Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 06, 2006

Repudiate insults to city officials

In what way, exactly, does Baltimore attorney William H. "Billy" Murphy Jr. think that Adolf Hitler was "effective," and how dare he equate the Baltimore police or Mayor Martin O'Malley with Hitler ("Murphy is denounced for linking Nazis, police," Sept. 30)?

Shamefully, when given the opportunity to apologize or withdraw his statement, Mr. Murphy instead chose to congratulate himself for making his point, and Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s campaign spokeswoman denounced Mr. Murphy's critics instead of renouncing his remarks.

Mr. Murphy's off-the-cuff comment on a radio talk show could have been forgiven had he promptly withdrawn the comment and apologized. But his failure to do so has become the governor's problem.

Now Mr. Ehrlich needs to take responsibility by renouncing Mr. Murphy's comment, apologizing for his spokeswoman's remark and discontinuing his hurtful radio ads.

Steve Lebowitz

Annapolis

Steele's language sets the wrong tone

I am appalled by Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele suggesting to Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin that he should "shut up" ("Senate hopefuls launch tough talk," Oct. 4).

Civility, courtesy and manners should not be thrown aside as though the election is a back-alley brawl.

"Shut up" should not be part of anyone's vocabulary.

In an age in which children have few heroes other than rap stars and ballplayers, it would be wonderful if politicians could elevate their vocabulary, not set a new low.

My respect for Mr. Steele is diminished by his poor manners and judgment.

He should find other means to grab the public's attention.

Elsbeth Selver

Baltimore

Democrats lack will to win war on terror

If Bill Clinton didn't do anything wrong in the lead-up to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, why did he later cite his failure to capture Osama bin Laden as the biggest failure of his presidency ("More Clinton finger-wagging, and dishonesty," Opinion

Commentary, Sept. 27)?

If the Clinton administration didn't do anything wrong in the years leading up to 9/11, how come Mr. Clinton's national security adviser, Samuel R. Berger, was caught shoving classified documents down his pants at the National Archives in an attempt to hide them from the 9/11 commission?

While some in the national media try incessantly to cover up Mr. Clinton's failures, the facts are clear.

There were more than 40 terrorist attacks carried out by Islamic fundamentalists during the 1990s, including the first attack on the World Trade Center. And the American response was muted by a president overly concerned about his sexual misdeeds and political correctness.

Those who now want to rewrite history do not have the facts on their side. Those who know they did nothing wrong do not shove classified documents down their pants.

The Democrats offer criticism and politics but no solutions and no answers as to how to deal with the terrorist threat.

They have given Americans no reason to believe they have the stomach, knowledge or will to fight the war on terror.

Michael P. DeCicco

Severn

House leaders guilty of sheer hypocrisy

What an irony: The House Republican leadership, which salivated with glee as it pursued President Bill Clinton over the Monica Lewinsky affair, is now found to have been apparently covering up the sexual peccadilloes of Rep. Mark Foley for more than a year ("GOP fears Foley case may hurt Nov. vote," Oct. 4).

And these same people are now out on the hustings asking for our votes.

Are they running on the hypocrisy ticket?

Julian S. Stein

Baltimore

Congress must boost Legal Services funds

The Sun's article "Legal aid board turned on whistleblower" (Sept. 24) would have made more sense on the blogs of far-right organizations that have been trying to eliminate civil legal aid to the poor in this country for the past 35 years.

The Legal Services Corp. (LSC) is being considered for a long-overdue funding increase by Congress this session, which is driving its opponents to a frenzy.

They have apparently found a friend in the supposed "whistleblower" inside the organization, whose actions have drawn criticism from the American Bar Association and others for attacking legal aid programs.

Created by Congress in 1975, LSC received $326 million this year. It is governed by an 11-member board (six Republicans and five Democrats) appointed by the president and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Nearly 96 percent of LSC's budget goes directly to 138 independent programs (such as Maryland's Legal Aid Bureau) in the United States and its territories that provide legal aid in nearly a million cases annually for families facing loss of their homes or seeking protection from domestic violence or access to medical care, child support and employment.

The real story is that LSC is grossly underfunded, and most people eligible for assistance with critical legal problems go unserved.

LSC's congressional appropriation today is less than half of its 1981 level when adjusted for inflation.

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