Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 03, 2003

Give the U.N. the lead role in rebuilding Iraq

I believe that we have a moral obligation to help clean up the mess we made in Iraq, but I do not think we should leave our troops to risk their lives in an endless quagmire.

Congress should approve more money for Iraq only if the Bush administration turns over authority for postwar reconstruction to the United Nations ("Panel OKs Bush's $87 billion Iraq bill," Oct. 1). Otherwise, our sons and daughters in the military will continue to die and we will be no nearer to a long-term solution.

The United Nations needs to be in charge if we have any hope for moving Iraq toward independence.

For the sake of our troops, let's spend more money on Iraq, but only if the United Nations is given more power.

Teresa Kaltenbacher

Baltimore

I want to help the Iraqis, but I don't understand why we should spend money endlessly to rebuild the schools in Iraq when our own crumbling schools need to be rebuilt

We need the international community to help pay for re-building Iraq. And we can't expect many of our allies to pitch in unless we turn over more power to the United Nations.

That's why I think Congress should say no to more money for Iraq unless President Bush gives the United Nations the lead role there.

Only then will we begin to have hope of controlling the drain of U.S. dollars to Iraq.

Delores Phillips

Crofton

New voting machines costly, vulnerable

Someone is making lots of money. That is the only way I can explain spending vast amounts of money on touch- screen voting machines for the whole state of Maryland ("Voting system found to have election risks," Sept. 25).

Why do we need the most expensive option available to replace the outdated, faulty punch-card machines?

In the last presidential election, I voted on a paper ballot using a pen to draw lines next to the candidates of my choice. I then carried this hard copy of my votes over to a computer that tallied them using a scanning device.

This machine also had the ability to reject my ballot had it been marked incorrectly (e.g., if I had voted for two people when I was only supposed to vote for one). I then would have been able to try again and thus not lose my chance to vote.

The cost of this system must be far less than that of touch-screen voting.

But cost is not the only issue at hand - accuracy, as we have seen in our recent elections, is the critical issue. And touch-screen voting leaves no paper trail. It quite possibly could be manipulated by a dishonest person, or a computer crash could wipe out huge numbers of votes.

Brian Hughes

Millersville

Neither party cares about public interest

As I read Steve Chapman's column "Losing the fight against big government" (Opinion Commentary, Sept. 30), I began to wonder if being a total hypocrite is a character trait of a Republican - and you can feel free to replace the word Republican with Democrat.

Just like the "Contract with America," the cry for smaller government has turned out to be something the party out of power says to the party in power, then forgets when it again rules rule the roost.

Honestly, I am sick to death of both Republicans and Democrats, because both seem to have everyone else's (Iraq, Citicorp, Texaco and on and on) interest at heart except for "We the People."

And frankly, they both talk out of both sides of their two faces.

Bobby Lake

Baltimore

Supreme Court put nation in this mess

In answer to the letter, "What did we do to deserve this?" referring to the Bush administration (Sept. 26), we didn't do anything. The Supreme Court made the decision that George W. Bush had won, even though Al Gore had received more votes.

Dorrie Mednick

Towson

Counting on integrity only PBS can offer

The column "Stop propping up PBS" (Opinion Commentary, Sept. 23) argues for the end to taxpayer subsidy of public television.

The reasoning - to let PBS compete for sponsors like everyone else - is based on sound economic sense. But what corporate entity would be willing to underwrite an exposM-i of its own industry? Or of itself? Where, then, would unbiased investigative reporting come from?

A few years ago, the PBS show Frontline produced an excellent and very revealing report on the hidden history of SUVs. It pulled no punches and rightly portrayed some corporations in an ugly light.

Since auto ads represent a large portion of network and cable sponsorship, it surely would have been impossible to air this program commercially.

As an educator, I count on programming that only PBS could produce. Otherwise, we would all be at the mercy of the corporate bottom line.

Dennis Kaplan

Baltimore

Don't put Treasury in charge of lending

Recent reports in The Sun on home sales and starts suggest that all is well with housing, an industry that has bolstered consumer confidence despite a dismal jobs picture ("Factory orders skid while home sales leap," Sept. 26).

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