Letters To The Editor


December 15, 2005

Unfair to portray GOP as foe of Earth

I read Tom Horton's column "Environmentally friendly GOP fights political divide" (Dec. 6) and found it to be a diatribe that was neither informative nor fair.

Mr. Horton writes, "The Bush administration and the Republican leadership of Congress have weakened clean-air regulation, denied global warming, defunded science, undercut the Environmental Protection Agency, attacked public land preservation and set the stage for more decades of polluting energy generation."

That's quite a list. But it just isn't true.

The facts are that the Republican Party has as much a stake in the environment as do Democrats. If the Republican Party wishes to keep getting elected, it will continue to support the twin interests of its "base" - the environment and jobs.

Republicans are supported by people who hunt and fish, by people who are active in Scouting and by farmers, ranchers and boaters.

Republicans also care about jobs, now and in the future.

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. has done more to clean the bay with his Chesapeake Bay Restoration Act, which will reduce the nitrogen that flows into the bay by more than 7 million pounds annually, than all of the people who use the environment as a backdrop to get elected do in their collective lives.

I don't remember reading much about that in Mr. Horton's "On the Bay" column.

Al Mendelsohn


The writer is a member of the Baltimore County Republican Central Committee.

Ehrlich prepares an ugly campaign

The recent efforts by reporter Andrew Green ("Ehrlich hires '06 director," Dec. 10) and columnist Michael Olesker ("Continuing the pattern of playing dirty politics," Dec. 12) to warn us about the type of political climate that's brewing in Maryland are much appreciated.

It's helpful to know that the stench of gutter politics will once again be permeating our airwaves before we breathe it in too deeply.

It seems the old adage, "You can judge a man's character by the company he keeps," is appropriate to bring up when discussing Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and the people he surrounds himself with.

Who can forget the "Prince of Darkness," Joseph F. Steffen Jr.? Now add to that the reigning virtuoso of nastiness, Bo Harmon.

The almost-daily frontal assault launched against Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend in the 2002 gubernatorial campaign will seem like child's play when these guys finally wrap up Mr. Ehrlich's 2006 gubernatorial race.

Unfortunately, the biggest losers in all this will be the citizens of Maryland.

We deserve to hear so much more about matters of substance than about what we will ultimately be exposed to as a result of despicable political tactics.

Karen Hittinger


Intolerant rightists invade our privacy

I am constantly amazed by the so-called Christian or conservative right's insistence on inflicting their ever-narrowing views on the rest of us - on issues ranging from abortion to intelligent design to gay rights to prayer in schools to the latest absurdity of trying to brand the entire month of December as Christmas ("Conservatives cry: Man the holy cannons! Christmas is under siege!" Opinion * Commentary, Dec. 13).

Want to call it Christmas? Go right ahead. Believe in intelligent design? I'm happy for you.

Think abortion is an abomination? Don't have one. It's your right.

I only ask that, on occasion, I have the right to have my own beliefs. And that, more than anything else, is what this country was founded on.

Jeff Sattler


Confirm Alito, let Congress make laws

Yes, it's wrong to put private matters up to a popular vote, but I'm tired of the Supreme Court legislating from the bench. So let's confirm Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. ("Frist threatens to block filibuster," Dec. 12)

What part of the words "representative democracy" don't liberals understand?

Shane Jacobus


Death penalty just an act of vengeance

I believe the death penalty to be a vengeful, barbaric reaction to a horrific act ("Death penalty debate focuses on redemption," Dec. 13).

Supporters of the death penalty always say, "What if it were your daughter, son, etc., who was murdered?"

And, of course, when you're playing on an emotional response, our human nature dictates revenge. But if you can distance yourself from your emotional response and step back and look at the picture objectively, you might realize that this is not merely punishment but revenge.

God said, "Thou shalt not kill." This is one of the Ten Commandments; it does not have an addendum attached.

When we kill, even in the name of justice, have we not lowered our standards to that of the convicted?

And now, with the Innocence Project having found numerous death row inmates who were innocent of the charges of which they had been convicted, I have to wonder: How many people have we murdered in the name of justice?

Ray Talbott


Secrecy safeguards security of prisons

The writer of the letter "Sinister secrecy shrouds executions" (Dec. 9) sees prison officials' caution as sinister.

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