One-sided view of casino smoking

There you go again with another biased, one-sided column on smoking in casinos ("Where coughing is in the cards," Monica Yant Kinney, May 26). This time you limit your interviews to six antismoking dealers who have continued to work in secondhand smoke for 25 to 30 years. If secondhand smoke is as terrible as you make it out to be, why aren't they all dead by now?

You quote a 30-year dealer and "secondhand-smoke activist" as saying, "If I knew then what I know now, I never would have taken this job." What a stupid thing to say. If she did not know there would be smoking in the casino when she took the job, she knew it after her first day of work, and yet there she is, complaining to you 30 years later.

Smokers make up 20 percent of the adult population. I wonder what percentage of dealers smokes. You should interview some of them and present a more balanced cross-section of opinions, not just your own biased point of view.

Tom Folger


Cherry Hill

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Rendell is protecting the hacks

Gov. Rendell was unaware of a patronage haven at PennDot?

Maybe, but his sanctimonious "disbanding" of this unit rings hollow when he says that these unnecessary patronage employees will be assigned to "other jobs in the department" ("Rendell says he'll disband unit of PennDot criticized in report," May 26).

What jobs? Something more superfluous than what they were already supposedly doing?

This is nothing more than a cynical ploy to distract attention from the fact that Rendell simply intends to try to hide the political hacks somewhere else.

Rendell should be denied a "third term" by a rejection of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dan Onorato. Tossing a wrench into this machine is long overdue.

Tom Durnell


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Butt out of my trash

Recently, pushed into my mailbox, was a notice informing me that I had violated a section of the Philadelphia Code regarding recyclables and was being fined $50.

On the same slip of paper was a black and white photograph. Apparently an officer whose name and badge number were listed had lifted the lid of my trash can and taken a picture of the contents.

I am outraged. I'm a conscientious recycler, and there weren't any bottles, cans, or papers in my trash. The only possible offending object was a plastic container that had once held strawberries.

Believe me, I'm not against rules and regulations on societal behavior, but there is a limit. Go ahead and regulate offshore drilling or the financial institutions, but keep your nose out of my trash can.

Maire McShane


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Military should allow gays

Three cheers for Rep. Patrick Murphy (D., Pa.) for having the courage to reject the very un-American law known as "don't ask, don't tell" ("Gay ban nears repeal," Saturday). Bigots in the United States cannot handle what 38 other countries can: uncloseted gays in the military.

A minority here keeps shouting against gays in the military, but doesn't realize how preposterous that sounds. There have been, and always will be, gays in the military; they just don't tell anyone.

DADT wastes millions in taxpayer money for training to replace those removed from the military because they were either outed or voluntarily chose not to hide any longer. Rep. Mike Pence (R., Ind.) recently said that "the American people don't want the American military to be used to advance a liberal political agenda." What worries me much more is wondering how we can trust our national security to men and women in uniform who cannot handle openly gay or lesbian comrades. Let's change DADT to DADS - "Don't accept? Don't serve!"

Jerry Silverman


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We own that gunk in the Gulf

Thousands of oil rigs are situated in the Gulf of Mexico. Only one has succumbed to the destiny that awaits all. You may say that is a great record. I say that it's the recipe for a disaster even greater than that which we witness today.

The Gulf of Mexico could actually die. A huge body of water on our own shores devoid of sustainable life. No fish. No birds. Just globs of viscous oil and chemical dispersant throughout its now murky depths.

But wait. BP and the government aren't the only ones to blame. We need only look into our own mirror to see we are all at fault. Each of us who fails to move away from using oil owns a barrel of that brown gunk in the Gulf.

Joseph Maryanski