Letters:

Headed down a socialist path

Hold a mirror up to Washington and catch the reflections of the ambitions of our socialistically bound, welfare-bound president.

Then, reflect on the May 23 front-page article "Europe finds it can't afford its way of life."

After 65 post-WWII years of Europe's "social model, with its generous vacations, early retirements, national health-care systems, and extensive welfare benefits," and "contrasted to the comparative harshness of American capitalism," Europeans are facing the reality of the real cost of social-welfare benefits: grave financial disaster.

Wake up, Americans. The proof is in the (European) pudding.

Let's not allow ourselves to be led down a destructive and unsustainable path.

Peggy Kistler

Berwyn

Just ask Harry Truman

Congress is poised to end "don't ask, don't tell," but only after the Pentagon figures out how to do it.

Here's how Harry Truman ended segregation in the armed forces. He reported to Congress that he had instructed "the secretary of defense to take steps to have the remaining instances of discrimination in the armed services eliminated as rapidly as possible."

And it was done!

I. Milton Karabell

Philadelphia

California is not a good example

The party caucus operations in Harrisburg are a prime example of needless government waste that can and should be cut without any reduction in services to citizens ("Pa. caucuses: From shadows to spotlight," Thursday).

I was disturbed, however, to read the reference to California's legislative reforms absent any qualifiers. California has instituted term limits and sharply reduced its legislative staffing levels. This has not made California any less dysfunctional. The state of California is virtually ungovernable. It has an unsustainable level of debt and a budgetary process that makes Pennsylvania's look like a model of good government.

Cutting government waste is important. But we should not be looking to California for any pointers.

Chris Rooney

Philadelphia

Where is the savings?

I was pleased to see that Gov. Rendell is planning to disband the 35- person "constituent services" unit in the Transportation Department set up to deal with the legislators' requests ("Rendell says he'll disband unit of PennDot criticized in report," Wednesday). The article went on to say that the Rendell administration is dealing with a billion-dollar budget gap.

While I agree wholeheartedly that this unit should be disbanded, please explain to me how this will help the deficit, since the article clearly states that "the PennDot workers in the unit will be assigned to other jobs in the department." They should be fired from these made-up positions, the offices sublet, the office furniture sold, and the money added to the general fund.

Judyann Sheehan

Havertown

Wonderful thought, but just a tad naive

While we may never be able to separate religion from our politics, we should at least understand the difference between the two.

Regarding E.J. Dionne 's "There's no moral monopoly" (Tuesday), it's a wonderful sentiment that I believe is a bit naive. For the day that I see a politician of any stripe "turn the other cheek" is the day that I will refrain from enjoying the absolutely delicious aroma of the clay feet attached to the self-righteous.

Phil Spuler Sr.

Sewell

pspurio@netzero.net

Misplaced priorities in Gulf

I feel a mix of sadness, anger, and then resignation when I read about the oil spill in the Gulf. Again, our culture displays its ugly side, where no one assumes responsibility and profit is considered more important than anything else.

Where are the supposed business ethics when the president of BP says that the spill is "small" and "the Gulf of Mexico is large"? Where is the moral obligation when drilling is promoted with too little consideration given to handling possible mishaps? I guess dead fish and soiled marshes don't count because they are not target consumers.

How far has the moral compass gone awry when corporations skimp on safety measures because they are too costly, yet are willing to spend untold millions on full-page public-relations pieces placed in multiple newspapers (like The Inquirer)? Pieces that resemble a business-as-usual memo, and not the apology expected?

Where is the moral outrage when our military develops every conceivable tool aimed at killing and maiming, yet we are unable to assume direction of BP's cleanup efforts because we have "no equipment to do so"?

Richard Mahr

Chalfont

rnmahr@gmail.com