Selig has dropped the ball again

It's time to add another chapter in the Bud Selig list of faux pas during his tenure as commissioner of baseball. With the latest fiasco, of umpire Jim Joyce's blowing the call on a pitcher from Detroit, Bud had an opportunity to stand tall and rectify a blatant on-field mistake.

The runner was out by at least a full step. The umpire admitted blowing it upon reviewing the replay. The play had no bearing on the outcome of the game, so reverse the call and give Armando Galarraga his perfect game. I do not know what kind of career the young man has in the future, but at the very least he could say that he pitched one of 21 perfect games in major-league history.

So, Bud, you of declaring an All-Star Game a tie, you of turning a blind eye to the bogus home-run chase during the steroid era of the '90s, you of being in the owners' pocket because you were and are one, do what is right. And please, don't give that baseball-purist/integrity-of-the-game line that a replay can't be used for an umpire's judgment call. You use it for fair or foul home-run decisions, do you not?

You are an embarrassment to the game. Maybe the baseball purists should think about that one.

Joe Pasquarello


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Another excuse to attack Israel

I was amused by the knee-jerk, anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian outrage at the killing of nine peace activists who were in the process of beating to death Israeli soldiers armed with paintball guns ("Outcry, crisis after deadly raid by Israel," June 1).

You would think that this group would at least wait a couple of hours so that it could become acquainted with the actual facts. The simple truth is that the facts don't matter. What does matter is that Israel's opponents have been provided an opportunity to once again slander, debase, and attack Israel.

Although the death of anyone is upsetting, these terrorists - I mean peace activists - were really agents of a group known as IHH, a Turkish charity that has direct ties to al-Queda and has been implicated in the plot to bomb Los Angeles International Airport in 2006. IHH leaders state openly that the real purpose of this flotilla was to provoke a confrontation with Israel in order to damage its image in the world. Tony Auth couldn't resist the bait (cartoon, Wednesday).

Steve Heitner

Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.

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Gazans suffer under siege

A letter Thursday ("Israel has right to inspect cargo") suggests that nonlethal cargo will be swiftly sent to Gaza after inspection by Israel. Problem: Cement is needed to rebuild homes smashed during the Israeli offensive into Gaza in 2008. Are Israelis allowing cement to be imported? No; cement might be used by Hamas to build fortifications, so homes that were wrecked years ago sit unrepaired today.

It would be nice to think that food was getting through in sufficient quantities, but a United Nations fact-finding mission reported that 60 percent of the households were short on food, 75 percent were reliant upon food aid, and 60 percent do not have daily access to water. They also lack access to health care and education for their children.

Gaza is a land that is under siege by a nation that does not want Palestinians to live healthy lives; that wants to "put the Palestinians on a diet." Dov Weisglass, an adviser to Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister, said that earlier this year.

Richmond L. Gardner


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Who needs all these deputy mayors?

The City Charter clearly states that the managing director is the chief operating officer of the city of Philadelphia, and the operating departments are to report directly to the managing director, not an endless line of deputy mayors. Mayor Nutter is in violation of the charter with all of these overpaid and unnecessary deputy mayors.

If the city is so broke, why not cut all these deputy mayors and consolidate responsibilities with the managing director, as the charter requires?

Nikola Sizgorich


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Lawmakers need to clean up

When I first heard about the different print rooms in the State Capitol, I thought, "Gee, maybe Democrats and Republicans use different kinds of ink."

What a waste of money. These are the same guys who think they can reduce health-insurance premiums by demanding that insurance companies spend less on administrative costs.

They need to come clean and get the ink stains off their own hands before they criticize others.

Ross Schriftman