Letters To The Editor


August 24, 2005

Ready to benefit from renewal of nuclear power

The United States is poised for the next generation of nuclear plants, and we in Maryland are extremely well-situated to take advantage of that wave ("An energy boom in Calvert," Aug. 21).

Now that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has pre-licensed a number of standard designs for nuclear power plants and is considering site licenses, we are waiting for the announcement of the next construction project, and it could well be in Maryland.

The economics of nuclear power are favorable, particularly if you project the inevitable continuing increases in natural gas and oil prices and the higher costs of trying to burn coal more cleanly.

The healthy and growing economy of our region will need more energy, and we should generate it in this area.

Mohammad Modarres

College Park

The writer is director of the nuclear engineering program at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Roberts didn't limit regulatory powers

In "Roberts and environmental law" (Opinion * Commentary, Aug. 17), Noah Sachs wrote that Judge John G. Roberts Jr. "voted to rehear" a case "on the grounds that the Endangered Species Act, passed under Congress' authority to regulate interstate commerce, could not be used to protect a `hapless toad that, for reasons of its own, lives its entire life' in only one state."

This is not true. Judge Roberts instead argued that there were serious analytical failings in the court's rationale that placed it in apparent conflict with Supreme Court case law and the opinion of another circuit, and that this justified the entire appellate court's rehearing of the case.

Moreover, Judge Roberts explicitly noted that one purpose of rehearing the case would be "to consider alternative grounds for sustaining application of the act that may be more consistent with Supreme Court precedent."

Nothing in Judge Roberts' opinion in this case - or any other case - argued that federal law could not be used to protect the "hapless toad."

Jonathan H. Adler

Arlington, Va.

The writer is a professor at the George Mason University School of Law.

Blair is right to exile preachers of hatred

Steve Chapman's column "Britain tries to expel ideas it doesn't like" (Opinion * Commentary, Aug. 15) begins by announcing that, "No one really wants to fault Tony Blair as he strives to address the threat of homegrown Islamic terrorism." That's nice, but what right do any of us have to fault him - period?

While Mr. Blair, who happens to be one of our most loyal supporters, tries to heal his country after horrific attacks, he obviously still feels compelled to allow citizens the right to self-expression.

But anyone who has the gall and audacity to enter a country (other than his or her own) and spout sedition and violence should be expelled. And I hope that person lands most firmly on his or her hindparts.

Mr. Blair strikes me as a fair, honest, well-informed politician. If he wants to expel radical Muslim clerics who exhibit sympathy for terrorism, I would say he probably should have done so six months ago.

And if they don't want a quick trip back from whence they came, those clerics can preach peace, love and harmony - not death.

Lindy Rees


Warships in Jordan a provocative display

Reporter Tom Bowman's article "U.S. ships, tourists abroad are targets" (Aug. 20) says that the rocket fired on a U.S. Navy ship in Aqaba, Jordan, reflects the vulnerability of U.S warships and citizens abroad, according to military officers and analysts.

My question is this: What is a "well-armed" U.S. warship doing in a Jordanian port in the first place?

According to the article, Navy officials say the warship was supporting a military exercise involving U.S. Marines and Jordanian forces.

This sounds like the same type of foreign-policy mischief that has jumped up to bite us in the past and made Americans everywhere the targets of those who would rather have U.S. warships put elsewhere.

Jayson Bozek

Ellicott City

Older activists find their voice endures

I attended one of the vigils in support of Cindy Sheehan and was heartened to see so many middle-age and older participants ("War protested nationwide during candlelight vigils," Aug. 18).

The long black/brown/blond/red hair may have turned to short gray, but we oldsters still have something to say.

Janice Smith

Chevy Chase

Opinion page poorer after penny-pinching

I read with profound sadness and regret the news that The Sun will no longer carry Jules Witcover's column, which for me was the only thing consistently worth reading on the Opinion

Commentary page ("Goodbye, Baltimore," Opinion * Commentary, Aug. 19).

Mr. Witcover was one of the earliest, most consistent and most courageous questioners of the Bush administration's misadventure in Iraq. The rest of the country is now waking up to what he and some of the rest of us recognized at the beginning about that war.

Mr. Witcover's departure is a great loss to Baltimore readers' understanding of national politics and international events.

James D. Dilts

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