Gilchrest deserves credit for working to save the bay...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 27, 2000

Gilchrest deserves credit for working to save the bay

My jaw dropped when I saw The Sun's editorial condemning a Republican congressman for being too strong on environmental issues ("Passionate Gilchrest follows his own path," Sept. 18).

Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest is right to oppose further dredging in the port of Baltimore. His integrity should be commended.

The Sun and Mr. Gilchrest's fellow congresspersons have clearly submitted to the Maryland Port Authority and the shipping industry's poorly conceived plans for the port and the bay.

The Sun quoted former Rep. Helen Bentley saying of Mr. Gilchrest, "He really does not understand the maritime picture." Doesn't the maritime picture include the health and welfare of the bay and its once-abundant fisheries?

If so, it is Ms. Bentley and The Sun who fail to grasp the whole picture. That picture is one of continued trauma to the bay's faltering resources and its fragile fishing and tourist industries.

The Sun should use spend its resources exploring sustainable planning for the port rather than lambasting Mr. Gilchrest for his dedication to the health of the Chesapeake Bay and of Maryland.

David Gadsby

Edgewater

The Sun, once a reliable voice in support of the Chesapeake Bay, now eerily denounces Rep. Wayne Gilchrest for supporting limits to environmentally dubious dredging projects.

The Eastern Shore congressman is veering off course, says the paper, sounding like the mother who thinks everyone in the band is out of step but her Johnny.

Most readers will recognize that it isn't Mr. Gilchrest who's got steering problems.

Peter A. Jay

Havre de Grace

Gov. Bush's proposed tax cuts help those who bear the load

I am tiring of a redundant theme in The Sun's editorial cartoons: depicting Texas Gov. George W. Bush's only concern to be supplying the rich with a tax break.

When will the fans of such humor acknowledge that the rich pay the vast majority of actual tax dollars that the IRS collects? How can a candidate offer a tax cut to workers who pay no tax?

Mr. Gore's tax "cuts" are not reductions in taxes paid, but are a series of refundable credits (much like the current Earned Income Credit program). Such credits are added to a qualifying low-wage earner's refund of taxes withheld and thereby increase that person's tax refund.

When Mr. Gore offers a larger refund, it is not because the worker will be paying less into the system; it is because he or she will be taking more out of it.

Several articles in The Sun (most recently state Sen. Christopher McCabe's "Bush tax-cut plan trusts families," Sept. 17) have explained that Mr. Bush's plan is the only one that actually guarantees a tax reduction to every taxpayer.

These articles state the facts, in contrast to cartoons that fuel common misconceptions.

Debbie Marino

Bel Air

Wen Ho Lee betrayed his oath to the government

The tale of innocence told by scientist Wen Ho Lee would strain the credulity of a grammar school child.

Mr. Lee's actions were an abridgement of the most basic oath of allegiance by a government employee.

The spectacle of the government apologizing to Mr. Lee is sickening to me and, I dare say, to many Americans.

Henry L. Blum

Baltimore

Schools should be happy to receive used books

I was very disappointed by The Sun's editorial "Buy the book" (Sept. 16).

I'm amazed that public school libraries are not satisfied to receive books and claim they need money to buy new ones. I can understand having to raise money to buy books for high school libraries and maybe even middle school libraries.

But if you have books to donate that are suited for elementary school students, or ones that meet the needs of middle and high school students, schools in need of those books should certainly be more than grateful to accept such a donation.

Dawn Bosley

Lutherville

Rapper Eminem's lyrics promote hatred, violence

In "Beating the rap" (Sept. 17) Crispin Sartwell calls Eminem's popular "Marshall Mathers LP" one of the best albums of the year and "a work of literature."

Mr. Sartwell allows that the album is "extremely disturbing" and "violent and self-destructive" yet never really explains how or why. The only lyrics he quotes are a few lighthearted lines about being a white man in a black rap world.

But Eminem's album is certainly the most violently homophobic best-selling recording ever. And I do mean violently.

Eminem raps: "My words are like a dagger with a jagged edge/That'll stab you in the head whether you're a fag or lez/Or the homosex, hermaph, or a trans-a-vest." Also: "You faggots keep eggin' me on/'Til I have you at knifepoint."

I don't favor censorship, but any discussion of this album as literature -- or even as a pop phenomenon -- must address the hatred in the lyrics. They are a very real call for violence against anyone perceived as sexually different.

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