Letters to the Editor: June 14, 2017

Should special needs woman vote?

In response to Hezakiah Levinson’s Letter to the Editor, “These bureaucratic buffoons,” published on June 7:

I work in emergency services and have had specialized training in dealing with people of special needs.

However, your letter about your daughter and jury duty has troubled me and leaves me wondering.

Your attack on the jury selection service is a contradiction. Everyone knows they derive their pool from registered voters, which would be 18-year-old men and women of sound mind who know right from wrong, can process information presented to them and make informed, unbiased decisions based solely on what they, the individual, believe to be true.

Then you go on to say that your daughter is “rated mentally to be on par with a 5-year-old, can’t read or write beyond printing her name and is beyond understanding how a jury system works.”

You further state that the condition renders a person “not only incapable of serving on a jury at any time, but [also] incapable of performing any adult function like working, paying bills, or even catching a bus to go down the street.”

Sadly, these are your own words, but at the risk of sounding insensitive… it begs the question, “How is she afforded the right to vote?” It seems to me that she is not voting for herself, but rather casting a second vote for whomever walks her into a booth and places her finger on whichever candidate’s lever that they see fit. As an American voter, this bothers me.

However, the law is on your side, as there is no statute in Pennsylvania that one has to be functional to vote. It states anyone over 18 and a resident of more than one year is eligible, no qualifications necessary.

No offense to you or her intended, but perhaps this is a testimonial as to what is wrong with the electoral process and why sometimes the wrong people get elected or worse, re-elected.

It’s simple to me… you need to pass a test to drive a car, and you should also be required to pass an aptitude test to vote and a drug test to receive government assistance. And perhaps, the right to vote should be determined by one’s ability to serve.

Ragu Santini

South Philadelphia

God bless our police officers

In reference to Michael L. Bane’s Letter to the Editor, “Bill will enable rogue cops,” published on May 31:

The police officers in this city and, for that matter, in this country have enough to worry about than having their name printed in the paper or all across town about using deadly force.

All you should have to worry about is that they — the police officers — are protecting you and your family.

I will give you the first name of all the uniformed personnel, and that is “Officer.”

God bless our men and women who wear the badge every day.

Gerald M. Murphy

West Mayfair Retired Philadelphia Police Officer

Trump is shortsighted

While President Trump claimed the Paris Climate Accord harms the U.S. economy, economists say investing in renewable energy sources would actually boost job creation and economic growth.

In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy found that, in 2016, the solar sector employed twice as many people as those working in coal mines. Further, solar employment grew by 25 percent in 2016 while wind-power jobs grew by 32 percent.

Even if our government refuses to act, sea levels will continue to rise, cities will continue to experience floods, and more and more people will be displaced; this will place a huge financial burden on our country, not to mention the devastating impact it will have on human life.

The future of our country and our planet depends on investing in renewable energy sources.

We cannot let President Trump’s shortsightedness stand in our way of a cleaner, safer, and more prosperous world. Our state legislators should work to ensure that Pennsylvania is a part of this future.

Hadley Littell

Bucks County Environmental Action

In honor of Flag Day

The biggest star-spangled flag

Going up proud over my country,

The outstretched national flag

Is raising above as the guarantee.

George Washington and Betsy Ross

Have created you long ago,

You are widespread across lots

And feeling free yourself to grow.

We had thirteen in the past,

Today there are fifty stars

A lot of people aspire to us

And wish to give friendly arms.

Under your wing in all the states

In under God created country

In freedom, happiness and justice

All people live as friends politely.

Moysey Barash