Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

March 15, 2006

Energy chief knows nothing about pain

So Constellation Energy Group CEO Mayo A. Shattuck III feels this transition is "painful" ("Constellation's CEO defends rates, merger," March 12).

But nowhere in the interview does Mr. Shattuck talk about the people who will be forced to decide between paying his Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. bill and paying for their food and medicine.

Mr. Shattuck and his cheerleader wife might want to live without heat for a couple weeks in 20-degree temperatures - that would bring them a deeper understanding of what is "painful."

Just like the deregulation of the airlines in the 1970s and just about all deregulations since then, the deregulation of our utilities is nothing more than a boondoggle designed to transfer our money into the pockets of those who already have too much.

It is past time for the people subsidizing the wealthy who make deals like the one between Constellation Energy and Florida's FPL Group to rise up and say "no more."

If we all refused to pay those bills, you can bet that would make Mr. Shattuck think twice.

Maria Allwine

Baltimore

Use merger millions to defray suffering

Sunday's front section offered stories about uses of wealth that are as different as, well, good and evil.

The back page profiled Ihsan Khan, a Powerball winner who is using his winnings to help rebuild his earthquake-stricken hometown in Pakistan ("Lottery winner shares the wealth," March 12).

And on the front page was an interview with Constellation Energy Group CEO Mayo A. Shattuck III, who attempted to convince us he deserves a multimillion-dollar payout in the face of rate increases that will bring destitution, homelessness and (count on it) death to the poorest of his fellow Marylanders ("Constellation's CEO defends rates, merger," March 12).

Mr. Shattuck is already a wealthy man.

If he is a mensch like Mr. Khan is, Mr. Shattuck will use every penny of his merger millions to alleviate the suffering caused by deregulation.

Lynn W. Jensen

Baltimore

Energy advice cruel to poorer readers

When I moved to Baltimore seven years ago, I was pleased to find that The Sun was sensitive to the vast income chasm existing in our society. Therefore, I was shocked and offended at the cavalier treatment of lower-income citizens offered in "Another blow for consumers" (March 8).

I'm sure that a single mother with two children earning, say, $30,000 a year would not find any humor in the advice, "Instead of spending $300 a month dining out, cut that in half," or "Instead of flying to Florida for a vacation ... drive to Virginia Beach."

Those were the most egregious examples of what might, at best, be called thoughtlessness.

Of course, toward the end, the article offered some advice about how families of four who earn a maximum of $2,419 a month can seek assistance. But that did little, in my opinion, to mitigate the offensiveness of the first section of the article.

Raymond A. Werbe

Baltimore

Stop foreign control of vital U.S. assets

No foreign government should ever have been under the impression that it could be part of any sensitive operation in the United States ("Dubai firm to shed stake in U.S. ports," March 10). No foreign government at all, ever. Not in ports. Not in airports. Not at Lockheed Martin. Not at Boeing. Not in the Internet. Not anywhere that the United States has vital interests.

And foreign business investors should be carefully scrutinized when they are involved in the operations of critical U.S. industries.

If the foreign investors are just an extension of a foreign government, they should not be permitted to be involved in running any vital U.S. business.

Dubai probably has been singled out because it's an Arab state.

That is too bad, because the same principle should apply to the British, Japanese, Israeli, German and every other governments' involvement in industries vital to our security.

Thomas H. Hartman

Columbia

The president reaps whirlwind he sowed

Since Sept. 11, 2001, the Bush administration has fostered an agenda based on fear.

Now the seeds it planted have produced a crop of irrational decisions based on anti-terrorism concerns ("Bush fears terror setback," March 11).

McNair Taylor

Baltimore

Voting really is a fundamental right

The writer of the letter "Don't let criminals ever vote again" (March 7) asserts that "voting is a privilege and not a right." What country is he talking about?

Article 1, Section 2 of U.S. Constitution establishes the right of the people to elect their representatives to the House.

The 15th Amendment guarantees the right to vote to all male citizens regardless of race. The 17th Amendment grants the right to vote for senators.

The 19th Amendment grants the right to vote to women.

Perhaps it is more dangerous to allow people who have no knowledge of the U.S. Constitution to vote than those who have committed a criminal offense. But I would not take away the rights of either set of individuals.

Larry Brooks

Phoenix

Focus on protesters overshadows a hero

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