The AIDS crisis in Maryland also deserves attention
The front-page article on South African President Thabo Mbeki's failure to adequately address the AIDS crisis facing his citizens ("S. Africa won't budge on AIDS policy," Nov. 30) made me wonder why a story about the AIDS epidemic in Baltimore was buried on Page 5B of the Maryland section ("Initiative aims to increase HIV testing, counseling," Nov. 30).
The South Africa article clearly demonstrates the importance of responsible political leadership in addressing this epidemic. Yet when Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend commits her staff and state resources to a major new HIV testing initiative in Maryland, The Sun's coverage is obscured next to the obituaries.
When the citizens of Maryland are being infected with HIV at a rate of one every four hours, shouldn't we expect The Sun to consider the local AIDS crisis at least as important as that of South Africa's?
And don't readers deserve to be informed and reminded of the importance of getting tested and treated for HIV as often as possible, but especially on World AIDS Day?
Best way to stop smallpox is to vaccinate everyone
Although it was comforting to see that the U.S. government is trying to deal with the potential use of smallpox as a bioterrorism weapon and has hired Dr. D. A. Henderson to help refine and implement a plan, the plan presented seems somewhat hollow and ineffective ("CDC unveils plan to contain smallpox," Nov. 27).
The plan involves the old public health approaches of contact searches and containment, which seems more appropriate for Bangladeshi villages in the 1970s than a country where someone infected in Ames, Iowa, could be in a jetport infecting the rest of the nation before Dr. Henderson's doctors even realized there was a problem.
Rather than devising complex emergency plans and having to store vaccine, it would be far cheaper to store the vaccine in the arms of American citizens by vaccinating everyone before there is a problem.
The recent purchase of 155 million additional doses of smallpox vaccine should provide more than enough vaccine for this purpose. Why bother with the rest of the plan?
Andrew E. Manzardo
Time has come to abolish the racist death penalty
Kudos to The Sun for its editorial on the unfairness of the death penalty ("Justice Denied," Dec. 2). If for no other reason than that, in our society, it is racist and cannot be administered fairly, the death penalty should be abolished.
Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and Rep. Robert L. Ehrlich are the probable candidates for governor in the coming election. Both support the death penalty - to their shame.
I intend to write in the name of Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley, who to his credit opposes the death penalty and is on the right side of history.
Gerald Ben Shargel
Blocking low-price imports is only way to boost economy
The only hope of rebuilding our economy is the repeal of NAFTA and the removal of incentives that allow "most favored nations" to flood our market with low-price, poor-quality goods ("Boost the economy, not the federal debt," editorial, Dec. 3)
NAFTA and trade with most favored nations have cost our economy tens of thousands of good-paying jobs.
We are quickly losing our ability to manufacture goods. I suspect that even the munitions used in Afghanistan are "made in China" or "assembled in Mexico."
Fred Broglie Jr.
Hyped new transporter just doesn't have `IT'
I am writing to express my disappointment in the mysterious invention previously known as "IT" ("`IT' finally unveiled," Dec. 4).
After a year of hype, I expected more than a glorified kids' toy. And "IT" is just another testament to the laziness of Americans.
Are people in this country really more interested in saving a couple minutes during their commute to work than walking and getting much-needed exercise?
As a whole, this nation is already overweight.
We don't need a scooter to take us to McDonald's. And a little walking never hurt anybody.
The ticker provides viewers with real news on the war
Peter Beinhart has it backward ("All the news, and then some - all at once," Dec. 2). Since the Sept. 11 tragedy, and with our country at war, we have been avid news channel watchers. We watch the ticker. When the ticker begins to repeat, we switch to another news program with a different ticker.
The ticker generally has the hard news. The visual may have hard news or may have some egotistical talking head. There is less fluff on the ticker, and when it appears, it is mercifully brief.
Our only complaint is that outdated messages remain on it too long.
Perhaps the war is old hat to the networks. It still is of vital interest to us. And the ticker gives us the facts.
Cardinal's criticism shows scant regard for other faiths