IN LEARNING some of the details of the Philadelphia Flyers/Pittsburgh Penguins hockey playoff series from afar, I wonder how decent human beings can not only be fans of the slugfest that seems to be integral to this "sport," but how they can hold the game out to their impressionable young children as wholesome, appropriate entertainment.

I wonder if responsible individuals feel that it is beneficial for children to attend a hockey game in which fans hold up signs targeted to the opposing team's players with sentiments such as, "WE HATE YOU!"

Does that serve to instill good values in the child?

The National Hockey League could put a stop to the violence and insist on good sportsmanship, if it wanted to, through severe suspensions and fines, but neither it nor the fans want that, as a key element of the game is delighting in players being hurt by their fellow thugs on the ice.

The only sport I enjoy and follow is baseball, which, although not perfect, remains the game which by its nature is not one which is populated by goons determined to sideline and injure their fellow athletes.

There are many causes of the societal decay that plagues us in the 21st century. The lust for violent sports (which, in many instances, shamefully receive massive public subsidies to pay for lavish, state-of-the-art facilities) is certainly a contributing factor.

Oren M. Spiegler

Upper Saint Clair, Pa.

To protect & be serviced

The agents who guard the president are the epitome of professionalism. Well, most times they are.

But when the Secret Service meets the escort service, it's "Hangover 2."

Jim Acton

Collegeville, Pa.

Right on Rick

To Christine Flowers: That was a good piece on Rick Santorum. I'm pretty certain I was not going to vote for him. I am, however, dismayed that there has been such rejoicing at his withdrawal.

Somehow we seem to have forgotten that the credit belongs to the man in the arena. He had beliefs he was willing to stand for. It's sad that we ridicule people like that. You are correct about so-called tolerant people - they are tolerant of you only if you think like them.

Dan Wolfe

Chambersburg, Pa.

Tattle, know your place

It's great to to see that gossip columnist/wanna-be investigative reporter Howard Gensler has gathered all the evidence needed to be gathered on the Martin/Zimmerman tragedy, studied and analyzed it throughly and concluded that George Zimmerman did not act in self-defense.

Howard, thanks for sparing us the next year or so of having to draw conclusions on this event based on real facts and real circumstances.

Seriously, stick to reporting about Chloe, Angelina and Snookie. Leave the reporting on serious issues to the real journalists. You might hurt yourself otherwise.

Bill Rushton

Philadelphia

Burn him

I was appalled and dumbfounded watching the surveillance tape of this fat scumbag slicing open the gift packages for the two fallen firemen that were donated to their families. He was cool and calm about it. What kind of individual would stoop so low as to do a horrible thing like this? These two men put their lives on the line and lost trying to save people. I think he must be demented to do such an atrocious act like this.

He will be caught. He is on tape and he has a nice reward over his head. I hope a fireman catches him.

George J. Walton

Upper Darby