Letter To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

February 28, 2005

Why heed call to disarm from a bellicose land?

Something very important is being forgotten in the political chatter over the nuclear programs of North Korea and Iran ("Bush, EU mend rifts but open a new one," Feb. 23).

While the Bush administration tries to pressure Iran and North Korea, many people forget that the Western powers - especially the United States - pioneered the creation and expansion of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. And, with the destruction of Hiroshima, our country became the first nation to use them.

Doesn't this make our efforts to pressure other nations ethically untenable?

And since the elimination of our own arsenal (or our allies') isn't even on the table for discussion, one can see why President Bush's efforts are met with skepticism.

Why heed the call to desist and disarm from a nation armed to the teeth?

Even the war in Iraq (started under the false pretext of disarming a nation without nuclear arms) probably suggests to smaller, adversary nations the tactical wisdom of arming.

What nation that really possessed weapons of mass destruction has ever been invaded by a superpower?

America cannot spread peace with the sword. And if we are to be a peacemaking nation, we must abandon the role of militarist cop and imperial judge.

Robert Birt

Baltimore

Peaceful words offer little reassurance

During his four-day goodwill tour to Europe, President Bush dismissed the idea that the United States might attack Iran as "simply ridiculous," then added, "Having said that, all options are on the table" ("Bush, EU mend rifts but open a new one," Feb. 23).

Many Americans, as well as most of the rest of the world, thought the idea that we would attack Iraq was also ridiculous.

Given that we went ahead with that war, why in the world would President Bush expect statements such as the one above to reassure other countries about our peaceful intent?

Carol A. Rice

Baltimore

Immigrants strain limited resources

The editorial that quoted an analysis of the effects of a high immigration rate on the Social Security system failed to consider the downside of the present massive immigration rate ("Immigration benefits," Feb. 23).

While it mentioned some advantages of immigration, the editorial did not question the limits of U.S. natural resources and whether they can support an ever-growing population at our present quality of life and standard of living.

The illegal aliens who sneak across our southern borders are usually poorly educated and glad to find work at the minimum wage, or less.

They do not have health insurance, so they become a serious burden to the health care system. Their children guarantee that our schools will be overcrowded endlessly.

They will pay Social Security taxes when they work regularly, but such low-wage people do not pay income taxes.

Many of them send what they can to relatives in Mexico or elsewhere, so much of what they earn does not even circulate through the economy.

Carleton W. Brown

Elkton

Newcomers often work off the books

I fail to understand how illegal immigrants pay into Social Security when they are usually working outside the system or off the books ("Immigration benefits," editorial, Feb. 23).

Sadly, everyone involved with the immigration debate blurs the line between those lawfully in our country and those who are violating the law.

But until unbiased data definitively illustrate the contributions of immigrants, legal and otherwise, to the Social Security system, I cannot support increased rates of immigration.

The Social Security system is not broken. We are not facing a crisis of monumental proportions any time soon.

Using this baseless fear of Social Security's woes to promote even more immigration, legal and otherwise, is irresponsible.

Rosalind Ellis

Baltimore

Will `town centers' become new blight?

The writer of the letter "Malls only spread congestion outward" (Feb. 23) made an excellent point.

I find it ironic that we welcome the construction of those old-fashioned Main Street recreation areas while their real-life counterparts sit in decay only miles away.

And I can't help but wonder how long it will be before the places we love to call "town centers" turn into tomorrow's urban blight.

Richard B. Crystal

Baltimore

Celibacy creates unhealthy situation

The writer of the letter "Celibacy isn't cause of sexual abuse" (Feb. 22) is correct. But the idea that celibacy causes abuse isn't the whole rationale for making celibacy optional for Catholic priests.

The environment of mandatory celibacy seems to attract individuals to the priesthood who may not be aware of their sexual leanings in their youth or are repressing those leanings in order to enter an order.

In other Christian sects, including the Eastern Orthodox church, celibacy is not required for the priesthood. It wasn't required in the early days of the Catholic Church, either.

In fact, Protestant ministers may become Catholic priests and bring their families along.

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