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The parade could have waited; education can't

This is certainly not intended to be any sort of tirade about the Steelers' parade blocking traffic or anything like that. As a matter of fact, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Steelers organization from the Rooney family down to the lowliest groundskeeper at Heinz Field on their recent victory in the Super Bowl. You guys in uniform gave me what I have always wished to see in the Super Bowl: a real football game.

I wish I could grasp each of these young men's hands and congratulate them on achieving the epitome of success in their careers. Don't we, after all, wish we could do as well in our own?

No, this is not intended in any way to denigrate the winning of the Super Bowl. After all, didn't that victory infuse untold thousands into the civic coffers? And what about the enormous PR boost the city received?

Instead, this is about the deplorable act of having that very well-deserved parade Downtown on a Tuesday. As I watched the footage on the news that night, all I could think of was how all those young faces should have been in school.

It should come as absolutely no surprise when we realize that the rest of the world's children are so far ahead of ours. I would like to know how many other nations could somehow justify delaying their children's education for a sporting event.

West Mifflin

Headline fumble

The Feb. 3 front-page headline "Jubilant City Girds for 'Six-Burgh' Salute" was a bit of a letdown after the entire Super Bowl hullabaloo. Gird? Did someone pull out a thesaurus and overreach?

The newspaper medium should be well aware that words can be, and should be used, to paint a picture. Upon reading the headline, I envisioned the citizens of Steeler Nation tightening a collective belt around their girth. "Gears up" would have been a much better selection as it falls in line with a sports theme headline. Or how about "primed"? That word choice would capture the absolute excitement of the fans.

Gird, to prepare oneself for action, is used correctly, but would have been more apropos prior to the Super Bowl. The word calls to mind images of going into battle, not celebrating the victory of battle.

Speaking of which, welcome home, Steelers! Thanks for the win!

Mt. Lebanon

Tarnished joy

I read Robert Dvorchak's front-page story "Lords of the Rings" (Feb. 2). His lively, descriptive prose triggered warm memories of watching an astounding game with extended family, including the 11-year-old grandson who introduced me to the fun of football just a few years ago.

The story concluded on Page A-6, next to a charming photo of three nuns looking jubilant as they watched the drama unfold.

Then, suddenly, the word "sex" draws my eye down the page to an ad replete with a soft-porn photo of a semi-clad woman on top of a man. Bye-bye joy.

I know countless kids like my grandson will devour every word in the edition about the victory of their heroes. Must they be exposed to the unsavory while they do so?

I love the Post-Gazette. I want it to live on. I realize it must rely on ad revenue to survive. But does that include unbridled acceptance of all images as well? And who, I wonder, selects the precise placement of these adults-only images?

Any chance of keeping them away from sports news?


In poor taste

I was disappointed to see two front-page headlines within a week with what I and many other people of faith consider to be offensive language. While I realize that "Oh My God" and "OMG" have become commonplace in this day and age, it shows both insensitivity and lack of originality for the PG editors to use them so frequently in positions of such prominence in your publication (" 'Oh My God! There's Benny!" Jan. 27 and "OMG! Mom's on Facebook!" Feb. 1). The flippant use of these terms grates on my ears and offends the sensibilities of those who call upon God in a reverent manner.

In a time when our region collectively basks in the joy of the Steelers' victory, why not take the lead from spiritual champions like Troy Polamalu and be sensitive to language that offends those of us who share his beliefs?


Moral posturing

Regarding "Vatican Storm: The Pope Must Be Clear on Anti-Semitism" (Feb. 4 editorial): Let's start at the bottom. A quick perusal of any biography of Pope Benedict XVI leaves no doubt that he did not volunteer for Hitler Youth. He was conscripted, as was every male in the German population.

If you check the facts, you will know that calling Richard Williamson "Mr." is still correct. He has not been reinstated to communion with the church. For that to happen, he would have to express fidelity to the teachings of the church as well as the norms of Vatican II. All of your moral posturing is over a misconception.

Although Pope John Paul II was "charismatic and media savvy," those gifts do not make a pope. The Holy Spirit does that through the cardinals of the church. Benedict has only restated what has been true since the late Marcel Lefebvre and his followers were excommunicated. The church always calls her children back to the fold, but they cannot stay if they deny the truth that she teaches.

The Holy Father knows that Holocaust deniers are as goofy as the Flat Earth Society. He is not about to put a ring on the finger of a man who disparages the nation of people who brought us our very knowledge of God.

North Versailles

PG hubris

It's refreshing to see the Post-Gazette take a break from telling me what Catholic beliefs I should accept and go right to the top advising our Holy Father on his job ("Vatican Storm: The Pope Must Be Clear on Anti-Semitism," Feb. 4 editorial).

Now why don't you take some time to run other religions, too?

Highland Park

On thin ice

Recently the residents of Squirrel Hill were on the news complaining about the salt trucks not doing their job on the streets of Squirrel Hill.

Well, the residents weren't doing their job shoveling their sidewalks. Driving through the streets last week, I saw snow and ice and witnessed a man falling on the corner of Beechwood Commons.

Put on ice skates when there's snow and ice -- you may be safer.

Swisshelm Park

We need to see investigations into the bailout mess

I find it abhorrent that CEOs and financial officers award themselves bonuses for taking their banks and companies to the brink of bankruptcy or liquidation. Normally, people get rewarded for a job well done, not incompetence. This is particularly disgraceful since it is public money they are stealing.

There should be an intense government investigation and accounting for these monies and restitution made for their greed and dishonesty.

I cannot understand how our Congress and the past administration could just hand over billions of dollars to these institutions with no strings attached.

Time is of the essence before any more money is delegated to any of these companies.


We receive more letters than we can fit into the limited space on the editorial page, so we'd like to share some additional letters with our Post-Gazette Web site readers.

An all-out effort brings results

My hat is off to the Rooneys and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Congratulations on the win. But more important, they have epitomized the U.S. policy of when things are good (ahead in the score), be conservative. In the beginning or when you are behind (things not going according to the plan), go all out.

Think about it for one second. Not taking one thing from the Steelers, they come out like gangbusters at the beginning of the game, doing whatever they could to score. It was obvious they had the talent and the coaching in the player fundamentals, but once they got the lead, they got conservative.

Compare this with the United States of America. We have the talent, and we are trained, but until there is a crisis, it is up the middle, the only question being is it going to be off right or left tackle. If the Steelers had played like the first quarter and final two minutes, the score would have been 55-21. Hopefully we can learn from our past mistakes. Are you listening, Mr. Obama?


Large events call for restrooms

The Post-Gazette article "Fandemonium Greets Steelers Parade" (Feb. 3 Web) did a great job of conveying the atmosphere of the day celebrating our beloved Steelers. One notable item in the article, however, was the mention of lack of portable toilets along the parade route.

My husband and I lived in Pittsburgh for five years, and I grew up in the Tri-State region, often attending many festivals and events both Downtown and in different neighborhoods. As we sing the praises of Pittsburgh in each place we relocate, the one thing that always comes up (often with a combined grimace/smile): the lack of portable toilets at city and neighborhood events.

Every city we've lived in since Pittsburgh (Cincinnati, Syracuse and Athens, Ga.) always has a plentiful supply of toilets at outdoor events, resulting in shorter lines and an overall much more enjoyable event. When you nearly double the size of the city -- even with the "short duration of the parade," as Michael Huss, the city public safety director stated -- someone out of 350,000-plus people will need the restroom.

Please make it easier on the fans and those enjoying other events in the wonderful city of Pittsburgh.

Athens, Ga.

Rooney's first thank you

Now that the euphoria of the Pittsburgh Steelers' sixth Super Bowl win has begun to wear off, perhaps it is time to reflect on the deflating and insulting comments uttered by Black-and-Gold head honcho Dan Rooney.

The first words out of his mouth after the Super Bowl were to "thank President Obama." For what exactly? Jumping on the Steelers bandwagon when he suckered the Rooneys into supporting him? Apparently the taste of socialism that he experienced in having local taxpayers pay for his stadium has not only prompted this once-admired man to throw his pro-life credentials completely out the window but also has affected his memory.

Perhaps he should first thank the season-ticket holders -- some of the old ones who endured years of record-setting losses. And more important, he should thank the taxpayers, who against their wishes were required to pay for a new stadium (the original "bailout"). We should all be so lucky. In this day and age, I guess if you are really "lucky" you get to be Treasury secretary.

Perhaps we should have seen this Rooney swing to socialism coming?

But it does not make his behavior any less shameful.

Bethel Park

Thanks, Pittsburgh, for a great visit

I just wanted to take the time to comment on what a wonderful city you have. I recently visited Pittsburgh for a weekend trip with friends. We stayed Downtown and visited both the Strip District on a busy Saturday afternoon as well as the South Side for dinner and an evening out.

I was truly impressed with the friendliness of all the people and the cleanliness of the city. Coming from a big sports town myself, I really appreciated how many people were decked out in all of their Steelers gear, a week before the big game.

The bustling Downtown area was a sight to behold. It was an absolute pleasure visiting your fine city, and I absolutely will be back.

Cleveland, Ohio

Sports and civic involvement aren't mutually exclusive

I simply "don't get," J.M. Spears Sr.'s letter regarding his concern for Western Pennsylvania and the level of support for our sports teams ("Sports Fans, Put That Same Energy Into Civic Affairs," Feb. 5 Web letters).

First, Mr. Spears, it is what you are implying that bothers me most. You assume that people who support and follow sports are less educated and not involved in government. Your heartfelt concern regarding hope that our sports teams lose so that we may "broaden interest and involvement" demonstrates your poor opinion of sports fans. Thank you for your heartfelt concern, and your intellectual insight, but many people who support these teams have very "broad interests and involvement."

Lighten up and live a little, Mr. Spears, and improve your opinion of sports fans. Many of us are pretty intelligent. We know that to truly contribute to society and make Western Pennsylvania a "better place to live and work," we need to have some pleasure and enjoy some things in life. We know that having our city and state advertised all over the world helps our economic growth. Keep hoping our teams lose for the greater good. However, I think your time could be better spent "broadening your interest and involvement."

Point Breeze, Sixburgh, Pa.

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