Evacuating the House sends wrong message to world's terrorists


October 19, 2001

The nation is under attack. Thousands of Americans are dead and more are threatened. American servicemen are engaged in daily combat missions.

This is a grave and stressful time for America, a time when it is important that we show our strength and solidarity.

So where is the House of Representatives? Not in session handling the legislation to see the nation through this crisis. It has run for cover, retreated in the face of the enemy, closed shop, abandoned the people who put its members in Washington to oversee the business of government ("Anthrax alert shuts House," Oct. 18).

I admit to being very skeptical of some of Congress' previous antics, but in my own very insignificant opinion this is the worst act of arrogance and disregard for its office and its charter ever.

Guy Thompson


Once again, our elected leadership has proven its ability to disappoint. While half of Capitol Hill was emptied Wednesday, our elected leaders paused just long enough to, with boldness and unity, tell the American people to continue about their business.

What a double-standard: They clear the chambers in the name of safety, while the American people to whom they are responsible are still exposed to the threats. Yet representatives cannot even put aside their personal agendas long enough to pass the bills needed to combat the attacks or at least give us a sense of security.

We have no one to blame but ourselves, for we elected them. I guess we'll have to remember that on Election Day.

Dale Karraker


It is disgraceful that our congressional leaders shut down the House of Representatives because of their inability to cope with the overblown anthrax crisis.

These leaders are acting shamefully and sending exactly the wrong message to international and domestic terrorists.

What a contrast to the brave acts occurring throughout the nation since Sept. 11, usually done by ordinary people.

Michael DeCicco


Confidence in Ridge's ability to get his new job done

One can only speculate about the partisan agenda that prompted the tirade about the appointment of former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge as head of the Office of Homeland Security ("Ridge hasn't won fight against hate," letters, Oct. 6).

But considering that Pennsylvania is the one of the most populous states, its ranking "among the nation's top 10 states for hate crimes," assuming that it is in fact the case, is to be expected.

In any event, the writer's comparison of plainly lesser crimes -- the bulk of which are merely property desecrations -- against individuals because or their race, ethnicity or sexuality with the monstrous acts committed Sept. 11 is truly bizarre.

Mr. Ridge, like any executive, had many other priorities more pressing than "fighting hate on a state level." Overall, he was a highly successful governor.

Mr. Ridge will focus his impressive organizational skills, proven ability to lead and extensive background in law enforcement on his new assignment. We all should be confident he will get the job done.

Barry Steel


Putting property values before freedom of expression

How ironic that Janice Tippett's patriotic display is prohibited by the quasi-government of South River Colony ("Wooden flag display annoys neighbors," Oct. 13).

Ms. Tippett's homeowners' association does not exist to ensure freedom of speech. Its purpose is to sustain property values. Democracy must take a back seat.

I wonder how many other American citizens incorrectly assume they are living in "the land of the free"?

David MacIntyre

Fort Meade

I cannot believe that in times such as these there are people against the 3-foot-by-4-foot flag Janice Tippett has in her front yard in Edgewater.

Maybe they should be investigated. Rules should be overlooked at this time.

God bless you, Ms. Tippett, and don't give up without a fight. There are millions of American people behind you.

Len Carson


Limbaugh's karma overtakes his dogma

I had written off Rush Limbaugh years ago as just another inflammatory demagogue on the order of Sen. Joseph McCarthy or Mullah Mohammed Omar.

So I was surprised to see Mike Lane recently treat his hearing disability with relative kindness (editorial cartoon, Oct. 10).

And I am even more surprised to see the number of letters complaining of Mr. Lane's "poor taste" ("Limbaugh's deafness is no joking matter," Oct. 16). I would like to believe that, to be fair, the writers also complained to Mr. Limbaugh about his poor taste over the years.

Marshall Jose


To those offended by Mike Lane's cartoon, I say it's a simple case of what goes around, comes around.

Mr. Limbaugh has made fun of Sen. Hillary Clinton's legs, former President Clinton's hair and Chelsea Clinton's acne, and made a myriad of other personal attacks. I'm sure if he could find a way to blame the Clintons for his illness, he would.

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