It is the height of hypocrisy for Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams to prosecute politicians for accepting gifts, the sum total of which were less than the $45,000 in roof repairs, windows, and insulation he accepted ("Williams fined record $62K," Wednesday). He prosecuted them and forced them to resign from their jobs, while he gets to say he's sorry and pay a fine levied by a nonjudicial organization. Give us a break. The new Pennsylvania attorney general needs to step in here and hold Williams accountable the same way he went after politicians.
|Paul Nichol, West Chester
Eighteen months ago, the notorious drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman escaped from a Mexican prison and was making death threats against Donald Trump because he had the temerity to have border security as a top priority for his presidential campaign. Trump didn't flinch, didn't alter his schedule, and didn't turn down his eventual electoral-winning rhetoric one iota.
And now, Trump is president and Guzman is in chains, awaiting charges for a litany of serious capital crimes that will theoretically keep him behind bars for centuries (" 'El Chapo' now in U.S.," Friday).
As Trump wrote in his 1987 best-selling autobiography, Trump: The Art of the Deal, "You can't be scared. You do your thing, you hold your ground, you stand up tall, and whatever happens, happens."
Maybe not everyone in the world is going to like President Trump, But nobody's going to intimidate him, and he's definitely going to command the world's respect.
There is, indeed, a new day, a new dawn, for this country.
|Eugene R. Dunn, Medford, N.Y., email@example.com
The country is in a bad state. The financial and moral imperatives could not be any clearer. Wages continue to stagnate, while taxes escalate. The national debt continues to mount. Islamic radicals are making the world a dangerous place. Through it all, Washington has done nothing. Social-justice socialism has failed. The folks are understandably upset and want change. Those in charge need to wise up.
|Jonathan R. Verlin, Philadelphia
I was saddened to read of the passing on Thursday of journalist Wayne Barrett at age 71. Wayne was a college classmate of mine at St. Joseph's (1967) and was a truly admirable person.
He arrived at Saint Joseph's from Virginia in September 1963 as a dedicated Barry Goldwater conservative and a terrific debater. Wayne wrote many columns for our college newspaper, The Hawk. He gradually shifted his views and became a liberal's liberal, writing many years for the Village Voice. Wayne also wrote books about former New York mayors Ed Koch and Rudy Giuliani, and Donald Trump.
I asked Wayne his view of Trump. He replied that Trump was all about one thing - money. Wayne would have been a great resource as we try to analyze the horrors that await us in a Trump presidency. He will be missed.
|Tom Lees, East Norriton, firstname.lastname@example.org
A letter writer sarcastically denounced Mayor Kenney for his stand to keep Philadelphia a sanctuary city ("Don't like it, ignore it," Wednesday). The citizens of Philadelphia - indeed, the citizens of America - should praise Kenney for putting morality and justice ahead of the law.
Today, the posse is out looking for immigrants; tomorrow, the posse may be out looking for you or me.
|Presley R. Brown, Langhorne, email@example.com
There are $1 coins already ("Put King on $1 coin," Monday). We have one with Sacagawea, one with Susan B. Anthony, and coins with each president. I go to the bank at Christmas time to get rolls of them to give out as gifts. If I'm lucky, they have some; most of the time, they do not.
When I use a dollar coin to buy anything, I must point out that the coin is a dollar, not a quarter. Our mints have millions of dollars' worth of all these coins stockpiled. We don't need Congress to waste more money minting more coins that no one will use until it is willing to pass legislation to simultaneously stop printing $1 paper notes, forcing the public to use the coins we already have.
|Roseann G. Ward, Plymouth Meeting
January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Human trafficking is a pervasive, worldwide problem, and it's the second-largest and fastest-growing criminal industry in the world. People are being trafficked for labor and sex every day, and it should be the goal of every state, including Pennsylvania, to help eliminate this problem.
Pennsylvania's comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation strengthens protections for victims and permits victims to sue their traffickers. The Network of Victim Assistance appreciates the leadership of the legislature, specifically Sens. Stewart Greenleaf, Andrew Dinniman, and Daylin Leach, in creating a comprehensive law addressing human trafficking, but we still have work to do.
Children in Pennsylvania who are victims of sex trafficking can be charged with prostitution and related crimes. Many states have enacted Safe Harbor laws, but Pennsylvania has not. Greenleaf and Leach expect to reintroduce their Safe Harbor bill this year. It is time for our commonwealth to join the growing movement to decriminalize children who are sex-trafficking victims and to provide them with the support and resources they need and deserve. Ask your state legislators to support the bill.
I am a frequent rider of the SEPTA Market-Frankford Line, and for the past few months of weekends after midnight, there is major construction going on at the 15th Street station. I understand the need for improvements, but the confusion of boarding both east and west trains from one side of the platform, especially on weekends, is ludicrous. I've been riding this route for more than a year and never saw much hostility. In the past few weeks, however, I've witnessed a stabbing, two fist fights, and numerous arguments. This is a recipe for disaster. It makes me wonder, what is SEPTA exposing its riders to? Wouldn't it be more sensible to do this work after the line shifts to bus service at midnight on Sunday through Thursday?