Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 01, 2006

Congress overrides basic human rights

President Bush and the Republican-led Congress have just OK'd torture, redrafted international law and overridden due process and what the Declaration of Independence called "a decent respect to the opinions of mankind" as they have exposed the U.S. troops who are in harm's way to even greater jeopardy ("Detainee bill wins passage in Senate," Sept. 29).

I'm incredulous.

Will the Supreme Court quickly rule this dangerous law unconstitutional?

Grenville B. Whitman

Rock Hall

Passing legislation that allows torture and eliminates a person's right to appear before a judge is a betrayal of our country, and principles.

It is beyond sad when a president uses fear of terror to win elections.

There are no words to describe the loss our country experiences emotionally and mentally by allowing torture.

Robert E. Griffin

Forty Fort, Pa.

Muslims must step up to spurn terrorism

The Christian community cannot rid the world of Islamic terrorists; only Islam itself can accomplish that ("Pope meets with Muslim diplomats," Sept. 26). Indeed, the harder we try, the worse it will get.

We need to put the onus on the backs of the true Muslim people and nations.

If they do not shoulder that responsibility, what is the Christian world to think - that they condone the actions of the extremists?

I find it difficult to believe that the majority of the Muslims of the world are terrorists or sympathize with terrorists.

But those Muslims who oppose terror do need to step forward now.

Mitchell Thompson

Royal Oak

Budget for benefits or to fund the wars?

Two articles on facing pages in Monday's Sun presented a math problem so simple that it should be easily solved.

One article estimates that paying for health insurance for retired public workers and other benefits we owe public employees could cost $600 billion to $1.3 trillion over the next 30 years (that's about $20 billion to $40 billion a year, if my math is correct) ("Huge bill is coming due for public employees' benefits," Sept. 25).

The other notes that the Army chief of staff was asking for a budget of $138.8 billion - for just one year ("Army's top officer signals a Pentagon budget revolt," Sept. 25).

That second article notes that more than $400 billion has been approved for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001.

So here's our choice: How do we want to spend our tax money - to provide benefits for workers or to fully fund a war?

We are the ones who should stage a "Pentagon budget revolt" and use our money to meet social priorities - it's our money, after all.

We should also dump out all of the politicians who support those twisted math values.

Bill Barry

Baltimore

Politics prompts gas prices' plummet

I'm willing to wager that there will be no rise in gasoline prices until after the Nov. 7 election ("Drop in oil prices halted," Sept. 26).

It seems clear to me that the Bush administration wants the gasoline prices and energy policy issue to be absent from debate over the elections and that the oil industry will collaborate to make this so.

You don't have to be a believer in conspiracy theories to agree - it's just an election year, and anything goes.

Robert E. MacDonald

Baltimore

Can Medicare follow Wal-Mart's lead?

Wal-Mart will now sell generic drugs for $4 per prescription, and Target says it will match that price ("Drug market revolution," editorial, Sept. 25).

If they can sell prescriptions for this price and still make money, it shows how we, the public, have been ripped off for much higher prices by pharmacies and drug suppliers for years, while we have received little help with this problem from the government.

I think it would be great if Medicare would take Wal-Mart's lead and find a way to get us cheaper drug deals.

William R. Cody

Baltimore

Let candidates show they've won results

Thank you for printing Kalman R. Hettleman's commentary that asks Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. to "join in a constructive effort to wrestle with a complex problem" ("The truth about policy on `social promotion,'" Opinion * Commentary, Sept. 18).

The process he describes and the diligent work and attention to detail that have gone into achieving the initial results he outlines aren't easily reduced to a sound bite.

I hope that both candidates for governor will read between the lines and learn how distasteful citizens find the misleading shorthand they use on the campaign trail to shine a favorable light on themselves on important issues such as school success.

The responsible leadership shown by those individuals actually doing the heavy lifting to solve Maryland's many complex social challenges can serve as a model for the kind of collaborative, results-oriented leadership voters should demand of the governor and the mayor.

I challenge these perennial seekers of our votes to show us concrete evidence that life for Baltimoreans and Marylanders is quantifiably better because of their leadership.

Robin Wood

Baltimore

Md. is the big loser as Pa. sanctions slots

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