Keep liquor system
State Sen. Robert Wonderling (R., Montgomery) wants to privatize the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board wine and spirits stores.
It is irresponsible that he ignores the stores' role in preventing the sale of alcoholic beverages to minors? He is no less irresponsible in overlooking the taxes and profits the stores generate for the state's general fund - nearly $500 million annually.
In the last five years, there have been only two incidents in which store employees were charged with serving a minor. Management gives the employees training and support.
Compare this to an Oregon study that found private-sector outlets failed to check the ages of youthful-looking customers a third of the time.
We're also disappointed at his dismissive attitude to the loss of jobs and the community stability they represent. How could he be so cavalier about the 4,000 Pennsylvanians, including 2,600 United Food and Commercial Workers members, who would be out of work?
The PLCB is held in trust for all Pennsylvanians. There's no reason to change that to benefit Wonderling's friends in the private sector.
Wendell W. Young 4th
President, Local 1776
Ronald C. Lenhart
President, Local 23
President, Local 27
United Food and Commercial Workers Plymouth Meeting
Wind and sun power
Some automobile manufacturers are congratulating themselves for developing cars that run on electric motors. Do they realize electricity is generated mostly by burning fossil fuels? Also, cars that burn ethanol may not be the best alternative to gasoline-powered engines, according to Faye Flam's article, "Ethanol not an elixir?" on Monday.
While renewable energy sources such as wind and solar are desirable, critics claim they have drawbacks. They claim the sun doesn't always shine. But if it is nighttime here it is daytime somewhere. There are always areas where it is not cloudy.
Critics also say wind isn't reliable. Have they considered using katabatic (downhill) winds? Why not use water power? Tides and currents are predictable.
Most of the electricity we use is produced by burning fossil fuel. Automobiles, appliances, and heating and cooling systems that run on electrical energy, as it is produced today, are not the answer.
Missing the point
Columnist Trudy Rubin complains ("Bush seeing the light - too late," April 15), that "over, and over, in recent months, the Bush team has adopted policies it rejected two, three or four years ago, when those policies might have made a difference."
She cites the administration's pressuring the Iraqi government to recruit army officers and other former Baathists whose removal in the de-Baathification campaign led to "a massive pool of angry, armed Sunnis."
It is Rubin who does not see the light. The United States had no business invading Iraq in the first place. Iraq did not attack the United States, nor had the capability or intent to do so. The stories that Bush told the nation, and Colin Powell told the United Nations, that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, have been exposed as lies.
The very presence of U.S. forces in the Middle East makes us a target. If Arab troops were in the United States, is it too hard to imagine that some Americans would take offense, and thinking of themselves as partisans, try to drive those troops out by guerrilla warfare?
Donald F. Busky
Nutter most qualified
Although every candidate running for mayor of Philadelphia will upgrade the office, I am voting for Michael Nutter because of his performance, his intelligence and his integrity. To me he's clearly the most qualified man for the job. Should he fail to win the primary, then I'm voting for Sam Katz as an independent to break the Democratic Party's stranglehold on Philadelphia.
If we can't have the best man, then we can have a clean sweep of the cronies, nepos, drones and clods that have accumulated since Joe Clark dispatched the corruption of 50 years of Republican rule.
Isn't it amazing that the individuals who are most worried about the possible loss of their Second Amendment rights in the face of the Virginia Tech tragedy are the very ones who strongly support warrantless wiretaps and the loss of habeas corpus in the "war on terror"?