about the mayor
Buzz Bissinger writes that he is "edging to a reluctant conclusion" that Mayor Nutter "doesn't have a clue" ("The Throwaway," Sunday), but it is Bissinger who comes across as clueless.
His central criticism is that Nutter refuses to massage political egos. Bissinger reaches back into his Rendell hagiography to offer anew the mythic example of Rendell as the "city's head masseur."
Yet Bissinger avoids mentioning how poorly the masseur approach has worked for Rendell in Harrisburg, and he fails to acknowledge that it was Rendell's "substance" as mayor - a quality that Bissinger maligns in Nutter - that ultimately enabled him to succeed.
parking on freeway
Re: "S. Jersey residents weigh rail, bus extensions," Sunday:
One critic at last week's hearing on plans for a $1.3 billion light-rail line from Camden to Glassboro asked where people are going to park. Right now, they're parking on the Route 42 freeway every morning on their commute to Philadelphia. Many more than the 125 people at that hearing sit in traffic every day. Maybe we should ask them what they think.
We seem to be able to come up with parking when we build costly new shopping centers, but when it comes to building something that can contribute something better to society, we raise questions.
When gasoline is once again $4 a gallon, we will be considering alternative means of transportation. Meanwhile, this rail route has been in the proposal stages since gasoline was less than a dollar a gallon. It was a good idea then, and it's a good idea now.
a good foreign policy
Re: "West still exploiting the Muslim world," letter, Wednesday:
I certainly disagree with a letter that confuses "the trumped-up war in Iraq" with Napoleon's invasion of Egypt, and several other imperialist actions of earlier times.
Present U.S. foreign policy is not based on a narrow tribal view of other nations, but on those universal, cross-cultural values so nobly expressed in one of the greatest documents about human rights ever written: the Declaration of Independence.
Were these values tribal, rather than universal, the Marshall Plan and the occupation of Japan would never have resulted in the peaceful environment that exists between the major powers of the world that we have today.
Too bad Keyes
didn't beat Obama
I often wonder what our national political scene would look like today had Alan Keyes won the Illinois race against Barack Obama for U.S. senator in 2004.
Keyes is no slouch. He is a true black man, and a conservative of the highest order. I don't think that there are many on either end of the political spectrum who could stand up to Keyes in any debate on any topic. What a wonderful speaker and motivator.
I hope that Keyes will make a run for the presidency in 2012. What a contest that would be!
Dominic J. Cinaglia
is a good solution
Your June 8 editorial, "A healthy debate," was spot on about the urgent need for affordable health care for all Americans. However, any new initiatives should be funded fully and equitably.
Yes, some reduction in the tax exemption for employer-paid group insurance benefits would hurt middle-class workers (including me), but it may be the fairest among the hard options that would really work.
Consider two employees: Joe's compensation consists of $40,000 in wages and $12,000 of employer-paid health insurance. Mary earns $45,000, but she must purchase her family's health insurance with after-tax dollars. Is it fair to tax all of Mary's compensation, but only part of Joe's?
'Parking Wars' show
isn't the problem
Re: "Not ready for a closeup," Sunday:
The A&E television show Parking Wars isn't the problem; the show is the messenger.
The problem is the Philadelphia Parking Authority. It is a disgrace that its employees act in such brazen and abusive ways.
I am disappointed that our city officials are not using Parking Wars to call for obviously much-needed change at the Parking Authority. Shame on them, not on A&E.
Most U.S. terrorists
Re: "Can we trust the president to fully support Israel?," Sunday:
Susan Estrich is wrong when she states that "nearly 100 percent of the terrorists who have attacked us are Muslim." In fact, almost all of the terrorist attacks in the United States since 9/11 have been homegrown, right-wing, radical, fringe efforts, including last week's murder of a security guard at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum by an 88-year-old white supremacist.