Awaiting more calls from the politicians

Boy, was I stoked on Primary Day! I got my butt out and voted at 9:30 Tuesday morning, my button-pushing finger itching like crazy. Then I went home to await my follow-up calls.

You see, in the last week, Lynne Abraham called me twice, Ed Rendell called me, and so did Joe Sestak. I even received a call from a retired Special Victims Unit detective. (Pretty sure that last one wasn't Christopher Meloni, but I didn't really catch his name).

They were all asking me to vote for their candidate of choice. Since none of these people ever called me before, I figured it was pretty important for me to do as they asked. I was only too happy to oblige.

So call me again, we'll do lunch. Lynne? Eddie? Joe? What's-his-face?

I like Applebee's.

Patricia Dobilas

Philadelphia

nolead begins

Sexual predator or honey-trap victim?

As a stunning flurry of events unfolds, cases are being built for and against former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn. ("Pressure rises against IMF chief held at NYC jail," Tuesday). Did he attempt to rape a hotel maid as she entered his suite to clean his room, or could French President Nicolas Sarkozy possibly be responsible for setting a "honey trap" against Strauss-Kahn in order to rub out a political opponent?

All we know is that a working immigrant woman from Africa claims to have been sexually assaulted by a rich and powerful man with a colorful reputation, whose big-shot attorney vows to clear him. Of course, DSK has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, and let's hope the gathered DNA evidence will be useful in bringing about a just verdict. In the meantime, what will be worse, the downfall of a hugely prominent man, or the public re-traumatizing of a poor hotel maid?

According to the article, the particulars of the complaint are that Strauss-Kahn "grabbed [the maid's] breasts, tried to pull down her panty hose, grabbed at her crotch, and forced her to perform oral sex." This would seem to shoot a big hole in the honey-trap scenario.

Sophia Demas

Philadelphia

demas@usa.net

nolead begins

Capital punishment: Grim game has rules

State Supreme Court Chief Justice Ron Castille says that efforts to stop the execution of death-row prisoner Mark Spotz border "on the perverse." I would say that what goes beyond the perverse is Pennsylvania's determination to cling to capital punishment, which most civilized societies have abandoned as morally indefensible.

It is also, in Spotz's case, numerically absurd as well, since he has been sentenced to death in three separate cases. In trying to save one of his legal lives, his attorneys are simply trying to protect the only actual one he has. These are the rules of Mr. Castille's game, and the system he represents. If he doesn't like them, maybe he should stop playing the Red Queen in the theater of the absurd that our capital-justice system has become.

Robert Zaller

Bala Cynwyd

nolead begins

Pakistan owes the U.S. a refund

Pakistan's political, military, and intelligence leadership is either grossly incompetent or lying to all Americans when it claims it had no knowledge of Osama bin Laden's living in a compound within eyesight of some of its most senior military and intelligence officials ("Pakistan: Were officials really unaware that bin Laden was living in their midst?" May 8).

But whether or not they are incompetent or lying, they did not do what we have paid them more than $20 billion to do.

We should get our money back.

Fred Walker

Philadelphia

nolead begins

Limited government, private intrusion

I was very happy to read in Kevin Ferris' column Sunday ("A chat with Rick Santorum") that Santorum considers himself "someone who believes in increasing people's power and limiting government's power" and that he thinks "the key to success of America is limited government and a belief in people's ability, given the opportunity, to provide for themselves, their family, and their community."

I happen to believe in limiting government's power over people's ability to decide when to make the difficult decision to end a pregnancy. I also believe the government ought not to concern itself with how and with whom its citizens fall in love.

Santorum might be taken more seriously as a potential presidential candidate if he recognized how his statements on limited government are diametrically opposed to his belief in government intrusion regarding the loves and lives of its citizens.

Michael A. Ginsberg

Philadelphia

nolead begins

Inspiring article, inspired art

Given the daily din of war news, it was refreshing to read Miriam Hill's excellent article on May 12 about Franz Jägerstätter, who refused to join Hitler's army and was beheaded ("Story of Nazi resister Jägerstätter inspires Philadelphia caregiver"). His story is an inspiration to all who care about peace and justice.

It is worth noting, by the way, that Robert McGovern, the artist and teacher who made the beautiful wooden statue of Blessed Franz, shown in the photograph accompanying the article,    died suddenly on April 13. His gentle presence and quiet humor are greatly missed by all the members of the St. Malachy community.

Phyllis Grady

Wynnewood