It's good sense to link residency, driver's licenses
I read the editorial "Unreal license plan" (May 4) and felt that the world is indeed turned upside-down.
I don't understand how The Sun could be against having people prove their citizenship or residency to obtain a driver's license.
Illegal aliens have refused to follow our laws and complete the process for residency and ultimately citizenship. In effect, they jump the line that controls who comes into our country. And The Sun would like to reward that behavior with driver's licenses, because if we didn't, "it would harm undocumented immigrants." If refusing a license to an illegal alien makes it "impossible" for him "to hold a job, rent or own a car, or open a bank account," as the editorial says, then maybe it would send a message to those contemplating breaking our immigration laws.
Also, The Sun chooses to call Sen. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. of Wisconsin an "extremist" because he sponsors the driver's license bill. Is it extreme to want your borders secure? To keep out those who wish us harm? How is that "extreme"? It is not racist or xenophobic, it is just good sense.
For me, this argument ends when I remember that some of the 9/11 hijackers had state-issued driver's licenses.
Sean T. Nevin
O'Malley is no leader on witness protection
Mayor Martin O'Malley can testify about witness protection all he wants before committees, congressmen and cameras, but when it counted during the General Assembly session, he did nothing ("O'Malley testifies on witness protection," May 3).
Offering written support for Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s bill was not enough. Mr. O'Malley could have rolled up his sleeves and toiled on this legislation as well. It is what the citizens of Baltimore needed him to do. Wouldn't that have shown the leadership skills that he regularly proclaims to have?
Instead, Baltimore State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy and Governor Ehrlich showed the leadership, made the effort and spent the political capital to get a comprehensive witness intimidation bill passed.
Societal problems require more than smiling faces and photo ops. Solutions to these ills require daily perseverance and tenacity. Perhaps Mr. O'Malley lacks the leadership to complete the task at hand.
For months, Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and Baltimore State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy worked hard to pass witness intimidation legislation with real teeth. The governor, state's attorneys, and witnesses testified for the dire need for the legislation. But Del. Joseph F. Vallario Jr. of Prince George's County, chairman of the House Judicial Proceedings Committee, single-handedly held up the legislation because ... well, he could. When the legislation finally came out of committee, it was so badly gutted that Ms. Jessamy called it "toothless."
Where was Mayor Martin O'Malley then ("O'Malley testifies on witness protection," May 3)?
All the while, people continue to be harassed and killed because of the rampant violence and criminals on the streets of Baltimore. The violent criminals are getting away with these horrific acts, even selling their own T-shirts ("`Stop Snitchin' shirts have people talking for different reasons in city," April 30).
Mr. O'Malley is a fair-weather executive, and I suspect he testified this week only because of the presence of news cameras and the coming election. He was way too quiet all this time for anyone to think otherwise. Baltimore should be outraged at his malfeasance.
A giant blunder costs the state jobs
During the recent legislative session, Maryland legislators listened to Giant Food Inc. and considered a health care bill aimed solely at Wal-Mart. Feeling the need to micromanage business since they can't manage the state, legislators passed a bill requiring Wal-Mart to spend 8 percent of its payroll on employee health care or pay a penalty.
In light of this bill passage, Wal-Mart will reconsider plans to build in Maryland and add a couple of hundred jobs to the state's economy.
Now, with the legislative session behind us, Giant has announced that it will sell or close most of its manufacturing and distribution facilities, and ultimately "shed 500 jobs" ("500 jobs to be lost as Giant revamps," May 4).
So, thanks to Giant and the Maryland legislature, the state will lose 700 jobs. What a giant blunder!
Bring troops home to end the strain
According to a recent article, the Pentagon worries that the Iraq and Afghanistan wars will make it harder for the United States to "beat back acts of aggression" ("Military feeling strain of 2 wars," May 3).
Well, there's a solution: Set a timetable to get out of Iraq and start to bring our men and women home now.
The Iraqi resistance may be mostly Sunnis and former Baathists, but it couldn't possibly be as fierce without the widespread perception across ethnic lines of the U.S. military as hated foreign occupier.