'Parasites' telling

a different story

Sen. Charles Grassley (R., Iowa) and former Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson are among all the current and former government officials who now tell us the federal government can't do anything right.

How interesting that all these folks who have made their living off the taxpayers' money for most, if not all, of their working lives now tell us that the government is ineffective. Seems to me that when one organism lives off another one, it is most likely a parasite.

Medicare might be going broke, but look at whom it insures: people 65 and over who are more likely to have a need for extended medical care. Let's face it. The insurance industry certainly would not have been willing to sell insurance coverage to this group prior to Medicare.

In fact, I was refused coverage when I was 33 because I had an operation a few years earlier (no malignancy). If the insurance companies had acted responsibly before, we would not be having this debate now.

Caroline Gardner


Ridge did right

resisting pressure

I admire former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge for shining a little light on the abysmal tenure of the Bush administration ("Ridge alleges pressure on terror alert," Friday). I remember being warned every year that Osama bin Laden would inevitably surpass his last achievement. We cowered as the government kept changing the alert colors like a traffic light. Some of us, like sheep, shivered in our boots and ran to the polls to keep our commander-in-chief the chief.

Hitler scared the hell out of his constituents and sent his country into oblivion. It's amazing how scare tactics manipulate the less knowledgeable of us.

Anthony J. Frascino



Private insurance

is into rationing

The photo run with Thursday's letters showing protesters with a sign reading "Elderly Arlen - you would have died under Obama's rationed care" is wonderfully ironic.

The sign-holder, like so many uninformed activists, apparently doesn't realize that Medicare, the government-run coverage for the elderly passed in 1965, is one of the only current insurance programs that doesn't ration care. Sen. Arlen Specter's federal employee plan is another. This is the level of care that private insurers must be challenged to meet.

Alison B. Graham


Danza experience

won't be real

Re: "Danza approved to teach at Northeast High," Wednesday:

As a graduate of Northeast and a retired Philadelphia schoolteacher, I applaud the wonderful opportunity for some students to participate in this television event.

Make no mistake, however: student tryouts for a place in the class, team-teaching only one class, and editing the class activity don't in any way tell the real story of a public schoolteacher's first year.

Ronni Manchel Weinberg

North Wales

'Ladies Night' isn't

quite the same

Re: "Girls just want to have fun," Aug. 15:

Comparisons of "Ladies Night" to "Kids Eat Free" or "Senior Specials" are fallacious, since most people get to be kids and senior citizens eventually, whereas most of us spend our lives as just one gender.

Brian Gillin


Jews have a claim

in East Jerusalem

A letter Friday ("Huckabee is just wrong about a two-state solution") asks us whether Mike Huckabee ("Quietly, Israel slows down settlement work," Wednesday) has read any history. It is ironic that this question accompanied a historically wrong assertion by the letter writer.

Contrary to what he states, East Jerusalem was not "under Palestinian control until it was taken over by the Israelis in the 1967 war." The Eastern part of Jerusalem was occupied by Jordan in 1948 in an aggressive and illegal war.

The proposition that Jews may not return to, or live in, the areas that were occupied by Jordan between 1948 and 1967, and that those areas must remain forever free of Jews although they were legally designated by the League of Nations for Jewish settlement, is incredible.

Dan Dayanim

Bala Cynwyd

Young professionals

should network

Re: "Careers crumbling for young," Aug. 16:

This is a challenging time, particularly for young workers. That's why it is no surprise that membership in the Young Professionals Network of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce has increased over the past year.

Young professionals are the key to our region's economic future. In fact, half of Pennsylvania's new businesses will be created by people now in their 20s. They need the support that YPN provides.

Christopher Parker

Vice chairman

Young Professionals Network