Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

December 12, 2005

Wrong to blame gays for abuse in church

I wholly concur with Ellen Goodman that the bishops of the Catholic Church are missing the point in blaming homosexuals for the abuse scandal ("Church steps backward into bigotry," Opinion

s Association.

Rule by lobbyists isn't real democracy

The Sun's front-page article "A wide net cast in lobby inquiry" (Dec. 4) mentions details learned in a probe of lobbyist Jack Abramoff and of the tens of millions of dollars paid to buy influence on Capitol Hill.

In the article, Washington attorney Kenneth A. Gross calls this paid-lobbyist system essential to our form of government. But such a system quickly devolves into "No representation without taxation" - i.e., without paying for influence, one has no voice or representation.

Let me help Mr. Abramoff, Mr. Gross and the Washington cabal understand something, by asking a simple question: Is this the form of government we are attempting to export to Iraq? I don't think so.

Do our fighting men and women believe that this is what they're fighting for? Again, I don't think so.

This is not the form of government we the people prefer in America, either.

Democracy of the people, by the people, for the people does not mean that those with the deepest pockets get their way.

We must put an abrupt end to this corrupt form of controlling our government with cash contributions.

C. Schuetz

Timonium

Teachers not likely to improve pensions

I wish the Maryland State Teachers Association (MSTA) the best of luck in its efforts to muster support for increases in its members' pension benefits ("State teachers union pushes for better pensions," Dec. 6).

As the husband of a public school teacher, nothing would make me happier than to see the taxpayers of Maryland embrace the idea. However, The Sun's article detailed the fiscal reasons why the union will have quite the uphill battle.

The taxpayers, particularly those who work in the private sector, are increasingly being charged with managing their own retirement planning via personal savings and 401(k) plans. It will be very difficult for the teacher's union to persuade those taxpayers to fund enhancements to MSTA members' defined benefit retirement plan when corporations are reducing and even eliminating such plans these days.

I suggest that the MSTA leadership check out the trends (which have been well reported by The Sun) in today's corporate benefit plans before they cry foul on behalf of their union's members.

William R. Ward

Ellicott City

`Homicide' last word on the execution

The insanity of executing Wesley Eugene Baker for the killing of Jane Tyson was summed up concisely when the medical examiner defined the manner of death on Mr. Baker's death certificate as "homicide" ("Witness describes final moments of Baker's life," Dec. 7).

If we're to become a truly just society, we cannot let "homicide" pass as the last word on the issues of violence and poverty.

Jayson Bozek

Ellicott City

The Sun slights an infamous day

While President Franklin Roosevelt thought the date Dec. 7, 1941, would always be remembered, The Sun's editors obviously didn't think that its anniversary was important enough to mention on the front page of the Dec. 7 paper.

Instead, that day's paper had but a small picture of two of the approximately 5,400 surviving Pearl Harbor veterans on Page 6A, along with a small article, to denote the importance of this day ("64 years later, remembering Pearl Harbor," Dec. 7).

Like many World War II veterans, I hope we will always remember what happened in those years and that we pray for peace on this Earth.

But let us not ever forget the importance of Dec. 7, 1941.

Nathan A. Strauss

Baltimore

Varsity provides valuable insights

With the redesign came the new weekly Varsity high school sports supplement. And I think it's wonderful.

Each week, Varsity presents not only a very comprehensive picture of the pulse of the area's high school sports activities, but also terrific insights into many of our talented and dedicated student athletes.

It is clear that the staff of Varsity seeks out and pursues the best, most interesting stories rather than sitting back and waiting for input.

No doubt the average sports enthusiast like me enjoys this coverage. But I can just imagine the gratification felt by the individual athletes and their families. Please keep up this excellent journalism.

Frank Smor

Baltimore

Alice's adventures with Medicare mess?

If Lewis Carroll were still around today, he could write another Alice in Wonderland story, in which Alice follows the rabbit down the "donut-hole" into the land of the lobbyists and legislators who wrote the legislation that produced the Medicare prescription plan.

Alice would find a lot of Mad Hatters who have clearly been off their medication for a long time.

Herb Clark

Baltimore

Rats in the window part of city's charm

Whether it is war, disaster or politics, when I read the paper I am always ready for a new shocking revelation. Yet nothing I had read in the past prepared me for the article "A new take - gasp! - on window dressing" (Dec. 6).

A display of dead, gritty authentic rats among grandmother's pots and pans in a Federal Hill antiques store. Oh my gosh, I can't get the image out of my mind.

Baltimore does have its unique charm.

I think I may take my kids downtown for some holiday window-shopping.

Ann A. Dean

Severna Park

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