Send more Qurans

Am I the only one who sees the irony in the headline "Soldier removed from Iraq after shooting Quran" (Inquirer, May 19)? Maybe sending Qurans to all our troops will be the only way to get them out of Iraq and end this insane occupation if John McCain is elected president.

David Mage

Newark

Crowded prisons

I have a four-phase plan to help solve the overcrowding problem ("City's packed prisons may get worse," May 18).

First, we need more prisons. There is one sitting vacant in Holmesburg that could be used.

Second, make sure parole officers are doing their job. Eric Floyd, a career criminal by the age of 33, escaped from a halfway house in February. While on the lam, he allegedly took part in a bank robbery that led to the assassination of a police officer. Somebody should have been looking for this guy.

Third, the judges we elect must start handing down tougher sentences, and those sentences should be fully carried out, regardless of overcrowding or a criminal's stellar behavior while incarcerated.

Finally, parents and police must start cracking down on the children who are terrorizing our neighborhoods. In the Lower Northeast, we look forward to the implementation of Mayor Nutter's proposed 311 system. School isn't out yet and already kids are running the streets after dark, trespassing, and vandalizing cars, homes and personal property. When approached by adults, they are belligerent and their language would curl your hair.

If we can make improvements in these four areas, we can reduce violent crime in our city.

Joanne Kinkaid

Philadelphia

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Buy your own gas

My heart sinks every time I read another story about how our elected officials have to rip off the regular guy ("They feel your pain, but not at the pump," May 18). How soon they forget that they once were regular guys. Every time I fill my car, I could cry. I have no objection to our lawmakers and judges having the biggest, most luxurious gas guzzlers they want, as long as

they

are paying for the vehicles

and

the gas it takes to fill them!

Debbie O'Connor

Philadelphia

Angry at lawmakers

After reading the article "They feel your pain, but not at the pump" (Inquirer, May 18), I am disgusted (once again) and outraged (once again) at our greedy politicians. Enough already. Not

one

of our politicians or judges should be driving high-end, gas-guzzling vehicles at public expense. No excuses are acceptable.

Diane Payne

Philadelphia

Band-Aid charters

Chris Satullo admits that charter schools have not shown any superiority to regular public schools, yet concludes we should "support and nurture" them ("Look clearly at charter schools," May 17). Their unstated "vision" is to circumvent teacher union protections, increase hours, reduce wages and qualifications, and avoid desegregation. They are a phony Band-Aid solution to the problems facing education. Instead of reducing class size, recruiting better teachers, giving better pay, and providing security and special disciplinary schools, taxpayer money goes to triple-dip administrators and cuts in art, music, gym and programs that broaden education. What is dear to conservatives is privatization, which has led to corruption in education and Iraq.

Philip Rosen

Philadelphia