Don't complain if you don't vote

I could not believe my eyes as I read the op-ed piece on last Thursday by Gary Rothera ("City candidates' trashy campaign"), in which he bewailed the waste that political candidates put out in his neighborhood prior to the recent primary election.

The most disturbing part of the article was Rothera's cavalier attitude about voting. He seemed quite proud that he'd had no plans to vote in the election anyway, that he spent no time learning about any of the candidates, and is not even registered to vote.

What a wonderful citizen! Totally above the fray! Yet he still takes the time to write and complain that all this campaign literature trashed his neighborhood. Why doesn't he complain to his elected officials about it? Oh, he probably doesn't know who they are, or how to contact them. And even if he did, why should any elected official respond? After all, he doesn't vote.

Who cares what Rothera thinks?

Ron Stoloff

Blue Bell

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Replacing bridge doesn't add up

Why is there a Chester County bridge debate going on ("Chandler Mill Bridge closing reignites controversy," Friday)?

The cost of rehabbing Chandler Mill Bridge is less than a third the cost of destroying it and replacing it with a new, less desirable structure. An identical Chester County historic bridge, Watermark Bridge in Upper Oxford Township, faces the same irrational fate.

When PennDot and the county stand opposed to both fiscal responsibility and historic preservation, it is time to ask some questions.

Richard Gillespie

Wilmington

tigharic@me.com

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Palestinians need the pressuring

I am continually astonished by the way the world insists that Israel make concessions in the Middle East while demanding nothing of the Palestinians ("Totally committed," Sunday).

In the last two decades, Israel has granted autonomy to the West Bank and given Gaza to the Palestinians. In exchange, the Palestinians have declared two intifadas, rained thousands of missiles onto Israel, launched numerous attacks on civilians, and refused to recognize Israel's right to exist. They have kidnapped Israeli soldiers, taught their children to kill Israelis, and pocketed billions of dollars in foreign aid.

President Obama should stop pressuring Israel and start on the Palestinians. He should tell them that before the United States lifts a finger to help, they must recognize Israel as the Jewish homeland, acknowledge its right to exist, accept Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and forswear violence. This last condition means they must take action against their own violent elements.

Once the Palestinians start to demonstrate a real interest in peace, Israel can engage in serious negotiations. Until then, every concession Israel makes will blow up in its face, just as Gaza did.

Kenneth Gorelick

Newtown Square

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Cartoon found lacking in taste

Like many practicing Catholics, I have sometimes disapproved of the actions of the Church hierarchy, particularly in regard to its handling of the sexual abuse scandal.

That said, I found Tony Auth's cartoon Friday, depicting a bishop getting high on drugs, unusually vicious and in execrable taste. Auth and The Inquirer should be ashamed.

C. L. Witzleben

Swarthmore

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Not everyone is pleased with USAir

A letter on Friday notwithstanding ("US Airways has improved noticeably"), US Airways deserves its lousy reputation. After flying USAir from Philadelphia to Daytona, Fla., in January, I'll never choose them again.

Why? I specifically bought a carry-on to avoid having to check luggage. Guess what? Crowded plane, limited overhead space, checked bag, lost bag returned in the wee hours in Daytona. Return trip? Last one on board the connecting flight in Charlotte, N.C., no more overhead space, checked bag, bag lost again! On a direct flight!

OK, I got my bag back, and while I appreciated that USAir lost it for free both times, it was an unwelcome hassle and delayed getting out of the airport coming and going.

The last straw, though, was that, when I contacted customer service, I never received an answer. No acknowledgment, no response, not even a form letter.

That told me all I needed to know about US Airways. Losing luggage once is unfortunate. Losing it twice is incompetent. And companies that can't be bothered to respond to their customers don't deserve to have any.

Rosalind Holtzman

Elkins Park

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Strauss-Kahn sheds light on bureaucracy

The Dominique Strauss-Kahn affair has served to shine a light on the little-known international bureaucracies such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Bank for International Standards, and the United Nations.

These entities have proven themselves to be totally unaccountable to the people footing their bills. That would include the U.S. taxpayer. Where else could someone with less than four years on the job be indicted for a violent felony, resign, and walk away with a $250,000 annual tax-free pension for life?

Caviar socialism indeed. It makes Philadelphia's DROP program look like chump change.

Laurence Milkowski

Springfield