Trump is his own worst enemy
President Trump's outrageous claims about President Barack Obama wiretapping him during the presidential election were not only self-destructive, but they overshadowed the rollouts of some of his key programs, including his new travel ban and the repeal and replacement of Obamacare ("Trump: Obama bugged N.Y. tower," Sunday). So, his reckless and blatantly false claims backfired on him.
It is too bad Obama can't sue Trump, since his false claims that Obama wiretapped him is an egregious defamation of character. Perhaps the law should be changed to allow a sitting president to be sued under certain circumstances.
The Democrats should boycott Trump and begin impeachment proceedings against him, as he has grossly violated the dignity and trust of the office of the presidency.
|Kenneth L. Zimmerman, Huntington Beach, Calif., firstname.lastname@example.org
Presumption of guilt
There is a new lawman in town, and his brand of justice is guilty until proven innocent.
Throughout his campaign, President Trump threatened to sue the media for things printed about him. Now, he posts on Twitter something outrageous about President Barack Obama.
During my daily dose of Fox News, the talking heads said there is no evidence, but Congress should investigate. What comes next, people who disagree with the president start to disappear?
Yep, there is a new lawman in town, and his name is Vladimir Trump.
|Ed Truncale, Erial, email@example.com
Braving the Mideast for answers
I applaud Trudy Rubin's Sunday column, "Headed to Iraq in search of the best path forward," in which she announced her plans to visit Iraq and expressed concern about the lack of a broad, political strategy by the Trump administration in the Middle East. I share her worry that the proposed massive budget cuts to the State Department and an associated diminishment of diplomatic engagement, coupled with an overemphasis on short-term military tactics, are likely to destabilize the Middle East further and result in Russia, Iran, and the Islamic State exerting greater influence in the region.
I look forward to reading about the Iraqis', Syrians', and Kurds' views on the direction the United States should take in its approach to the region, and I will pray for Rubin's safety during her courageous journey to this troubled, war-torn part of the world. The talented and brave work of journalists such as Rubin provides an invaluable service to our precious democracy.
|Mark Kiselica, founding dean, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Cabrini University, Radnor, firstname.lastname@example.org
Teens: Support Philly as sanctuary
As active participants in the cultural sector, students in Philadelphia high schools, and members of the Teen Council for the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance's STAMP Program, we affirm our belief in Philadelphia as a sanctuary city.
Through our work overseeing the 20,000-plus student STAMP program, which provides teens with free access to 19 of the city's most significant cultural institutions, we are aware that our concept of arts and culture would be drastically different without immigrants.
It is extremely disappointing that a country formed by immigrants is banning immigrants. By doing this, we're becoming closed-minded and reverting to our old ways.
We ask adults to be open to new ideas, perspectives, and cultures. Look to the past to see our country's origin as a nation of immigrants; let's build a future we can be proud of. Our generation will be responsible for any messes and mistakes that are left behind.
We remind the teenagers to never give up on yourself or others, use your voice, don't be a bystander, remember that the arts are a safe haven, and always be an advocate for what you believe in. We are the next generation.
|Asef Khurshan, Cameron Lockett, and Lila Vanni, Philadelphia
Sale price vs. home value
I have to think Friday's story, " 'Burbs lag Phila. in real estate pricing," confused readers by using the term "home-sale price" while describing two separate issues: change in an individual home's value and an area's change in median sale price. They are not the same.
Median sale price calculates the sale price of a group of properties in a specific time period. It is affected by the price range of properties that happen to sell during that time. Home value is determined by comparing the sold price of the same property that has been bought and sold multiple times. The median price of all the homes that sold this last quarter has nothing to do with the value of a home appreciating or depreciating over time.
Within Philadelphia and its suburbs, there are many distinct real estate markets. The change in home value in the city has outpaced the suburbs, but there are areas and price ranges in the suburbs where home values are rising. And given the increase in the amount of recent foreclosures in New Jersey (63 percent in Camden and Burlington Counties and 48 percent in Gloucester County), the median sale price for nondistressed houses in those areas is artificially depressed.
Using change in median sale price to draw conclusions about home values can give readers an overly optimistic or unnecessarily pessimistic skew on home values in the area.
|Lawrence F. Flick IV, chairman and chief executive officer, Fox & Roach, Devon