O'Malley was right to stand by embattled housing...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

January 05, 2001

O'Malley was right to stand by embattled housing commissioner

Mayor Martin O'Malley has showed once again his strength of character by standing by City Housing Commissioner Paul T. Graziano ("O'Malley under fire for Graziano incident," (Dec 31).

Instead of bowing to political pressure by the gay and lesbian community to fire Mr. Graziano for ridiculous remarks he made in a drunken state, the mayor is choosing to defend a man he knows well.

The gay community's argument that, since it supported Mr. O'Malley during his mayoral bid, he should therefore fire the housing commissioner for making anti-gay remarks astonishes me.

I didn't realize that was how it worked. I thought I worked on Mr. O'Malley's campaign and voted for him so that he could make Baltimore a better place for everybody. I had no idea the mayor owed me something.

I suppose the tolerance and acceptance the gay community is forever seeking is theirs to receive, but not to give.

Kate Price, Baltimore

Criticism of commissioner undercuts freedom of speech

I see The Sun's letter writers do not feel City Housing Commissioner Paul T. Graziano has the right to free speech (letters, Jan. 3).

Freedom of speech is not restricted because of its content. And Mr. Graziano's remarks were made in his off-hours and not related to his job in any way.

I feel the shadow of "Big Brother" manifesting itself. I am far more fearful of a citizen being pilloried for speaking his mind than of his unpopular views.

And Mr. Graziano's remarks were not "homophobic." He was speaking not of his fear of gays but his dislike for them. A phobia is a fear, not an opinion.

Ken Iman, Baltimore

Bush's territorial appeal doesn't confer legitimacy

The recent letter "Bush's broad appeal shows he belongs in the Oval Office" (Jan. 1) attempted to justify George W. Bush's ascension to the presidency in spite of losing the popular vote.

The writer calls her thoughts "a final word," but there will never be a final word. People will be fascinated by this strange twist of American civics until there is no longer an America.

Most important, don't try to convince me that Mr. Bush "certainly appealed to voters across a wide swath of territory." That argument will hold water only when an acre of land walks into a booth and casts a valid vote.

Timothy D. Sharman, Baltimore

The Supreme Court will survive the scorn ...

The U.S. Supreme Court's integrity will survive even the gratuitous damage done by writers ("Court's ruling for Bush was pure partisanship," letters, Dec. 30) who do not understand that its "pure, bare-knuckle politics" was an entirely necessary and proper response to the Florida Supreme Court's pure brass-knuckle politics.

George Taylor, Reisterstown

... but history will deem its ruling a mistake

It appears that William H. Rehnquist, chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, is somewhat remorseful that the high court was forced to rule on the Florida election issue ("Chief justice unhappy at court election role," Jan. 1).

If, as Mr. Rehnquist stated in his report to Congress, the Florida issue tested our constitutional system in ways it has never been tested before, I believe history will conclude the court failed the test.

To prevent a similar crisis in the future, the federal government should fund uniform electronic balloting in every state. And before the issue grows stale, a federal inquiry should be launched into the Florida election shenanigans.

Albert E. Denny, Baltimore

`Abortion foe' belongs in the Bush Cabinet

A headline on the front page of The Sun on Dec. 30 read: "Abortion foe is Bush pick to head HHS." Was President Clinton's choice to head the Department of Health and Human Services, Donna E. Shalala, described as "an abortion friend"?

Under Mr. Bush the gruesome partial-birth abortion procedure may be made illegal.

Many state legislatures and a majority in the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate voted to outlaw that gruesome procedure during the Clinton administration. And a majority of the American people want it outlawed.

But President Clinton kept it legal. Was that a good thing or a bad thing?

William J. Scanlon Jr., Ellicott City

When opening The Sun's liberal, biased excuse for a daily newspaper and wending my way through the first section to the editorial page, I fully expect what it has conjured up for the day's propaganda, from Jack Germond's ravings to KAL's poison-pen cartoons.

However, with the Dec. 30 headline, "Abortion foe is Bush pick to head HHS," The Sun has not only reached a new low, but has let the cat out of the bag as to where it stands politically.

Bob Rumrill, Bel Air

International court treaty betrays rights of our troops

President Clinton's 11th-hour decision to make the United States sign the International Criminal Court agreement is simply the latest finger in the eye of every member of our armed forces who serves in a country that does not share our criminal justice concepts ("U.S. signs agreement on war crimes court," Jan. 1).

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