Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 25, 2005

We need a better way to review nominees

I listened to the hearings on Judge John G. Roberts Jr.'s appointment as a chief justice to the Supreme Court. It was a deeply unsatisfying experience ("Democrats split on Roberts," Sept. 22).

Judge Roberts' opening statement used a baseball analogy to illustrate his judicial approach - which is like that of an umpire calling balls and strikes.

To build on the baseball analogy, I would say that listening to the proceedings was like watching a dull ballgame, in which senators were either tossing softball questions to let Judge Roberts hit the ball out of the park (Republicans) or tossing balls that never came near the strike zone (Democrats).

Or, if they did throw a strike, Judge Roberts refused to swing at the pitch.

Unfortunately, at the end of a couple of days, we citizens had not learned much about how Judge Roberts would shape his court.

The end result of this choreographed ritual is that we have a judge who is most likely going to be chief justice, and we don't know much more about how he sees the principles underlying the cases that he might rule on.

Is there not a better way that these sessions could be more informative without compromising a candidate's future rulings if he or she becomes a Supreme Court justice?

I hope the senators can work out something for the future; otherwise, these proceedings are a waste of our time and money.

Daniel Leibert, Woodstock

Missing the promise of other stem cells

The Sun's brief news item reporting the amazing success in using human stem cells to regenerate damaged spinal cords in mice left out one very important detail: The stem cells used were not embryonic stem cells ("Stem cell injections help spine injuries," Sept. 20).

As many of those opposed to the destruction of living human embryos for research have been saying, there is tremendous promise - as well as established results - from using stem cells that do not have to be obtained through the deliberate destruction of human life.

Because The Sun left out the fact that these were not embryonic stem cells, readers were left without important information as they decide whether the ethical problems of human embryonic stem cell research are worth the moral risk - especially as better alternative sources of human stem cells are already available and are showing tremendous promise.

Andrew P. Harris

Cockeysville

The writer represents District 7 in the Maryland Senate.

Peace activists far from apathetic

Once again, The Sun has missed the real story.

If it had bothered to cover the anti-war movement here in Baltimore over the last few years, its reporters would have known that the heavy turnout for Cindy Sheehan and the "Bring Them Home Now" tour last week signaled a re-energized movement committed to ending this country's illegal war on Iraq.

Instead, reporter Sumathi Reddy focused on student apathy, which could lead readers to believe there is no anti-war movement in Baltimore ("Student activism is battling apathy," Sept. 21). Nothing could be further from the truth.

Shriver Hall was just about filled to capacity with activists, students and newcomers, the majority of whom stood up when Mrs. Sheehan asked who would be marching in the anti-war protest in Washington this weekend.

Many groups, including the American Friends Service Committee, Iraq Pledge of Resistance-Baltimore, Women in Black and too many others to name have never stopped opposing this war, vocally and publicly, right on the streets of Baltimore.

It's past time for The Sun to do some honest reporting and tell the people of our city about the anti-war movement that has always been here and always will be as long as this country wages wars based on lies and an ideology of greed and arrogance.

Maria Allwine

Baltimore

Perhaps students support the war

The article on the lack of student activism on Maryland college campuses was incomplete ("Student activism is battling apathy," Sept. 21).

Sure, college campuses are traditional bastions of protest. But what that author didn't discuss was the possibility that college students actually support the ultimate aims of the war: freedom and democracy in Iraq. Couldn't the author have at least discussed that possibility?

It would have made for a more balanced report.

Bruce Alexander

Baltimore

Byrd hypocritical on public spending

As a life-long Democrat, I must say that I am infuriated at the hypocrisy exhibited by Sen. Robert C. Byrd in his column "Time for leadership and humility" (Opinion

Commentary, Sept. 18).

How can he possibly be concerned about the need for more money to correct problems here at home while his re-elections in West Virginia have had more to do with the federal dollars in pork that he has been able to win for his state than anything else?

I do not see him volunteering to return this pork to the Treasury because the projects it funds are less important than "everything from education to health care to homeland security to securing our borders."

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