a fine bit of writing
Regarding Gina Barreca's Feb. 12 column, "Peekaboo reminds us to let in the good times":
I don't know where she gets it, but this woman is a genius writer. I guess being an English professor helps a little, but I think she would be a good writer anyway.
This is one of the most insightful, imaginative, inspiring and brilliant pieces of writing that I have experienced in my 71 years.
I don't know if Barreca has ever received any honors or prizes for her writing, but she deserves at least a dozen.
We should treat celebrities
the same as everyone else
Regarding reports that an employee at John F. Kennedy Airport allowed pop star Kanye West and his wife, Kim Kardashian to bypass a security checkpoint:
I don't care who you are or what your status is with the public. If you bypass a security checkpoint, you should face the same penalties as the average Joe.
First, the employee who allowed these two to bypass security should be fired. Second, when they were caught bypassing security, Kanye and Kim should have had to go through the same procedures as anyone else. Cuff them and read them their rights.
Since you can't turn back the clock, they should each have to pay a fine at least equal to the cost to all those passengers who had to be inconvenienced when the two were removed from their plane.
This would be another episode Kim could add to her reality resume. And Kanye could be introduced to reality.
PATRICK M. MATTHEWS
More emergency planning,
Emergency management has four essential phases: planning, mitigation, response and recovery. But after any type of major event, it has another phase - finger-pointing. This was prevalent during and after Hurricane Sandy.
Gov. Chris Christie has been criticizing Atlantic City since the storm. The city was successful in evacuating more than 30,000 residents and an untold number of visitors and employees. That's pretty good for a city of only 38,000 residents.
The state and county sheltered many people in the Convention Center, so our preparations there must not have been so bad. We had an emergency medical station, a special-needs medical area, a laundry, showers and a cafeteria. We had help from county, state and federal officials and from local businesses, casinos and many kind people.
If the governor does not want people to stay on barrier islands during similar storms, then he must come up with a plan for providing and staffing shelters and get the word out.
The emergency plan I have envisioned has a comprehensive approach:
Provide NJ Transit bus service from barrier islands. The city will get people to the Convention Center.
Schools and major facilities should be upgraded to shelter status.
School personnel should be assigned along with Red Cross shelter personnel, working no more than 12-hour shifts.
Business owners should be the first allowed re-entry. This would give them a chance to get their businesses in order.
Residents should be second to return so that they can secure their homes.
After all is cleared, then cities should be reopened.
This will take a lot of planning and negotiations, but we must start this planning soon and stop the finger-pointing.
Office of Emergency Management
harmful to America
I think political correctness does more harm than good. Americans speak their minds, not always politely, but we never have held back on our opinions. The First Amendment to the Constitution gives us the freedom of speech, and we believe in it and practice it.
If free speech is stifled by political correctness, we could be raising a generation of phonies. I believe Americans like outspoken politicians. Case in point, Gov. Chris Christie. He is our very popular governor and could be a presidential candidate in 2016. We, the people, like Christie because he's honest, and he tells it like it is.
Political correctness is harmful to our country and, in my opinion, unconstitutional.
Lautenberg has served
N.J. and America well
Regarding Sen. Frank Lautenberg's decision to retire:
The senator has served New Jersey very well for thirty years. His presence could be felt on everything from the decline in deaths from intoxicated drivers to cleaner air to more effective mass-transportation systems. New Jersey and America are better places because of his service.
STEVEN M. CLAYTON
Liberal ideas incompatible
with founding principles
Regarding recent letters responding to the Feb. 2 letter, "The more liberals win, the more the U.S. loses":
I have not read the original letter. But I've noted in the three letters attacking it the tendency to define the concepts "liberal" and "progressive" in their most glowing, apolitical sense. The writers imply that their good intentions are the center of their hardball politics and that only the left has a heart.
Our Founders, being students of history, had the long view of politics. They chose a representative republic rather than a pure democracy as the best system for upholding the rule of principle-based law rather than emotion-based laws. As to those principles, President John Adams wrote, "Our Constitution was made only for a moral (self-restrained) and religious (in its historical context, Christian) people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
When progressives equate their record with "progress," they essentially declare victory and go home. However, another definition of "progressive" is "increasing in severity," and another definition of "liberal" is "unrestrained."
The long-term survival and prosperity of our nation will be determined by adherence to the underlying principles upon which our nation was birthed and grew up. And an overreaching, big liberal/progressive government does not adhere to those founding principles.
A glaring example of the left's emotion-based politics is the 'War on Poverty,' which liberals initiated in the 1960s. Fifty years later, with at least a trillion dollars spent, the welfare state has entrenched a significant segment of society in perpetual poverty, destroyed the inner-city family structure and dramatically increased both abortions and unwed mothers, while birthing the hip-hop gang culture and destroying urban schools. And conservatives are the heartless ones?
The basic operating principle should be "Do no harm," rather than the emotional "We have to do something."
This is why, without having read the letter that initiated this conversation, I must concur in principle that "the more liberals win, the more the U.S. loses."
Egg Harbor Township