Letters to the editor

A ballot box from Trinity Oxford. Oxford Township is listed first, then “Philada.”

Voting tradition at Trinity Oxford

You may have been given a sample ballot by a political party when you approached your polling location to vote in person. That is one of the oldest voting traditions in the United States. In Northeast Philly before it was part of Philadelphia or even the United States, locals have been casting their votes. In those earliest days, Trinity Church of then Oxford Township was the only public building around. Notices of an election would be posted on the door. They would then ride the 9 miles to town by horse to vote at the State House. A judge would sometimes verify their identity and someone would hand them a ballot with candidates listed. They could cross off anyone they did not like. Eventually, there were secure designated ballot boxes to put their votes in. The Philadelphia area grew and in 1800 was the largest city in the United States. Northern Liberties was the sixth-largest city in the country. The population was already growing in Northeast Philadelphia. The need for more voting locations was understandable. Oxford Township originally extended from the Delaware River to Cheltenham Township, above Northern Liberties and below Dublin Township. Trinity Church was the voting location. It is one of the oldest continuous polling places in the U.S. The consolidation of Philadelphia took place in 1854, when the surrounding townships were added into the city limits. Another tradition continues when you vote. If you vote by mail, the metal USPS mailboxes bear a small resemblance to the Trinity Oxford metal ballot box. Maybe you are one of the locals in Ward 35 who can vote in person at Trinity Church, Oxford and will be approached by someone with a sample ballot. Know that in the nearby churchyard lie Revolutionary War soldiers who fought for your right to vote in this democracy.

G. McCracken

Trinity Church, Oxford

A Biden moment

As I was getting older, I found myself having some “senior moments.”

Now that I am even older, I am having “Joe Biden” moments.

“You know the thing.”

Mayer Krain

Modena Park

Wake up, Diane

In response to Diane McDowell’s Oct. 14 letter. Ms. McDowell, I hate to inform you of this, but Brendan Boyle is telling the truth. The only one telling lies is your buddy, Donald Trump. Hopefully, you aren’t a senior citizen on Social Security. If you are and Trump gets his payroll tax bill through, you won’t have it for long. Wake up. If it goes through, disability checks will run out of money mid-2021. Social Security will run out sometime in 2023. This is not a joke, it is the truth.

David Chester

Bustleton

Scare tactics

In 1960, I watched the televised Nixon-JFK debates. Nixon said, “He’s gonna raise your taxes.” A scare tactic used by Republicans in every election since. Joe Biden has repeatedly said that he will not raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000 a year. That leaves me out and probably most of you as well. Donald Trump mocks and ridicules his opponents with demeaning nicknames: Little Marco, Lying Ted, Sleepy Joe, Crooked Hillary, Crazy Bernie, etc., to create a mental image rather than challenging the content of his opponents’ messages. Half-lies do more damage to truth than complete lies. Sadly, many people have neither the time nor interest to check out claims by both sides. Image trumps facts, emotion smothers reason. Compare that to the well-thought-out commentaries by teenage students at Masterman High School in the Oct. 14 issue of the Northeast Times. They are the hope for the future of America.

Mel Flitter

Somerton

Houck a friend of nurses

I have known Karen Houck for only a short time, but I am impressed with her support for frontline employees during this COVID pandemic.

She understands the level of commitment that is needed to provide care to COVID-positive patients and the need for proper protection from infection. She understands the need to fund health care for those in need, to provide for the disabled and to provide health care

assistance to the elderly. She is a very caring individual and will be a friend to nurses in Harrisburg.

I have been a nurse since 1977 and have worked at Holy Redeemer Hospital, Abington Hospital, Warminster Hospital, Bayada Nursing, St Joseph’s Manor and Genesis Health, only taking off time to raise my five children. I have known nursing to be a frontline profession my whole life, and it is rewarding to work in patient care. In these challenging times, we need someone like Karen Houck as our state representative – 152nd District – to champion our concerns and assist us with obtaining the funding needed to safely do our jobs.

Patricia Dixon

Hatboro

Trump loves Pennsylvania

On Nov. 3, Pennsylvanians will play a critical role in deciding future prosperity of many Americans who depend on America’s thriving energy sector. The question I have for Pennsylvania is this: How many of your family members and neighbors will lose their job if President Trump is not re-elected?

Former Vice President Joe Biden wants to abolish the oil and gas industry. Sen. Kamala Harris wants to end fracking on day one of a Biden-Harris administration. They have both made their positions very clear to Pennsylvania. Meanwhile, President Trump has delivered a much different agenda. Under President Trump’s leadership, the United States of America was energy independent in 2019 for the first time in 62 years.

In 2016, President Trump won 57 of 67 counties in PA. I’m predicting President Trump will build on 2016’s success and will win 62 of 67 counties on Nov. 3. Please vote like the future of thousands of your family, friends and neighbors depends on it – because it does.

As a lifelong Pennsylvanian, I am proud to endorse President Donald J. Trump for president.

Bryan E. Leib

Center City

Show evidence

I’ve seen letters from people calling President Trump a white supremacist and a racist. What I never see is any proof. I have seen President Trump denounce white supremacy numerous times. Anyone can view him saying so on YouTube. I also invite anyone to produce evidence of President Trump doing or saying anything (not taken out of context) that would lend any credence to him acting as a racist.

On the other hand, I invite those same people to go back and look at Joe Biden’s stance on segregation a few decades ago. I also invite those same people to view some of Joe Biden’s “non-racist” comments:

“If you don’t vote for me, then you ain’t black.”

“Poor kids are just as bright and talented as white kids.”

“You can’t go to a 7-Eleven or Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent.”

If I were a betting person, I would say those comments by Joe Biden appear to be a little racist. Those are just a few. If you go back through his nearly 50 years in public office, you can find more.

If people are going to call President Trump a white supremacist and a racist, then be prepared to provide evidence. But until then, stop spouting rhetoric you see in the major media and stop letting others do your thinking for you.

Peter DiGiuseppe

Rhawnhurst

Make Social Security secure 

Since a couple of writers have taken shots at Brendan Boyle’s recent letter, I take this from the ssa.gov website: Everyone’s Social Security benefits come from a 6.2% tax on your pay. Your employer then is required to match that 6.2%. Your fund is 12.4% of every year’s pay that you worked.

You collect that 12.4% over the rest of your life after 66 or 71. If you live long, you make out by getting more out of the fund than you put in. If you die young, you lose out. More people are living longer than not, so there isn’t a whole lot of money left in that fund. Estimates are that if Trump eliminates that payroll tax, the fund will be empty by 2023.

Our snake oil salesman in chief promises to save you all that tax money if re-elected. Of course, the employer saves that money, too. So, where will your benefits payout come from now?

His response: “We’ll just get it from somewhere else.” Sounds like another well-thought-out, secure funding plan that will help businesses save 6.2% of every employees’ pay and eventually screw working Americans out of their Social Security. Even if he wins in November, he won’t be around long for when it really runs dry. Do you want to depend on every president and congressional leader to find money to fund your Social Security every year for the rest of your life?

Vote.

Bill Mather

Millbrook

In defense of Doyle

Several years ago, Michael Doyle participated in a political discussion I started on my personal Facebook page. Doyle posted a series of provocative memes and statements that were clearly intended as tongue-in-cheek to rile up some of my conservative friends. While I decided to remove Doyle’s postings because I felt they were over the top, in no way did I or any of the other savvy participants in the thread believe that Doyle’s memes or comments in any way reflected his personal opinions on race or religion.

Doyle’s postings were taken completely out of context. His postings were intended as sarcasm and irony. I got it, and so did the majority of my friends who saw it.

Michael Doyle is arguably the most anti-racist person I know – spending a big chunk of his adult life actually fighting on behalf of those who have been marginalized or discriminated against.

There’s a saying that many of us know: “What goes on in the bar stays in the bar.” Unfortunately, one of my now-former friends violated that policy and circulated screen shots of what Doyle posted to hurt him personally, professionally and politically.

Michael Doyle is an honest, humble man. Against all odds, he managed to get enough write-ins to make it onto the Democratic ballot and enter into the general election. Now that his campaign has taken off and he has a chance to win the election – all through hard work, protesting on the streets and door-to-door canvassing – he is facing the lowest form of dirty campaigning many of us have ever seen. Doyle deserves better.

John Featherman

Center City

GOP hypocritical on racism

As chairman of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, I appreciate Mike Doyle for standing up to racists and his ongoing fight against racism. However, I — like many other African American elected officials — shared with Mike that I understand the immense pressure during the incident that occurred in 2016. I also understand that he was being ironic. Nevertheless, we do not tolerate nor support the use of any offensive language that is demeaning toward any individual or group of people.

Mike has apologized for his actions and has also made great strides in working with people from all walks of life in efforts to address the injustices that exist in our society today.

The sudden interest the Philadelphia Republican Party has in confronting racism in this instance is especially peculiar, considering that they have been complicit with Donald Trump on his repeated racist attacks. Where were Philadelphia Republicans when Donald Trump refused to condemn the fatal 2017 neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville that claimed the life of an anti-racism protester? Where was the Philadelphia Republican Party when Donald Trump was pushing the racist myth that President Obama was born in Kenya? Where was the Philadelphia Republican Party when — just weeks ago on the stage of the presidential debate — Donald Trump refused to condemn white supremacy and also used an obvious dog whistle to mobilize the Proud Boys, a known white supremacist group? The Philadelphia Republicans shrugged off each of those instances, but continue to enthusiastically support his campaign.

The hypocrisy is astounding, but unsurprising. The selective acknowledgment of the pervasive issue of racism is glaringly obvious, and we will not be fooled by the Philadelphia Republican Party leadership and and supporters’ faux-activism tactics.

State Rep. Stephen Kinsey

Will cheaters prosper?

Can we trust mail-in ballots?

With the upcoming and very near November election, are mail-in ballots going to be safe and are they going to be legit?

In May, a South Philly judge of elections admits he took bribes to stuff the ballot box for Democratic candidates in Philadelphia, where according to court documents, “he fraudulently stuffed the ballot boxes over and over again as fast as he could while he thought the coast was clear.”

Furthermore, the postal service is already issuing a warning that mail-in ballots from 46 states will not be delivered in time by the deadline.

Speaking of the postal service, a mailman was arrested for discarding mail-in ballots into a Dumpster.

Furthermore, in Luzerne County, ballots were also discarded, and all of them were marked for Trump.

We now have proof that mail-in ballots are and can be tampered with, but yet the mainstream media say there’s no such thing as voter fraud.

And now, Facebook and Twitter are blocking the truth from coming out about the Hunter Biden-Burisma collusion, but yet, the Democrats blasted Trump for disinformation and lack of transparency.

For four years, the Democrats accused Trump of Russian collusion with no evidence at all from the phony Steele report, so now, the embittered Democrats are going to cheat every which way they can because they are still spiteful from losing the 2016 election.

Al Ulus

Somerton

A better choice

I am Aaron Bashir, and I am a Republican candidate for state representative in District 172 in Northeast Philadelphia. I proudly support police officers, safer neighborhoods, family values and school choice. I am also a strong advocate for seniors, people with disabilities, veterans and working families.

I have greatly appreciated the support I have been receiving from residents in every neighborhood across the district. I’d like to acknowledge that we are living in one of the most politically divided eras in American history. This election is about our freedoms, constitutional rights, our traditions, liberties, history, law and order and creating more jobs in Northeast Philadelphia. I will fight to move this city forward to improve the lives of all our residents regardless of race, faith, gender, creed or political affiliation.

My vision is to make Philadelphia a better, safer, stronger, cleaner, workable and a desirable place to live and work. My emphasis is on lower taxes and by strengthening our communities and working families. I will optimize and utilize our resources to create and secure energy-related jobs, since Pennsylvania is the nation’s second-largest natural gas producer.

I am a proud Christian, a survivor, an educator, a teacher, a professor, an entrepreneur, a community activist, a husband and a father of three children. I understand the value of the precious gift of life and have a calling to serve others with a passionate heart.

I worked hard to fulfill my American dream like most of us. I earned an MBA degree from La Salle University and a bachelor’s degree from Temple University. I also earned an associate degree from Community College of Philadelphia. Currently, I am working on a Ph.D. at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

I am looking for your support on Election Day. Please push Button 207.

Aaron Bashir

Be an informed voter

It’s almost Election Day, and where do we stand? Well, some are voting for the right reasons, the future of the country and how it will affect our children and grandchildren and in my case my great-grandchildren. Others will be voting for their own self-centered reasons, they personally just don’t like one of the candidates so much that the only thing that matters is to make sure that the individual they passionately hate is not elected.

There was a time when we took the time to research the candidates and make a rational decision regarding who we thought would represent our country in the best interest of we, the people. There was also a time when some loved this country enough that they were willing to join the military and defend it. Today, the push is toward socialism and free handouts for everyone. What happened to the working spirit? When my brother was 12, he was repairing bicycles to get spending money. When I was 12, I built my own shoe shine box and walked up and down Broad Street in Philadelphia earning spending money because my parents could not afford to give us an allowance.

So today there is a push for the Green New Deal that would eliminate the use of fossil fuel, coal and gasoline engines. That means that most of us will have to go to what was once the bus stop and wait for the stage coach. And possibly during the trip one of the horses might fart and the driver has instructions to stop, jump down and shoot that animal because it’s polluting the air, we’ll just wait for a replacement and hope it doesn’t fart before we reach our destination.

Don’t worry; there will always be a sufficient number of cars and planes held over for the politicians, after all they need modern transportation to commute. The freebies will last until the money runs out, and that won’t take long.

And so we now return to today and those who refer to the candidate they hate as Adolf or Lucifer or many names that I won’t add to this document. I’m from the old school and somehow we managed to express ourselves without the language that is used so freely today. I’m sure you’re familiar with the saying, “Be careful what you wish for.”

There were those who swore they would leave the country if Trump got elected, somehow I seemed to have missed the exodus. If Trump wins this election, there will be others who will swear they will leave the country, but where will they go? Let’s see, how about Iraq or Afghanistan. Can’t go to Mexico or Canada, Trump worked out a new trade agreement with them. Normally, the Jews would rush to Israel, but since Trump was able to get the enemies to sign a peace agreement, something no one else has been able to accomplish, the area is no longer accepted since Trump was able to get it done. Oh, I forgot China; they will welcome you with open arms while they lead you to one of their concentration camps because of your beliefs.

So, for those who vote to support corruption it’s not your fault. After all, if Trump wasn’t there working to address the problems you might be thinking logically, so, after the election if your candidate wins and the country goes down the tubes, it will have to be Trump’s fault, after all everything else was.

Jimmie Stewart

Yardley

Trump has kept his word

Few thoughts on the election. It is no secret that the middle class was shrinking in the U.S. for the last 35 years no matter who was in power. Anyone can look that up. Five years ago, Trump said globalists and their politician enablers were screwing over the U.S. worker and he could fix it. Trump said the four main ways they were killing the middle class:  1. Globalist companies close American plants and ship jobs out of the country to get cheap labor then ship products back in for obscene profit because our political class sold out the U.S. workers with bad trade deals like NAFTA as they raked in millions in kickbacks. 2. Globalist companies fire American professional workers, bring in high-tech green card visa workers who work much cheaper. 3. They encouraged unlimited illegal and legal immigration to secure cheap labor that drives down wages in construction and other labor intensive jobs. 4. Job-killing regulation and the highest corporate tax rate in the world made it difficult for companies to stay.

Surprise. For the first time probably ever, an elected official kept his word. Trump 1. Told American companies you close your plants and ship jobs out, you will pay massive tariffs to ship it back in and he carried through. 2. Trump practically stopped high-tech foreign green card visas. He said no American should be fired and forced to train her replacement with foreign workers. He said U.S. graduating college kids should get first shot at these jobs. 3. Trump’s policies dramatically reduced illegal immigration, and higher wages quickly followed in trades. 4. Trump canceled horrible trade deals like NAFTA and renegotiated new trade deals with Canada, Mexico, China and the rest of the world so American workers were not shafted. And finally cut the world’s highest corporate tax rate so U.S. companies could be competitive and at the same time pushed through a massive tax cut to the middle class. What happened? America experienced the lowest unemployment rate ever for African Americans, Hispanics and women. The overall rate of 3.5% was the lowest in over 50 years. Poverty rate lowest since 1959. Median household income reached all-time high in 2019.  Over ½ million manufacturing jobs came back. America is now the No. 1 producer of energy in the world with all those good-paying jobs in the U.S. not in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East.

Then a once-in-a-century pandemic hit. Even with that, Trump is pulling off another miracle, as the unemployment rate has dropped into the 7’s and that is with the biggest Democrat states like California and NY still shut down. With COVID vaccine expected over the next months, Trump will do it again. Biden/Harris have promised they will reverse all of Trump’s policies, raise taxes and do the same thing Biden has been doing for 47 years that have failed. Trump, who has proven he does what he says, has promised next he will fix schools with school choice and fix healthcare. Believe him. Finally, everyone says they want an outsider. Well, guess what? If an outsider is successful and helps the middle class U.S. workers, someone loses. The outsider will be hated by the globalists who control over 90% of the news media and Washington corrupt political swamp who have been screwing over the U.S. worker and getting rich like Biden who somehow is a multi-millionaire after 48 years as a politician.

Tom Lacey

Mayfair

Black essential workers must vote 

News of President Trump’s COVID diagnosis shocked the country. The president’s diagnosis shows that the virus doesn’t discriminate. However, the inequality and racial injustice that black essential workers like myself face, does. Not only are black essential workers on the frontlines of COVID, we are dealing every day with the repercussions of the president’s failed leadership on coronavirus.

I’m a proud, black, union building security officer, and I’ve been an essential worker on the front lines every day of this COVID-19 crisis. I work in special buildings where I protect vulnerable people like elderly residents and people experiencing homelessness. I put my health and my family’s health at risk to protect people on the job because I care about everyone living and working in my buildings and their safety. I’m grateful to have a strong union (32BJ SEIU) and that I’m still able to work. We’ve been working this whole time and haven’t gotten an extra dollar in hazard pay. Some of us paid for our own protective gear. Workers like me deserve extra protections.

Who worries about my safety and my co-workers safety on the job? Not President Trump, who wasn’t even concerned about the health and safety of people who work around him when he refused to listen to his own health experts, refused to wear a mask, and contracted the COVID-19 virus himself. I take no comfort in the fact that the president faced the fear and uncertainty that so many people in my community face after they contract COVID. Lucky for the president, he has paid time off, taxpayer-funded health care, the best doctors and hospitals in the world and all the resources he needed to recover. For many essential workers like me who have fallen sick or died from this virus, those kinds of comforts are unimaginable.

Trump has failed to protect black workers and black families when we’re more likely to get sick and die from this virus, when more of us suffer violence and death at the hands of law enforcement, and more of us are suffering the brutal financial effects of Trump’s failure to lead in this crisis. A president who won’t denounce white supremacy won’t protect my family or me.

When it comes to my health and safety, my rights as a worker, for black lives and unity in our country there is no question that I am voting for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Biden will make COVID-19 testing free and widely available and treatment affordable. He will protect the Affordable Care Act and fight President Trump’s attempts to bring back discrimination due to pre-existing conditions. Joe Biden has promised to work closely with unions to protect frontline workers, and make hazard pay and paid leave for essential workers a reality. Most importantly, Joe Biden will listen to scientists.

As an essential worker, my life is at stake in this election, I am doing all I can this year to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, including volunteering to encourage voters to support Biden. One day I will tell my grandchildren about the work I did to defeat a president who threatened the lives of so many of my fellow Americans. It’s beautiful when brethren dwell in unity. Together we can defeat hate and protect our health and safety, our jobs, our families and our communities by voting. Joe Biden has this black worker’s vote and I hope that this election season he has yours, too.

Darnell Green Sr.

Holmesburg

Hating Columbus, Rizzo, Trump

This is in reply to Frank Rizzo’s letter in your Oct. 7 issue.

First, I’d like to speak on Christopher Columbus, who was a brutal thief and thug who infested and raped women and children, killed, then stole the land from the American Indians. You can’t discover a country if someone is already there. How would you like the lawless and violent mob that had your dad’s sculpture removed to discover your home? Read the true history of how Columbus got America.

I also remember your racist dad. I grew up during his time. He was a head-busting cop who arrested many innocent people who were just living while being black. He might be looking up instead of down.

What do you and Gale think of the 13 just arrested for plotting to kidnap the Michigan governor? Did you see any of the anarchist, lawless and violent mob from Philadelphia in their pictures?

The good people of America know what history, values and traditions you, your president and Gale are trying to defend. We want to change them.

The Lord works in mysterious ways. I hope you and Gale have the same success the president is going to have on Nov. 3.

Tyrone N. Jackson Sr.

Fox Chase

No to reparations

HR40, the “Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act,” is co-sponsored by Brendan Boyle in the House. A Senate version is co-sponsored by Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr.

Was black slavery in America wrong? Yes. Are reparations due now for that? No.

And HR40 doesn’t even ask that question. HR40 assumes a payout will happen.

Arguments being used to favor it is existing precedent. West Germany paid reparations to Nazi victims in an agreement signed with Israel in 1952. Japan has paid reparations to, among others, Chinese used as slaves, tortured POWs and women forced into prostitution. USA paid reparations to Japanese-Americans who had been interned during WW2.

What is overlooked by proponents, it ignores the fact that these were payments to living victims. We are now over 150 years since the end of the Civil War. It should go without saying no former slaves, or masters, are still alive. By analogy, will the Japan and Germany of 2100 have to pay for WW2 war crimes?

Also, when looking at precedent, a more compatible example would be countries such as Brazil, Cuba and Haiti. Before attacking USA as evil, note that Brazilian and Cuban slavery began a century before it started in English American colonies and didn’t end until a full generation after the U.S. Civil War. In Haiti, slavery started even before Brazil. Slavery still exists in Haiti today. Neither country has paid any reparations to former slaves.

Assuming it’s paid … I’ll pass on how much … the next problem is who gets it? We’re then paying to descendants of slaves. Does every black American qualify? How many came here after slavery ended? And therefore came voluntarily? This would be especially true of a new immigrant. What would stop the subject coming up again a generation from now?

Who pays? Or more precisely, who shouldn’t? Is it fair to expect Native Americans to pay? Regardless of country of origin or race, what if your family came after 1865? No one related to that person owned slaves. And, as above, a new immigrant? Since African Americans also pay taxes … well, see the problem?

Lastly, look at who benefitted. Since this is a USA-only subject, we were originally an English colony. Will a bill be submitted to London? And the English didn’t just go to Africa, scoop up a bunch of people and ship them to America. They largely depended on other Africans to capture people to be sold into slavery. The whole western Africa coast is full of people equally complicit in the slave trade, well at least the descendants of slave traders.

Joe Jackson

Bustleton