More districts would expand representation
The bizarre political apparatus in Baltimore is designed, owned and operated for its own benefit by the Democrat Party. The "old boys" use it to their own advantage. The coalition redistricting plan will force-feed some alterations, but the structure remains. Under the time-honored custom of running on "tickets," two incumbents with the advantage of name recognition could put Hulk Hogan on their ticket and win hands down.
Three council representatives per district denies entry to the power structure to all but the politically anointed. A city with 29 zip codes must make do with only six councilmanic districts. We are far more diverse than that.
All fair-minded people can agree with the coalition goal of equalizing black representation to reflect blacks' 59 percent share of city population. Using fairness as the criterion, the permanent solution is to have 18 separate districts. Candidates should live in their districts, thus allowing voters and council representatives to know each other. Any change in the make-up jTC of the district would always allow the voters to nominate and/or elect a candidate reflecting the needs of the people in the smaller district. If an incumbent gets out of touch in any way, he or she can be dealt with in the primary election or face an opposition candidate in the general election. The city now gets all its council members in the primary election, which is supposed to be a nominating process only.
The two-party system has served this country well. It deserves the opportunity to function here, at the same time giving all Democrats an honest shot at their own candidates. Voters of all persuasions would have a real choice instead of "Me and My Shadow."
W. T. Samuelson
Kudos to Alex Pacheco and all the people who help liberate animals and end their suffering. He who allows oppression shares the crime.
Vivisection is responsible for other suffering than that directly inflicted upon uncounted animals and human victims of erroneous medical science. It is also responsible for the very real drawn-out sufferings of all those who cannot shut out of their minds the thought of the continuous tortures deliberately inflicted. Only vivisectors and animal haters will shrug or laugh off that suffering.
The American public is becoming increasingly aware of these atrocities. Animal research can no longer hide behind closed doors.
I have had enough Schaefer-bashing. As city councilman, city council president and mayor, William Donald Schaefer made positive things happen in Baltimore which helped the economy of the city and the state.
Mr. Schaefer took that same intensity and vision and tried to apply it statewide. Now the folks on the Eastern Shore will have more dollars spent in their counties as folks from the western shore now can stop and shop rather than wait interminably in traffic on Route 50. And folks in Western Maryland may even come to see major corporate and tourist interest as the Rocky Gap golf resort is established.
However you may personally feel about Mr. Schaefer, can you honestly say he has not been the best mayor to date in the history of the city and the best governor to date in the history of the state?
We may feel cursed in some perverse way that he is a complex and sensitive person, but we are by far more blessed in that he has done the many positive and visionary things for our city and our state.
Louis H. Kistner
The dogs of peace
The unfolding of the situation in Iraq causes me great concern. The confrontation was handled skillfully; the coalition against Saddam Hussein was assembled and cemented together in virtuoso manner; the conduct of the war was nearly impeccable; the coalition losses seem to have been below those expected from peacetime operation; Iraqi civilian losses, though high, seem to have been small relative to Iraqi military losses, which were enormous. What more could one ask?
But the peace does not seem to be going well. During the war we encouraged the removal of Saddam Hussein. Many people, adults and children, men and women, responded to our call, and we left them to their fates.
Many have suffered and died, many more will suffer and die because we changed our minds after they did what we wanted.
You can unleash the dogs of war, and let loose the hounds of hell, but once they are free you cannot control or restrain them until their appetites are sated. We set them free to ravage the land, and then we went home. And I grieve for what we have done.
Irving L. Chidsey
Havre de Grace
Making a nightmare
A few nights ago, the night before my family was to go off on a weekend pleasure trip, I had a dream in which we arrived at the chosen place and found it to be a terrible place. There were no indoor toulets. Human excrement was everywhere. I got covered with filth -- on my shoes, on my cloths, on my hands. And there was absolutly no place to wash it off. And no change of clothing, since we were planning to be gone overnight.
Such a strange and awful dream! What was that all about? Could it have some meaning, some message? I conclued that it did: We Americans have left the people of Iraq, most especially the Kurds, living in filth, and we're proud of it.