Letters To The Editor


October 17, 2005

Miers must prove she respects rights

Although I'm sure there are still people who think that only males are capable of serving us in governmental positions, I'm definitely not one of them, and I think and hope their number is declining.

At any rate, I think the fact that Harriet Miers is a woman has little to nothing to do with the opposition on the right or left to her nomination by President Bush to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court ("Is Miers hurt by gender issue?" Oct. 12).

Those who talk of sexism as the big reason for the opposition to her are either playing politics or are deluded.

There are a number of people who, for good reason, don't trust anything President Bush does these days. They don't trust Mr. Bush and they don't trust one of his cronies (and Harriet Miers is obviously that) to do the right thing by them.

Besides not wanting a justice who might vote to uphold every governmental decision of the incumbent president, the standard that I advocate for Justice O'Connor's replacement is that it be someone, of whatever gender, who is not more ideologically conservative than the outgoing justice.

For me, based on the limited available evidence, Ms. Miers does not meet that standard.

She has said negative things about abortion rights and private bedroom rights in general. And, given that she broke with her original church to join a more fundamentalist one, I'm not at all confident that she would see value in the church-state separation principle.

To get the support of people like me, Ms. Miers has to show that she cares about our rights.

Until such time, I implore our senators to stand firm against her and, if necessary, to oppose her confirmation with every available tool at their disposal.

Kenneth A. Stevens


Nominee struggles with sexist culture

I am an Afro-centric feminist fighting against sexual oppression of all women, regardless of race, religion, class or sexual identity.

And I know that gender politics is hurting Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers ("Is Miers hurt by gender issue?" Oct. 12).

As I see it, racism, poverty and sexism are three problems neoconservative Republicans refuse to eradicate in American culture.

Personally, I support Ms. Miers for the "forever-more" job of Supreme Court justice.

As a militant feminist, I worry about Ms. Miers overturning Roe v. Wade.

Still I support all women who struggle daily to prove themselves worthy human beings in their "ship of fools" association with born-again, sexist men in America.

Larnell Custis Butler


Anger by extremes speaks well of Miers

Judging by the reaction of the extreme-right conservatives and the far-left liberals, Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers should be the ideal candidate.

Her situation is similar to that of an umpire both teams are dissatisfied with because he is not showing partiality.

In sports, however, the teams usually extend the umpire the courtesy of reserving judgment at least until the first pitch is called.

Frank A. Sume


Pollution trading is efficient, effective

Eric Schaeffer's column regarding the Bush administration's pollution trading is fundamentally flawed ("Time to clean up Md. power plants," Oct. 11).

In fact, historical evidence shows that cap-and-trade programs provide more incentive to clean up the highest-emitting facilities first because they give utilities the greatest financial incentive to do so.

This, in turn, will mean more cost-effective, efficient reductions in harmful emissions with little interference from litigation.

This is what happened with the acid rain program, which was implemented under the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments and is widely considered the most successful air pollution reduction program ever.

Frank Maisano


The writer is spokesman for the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council, a coalition of electric utilities.

Hunting does harm to sentient creatures

The writer of the letter "Critics of hunting threaten freedom" (Oct. 8) closes his letter with the phrase, "Freedom means being able to do what you want, as long as it does not have a real impact on anyone else."

But every time he pulls the trigger with a sentient creature in his crosshairs, he is having an absolutely real impact on another creature.

Every time he purchases ground beef at the store, he promotes an industry that causes thinking, feeling creatures immeasurable suffering.

It is not a matter of "not understanding each other," as the writer suggests.

It's a matter of realizing that these are sentient creatures who, at the very least, deserve our compassion when making decisions as to what "thrills" we will receive through our entertainment activity choices.

Kevin Hoffman


Don't let mayor run flu vaccine program

The suggestion by Mayor Martin O'Malley that the Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland spearhead the creation of an avian flu vaccine production center is certainly worthy of consideration ("Flu vaccine plant in city proposed," Oct. 13).

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