Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

March 11, 2005

Army's shortage of tourniquets is outrageous

After reading that a soldier's life might have been saved had he had a $20 nylon-and-plastic tourniquet, we should all be enraged ("Modern combat lacking in old medical supply," March 6).

1st Lt. David R. Bernstein died serving America, but America did not serve him.

We've heard of unarmored Humvees and other military vehicles without adequate armor.

Now The Sun reports that not only don't the soldiers have inexpensive tourniquets but many go into battle without $2 cravat bandages, something the military has used for hundreds of years as improvised tourniquets.

The military is not meeting its recruiting quotas and is getting more high school dropouts with low performance scores ("Army worries about quality," March 7).

Maybe if its officers read the reports we read, they will understand why.

Barbara Blumberg

Baltimore

The Sun reports that a 24-year-old Army officer was shot in the leg in Iraq and died because our troops are not supplied with tourniquets - a device that was available in the Civil War

Is this going to cause a scandal? Will there be congressional hearings to investigate how this astounding level of incompetence could exist?

Will President Bush apologize? Will Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld resign? Most important, will the troops now be supplied with tourniquets?

I fear the answer to all these questions is "no."

Maybe the people who stick yellow ribbons on the backs of their cars that say "Support Our Troops" ought to protest and really support our troops.

Henry Cohen

Baltimore

The Democrats rely upon dependency

The Democratic Party's opposition to Social Security reform is based on one thing: If people are allowed to invest their money in private accounts, they will increase their personal wealth and lessen their dependence on the government ("Pelosi warns students against Bush proposal," March 5).

Anyone who follows politics understands that the Democrats have been losing national elections lately. If they lose their stranglehold on the poor, they will lose by even larger margins in the future.

The Democratic Party is based on dependency. It is simply antithetical to Democrats' beliefs to allow individuals to obtain wealth and independence.

Without masses of poor, dependent people, the Democrats will be relegated to third-party status, and Democratic leaders know it.

This is why many of them fought welfare reform and are now fighting Social Security reform, and why they back socialized medicine and various other big-government programs.

The personal fortunes of Democratic politicians drive their opposition to the president's reform measures.

Simply put, poor Democratic voters, when given school choice, personal retirement accounts and a stake in the American dream, become Republicans.

Michael P. DeCicco

Severn

Social Security isn't real crisis we face

At a recent meeting in Washington, governors of both parties expressed concern about the Bush agenda: It cuts social programs - Medicaid, education, environmental protection - and the states are expected to take up the slack. In addition, states are required to fund increases in homeland security spending ("Governors don't share president's priorities," Opinion * Commentary, March 2).

The governors made it clear that the looming crisis for the American people is these social programs, not the problems Social Security faces.

So we must ask: Why is President Bush determined to focus on what he calls the "crisis" in Social Security?

Maybe it's the same reason Willie Sutton gave for robbing banks: "That's where the money is."

Ingrid Krause

Baltimore

Anti-inflammatories offer unique benefits

As a pain and rehabilitation physician, I was disappointed to read The Sun's article concerning the pain reliever Mobic ("Other painkillers under scrutiny as use increases," March 1). While many drugs carry risks for the heart, the potential benefits of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs must not be ignored.

These unique drugs can dramatically reduce pain and suffering while decreasing the risk of stomach problems.

Dr. Mark Young

Baltimore

Traditional marriage safeguards family

It always amazes me when those campaigning for the amendment banning same-sex marriage are accused of focusing on a ridiculous, unimportant issue ("Ridiculous crusade against gay couples," letters, March 2).

Volumes of research have shown that the greatest contributing factor to many of the social problems that many people list as "more important" is weak families.

Strengthening marriage and thus strengthening families will do more to fix these issues than any legislation or government program. That's why the marriage amendment is such a monumental issue.

By definition and practice, gay marriage would decrease the importance and stability of marriage as an institution and of the family as a positive social unit, and thereby guarantee that such social problems would continue to worsen.

Ed Reese

Baltimore

Same-sex marriages spit on institution

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