It's interesting to hear that Philadelphia Streets Commissioner David Perri sees the hand of climate change in the wild weather swings we've been seeing in our region ("Winter season taxing road departments' budgets," Jan. 12).
He knows that agencies responsible for public safety had better get their budgets right, so I would guess his view would be relatively untainted by politics.
Yet Michael Smerconish's recent opinion piece ("The politicization of the weather") argues that it is precisely politics that shape some people's views on climate.
In order to prevent a feared terrorist attack at the Winter Olympics, Gov. Christie should be put in charge of bridge traffic in and out of Sochi.
This would surely frustrate and delay terrorists on their way to their destinations.
And speaking of those terrorists, they were recently described on news reports as suicide bombers who are responsible for previous attacks in Russia. Surviving suicide bombers? What terrorist training school did they attend?
I am dismayed by the growing tone of The Inquirer editorial page and our country in assuming that conservative values have gotten us to where we are.
Before the 20th century, we had vast natural resources wealth, but were still a second-rate economic power. Except for the rare few, the daily lives of most people were largely subject to tyranny and poverty. In the 20th century, led by progressives like the Roosevelts and Lyndon Johnson who supported unions, workers rights, minimum wages, and safety-net programs like Social Security, we created a society with the idea that everyone should thrive with no one left behind. Great progress made us the envy of the world.
In the mid and late 20th century we reaped the benefits, standing on the shoulders of these giants who fought for the good of all, but then we got complacent and greedy thinking it was a god given right. We are still rolling along thanks to the momentum of these giants; however, since Reagan we have taken these benefits for granted and are now starting to sink back. Our scholastic achievemnts are diminishing relative to the rest of the world and the daily lives of most people are once again being subjected to poverty and tyranny while the few at the top reap ever greater benefits.
Thank you for Walter Reich's op-ed "Reject boycott of Israel."
In Israel, academic freedom is respected, free speech is guaranteed, democracy prevails, women and minorities are full citizens, and diversity in opinion and culture is celebrated. Israeli professors publicly criticize their government with impunity. Israeli Arabs benefit from affirmative action programs at Israeli schools, and Israel's Arab minority has full voting rights and is represented on Israel’s supreme court and in its Knesset.This year's "Miss Israel" beauty pageant winner, Yityish Aynaw, is an immigrant from Ethiopia. Israeli doctors have quietly treated Syrians wounded in the civil war there and even treated the granddaughter of Gaza's Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, who has vowed to destroy Israel. Israel traded land three times its size for peace with Egypt and Jordan, and Israel has made generous offers that the Palestinians and Syria rejected.
By contrast, the Palestinian Authority uses academic institutions to promote intolerance. Palestinian textbooks deny Israel's existence, Palestinian schools are named in honor of terrorists who have murdered Israeli children, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas boasts a doctorate in history for a dissertation that called the Holocaust "the Zionist fantasy, the fantastic lie." Also, Palestinian militants have massacred dozens of Israeli children in schools and school buses in Israel.
At the risk of being called an isolationist, I must say I don’t think it’s a bad idea to become more focused on what is happening inside America. In particular, I’d like to see some recognition of the dramatic labor-force changes that have occurred over the past half-century reflected in how people are paid.
When manufacturing was king in this country, the wages paid to laborers in the mills, mines, and factories reflected that. You were paid a good wage, typically with benefits, and that was not only good for you, it was good for America. You were able to buy things – a car, a house, major appliances, clothes – and send your kids to college so they wouldn't have to break their backs the way you did.
That was then, but this is now, when so many of those manufacturing jobs have dried up. Families are instead trying to make do with jobs in the service industry, which don’t pay nearly as well, and may not include any benefits. But why should that be the case? If good wages are good for the country, why shouldn’t service employees be paid better wages?
This letter is in response to the commentary by Jeffrey DuBois, the President of South Jersey Gas, that appeared in the Jan. 8 edition of The Inquirer.
Right off the bat, let me state that DuBois and South Jersey Gas have a fiduciary interest in seeing that the natural gas pipeline proposed to traverse a portion of the National Pinelands Preserve is approved. Those of us who live in the Pinelands have a life interest in this ecologically sensitive area.
In his commentary, Dubois mentions reasons why the Pinelands Commissioners should have approved the pipeline, all of which would benefit SJG, its customers and employees. He also opines that this pipeline will not have any adverse environmental effects. He never once addressed the 17 trillion gallons of pure, fresh water that lie beneath the soils of the Reserve and provide drinking water to hundreds of thousands of people. And, he crowed that SJG spent two whole years doing an "extensive" study of the environmental impacts on various routes!
Temple directors and administrators may be well on their way to achieving what they had hoped to accomplish - the elimination of sports programs. However, they have done so in a manner that has created rancor and have modeled behavior that should not be modeled by their students.
If universities are anything they are institutions that cherish and encourage creative thinking. Had Temple used a broad and inclusive rather than a secretive decision-making process it was very possible that a strategy could have been fashioned permitting the continuation of programs. An example of this thinking was the thoughtful column by Inquirer columnist Bob Brookover that followed Temple's announcement.
Here are two other examples of behavior by Temple administrators that were greatly disappointing: (1) The refusal and failure by Temple's Board to hear directly from student athletes present in some number at its meeting days after the announcement; and (2) the University using photographs taken by the coach of women's crew to justify the elimination a crew programs. The coach had taken the photos with the expectation that they would be used to justify future expenditures for facilities.
Republicans have been railing against President Obama about the long-term unemployed for what seems like years. Even in the face of an obvious economic recovery, the GOP says “Yeah, but … what about the long-term unemployed?”
I’m not sure how the GOP reconciles that outrage with the idea that it can’t support an extension of unemployment benefits, supposedly "because the need for emergency aid is waning.”
Actually, I am sure. Republicans don’t care about the unemployed or about finding a clever way to alleviate the problem, such as proposing a much-needed infrastructure program. A national program like this would require the gamut of workers from administrators to the construction workers, and everything in between.