Shoe message

I'm happy President Bush was unharmed by the shoes thrown at him at his news conference ("A rude surprise for Bush in Iraq," yesterday). But as a longtime opponent of the Iraq war, I understand the sentiments expressed by the Iraqi reporter who threw them.

Had the shoes been straw or rubber flip-flops, we might have had a chuckle over how Bush gets so little feedback from critics that this was about the only way for him to realize how much damage he has caused to the poor country of Iraq.

Richmond L. Gardner

Horsham

» READ MORE: rlg3526@ix.netcom.com

What about bullies?

Something very important is being overlooked in the case of the 15-year-old boy who will be tried as an adult for plotting an attack at Pottstown High School ("Teen allegedly plotted attack," Wednesday).

Let's get one thing straight: I'm not for violence against teachers and students. But what will the punishment be for those who brought this kid to consider these actions? Bullying and teasing take a toll on a young person. He chose the wrong way to deal with it. But he wasn't being heard.

It's time for parents and schools to open their eyes. Stop bullying now before it's too late. Go after those who turn gentle kids into monsters.

Suzanne Lusi

Philadelphia

» READ MORE: QuZeesuz@aol.com

Moral high ground

On Jan. 20, President-elect Barack Obama will at last be empowered to sign an executive order banning torture and cruelty.

It would send a clear message to all Americans that inhumane treatment of detainees in U.S. custody will no longer be tolerated, and would signal to the world that the United States is making a clean break with the disgraceful recent past. Such an order would strengthen the security of our troops and restore our reputation for moral rectitude.

Evalyn F. Segal

Philadelphia

» READ MORE: evesegal@mac.com

Then and now

No matter how many times I view the timeless Christmas classic

It's a Wonderful Life,

I find something I hadn't noticed before. The other night, it was the picture of Herbert Hoover in the savings bank and also the nasty Mr. Potter complaining about George Bailey helping those "garlic eaters."

The parallels between the movie and our present situation are striking. America has suffered 30 years of Mr. Potter and unrestrained free-market capitalism, which has brought us to near financial meltdown and destruction of the things that made America great.

Let's hope, with a new administration leading the way, we can all tap into our inner George Bailey and return America to greatness again.

Joe Creighton

Marlton

Donor's intent

The decision blocking Fox Chase Cancer Center in its attempted conquest of 19 acres of Burholme Park is a victory for those who fear possible further losses of treasured public land. The land Fox Chase wanted for its expansion is more than half of the park's usable area. The Ryerss family will donating the land as a park is clear. Disregarding it would give future donors second thoughts and make Philadelphia a place where legality, as well as generosity, is neglected.

Fox Chase should consider expanding on its current land or moving to a new campus in the city, which would give the hospital a new slate on which to realize its vision.

Allan Rubin

Elkins Park

Project too long

Taking two years to rebuild the South Street Bridge is too long. The longer bridge over the Mississippi in Minnesota was rebuilt in a year's time, after its collapse. This is typical of inefficient PennDOT.

Stan Broskey

Holland

Dangerous mix

Meleanie Hain says she needs a semi-automatic on her hip because bad things happen in seconds and the police are minutes away ("Gun-toting woman divides community," Friday).

The problem with her thinking is that she is completely untrained to react with deadly force, let alone in a situation that unfolds in seconds. Inexperience mingled with fear is a dangerous cocktail, even for people who keep guns only in the home.

Ben Buhl

Downingtown