I can ask them to wait a second while I call the police. How does the murder trial of an egotistical, wannabe rent-a-cop in a state about a thousand miles away who was found innocent in a court of law have anything to do with what is happening in Philadelphia? It doesn’t.

Hezakiah Levinson

Rhawnhurst

Bravo to Rep. King for condemning illegals

Truth is now “reprehensible.”

U.S. Rep. Steve King recently stated that he is sympathetic to the situation in which many undocumented children find themselves. He said that, while some of these children were brought to the U.S. by their parents and are so-called “Dreamers” (brought to the U.S. before they were 16 and are not yet 30 years of age), they weren’t all brought here by their parents.

He stated that not all so-called “Dreamers” are created equal. For every one who is a valedictorian, there are another hundred out there hauling marijuana across the desert. However, under Senate Bill 744, all would potentially be legalized. For speaking the truth, he was berated by his Republican colleagues John Boehner, Eric Cantor and Trey Gowdy. His language was called “hateful” and his remarks were called “reprehensible.” Florida Democratic Rep. Joe Garcia found his remarks “beneath the dignity” of a member of Congress. When did truth become hateful or reprehensible or beneath the dignity of a member of Congress?

What is reprehensible is 19-year old Sergio Perez, a suspected illegal alien, who allegedly beat and raped a 93-year-old woman last week in Nebraska. Her cheekbones, nose and several teeth were broken in the ordeal and she died after a short hospital stay. What is reprehensible is a 13-year old female being raped for several hours last week in Texas, allegedly by a large group of illegal aliens. What is reprehensible is a 9-month-old California baby being raped and killed last month, allegedly by an illegal alien.

The words spoken by Rep. Steve King are not reprehensible but true. The actions of illegal alien criminals are what should be condemned and considered reprehensible by our uninformed legislators. Wake up to reality! The proposed pathway to citizenship for lawbreakers is unjust, unfair and anti-American.

Margie Weston

Somerton

Tiresome letter writer

First, Richard Iaconelli, you continue to conflate “gay” marriage with “gay” adoption. One doesn’t necessitate the other. I wish you could at least get this part right.

Now let’s briefly discuss self-affirmed conservative Robert Lopez’s article.

I can feel Mr. Lopez’s pain. It is difficult growing up “different.” There is a multitude of situations in which a child may feel different: divorced parents in a neighborhood where most parents are still married to each other, or being raised by a single parent (of either gender), or having parents of different races, or parents of different religions, or having a mental illness, or being too fat, or being an athletic girl, or being raised in a religion that is different from that of your neighbors, or being too skinny, or being an intellectual, or wearing hand-me-down clothing when your peers have name brands, or having a chronic illness, or being vegan, or a million and one other things.

One might make the case that people on the autism spectrum shouldn’t marry and have children because they won’t know how to give their kids the emotional nurturing children need. Or interracial couples shouldn’t marry and have children because the mixed-race child will suffer socially. Both of these scenarios are completely absurd.

Michael Alexander

Holmesburg

Gay adoption is not gay marriage

Mr. Iaconelli, if you are weary of people attacking you personally for your biased views on gay marriage, why don’t you stop expressing them? You quote from a book written by thepublicdiscourse.com, a forum backed by the Witherspoon Group, a bunch of self-righteous moralists who would impose their slanted ideas on everyone. I’m sure that children raised by gay couples have problems as do the children of all married couples and single parents. Do you have any information or statistics comparing these children?

Of course you don’t. There probably isn’t any. As far as exposure to gays is concerned, I doubt there any people among us who don’t have good relationships with them, whether with family members or friends.

Don’t moralize, Mr. Iaconelli. We’ll handle this in our own way without your help.

Joseph Orenstein

Bustleton

Support staff does great work in schools

I would like to comment on Peter DiGiuseppe’s letter to the editor titled “Philly public school teachers need to suck it up.” I have been a support services assistant for the School District of Philadelphia for more than 13 years. I feel Mr. DiGiuseppe needs to be more informed about a few things. People don’t become teachers because they think they will be guaranteed a job for life but do so because they care about the education of children.

As for the population decreasing over the years, I worked for 12 years at Loesche Elementary, and there was always a steady attendance record of more than 800 students during all those years. Fewer schools available to house the same number of students leads to overcrowding.

The recent layoffs of more than 3,000 people from the school district basically did not affect teachers but the support staff. A teacher generally is only responsible for the students in her class, but the support staff interacts every day with the majority of the school population. Mr. DiGiuseppe, how would you feel if you went to register your child for school and there was no secretary to do so? How would you feel if your child had a medical issue and there was no nurse available? How would you feel if your child had issues in school or at home and there was no counselor? How would you feel if your child had a learning disability and was not at grade level in reading or math and there was no support services assistant to give your child the extra support he needs? How would you feel if your kindergartner could not open his milk or juice or spilled his lunch and there was no noon-time aide to help? And let us not forget the assistant principals who help the principal make sure the school runs smoothly on a daily basis. Then there’s the issue of safety. The support staff are generally the eyes and ears of the school, making sure the school is safe for your child.

I am happy that my own children have long since graduated from the Philadelphia school district but am saddened that the education of future generations is taking a back seat to the almighty dollar.

Spending money to build a prison instead of giving it to schools is just not right; I guess they are planning for the future.

Mr. DiGiuseppe, would you still be telling the teachers to suck it up if it were your wife, son or daughter who was one of those 3,000 who was recently laid off from the school district?

Renate Pittmann

Recently laid-off Support Services Assistant School District of Philadelphia