Letters To The Editor


November 27, 2005

Limits on smoking create political plus

In a recent article about City Councilman Robert W. Curran's smoke-free workplace ordinance for Baltimore, political analyst Donald Norris stated that that there would be no "political consequences" for opposing laws prohibiting smoking in public places ("Outlook is hazy for smoking bans," Nov. 20). This is not correct.

In New Jersey, the Republican gubernatorial candidate took a great deal of heat for opposing such a law during a debate. The winning Democratic candidate, Sen. Jon Corzine, made his support for protecting people from second-hand smoke an important part of his platform and I believe it helped him win.

Also, a poll that Smoke Free Maryland commissioned recently in three conservative Maryland legislative districts showed not only that voters in those districts strongly support smoke-free workplace laws, but also that Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s approval ratings in those districts dropped drastically when voters were told that he has opposed smoke-free workplace laws.

Both Mr. Ehrlich and Mayor Martin O'Malley, who has stated his opposition to Mr. Curran's proposal, should understand that saving people from the illness and death caused by second-hand smoke is not only good policy but good politics.

Kari Appler


The writer is a project director for Smoke Free Maryland.

Council should focus on city's own woes

The elected solons of the Baltimore City Council do not do a good job addressing city issues such as crime reduction and education ("City Council weighs in on Iraq war," Nov. 22).

The City Council needs to pay attention to the issues within its purview and leave leading the nation to the president.

Robert C. Gutermuth


Council courageous in taking on the war

I would like to thank the Baltimore City Council wholeheartedly for having the courage to take a stand against President's Bush's agenda in Iraq ("City Council weighs in on Iraq war," Nov. 22).

I am sure that its choice to do so was not made in haste.

I have listened to some of the radio talk shows in Baltimore and, unfortunately, many people are angry about the position of the City Council.

I believe that those people are totally incorrect and misled.

The City Council is doing the patriotic thing by being brave enough to go against the country's power structure.

Martie Silvert


City may remind troops of Iraq

Yes, City Council, please weigh in on the Iraq war ("City Council weighs in on Iraq war," Nov. 22).

Get those troops home as soon as possible, so that they can return to one of the most dangerous cities in America.

Then these troops, used to constant urban warfare and a lack of support from their government, will really feel at home.

Mary Kate Newcomb


Find real reasons for the war in Iraq

It has been established beyond a reasonable doubt that the weapons of mass destruction (WMD) rationale for attacking Iraq was incorrect and that the evidence given for the WMD allegation was fraudulent or misinterpreted. And apparently administration agencies were aware that some of the data was inconsistent and unverifiable ("Germans warned U.S. about using Iraqi source," Nov. 20).

If it is true that information that ran contrary to the administration's inclination to go to war was withheld, those withholding that information should be identified and their motivation determined.

The public has a right to know what information was really used to justify the decision to get us into a war that would cause the deaths of thousands of people.

Thomas W. Schmidt

Perry Hall

Huge debt portends big tax on our kids

I would never present myself as an authority on financial management or fiscal policy. Still, as I watch the congressional budgetary shenanigans, unencumbered by an eyeshade, it looks like a classic shell game to me ("House passes cuts package," Nov. 18).

The devil is not in the details of acronymic arcane things such as the alternative minimum tax or capital gains exclusions but in the big picture.

For all its pretensions about "tax cuts," it's perfectly obvious that the administration and its congressional allies have enacted the largest tax increase in history. It's called "the deficit."

The deficit is the source of our national debt. Thanks to the irresponsibility of the administration and the Republican congressional leadership, the debt is huge.

There's no avoiding it: We're going to have to pay that debt and we'll have to get the money to pay it through taxes.

The administration and the congressional Republicans don't want to own up to this.

They are trying to distract us with minutiae and pass the problem on to the next generation so they can pretend to us that they're cutting our taxes.

In doing so, they literally compound their infamy by allowing the interest on that debt to compound.

The debt the Republicans have created is huge and growing. It's Tyrannosaurus Rex and it's going to eat our children.

David L. Hollander


Bus service changes leave riders angry

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