Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

April 24, 2005

A smoking ban would not harm city restaurants

Having done so myself, I know it takes a certain degree of intelligence to run a bar or restaurant. A certain grasp of arithmetic is useful too. Reasonable powers of observation are also helpful. That's why I am flabbergasted to discover restaurant and tavern owners in Baltimore opposing a smoking ban for fear of lost business ("A city smoke-free," editorial, April 17).

First, let's look at the arithmetic. Far more people are nonsmokers than smokers. Nonsmokers eat and drink alcoholic beverages, too, but many stay away from bars because they don't want to breathe tobacco smoke or have their clothing stink because of exposure to it.

If the smoking minority stays away, the majority of us who don't smoke will take their places. More people is better for business.

A look around may also be of use for these fearful people.

Bar and restaurant owners engaged in much weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth in New York City when a smoking ban was proposed.

What's happened since the ban went into effect? Business is better. More workers have been hired to take care of all the new customers. People even bring the kids along.

People in the Baltimore hospitality business need to get a grip. Catering to the increasing minority who insist on killing themselves with tobacco is hurting their business.

Smoking is even banned in British and Irish pubs, for heaven's sake.

Joe Roman

Baltimore

Bias in news pages is only too obvious

In his response to Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s list of grievances against The Sun's biased reporting, Public Editor Paul Moore states that there is a clear division between the editorial and news pages of The Sun ("Weighing the merits of Ehrlich complaints," Opinion Commentary, April 21).

Whom does he think he's kidding?

We can read, and every day we see carefully worded stories on the news pages that are tainted with the writers' liberal bias, along with misleading and sensationalized headlines.

Rick Proctor

Bel Air

Attacks on DeLay defy all decency

The increasing shrillness of the Democrats in their desperate attempt to remove House Majority Leader Tom DeLay is a measure of his effectiveness in protecting and promoting conservative principles ("Parties at odds over DeLay probe," April 21). The higher his value, the more desperate their baseless complaints against this effective, competent and moral leader.

The Democrats' anyone-who-disagrees-with-me-must-be-removed method of conducting government is tyrannical and has perfect role models in the former Soviet Union and in Nazi Germany.

In the current dispute, Mr. DeLay has not been found in violation of any rule, and he invites an investigation of the charges hurled at him. Democrats, on the other hand, are guilty of an overwhelming deficit of decency.

That party's long-term record on values, character and principles makes their attacks on Mr. DeLay laughable; their baseless and vicious, self-serving attacks on anyone in their way are further proof of moral leprosy.

For Republicans to be intimidated by the molehill of impotent and baseless complaints against the majority leader would be wimpishness of the worst order.

They are obliged, in the name of honor, to go strongly on the offensive against the Democrats and their depraved double standard.

Elizabeth Ward Nottrodt

Baltimore

Stop foisting junk on savvy consumers

For more than 30 years, General Motors has been foisting junk concealed with glitter on American drivers ("A troubled giant is facing change," April 17).

Now the chickens are coming home to roost as Americans are becoming more discerning buyers.

American industry needs to wake up; stop the supersize executive salaries, and salaries and benefits for workers that go way beyond their worth; and offer quality and economy without the gewgaws.

David Heston

Baltimore

GM should imitate more-nimble rivals

Michael Hill's article on the woes of General Motors ("A troubled giant is facing change," April 17) was right on in its concise summary of why this American industrial goliath, once the flagship of the automotive industry, is now trying to catch up to Toyota - a company that has invested heavily in high-consumer-demand hybrid cars such as the Prius ("A winning hybrid shows the way," April 17).

For too many years, General Motors has pandered to consumer desire for tank-like vehicles, mega-horsepower and superfluous status-seeking devices (e.g., head-lamp wipers, seat warmers and titanium whatever).

The company must have a death wish. The signs of a need for reform were there: the increasing scarcity of oil, the instability of the major oil-producing countries, the increasing concerns over fossil-fuel pollution and global warming, and the dramatic price increases at the pump.

What was GM's response? The Hummer, a bloated "prestige" vehicle obviously aimed at the consumer deluded into thinking he needs this gas-guzzling monstrosity to gird himself against lousy drivers or terrorist attacks.

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