U.S. must respond

to Taliban attack on girl

As a former educator, I was shocked and appalled by the attack on 14-year-old Malala Yousufzai, who was shot while riding a school bus in an attempt to further her education in Pakistan. The Taliban has taken responsibility for the attack.

We know the Taliban is a terrorist organization dedicated to suppressing women in its societies. Why does the Pakistani government permit such an extremist group to exist? Since the United States sends Pakistan billions of dollars in aid each year, why does our government continue to support a seemingly lawless country?

When President Dwight Eisenhower sent the National Guard to Little Rock, Ark., in 1957 to integrate schools and protect African-American students, he demonstrated that all youths deserve the right to an equal education in a civilized society. Why does the United States not demand a similar action by the Pakistani government? Perhaps a reduction in aid would serve as notice that our country abhors such a heinous act of terrorism.

RICHARD LAWRENCE

Little Egg Harbor Township

Biden's debate behavior

anything but presidential

After watching the recent vice-presidential debate, my first thought was not who won the debate, but God help us all if anything happens to Barack Obama, and Joe Biden takes over.

When pundits write that Biden was not "lackluster," as Obama was during the first presidential debate, one wonders whether anyone really believes that Biden's rude, ignorant, boorish behavior was appropriate. Perhaps Obama could have been more animated or passionate, but at least he was a gentleman.

I did not vote for Obama in 2008. I will not vote for Obama in 2012. The report that a shot was fired at his Denver campaign office was terrible, and the thought of Biden taking over the presidency should make every American tremble.

The choice of a running mate is serious business. I can't begin to imagine why Biden was chosen. Oh, yes - political experience. Now, if we could only elect a president who has some.

CAROL HEWETT

Lower Township

Reject public questions

on West Cape May ballot

I am alarmed by the two referendum questions that will be on the West Cape May ballot Nov. 6. One seeks to increase the size of our government, while the other would cut commissioners' pay.

West Cape May is a borough whose form of government is stipulated by the Walsh Act, which allows for either a three-member or five-member commission, with or without an administrator.

There are 31 communities in New Jersey that utilize this form of government. Of those, 77 percent have a three-member commission.

The seven communities that have five commissioners have an average population of 38,141. The 24 communities with three commissioners range in population from 5 to 14,707, with an average population of 4,063.

West Cape May, with a population of 1,024, falls in the smaller end of the pack.

There is no practical reason to change the size of our borough commission.

As to compensation, West Cape May just received praise from its auditor for its fiscal management. We are clearly not overcompensating our commissioners. Reducing their modest salaries goes beyond fiscal responsibility and puts us at risk of reducing the pool of people who would be able to serve. We should remember that you get what you pay for.

I encourage West Cape May voters to vote "no" on the referendum questions.

GARY SORIN

West Cape May

For fiscal responsibility,

vote for Republicans

How best can we get things moving on a fiscally responsible path in Washington?

First, by voting into office national candidates who have the drive to confront, as opposed to avoid, what our own government's agencies have projected as the sure collapse of federal finances. At stake is every dollar of federal support that goes to our state, county and municipal budgets, and all those employees who are paid by them, let alone the Social Security and Medicare dollars that seniors depend upon.

Sending the Mitt Romney-Paul Ryan ticket to Washington - with a vigilant oversight by we, the people, which is our job in our "participant republic" - is, to my mind, the obvious choice for those who want to see our financial crisis corrected before it is too late.

Along with Romney and Ryan, sending U.S. Senate candidate Joseph Kyrillos to Washington would be New Jersey's contribution to creating a Senate that would do the budget work that has not been done for the past three years.

Second, returning Rep. Frank LoBiondo, D-2nd, to the House will help reign in the runaway non-budget. LoBiondo also does important work in his committee assignments. He now serves on the House Armed Services Committee, which has a critical effect on the well-being and effectiveness of our armed forces, and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which is important to the promotion of commerce and the jobs that are central to our desperately needed economic recovery.

RUSSELL CREECH

Vineland