Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 15, 2004

Daily struggles will influence people's votes

Linda Chavez claims that for Americans, "universal health insurance, free prescription drugs and a higher minimum wage simply don't measure up as voting issues when the nation's security and our citizens' lives are at risk" ("Terror fight trumps all," Opinion * Commentary, Sept. 9).

Tell that to the families of the 18,000 Americans between the ages of 25 and 65 who die every year because they lack sufficient health coverage, according to the National Institute of Medicine.

While the politicians are playing with our lives, Americans have to deal with real daily challenges such as inadequate health care, an unlivable minimum wage and a polluted environment.

The number of Americans who die in one year because they cannot afford health care is higher than the total number of Americans ever killed in terrorist attacks. And many citizens' lives and well-being are directly and indirectly connected to the inability to properly care for themselves and their families on an inadequate minimum wage.

And as for myself, I can assure Ms. Chavez that while I'm in the voting booth this fall, my conscience will be focused on the asthma of my 7-year-old sister who, like 5 million other children in the United States, fights for breath every time the air quality gets bad.

Emily Sciarillo

Baltimore

The writer is an international studies major at Towson University.

Public should wise up: Iraq not linked to 9/11

The Sun's article "Bush links terrorism, Iraq as cornerstone of campaign" (Sept. 11) notes that "roughly 40 percent of the public" still believes that Saddam Hussein was directly involved in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on America.

P. T. Barnum, who observed that "there's a sucker born every minute," must be laughing in his grave. Unfortunately, it's not a laughing matter that so many Americans are ill-informed or simply misled by the rhetoric of President Bush and his administration.

Continuing to justify on this basis the totally unnecessary war in Iraq -- which has done nothing to deter terrorism and has cost more than 1,000 American lives -- demonstrates Mr. Bush's arrogance.

William O. Blackwell

Timonium

How to center lines with a typewriter

Having typed since age 15, and as a 1972 graduate of the Katherine Gibbs Secretarial School in Boston, I found this quote amusing: "Addresses were centered on the page, rather than flush with one margin or another -- an attribute of computer programs, these critics said" ("CBS, Rather stand firm on Bush story as furor swells," Sept. 11).

Centering a line on a page is among the ABCs of typing: Find the center of the page, count the number of characters in the line (spaces between words count as characters), divide the number by two, backspace that number of characters from the center of the page and type the line.

This approach is also used for producing complex charts and tables.

Much of what can be done on a computer can also be done on a "decades-old" typewriter -- it's just a matter of having the right equipment and the skills to use it.

Judy Nall

Baltimore

Soldiers don't die for political agenda

I was offended by Jeff Danziger's Sept. 10 editorial cartoon, which carried the caption, "How do you ask someone to be the thousandth man to die for a political campaign?" and I suspect many others are as well.

Our forces and their families who are sacrificing each day don't deserve that kind of display. Whether you agree with the war or not, it is certainly not true that our involvement in Iraq has anything to do with winning a political campaign.

I understand which way The Sun leans, but let's at least be fair and respectful about it.

Tim Pyle

Catonsville

9/11 attacks planned on Clinton's watch

Two Sept. 12 letters note that "9/11 happened on Bush's watch." That's undeniably true.

However, what the two writers don't realize, or perhaps don't want to realize, is that the chicanery in Afghanistan that led up to 9/11 happened on President Bill Clinton's shift. This is also undeniably true.

John C. Doetsch Jr.

Baltimore

Morality modified by our experience

In his column "Is blood really thicker than traditional moral values?" (Opinion * Commentary, Sept. 7) Benjamin Shapiro peddles a straw man in his criticism of social liberalism.

But the issue is not, as Mr. Shapiro would have us believe, that social liberals value kin over morality -- rather, that our daily contact with those around us informs our understanding of good and evil.

Morality is not ignored for the purpose of family relations; it is instead modified in light of our experience.

Mr. Shapiro would rather have us hold morality unchanging, and wholly disconnected from reality.

There is plenty of valid debate on the subject of morality, but Mr. Shapiro only does himself a disservice by eschewing the real issues in favor of cheap rhetoric.

Daniel Rohn

Catonsville

The writer is a junior at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Vitriol adds nothing to our moral values

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