Democrats outnumber Republicans on college campuses. However, "outnumbered" and "oppressed" are very different ("Conservative profs: It's the right thing," June 2).
Oppressed people are systematically excluded from conditions of equity and possibilities for success. Crispin Sartwell would be hard-pressed to document that conservatives are systematically denied tenure and promotion, or systematically treated poorly, or systematically rejected from jobs because of their political affiliations. Why? Because there's no evidence that it happens systematically.
Are there examples of conservatives who have faced hostility and discrimination based on their politics? Sure. Liberals, too. But that's not the same as systemic oppression and doesn't call for the same solutions.
It's about time someone looked into that boondoggle ("Improving neighborhoods: NTI's failings," June 2). When it was first proposed, I thought the abandoned factories and warehouses would be coming down. Those buildings are all too often arsoned or vandalized, resulting in much damage to neighboring houses. I further imagined that the industrial wrecks that line the Amtrak/SEPTA tracks would be cleared, giving rail passengers a more favorable view of our city.
Instead, the city went into communities secretly and often uninvited. The work was shoddy and often unnecessary, and adjoining properties were sometimes damaged. The process left our neighborhood in Logan looking worse. If that money had been spent on rehabbing buildings, there would be more taxpaying properties.
I note that the article about Barack Obama leaving the Trinity United Church of Christ because of consistent hateful remarks by ministers is on Page A19 ("Obama parts ways with Chicago church," June 1), right next to an article about survivalists hoarding oil. The front page has a detailed article about a local newscaster possibly reading a fellow newscaster's e-mail. Does this placement represent an accurate portrayal of the relative importance of these two stories? Or does it portray a bias and determination to minimize any account that doesn't show Obama in the most positive light? If there was a similar story about Hillary Clinton or John McCain, it would be on the front page.
Ronald H. Fischer
The Democratic National Committee ruling to give Florida and Michigan delegates half a vote ("Democrats divide," June 1) is right for two reasons:
Both are swing states, and it would be wrong to disfranchise those who took the time to vote.
It punishes states that tried to get around the party rules by voting early.
Democrats must now unite for what will be a formidable challenge from John McCain.
Steven M. Clayton
Slaves in the early days of our nation were counted as three-fifths of a "person" for determining a state's representation in Congress. Today, the Democratic Party counts voters of Florida and Michigan as just one-half (Inquirer, June 1).
William H. Evans
By refusing to green light an imperfectly crafted bill to "reform" Pennsylvania's redistricting process, State Rep. Babette Josephs acted wisely ("Only you can slay the gerrymander," May 31).
Letting elected officials abrogate their responsibility by dumping the task of redistricting into the lap of the Legislative Reference Bureau is no solution. Genuine reform will give the task to the Reapportionment Commission, which can deal with the specific factors the Supreme Court requires be considered in redistricting. It is a sociological, mathematical and political process.
Philadelphians should feel proud they have a legislator who investigates issues, thinks through the consequences, and makes reasoned judgments based on facts.
State Rep. Lawrence H. Curry