Ticket to paradise

Dinner and flowers: I think my gifts for Mother's Day are pretty standard. However, I'm reminded of what the prophet of Islam has said: "Paradise lies at the feet of your mother." Perhaps I can do more year-round rather than on just one day.

Maybe I can help her do some of her daily chores. Maybe I can visit her more often so she can enjoy time with her grandchildren. Maybe she can live with me and avoid living in a nursing home. Not only will this make my mother happy, but it may be my ticket to the next life.

Madeel Abdullah, M.D., Newtown Square, madeel1@gmail.com

Gerrymandering and gridlock

Rep. Alan Lowenthal wrote of his legislation to reduce gerrymandering of congressional district boundaries to create safe seats ("Redistricting should be handled by constituents, not politicians," May 4). The real elections for these safe seats are the primaries. And in those contests, the most extreme candidate is usually chosen.

I believe that this is a major cause of Washington's current inability to compromise on just about anything, and that it contributed to the recent government shutdown.

Nick Fuller, Chadds Ford

Elections without representation

It is May, time for Pennsylvania's primary elections. This is when our two major political parties are given full use of the resources of the boards of elections to enable them to choose their candidates for the November general election. The cost is covered by all the state's taxpayers, but only those who are registered as Democrats or Republicans are allowed to vote.

Once upon a time, the cry of "taxation without representation" sparked a revolution. Today it's just political business as usual.

Jim Lundberg, Newtown, lundbergjames@hotmail.com

Let's not endorse mudslinging

I'm quite disappointed by The Inquirer's endorsement of Rob McCord in the Democratic gubernatorial primary ("McCord best of a fine field," May 4). I really liked what he stood for prior to the controversy over his negative advertising, but the mudslinging by McCord shows a desperation to smear Tom Wolf. The same goes for Allyson Schwartz and her negative ads.

I'm so thoroughly disgusted with negative campaigning, and I believe that most of the voting public is, too. No wonder such a large percentage of voters fail to vote.

By supporting someone who employs these tactics and not endorsing someone who has campaigned on his own record and not smeared others, The Inquirer did a disservice to its role as a leading media outlet.

Henry A. Seigel, Philadelphia

A lot slower than the storm

A recent Christie administration report showed that 75 percent of $1.8 billion in federal Hurricane Sandy aid remains unspent. It has been 18 months since the hurricane battered the Shore communities of New Jersey, and the Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation, and Mitigation grant program has been drowning in red tape and contractor problems. More than $230 million in grants has been obligated, but only 7 percent has been released to homeowners.

The continued delay is a sad commentary on our state government. How many more months will it take to get the grant money distributed?

David M. Levin, Vineland

High court in the clouds

The U.S. Supreme Court last week decided to ignore the Constitution and give God some religious welfare by allowing Christian prayers at public meetings ("High court upholds prayer at legislative meetings," May 6). The way I see it, God needs all the welfare he can get right now, because more and more people are realizing that the invisible cloud being simply doesn't exist.

Marc Perkel, Gilroy, Calif., marc@perkel.com

Legal family's legacy

Congratulations to Rawle & Henderson, the oldest law firm in the United States ("Looking back at 231 years of legal work," May 6). As The Inquirer reported, William Rawle established the practice 231 years ago. His mother, Rebecca Rawle Shoemaker, had a summer home built in what is today East Fairmount Park; William Rawle lived there as a child and later owned the house.

It still exists, as Laurel Hill Mansion, under the stewardship of an all-volunteer group, Women for Greater Philadelphia. We offer tours, educational programs about the Constitution for middle school students in partnership with Rawle & Henderson, and summer chamber music concerts. Along with the other historic homes, the mansion is truly a charm of the park. We invite the public to visit our website, laurelhillmansion.org, to learn more.

Barbara Frankl, Blue Bell, bfrankl433@comcast.net