Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 18, 2006

Boyd's exclusion dimmed debate

I am ashamed of Maryland Public Television for airing Saturday night's debate between Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and Mayor Martin O'Malley ("Two rivals clash with two styles," Oct. 15).

The problem is that an important candidate was barred from participating: Ed Boyd, the Green Party candidate for governor.

Mr. Boyd is running a serious and committed campaign: Polls have shown he may get 7 percent of the vote in Baltimore, and he has been appearing on radio programs, running radio ads, posting billboards, waving signs at key intersections, distributing fliers and attending public forums.

Mr. Boyd also is registering statewide, with support from 2 percent of the voters in recent polls. And that number is likely to rise as a result of his advertising and voter disaffection with the two corporate candidates.

The public is the real loser here: being deprived of the ability to see a third-party candidate such as Mr. Boyd, with his ideas, vision, agenda for real change, his program to benefit middle-class and working families with policies such as "Marylandization" (using eminent domain powers to take over the Baltimore Gas and Electric/Constellation Energy Group power lines and power plants in Maryland), free health care for all Maryland citizens, a housing lottery for renters so that the abandoned homes in Baltimore will at long last be fixed up, restoration of civil liberties by ending racist police arrest policies, and promotion of environmental protection by requiring all new homes to have solar panels.

Who is our public network really serving with this terrible decision to exclude Mr. Boyd?

Chris Bush

Catonsville

The writer is a volunteer for the Ed Boyd campaign and the Green Party.

Credit Bush for push to improve schools

Education is, and should always be, our top priority. And it was wonderful to hear Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. say that test scores around the state have improved ("Two rivals clash with two styles," Oct. 15).

Likewise, Mayor Martin O'Malley has proudly proclaimed that students in the lower grades in Baltimore are doing much better.

This is what all of us want to hear and believe. But why is no one crediting President Bush for these improved scores? Was it not he who created the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law so that more students would be able to do better?

NCLB does have flaws, but it appears that progress is being made.

If it is not, then both the governor and the mayor are misleading all of us.

Marjorie L. Burkley

Bel Air

ID needed to ensure validity of the votes

Cynthia Tucker is absolutely correct that voting is a right granted to all American citizens (except certain felons who forfeit the right) ("A right, not a privilege," Opinion * Commentary, Oct. 16).

My concern is with Ms. Tucker's opinion about the requirement that voters possess and display photo identification prior to voting. She believes that such a requirement is onerous and imputes to "the Republicans" the motive of attempting to block votes of "the poor and people of color."

She does this with little evidence of either the motive of "the Republicans" or that ID requirements place an onerous burden on "people of color."

And Ms. Tucker fails to address the issue that the only way elections officials can be sure that a person who presents to a polling place is, in fact, an American citizen is to require photo identification.

Without such identification, it is impossible to ensure that a voter is entitled to vote.

Douglas Dribben

Woodstock

Underplaying quake, overplaying Ravens

One of our 50 states suffers an earthquake and The Sun decides to run a color picture of the Ravens game on Page 1A ("McNair slammed; Ravens lose," Oct. 16).

The article about the earthquake was relegated to the bottom right portion of the front page ("Powerful earthquake hits Hawaiian Islands," Oct. 16).

Where are The Sun's priorities?

Walter J. Piccinini

Perry Hall

A facile dismissal of Iraq death toll

President Bush dismissed the recent study of Iraqi deaths since the U.S.-led invasion of that country by researchers from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, published in the British medical journal Lancet, by saying that the methodology has been "pretty well discredited" ("Bush disputes estimate of Iraq deaths," Oct. 12).

Perhaps he should communicate this insight to the members of his Cabinet, whose agencies routinely use the same kind of methodology to estimate population trends and characteristics to form public policy here in the United States.

Mr. Bush's facile dismissal of the study's estimate that more than 650,000 Iraqis have been killed since the invasion only underscores this administration's pathological denial of the havoc our country has brought to that country.

Jerry T. Lawler

Baltimore

The writer is a psychologist at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

`Population bomb' strains resources

Just when did Americans vote to be a nation of 300 million people ("`Population clock' nearing the 300 millionth American," Oct. 6)?

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