Redirected charity pledges are no scandal My first...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

August 06, 2002

Redirected charity pledges are no scandal

My first reaction to Kate Shatzkin's article "Redirected charity pledges kept quiet" (July 26) was, "Huh?" But because the article appears as front-page news, I reread it, especially the portion where Ms. Shatzkin explains the practice of "redirection." But I still don't get it. I do get, however, a certain creeping sensation.

Let's see: Pledges "kept quiet" seems to mean "not published," which, I gather, suggests that any time something is not published, it's being kept quiet; I am, for example, keeping quiet most of the time, an apparently ominous practice.

Also, the Washington chapter of the United Way is being investigated for financial mismanagement, which, apparently, must mean that Baltimore, too, is suspect because, after all, we do everything they do, only later.

And I guess asking people at random how they feel about a policy constitutes a kind of research. If I have a vague sense that enough people are unhappy, maybe I should be, too. Otherwise, I can't figure out why it's important to know who's bothered and who isn't

But here's the serious point. Real investigative journalism is the backbone of a democracy. Faux muckraking is its opposite.

And Ms. Shatzkin's article (and The Sun's placement of it) casts doubts without substance, settles for juxtaposition when it is unable to make connection and contributes much to the generally dispiriting gaze that makes us all inspect charitable gifts with an ever-less-charitable eye.

Deborah Shaller

Baltimore

Israel's attack just as `horrific'

"`A horrific act of terror'" (Aug. 1). Why does The Sun use this phrase for an act of reprisal that everyone, including Israel, knew was coming after Israel launched the previous week's "horrific" attack on an apartment building in which women and children died?

The headline here seems to be playing into the Israelis' hands by making an act of reprisal against them a "horrific act," while Israel's attack against Palestinians is considered a military operation with "collateral damage."

Charles M. Woodford

Baltimore

A recent Sun headline about a Hamas bombing reads "A horrific act of terror" (Aug. 1). But what would The Sun call the Israelis blowing up apartment buildings with children inside them?

The Israelis strike and Hamas responds. The cycle will never be broken until the Israelis change their methods.

They assassinate "terrorists" without a trial, often with horrific civilian casualties. This is the moral equivalent of a government lynching. Then they are outraged when their enemy responds.

How can the Israelis expect Hamas to stop the bombings when they continue their own reign of terror?

Kenneth E. Iman

Baltimore

Parroting reasoning of the terrorists

It is time for The Sun to stop lending credibility to Hamas by reporting, in large print below a headline, its "reasons" for murdering innocent civilians in Israel ("`A horrific act of terror,'" Aug. 1).

By reiterating the Hamas claim that the Hebrew University bombing was in retaliation for the assassination of their leader, Salah Shehadeh, The Sun unwittingly provides a justification for terror.

Such absurd statements should not be printed as if they were fact, especially since we are all aware of Hamas' openly stated goal of destroying Israel and of its long history of terror.

And, were we to assassinate Osama bin Laden tomorrow, would that justify another attack by al-Qaida in the United States?

Erika Pardes

Baltimore

Health care system is an abomination

To The Sun's article "Poor `falling through cracks' in medical system, study says" (July 31), I'd say, of course they are. What else would one expect from a medical system set up as the American system is?

And the primary reason we don't have some type of universally available medical plan for all Americans is that the drug companies and much of the medical community oppose such a program, and in Washington, money talks.

The fact that the United States does not have a basic universal health program for all citizens is an abomination.

Until such a plan exists, health care inequities will continue and we won't need a study by the Open Society Institute to tell us they do.

David Clements

Freeland

Valet parking adds to harbor congestion

As anyone who has visited Power Plant Live on a weekend night can attest, traffic in the area can be horrendous. Part of the problem is the valet parking areas in that vicinity.

When attempting to drop clients off at Power Plant Live, we are unable to get near the curb and are forced to drop people off in the middle of the street. In addition, we are subjected to verbal abuse by the valets. And valets parking cars in "No Parking" zones add to the congestion.

Sure, a business should be able to have a few feet in front of it for the use of its clients. However, when that space exceeds several city blocks, it is time to re-examine the granting of the permits.

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