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Letters to the Editor

Monday's article "Rainbow of lifestyles at Gay Pride Parade" misses the fact that the parade is more of a civil rights event for public consumption than a come-as-you-are street frolic.

Gay Pride Parade is more than a frolic

Monday's article "Rainbow of lifestyles at Gay Pride Parade" misses the fact that the parade is more of a civil rights event for public consumption than a come-as-you-are street frolic.

Maybe the lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender community brings this kind of coverage on itself. Didn't the gymnasts and baton twirlers see all those service veterans and clergy members? Didn't they hear Taps being played? I'm not saying everyone should dress in sackcloth. Part of coming out is the joy in doing so. But is dressing in drag or underwear the best way to express that joy to an easily discomforted public?

Given the Gulf Coast oil spill and Afghanistan, the civil rights movement is now a tributary of human rights and, increasingly, planetary life rights. We're all in this together. No events celebrating freedom and peaceful coexistence should forget this. Nor should those who cover them.

David Federman


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Impose stiff sanctions on Iran

There should be no trade or other economic activity with Iran until the government proves to the world community that it has stopped enriching uranium and has agreed to ship its uranium out of Iran for refinement.

The Iranians rejected a U.S.-backed deal to ship most of its enriched uranium abroad, leading to a censure resolution from the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Allowing Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon would embolden the Islamic republic, prompting the government to share nuclear know-how with terrorists who could strike anywhere, at any time.

The time has come for severe sanctions as a means to get Iran to stop its nuclear program. The international community must take urgent action now to peacefully stop the threat of a nuclear Iran.

Richard Colvin


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Boy Scouts aren't the victims

Re: "Scouts, Phila. face off in court," Monday:

The Boy Scouts do not want to pay rent to the city. Conservatives are using that as an opportunity to claim that the scouts are being forced out. But the city is not forcing them out; it's only asking them to pay rent.

The scouts' building on the Ben Franklin Parkway is one of the most expensive locations in the city. They could find many locations that are much less expensive.

The scouts want to portray themselves as victims of discrimination, but it was their no-gays agenda that led to the controversy. Most Americans support diversity and tolerance.

Harry Thorn


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Big Oil gets breaks, but not nuclear

Nuclear power plants aren't allowed to circumvent safety measures, but oil rigs have been treated differently. That's because unlike the nuclear industry, Big Oil has had immense sway in Congress. Regulators stood on the sidelines while rig operators maximized profits, did not develop technologies to deal with worst-case-scenario oil spills, and recklessly tapped Mother Earth a mile or more below sea level while politicos sang "drill, baby, drill."

It's all about the money; let ecosystems be damned! Indeed, Gushers Galore was the motto of the Bush administration, populated by macho oil folks obsessed with Wild West mentalities, and never contemplating environmental disasters.

They knew the public's fear of a mushroom cloud was quantum leaps greater than of some oil well in the Gulf of Mexico exploding. But the effects of BP's criminally negligent oil spill may become more insidious than even a nuclear reactor meltdown in terms of lasting environmental and economic impact.

Lawrence Uniglicht


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Government doesn't investigate itself

I am very impressed with the investigative work of the Inquirer reporters who have exposed so much corruption in our local and state governments, including the ethically and probably legally improper dual relationships involved in construction of the proposed Family Court building.

Government officials have responded quickly when corruption has been exposed. What concerns me is why they have to wait for The Inquirer to do the exposing and not be at all aware on their own. Don't the government agencies police themselves?

The other question I have concerns how The Inquirer decides what corruption to expose. I can't imagine that what is printed is all that is amiss with government. How does your selection process work? I hope there is no corruption. Who would expose it if there were?

Irving S. Wiesner


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City libraries can't take more cuts

Libraries again are being asked to take deep cuts in the city budget. It wasn't enough that they lost 20 percent of their funding last year; now they are being asked to deal with more than a 7.5 percent cut.

That means our libraries go back to four days per week. That means about 25 librarians will have to be laid off. That means that at a time when people need access to computers and help to seek jobs, the libraries will not be open regularly. That means when kids need the security and support for learning that libraries provide, they will not be open.

We are indeed in the middle of a deep economic downturn that we hope is short-lived, but the libraries in this city have been taking it on the chin for too long. The amount of money to make them whole this year is less than $3 million. How can we not find that funding?

Shelly Yanoff

Executive director

Public Citizens for Children

and Youth