Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

May 30, 2006

Put all partisans on the tax rolls

Gregory Kane may be right about the NAACP ("NAACP may be punking O'Malley and Duncan," May 24). If the NAACP actively worked against President Bush's re-election in 2004, that is partisan political activity and its tax-exempt status should rightly be revoked.

But then let's revoke the tax-exempt status of the Heritage Foundation, since it actively promotes Republican policies and ideas.

Then let's get Focus on the Family on the tax rolls, since its chairman, the Rev. James Dobson, is so often one of the key backers of Mr. Bush's judicial nominees.

Once we have them filling out their 1040s, let's get the Rev. Pat Robertson's Christian Coalition to pay its fair share of taxes, since distributing millions of voter guides that promoted the GOP agenda in 2004 is a clear violation of the rules against partisan political activity.

And finally, let's get every last evangelical church that distributed those fliers to their congregation and told members that God would punish them if they didn't vote for Mr. Bush to start paying taxes, too.

Then, besides recognizing these organizations for what they really are - political activists - we could start plugging the hole in our deficit that Mr. Bush and the GOP created with their innovative "cut taxes and spend like drunken sailors" policy.

Robert T. Wilke

Monkton

Sen. Clinton serves best as critical voice

As a devout Democrat, I hope that Sen. Hillary Clinton keeps up her attacks on the current administration.

As a fearful Democrat, I hope she doesn't run for the presidency.

Sol Goodman

Baltimore

Ignorant dismissal of identity disorder

In Gordon Livingston's column "In addiction discussion, don't dismiss the importance of choices" (Opinion * Commentary, May 19), he said, "Beware of psychiatric diagnoses, the primary purpose of which is to relieve people of responsibility. If someone claims that he is not guilty because his body is inhabited by multiple personalities and that it was his evil alter ego that committed the crime, I would notice the similarity between this plea and the assertion that `the devil made me do it.'"

I am sick and tired of people in the medical-psychiatric profession making snide and attention-grabbing remarks about dissociative identity disorder (the correct diagnosis for clients with several alter egos) to bolster their arguments.

It certainly was not my choice to be sexually abused for the first 21 years of my life, but the development of almost 20 alters allowed me not to go completely insane.

It was my choice, however, to spend 23 years in therapy and go through five hospitalizations to recover from my abuse and integrate all my alters.

I would like Dr. Livingston and all other medical or psychiatric clinicians to stick to discussions within their area of concentration and refrain from straying outside their area of competence.

E. Diane Champe

Eldersburg

Don't return pets to abusive owner

I can't believe that the state of Maryland or Harford County would even consider returning the abused animals to the woman who abused them ("Owner wants dozens of pets back," May 24).

After all of these good people, including children, have contributed time and money to help those poor animals, to return them to the owner who kept them in horrible conditions would be ludicrous.

That outcome cannot be allowed.

That woman should be forced to live as she made those animals live.

Jean C. Hussey

Parkton

New brand a boost for area's economy

With the successful launch of Baltimore's new brand to attract out-of-town tourists and conventioneers, some Baltimoreans have questioned why the Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association (BACVA) paid $500,000 for what they see as only a slogan ("Branding Baltimore," editorial, May 24).

The explanation is simple. We didn't.

Our new slogan, "Get In On It," is only one part of a comprehensive program of brand research, development and re positioning that those dollars secured as they financed a comprehensive, year-and-a-half-long effort.

While we are confident that Baltimoreans will "Get In On It," as many have already done, our most important audiences are out-of-town visitors and conventioneers, the people who inject new dollars into our local economy.

Our testing of "Get In On It," with these audiences revealed that we have a winning brand statement that holds great appeal.

An investment of $500,000 to better understand what it is that visitors and conventioneers value about Baltimore, and to attract them in even greater numbers, is a wise expenditure, especially since the investment represents only a very small fraction of 1 percent of the total annual economic value generated by visitors and conventioneers.

All of us who live here know how much there is to love and enjoy about Baltimore.

Now we are even better positioned to help visitors and conventioneers feel the same way.

Edwin F. Hale

Ronnie Burt

Baltimore

The writers are, respectively, the chairman and the interim president of BACVA.

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