Letters To The Editor


September 09, 2004

Smith practices partisanship in Baltimore County

In Michael Olesker's column "County executive favors funding over GOP slogans" (Sept. 3), Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr. attacks Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. for the strained relationship between Annapolis and Towson.

Mr. Smith is the last person who ought to complain about partisanship. While his predecessor reached out to Republicans, Mr. Smith has operated the county courthouse as if it were a war room.

He has openly antagonized the county's Republican legislators. He used the Tropical Storm Isabel disaster to score political points against the state insurance commissioner, a potential Republican opponent.

Is there any doubt, then, why Mr. Ehrlich may mistrust the county executive's motives?

Mr. Smith attacks Mr. Ehrlich for not doing enough to solve problems such as school overcrowding. This would be laughable if the problem were not so serious for thousands of schoolchildren throughout the county.

In Baltimore County's zeal to approve new development, safeguards were not put in place to make sure that schools could accommodate this growth. For the past two years, Mr. Smith has ignored pleas from parents and local leaders to build a new school on the county's east side.

Mr. Smith started September by attacking Republicans.

Baltimore County's schoolchildren started September by dealing with the overcrowded conditions that the Smith administration helped create.

Chris Cavey


The writer is chairman of Baltimore County's Republican Party.

Tax cuts a bonanza for high-end retail?

Does it surprise anyone that the Neiman Marcus Group and Nordstrom Inc. registered strong sales during the past month while retailers catering to lower- and lower-middle-class customers had weaker than expected sales ("Reports signal economy still in rough patch," Sept. 3)?

Could the GOP's tax cuts for the rich be the culprit?

William P. Metzger

Bel Air

Tired of Democrats whining on economy

I'm getting really tired of hearing Democrats talk about how our economy is in the dumps ("President promotes his economic record," Sept. 6).

They keep comparing the current economy to the economy of the mid-1990s as though that is the normal state of the economy.

They conveniently fail to mention that the economy of the mid-1990s was unusually strong and was built on a house of cards.

When President Bush took office, he inherited the effects of the dot-com crash. Then, just as things were getting back to normal, the economic center of our country was attacked.

I would say that given what this country's economy has been through, it is doing pretty darn well.

Tanya Blayton


Bush should work on keys to real safety

If President Bush really wants to keep me safe ("`Freedom on the march,'" Sept. 3), for a start he can provide full employment for young men in Baltimore, support strong environmental protections and advocate for full health care coverage.

Grenville B. Whitman


Unions missing on Labor Day

There was no mention of the word union in The Sun's Labor Day editorial "The missing million" (Sept. 6), or in the article "White collars or blue, similar concerns for area workers" (Sept. 6). Gregory D. Foster's column "At your leisure" (Opinion * Commentary, Sept. 6) made reference to Samuel Gompers of the American Federation of Labor but didn't identify the AFL as a union.

And none of the articles mentioned the union wars of the 1920s and 1930s, which were real wars with blood, guts and dying on both sides, and are responsible for the child labor laws and the 40-hour work week and the right to strike that we have today.

And the only union members I know by first name, the clerks at the supermarket where I shop, just made ugly faces when I asked them if they knew why we had a Labor day as they checked me out while working their shift on Labor Day.

This isn't a complaint about The Sun's coverage. It's about the unions.

Bill Moulden


Moral values make U.S. beacon for world

Benjamin Shapiro's column "Is blood really thicker than traditional moral values?" Opinion

Commentary, Sept. 7) should be required reading for every member of our society.

We are each forced to make a choice - to follow the current morality or the traditional values that distinguish America from other nations.

The theme of justice may be a scary subject, because we all know that we have failed in some way, but only when we each understand justice do we search for mercy. And isn't America great not because of our tolerance but because of our mercy?

As each American considers this very issue, we will collectively decide the fate of our nation. Will we be tolerant of everything and cease to be great, or will we voluntarily shore up our values and be a beacon of mercy in this dark world?

Mercy implies service and love to people with other standards, while keeping our own. Isn't that real tolerance?

Dorothy Lee Siders


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