Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 22, 2006

Tribunal law poses threat to our liberty

The law President Bush signed Tuesday with so much fanfare is a disgrace to this country and to every member of Congress who voted for it ("U.S. enacts new rules for war against terror," Oct. 18).

Its measures were not necessary to try terrorist criminals, many of whom have been successfully convicted in the past.

The law is not a protection of our liberty but, on the contrary, an assault on our freedoms and our values as Americans.

The Constitution can be altered only by amendment, not by a statute.

Meanwhile, its provisions still apply. And under the Constitution, habeas corpus rights can be suspended only by Congress in times of rebellion or invasion, circumstances that do not now exist.

Courts inferior to the Supreme Court can be established by Congress, not the president; courts independent of it are not authorized.

The Geneva Conventions, to which we are signatories, have the force of law under the Constitution and apply to all the detainees at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere.

And, further, as the Ninth Amendment reminds us, "The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

Katharine W. Rylaarsdam

Baltimore

Disarming public adds to the violence

Based on the recent rash of "gun control" letters and editorials (i.e., "Guns R Us," Oct. 15) in the wake of nationwide school shooting incidents, it is apparent that the gun-ban lobby is now in full voice.

Unfortunately, their utopian schemes of eliminating firearms work to the detriment of society, as is shown by the experience of the ill-conceived "Dunblane laws" in the United Kingdom.

In the wake of a school shooting, the British gun-banners successfully lobbied for and passed legislation outlawing the ownership of virtually all forms of firearms.

But rather than seeing a sharp decrease in violent gun-related crime, Britain saw the exact opposite.

Violent criminals, now aware of the disarmament of society at large, created a thriving black market for ex-military weapons from Eastern Europe, began perpetrating violent home invasions on a record scale and caused violent crime to escalate.

Thus Britons are now worse off after banning guns than they were before.

Guns in the hands of responsible citizens are not a danger, but a check upon the criminality that assails modern society.

Eric Sundell

Reisterstown

Felons forfeited the right to vote

Michael Pinard states that the first reason to ease the laws that mandate the disenfranchisement of former felons is that "our vote is our voice in the affairs of our communities," and calls for the immediate repeal of the laws that prohibit those who have two or more violent felony convictions from voting ("Don't deny Maryland's ex-convicts right to vote," Opinion

Commentary, Oct. 17).

I strongly disagree.

Those who have that many violent felony convictions have already had their say about the affairs of the community - and that say was violence that more than likely left their community worse off than it was before they "spoke."

Such felons have had their say, and the community, by a jury of their peers, also has said enough is enough.

Voting is a right in the United States.

But it is a right a criminal chooses to throw away when his or her voice in the community is a violent one.

Nancy Waldrip

Pasadena

Is Ehrlich employing Rove-style politics?

It looks like Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s campaign workers have been attending the "Karl Rove School of Political Ethics" ("Use of push polling alleged," Oct. 13).

Posing as pollsters and asking a series of questions more designed to be slanderous statements against the governor's opponent is particularly "Rovesque."

Can we next expect a "Water Taxi Veterans for Truth" attack ad?

Ann Power

Catonsville

Consider an attack to punish N. Korea

In the wake of the defiance the North Korean regime has shown to international pressure to stop its nuclear weapons program, aggressive new sanctions against North Korea, including measures to limit trade in military and luxury items, are now called for ("N. Korea may try 2nd test," Oct. 18).

A blockade of North Korea's ports and on all shipping in and out of the country should be considered as well.

A pre-emptive military strike against North Korea should not be ruled out if it does not cease its development and testing of nuclear weapons.

The North Korean regime has proved over and over again that it cannot be trusted.

Let us never forget its past aggression in 1950 against South Korea and the bloody and costly three-year war that followed.

As a Korean War veteran, I believe a military strike against North Korea is definitely an option that must now be considered.

Al Eisner

Wheaton

Report repudiates fish fear-mongers

The Institute of Medicine and the Harvard School of Public Health have made it official: The well-documented benefits of fish far outweigh any health risks ("Go ahead, have fish," Oct. 18).

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