Obama must keep

promise on health

Re: "Obama's challenge in Africa," Monday:

President Obama's broken promises on increased funding for global health fuel the disappointment in him.

On the campaign trail, Obama hailed the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria as a wise investment. But his 2010 budget actually cuts funding from 2009 levels, at a time when the fund is facing a $5 billion funding shortfall, and is canceling entire rounds of funding as a result.

The U.S. fair share of what is needed to prevent further cuts is $2.7 billion in 2010. Sens. Arlen Specter (D., Pa.) and Frank Lautenberg (D., N.J.) are members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and can help Obama meet the expectations he set up by fully funding the Global Fund.

If the United States can come up with trillions of dollars to bail out Wall Street, surely the government can find the resources necessary to save the lives we promised to save.

Kaytee Riek

Director of organizing

Health GAP

Philadelphia

kaytee@healthgap.org

Senate budget

would close parks

The budget bill passed by the Republican-led Senate would force the closure of at least 35 Pennsylvania parks and 1,000 miles of forest roads, which would sharply reduce access for anglers, hunters, and hikers. The state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources says Senate Bill 850 would be absolutely devastating to Pennsylvania's efforts to preserve our natural resources for present and future generations.

It is funny how legislators are willing to cut the things that the people of Pennsylvania use and enjoy. Yet, they refuse to approve House Bill 1489, which would require gas companies to pay taxes on the resources they extract. Shouldn't the companies that profit from exploiting the state's natural resources give back to the state?David Meiser

Pipersville

Affirmative action

needed in sports

Why is it that a big deal is always made about there not being enough African American baseball players, or pro football coaches, etc.?

Nothing is said when it's the other way around and every player on the basketball court (Sixers) or most players on the football field (Eagles) are African American.

Shouldn't the same concern be shown about the lack of white players? The African American percentage of the population is often used as a justification for affirmative action, so why isn't the reverse argument true for white people, who are such a large percentage of the paying audience at sporing events? Very confusing.

Joseph J. Small

Philadelphia

Federal workers'

benefits too costly

The House recently voted 258-154 to once again rob the American taxpayer at gunpoint by passing a bill that provides for up to eight weeks of paid leave to federal employees to care for a newly born, adopted, or foster child. This benefit applies only to federal employees, and you and I pay for it.

All the Democrats from the Philadelphia area voted for the bill, and all the Republicans except Frank LoBiondo and Christopher Smith of New Jersey and Michael Castle of Delaware.

In private business, benefits given to employees are passed on to the consumer as an additional cost in a product or service. The consumer can elect not to pay the price by going elsewhere. We are not given this choice when it comes to spending by Congress.

Gary Calega

Marlton

Gay 'marriage'

stirs strong feelings

What the homosexual community seems to want is recognition that the common understanding of the word love applies to them as well, and that the common understanding of the meaning of marriage is connected with this.

Beyond this lies the desire for acceptance in the larger community, which would be promoted by calling their arrangements marriage, and which is impeded for some by a mix of negative reactions, possibly dominated by disgust.

It is in the interest of all that individuals sensitized in this manner find some way to modulate their negative reactions.

John Brodsky

Swarthmore

Santorum commits

sin he condemns

Re: "What Ahmadinejad wants," Thursday:

Unlike humorist Stephen Colbert, columnist Rick Santorum makes no pretense of sympathy with the targets of his religious ridicule.

Instead, Santorum opens himself to the same ridicule. Santorum often uses his own religious doctrines to justify political policy, and states his arguments as if there were no principles to consider from other religions or moral codes.

President Obama's refusal to taint the democratic Iranian protesters as American fellow-travelers is a wise policy. The chaos in the world is mainly the result of Bush abandonment of treaties and doctrines that preserved peace and allowed commerce to flourish. Santorum's argument to return to lone-wolf policies of the past is a recipe for further chaos.

Ben Burrows

Elkins Park