Ways Congress could show true moralityPassing a law to...

LETTERS

June 27, 1999

Ways Congress could show true morality

Passing a law to ordain posting the Ten Commandments in schools is ludicrous, without the "practical laws" to decrease production, sale of death-dealing weapons such as used at Columbine High.

But politicians, particularly of the right, have always been fond of low-cost, low-risk vote-grabbing tactics. Distract, or try to, attention from the real issues, while making expedient appeals to "public morality" as window-dressing.

What remains to be seen is whether any of these shameless "Congress critters" can show their lip service to morality measures up to reality. They could start by doing any one of a number of things, including:

Providing medical insurance for the 44 million Americans currently without it.

Making the minimum wage a "living wage" (and also pegged to inflation from now on).

Using some fraction of the billions now going to corporate welfare for quality services, food and shelter for the homeless (most of whom are children).

Loosening their pork-barrel purse strings to provide funds for drug treatment* rather than punishment (and more prisons) for addicts.

Including costs of drugs as an integral part of Medicare for our seniors, as other progressive nations do (i.e., in Europe).

Any of these, enacted without gutless loopholes, would demonstrate some genuine morality. Trouble is, most politicians would probably regard it as "too high a cost" to pay, for offending the corporate bastions (such as the pharmaceutical companies in the last example) and their lobbies that really run this country.

It's easier to mouth cheap rhetoric than to prove all these appeals to morality are just more shilling for the corporate state. And then they have the nerve to wonder why voters are "cynical."

Philip A. Stahl, Columbia

Headline distorted justices' ruling

The headline for the Supreme Court story on June 23 ("Court limits right to sue by disabled") is as much an editorial as it is a headline.

After reading the story, it is clear that the Supreme Court did not limit the rights of the disabled to sue.

What the Supreme Court limited was the right to sue by individuals who are not disabled. For the headline to be other than an editorial opinion, it would have to be accepted as fact that more than 100 million individuals with routinely correctable conditions (such as eyesight of other than perfect 20-20) are disabled.

As one who wears glasses, I find it absurd that your headline writers consider me and millions like me to be disabled. The fact is that the Supreme Court does not consider such conditions to be disabilities.

The writer of the headline has a different opinion than the majority of the court.

That opinion should be expressed on the op-ed page, not in a front-page headline.

Al Arnold, Columbia

To letter writers

Readers are encouraged to write to Letters to the Editor, The Sun, 5570 Sterrett Place, Suite 300, Columbia 21044, or fax letters to us at 410-715-2816. Please include your telephone number, which we won't publish, so we can verify all letters. The purpose of "Viewpoints" is to gather a wide range of them -- ours, yours and others' -- on matters of importance to Howard County. The page also supplements specific editorials on Howard that appear on the editorial page in the first section of The Sun weekdays.

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