I COMMEND the men who are off to the Point Breeze section for stepping up to try to stop the violence, but I can't help but wonder.

How many of the 10,000 men have contacted Big Brothers/Big Sisters to become a mentor, role model, a positive force in the lives of the many young boys who have no father in their lives? And because they have no fathers, the streets are teaching them how to be so-called "men."

I watch as the young boys are recruited by local drug dealers, who make them feel important - they are the male figure that the boys are yearning for, they just don't realize that this drug dealer is not a model.

And before you know it, another criminal is born. Why? Because there is no father, no positive male role model for these young boys. I've tried to talk to some of the boys in my neighborhood, but coming from a female's mouth, it's not holding much weight.

I have been on the waiting list to get a Big Brother for my son, who cries because he doesn't have his father in his life, and I can't help but think that if even half of these 10,000 men would become Big Brothers how much of a difference could be made. And how this would also help stop the crime and violence in the city.

Philadelphians need to stop judging other people and pointing fingers and just step up and make a difference! The city is a complete mess.

And let's stop making this a black and white thing and make it a human being thing. Treat others as you want to be treated, do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Men of Philadelphia, when you put your children to bed tonight and watch them sleep, think about how much you love them, but how very different their lives would be if you were not there. The 10,000 men have stepped up and are trying to help, trying to make a difference, but we have so many more men who need to step up.

Patricia Reichner, Philadelphia

Hill vs. Bill vs. Obama

I'm confused. I thought Hillary was running for president - but I hear all Bill was talking about in Iowa was himself. Is he allowed to run again?

Also, we keep hearing how Republicans are racist, and the Democrats are for minorities. But what if Obama doesn't win the nomination? Does that mean the majority of the Dems voting in the primaries are racist?

Tom Bell, Philadelphia

A pox upon you

In his letter "Betting on Casinos," James J. Di Vergilis claims my neighbors and I have the audacity to complain about casinos in our backyards.

How dare you! Unfortunately, they probably will open and my sincere wish for you, sir: When you are walking along Columbus Boulevard with the scum of the earth is that you're the first robbery victim.

Rita Birch, Philadelphia