Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 15, 2005

Democrats seek mud to fling at Judge Roberts

Let there be no misunderstanding of the reasons behind the Democrats' push to have the president release confidential documents regarding Judge John G. Roberts that are closely held as a result of attorney-client privilege ("The secrecy precedent," editorial, Sept. 13).

Sen. Edward Kennedy and his ilk are fishing for something, anything, they can use to fling mud at the president and his administration.

Mr. Kennedy knows a thing or two about attorney-client privilege and his desire for this president to waive that privilege has nothing to do with wanting to know Judge Roberts' positions on anything.

Judge Roberts has been involved in more than enough rulings throughout his career.

If Mr. Kennedy and other partisans were really interested in determining Judge Roberts' qualifications, they could work with what's already in the public domain.

But that's not the point at all.

Jim Caffey

Columbia

Headline prejudged outcome of hearings

When is a headline not a headline? When it's an editorial.

The Sun's Sept. 12 lead headline proclaimed, "Roberts starts on path toward confirmation." That is a half-truth.

The very same path - Senate consideration of the nomination - also leads to rejection.

The Sun's wording suggested a particular outcome, and did so when the proceedings hadn't even begun.

Handicapping political winners and losers isn't news; it's opinion.

Perhaps The Sun is just acting as an unthinking constituent with a self-fulfilling prophecy of inevitability. In any case, this is bad journalism paving the way for bad governance.

An unbiased headline would have been: "Roberts faces Senate."

Daniel Fleisher

Baltimore

Demeaning those abandoned to storm

Like many other right-wing commentators, Thomas Sowell blames the people left in the city of New Orleans, and elsewhere in the Gulf Coast for that matter, for their plight "Rebuilding New Orleans - and nation" (Opinion Commentary, Sept. 8). Moreover, he demeans and diminishes what most of us would consider their justifiable anger.

But the statement that incenses me the most was this: "Regret might be understandable among those who were warned to evacuate before the hurricane hit but who chose to stay. Yet the word being heard on the scene is `angry'."

Where has Mr. Sowell been? Locked in his Stanford ivory tower - which, might I remind him, lies near a fault line?

Does he not recognize that the vast majority of people who remained behind did not do so out of choice? They lacked transportation or a place to go. Many of them were first-responders who remained to take care of those unable to leave.

The anger these people felt at being abandoned was indeed righteous.

Mr. Sowell states that the most basic function of government is "maintaining law and order." I disagree: the most basic function of government is to protect the safety and welfare of its citizens - the duty to maintain law and order follows from that principle.

If the events of recent weeks have not laid this bare for all of us, if we still think we can go on with a morality that says we have no responsibility to each other - whether we be poor or rich, sick or healthy, white or black or Asian or of any other race - and that our only moral obligation is to protect and enrich ourselves at the expense of others, then God help us.

But I wonder if God will.

Theresa Lorch

Baltimore

Independent panel must review reaction

It's been four years since the 9/11 attacks and the federal government is still not prepared to protect its citizens after an emergency.

Even after the Sept. 11 Commission and its recommendations, little has changed.

Let's have a truly independent Katrina Commission, with its own investigators, budget and subpoena power - and without White House involvement - and find out what happened to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and our national response system.

Michele Senac

Perry Hall

What if terrorists blew up the levees?

The devastating destruction and loss of life because of Hurricane Katrina and the inability of local, state and federal governments to deal effectively are mind-boggling for us all, especially in light of the fact that there was warning of the approaching tropical storm.

I shudder to think of what the results have been had terrorists detonated some well-placed explosives on the levees of New Orleans and overwhelmed the city without warning.

Would governmental responses have been timely, well-planned and effective?

Or, are the protections our leaders supposedly have established, whether from terrorists or from natural disasters, part of a costly sham?

Meanwhile, as we fight a questionable war in Iraq, oil prices shoot upward, the national debt is soon to catapult above $8 trillion, U.S. jobs are transported overseas and so many Americans wonder how they will pay their bills, our leaders contemplate more tax cuts for the wealthy.

Mark Beytin

Reisterstown

Still too much trust in electronic voting

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