Letters To The Editor


October 02, 2005

English scholars fail to see O'Malley's point

I was exceedingly surprised to see, after reading The Sun's Sept. 29 article, "Mayor Scrambles His Politics with Prose," that my favorite source of factual news had made a foray into the realm of fiction. Reporter Stephen Kiehl and three prominent F. Scott Fitzgerald scholars decried Mayor Martin O'Malley's use of "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past" from Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. The quote, as one scholarly expert noted, was "not optimistic." These four were amazed that the mayor would use a line that was "not optimistic" in a speech that was supposed to look positively toward the future. One of these gentlemen even noted of the mayor that, "You gotta remember: He was a politics major, not an English major."

Obviously, they all missed the boat.

O'Malley, in choosing this quote, wanted to make one thing perfectly clear: Martin O'Malley and his supporters face a very difficult verbal firefight in taking on Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and his cronies in the next gubernatorial election. The mayor used Fitzgerald's words to stress that we are fighting a strong current of backward thinking and we must row against it, as that current never ends its threat to drown us in the tide of conservative ideology.

As for the opinions of these four English majors, I say only this: "You gotta remember: They are English majors, not politics majors!"

Stephen Siegforth, Baltimore

Focus on annexation is wrong approach

The Sun's Sept. 25 editorial, "Rethinking Growth," concentrated only on one aspect of growth and that is growth by municipal annexation. It failed to take into account why municipal annexations do and should occur.

Significant growth and development are coming to Maryland. The state has undertaken an aggressive and successful public relations campaign that will increase our population by over 1 million by 2025. Annexation ensures that growth occurs on public utilities and does not continue to swallow up vast acres of farmland and green space across the state.

We need to explore ways to encourage this method of sustainable growth. Instead of exploring ways to make annexation more difficult, we need to develop mechanisms to foster close collaboration between county and municipal governments.

To that end the Maryland Municipal League (MML) initiated a series of growth forums across the state, which have been very well attended, a testament to the fact that growth is not only a municipal issue.

We can and we must be long-term in our vision for our collective future. To impose additional roadblocks to annexations is myopic and will potentially direct growth away from areas equipped to accommodate development. The net result of this will be the decimation of the agricultural and forested lands we are working so hard to preserve.

Our growth over the next quarter century is too important and complex to be reduced to a single focus on municipal annexation. I hope that The Sun will consider all aspects of this critically important issue before taking future positions.

Barrie P. Tilghman


The writer is the mayor of Salisbury

DeLay indictment is win for the public

Finally a win for the American public. The continued illegal use of funds by politicians and the corporate world is one of the biggest threats to our beloved Democracy. ("DeLay indicted in Texas probe," Sept. 29)

Thank God we have some laws in place to protect the public, and someone is brave enough to uphold these laws and prosecute one of the grossest offenders, Tom DeLay.

Jim Goodson


Bird flu epidemic still goes ignored

As America is transfixed by Katrina's and Rita's horrible devastation, a much deadlier disaster looms. Avian influenza, or bird flu, is growing into a global epidemic deadlier than the 1918 Spanish flu, which killed 50 million people.

The deadly virus originated a couple of years ago in Southeast Asia's poultry farms, killing dozens of people throughout the region, and has already spread to Russia and Europe.

Avian influenza is but the latest disease spawned by animal agriculture.

Today, on World Farm Animals Day,provides an excellent opportunity to replace animal products in our diet with wholesome vegetables, fresh fruits and whole grains. These foods don't promote global epidemics, are touted by every major health advocacy organization and were the recommended fare in the Garden of Eden.

Jen Riley

Ellicott City

Israel's giving doesn't count

I applaud Cal Thomas for pointing out in his column ("Israel's dangerous concessions," Sept. 28) that Israel is the only party giving in its struggle with Palestine. That's true. The Israeli army gives it to the Palestinians by bulldozing their homes without any reference to law or compensation (Jewish settlers received compensation for their illegal homes in Gaza).

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