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Krauthammer exudes '50s-style fear

I read with amusement Charles Krauthammer's April 10 column, "Obama's Nuclear Doctrine Puts the U.S. and Its Allies in Bad Positions." Talk about twisted logic and fear-mongering! Mr. Krauthammer's fears are rooted in the Cold War era of the 1950s. He talks as if we still need to fear being invaded by Russia, still need to hide under our desks to protect ourselves from nuclear attack, still need to build bunkers in our backyards. Mr. Krauthammer, what are you so afraid of? Wake up, man! The sky isn't going to fall!

The United States has enough nuclear weapons to blow the world up at least 1,000 times. So the Obama nuclear doctrine will now give the United States the ability to blow the world up only 700 times. Mr. Krauthammer, we only need the capability to blow the world up one time!

Besides, the threat of nuclear retaliation by the United States still exists under any doctrine or treaty signed by the president. If you think the United States hasn't abandoned agreements in the past in its own best interests, just ask an American Indian.

ROBERT HERTZ
Shadyside


Poor comparison

Racial, ethnic and religious discrimination in any form is abhorrent, including discrimination toward the priesthood and Catholics as a result of the ongoing child abuse scandals. However, the Good Friday sermon given by Father Raniero Cantalamessa at his Vatican homily, in part based on a letter he received from a Jewish friend likening anti-Semitism to the widespread furor over the child-abuse scandal, is a comparison that is illogical at best and hurtful at worst ("Vatican Priest Likens Abuse Criticism to Anti-Semitism," April 3).

Anti-Semitism is an insidious form of hatred directed at Jews for no other reason than the fact they are Jews. For centuries it has caused emotional pain and genocide. The child abuse scandal is both sinful and illegal. The furor is mostly directed toward the church as an institution for doing too little too late. And a great deal of the anger is by Catholics themselves who have felt betrayed in a religion that has meant so much to them.

For this analogy to hold up, there would have had to have been a Jewish Vatican (which does not exist), a single Jewish pope (which does not exist) and a large group of rabbis who committed some sort of sexual crime (which has not, to my knowledge, happened). Furthermore, as the article points out, the issue here is not the furor over the church. It is the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of children whose lives may be forever compromised.

I suspect the Catholic Church will take action against newly identified abusive priests and craft a policy with more severe consequences for future incidents. I also sadly suspect that anti-Semitism will continue for decades to come, long after the child-abuse scandal is over.

RICHARD WELLINS
Upper St. Clair


Tea-party taxpayers

Jeff Stahler's April 12 editorial cartoon was more revealing of his state of mind than a condemnation of the members of the "tea party." In the cartoon he shows a man and woman walking past a newspaper box that displays the headline "Tea Party Express National Tour" to which the woman acidly questions "Using our federally funded highways?"

Those "federal" folks who paid for the construction of those highways are called "taxpayers." Just like the "tea party" people he derides.

Maybe Mr. Stahler will comprehend the connection someday.

JOSEPH ELINICH
Ross


GOP created a mess

What makes tea partiers and conservatives think the Republicans can put this country back on track? It was the Republicans who put us in this mess with an unwarranted war and budget-busting tax cuts among other things.

There is not one leader in the Republican Party, unless you consider Sarah Palin. That is the extent of the Republicans' I.Q.

Give President Obama a break. He's trying to get us back on track.

SELMA FLEISHMAN
Squirrel Hill


A chilling thought

I have read many placards, letters, speeches and rants regarding "taking our country back." What exactly is meant by that statement and, more important, what are these folks going to do with it once they have it "back"?

By the tone of those who "want our country back," I shudder to think of what these "patriots" would do with and to our country.

CYNTHIA L. SPANNUTH
Upper St. Clair


A month to emulate

As a lifelong resident of this area, I am constantly dismayed at the news of the rash of homicides in the city. Recently the media trumpeted the news that Newark, N.J., a city that most of us associate with crime and violence, had a homicide-free March. The mayor, Cory A. Booker, is justly proud of how he brought the people of the city, the law enforcement agencies and the gangs together to attempt to stop the killings.

I couldn't help but wonder what was the last month that Pittsburgh had not one homicide of record.Could Pittsburgh get on the news for the same reason? Not soon enough for the young people who die every month in this city, especially from gun violence.

SISTER RITA YEASTED
Shaler


Welfare drug tests

Regarding "Wagner Outlines His Vision for Improving State Government" (March 31): He gets my vote if he can make headway on half of what he outlines. It would be a miracle to get any of it done with the bozos in the Legislature now. So let's vote them all out and start all over with Jack Wagner's vision.

And regarding his goal of making sure eligibility requirements for welfare recipients are strictly enforced: How about all recipients of any public money -- such as welfare, Section 8, city housing authority and the rest of the freeloaders -- pass drug tests? You got drugs in you, you get no public money.

When I worked in the construction industry (steamfitter), we were required to take drug tests on many of the job sites to be employed and make a living so we could pay our taxes to support the parasites of society. So why not make them take drug tests to receive our hard-earned money?

So I say to Mr. Wagner, if you are serious about what you say, do this. You would not only make it fair, but you would also help fight the drug war. This, as they say, gets two birds with one stone.

DAN CINOWALT
Bon Air


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We welcome your letters. Please include your name, address and phone number, and send to Letters to the Editor, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh 15222. E-mail letters to letters@post-gazette.com or fax to 412-263-2014. Letters should be 250 words or less, original and exclusive to the Post-Gazette. All letters are subject to editing for length, clarity and accuracy and will be verified before being published.



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