Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

November 02, 2006

An elitist insult to patriotic soldiers

As the very proud mother of a U.S. Army soldier, I find Sen. John Kerry's recent remark sickening ("Tight races, harsh words," Nov. 1).

I sincerely hope that the senator has plans for making a public appearance on Veterans Day.

Perhaps when he hears the crowd's reaction to his introduction, he will then comprehend just how far he went and the hurt he has caused to military families everywhere.

If, however, Mr. Kerry chooses seclusion on Veterans Day, perhaps he will hear instead the "tick, tick, tick" of his chances for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination slipping away from him - as they rightly should.

Peg McCarthy

Cockeysville

It's Bush who owes troops an apology

President Bush is the one who owes an apology to the men and women in the military - and their families ("Tight races, harsh words," Nov. 1). His unjustifiable war and lack of planning are the real botch job - not a fumbled attempt at humor by Sen. John Kerry.

While the president is out on the campaign trail, stumping and speechifying about the intelligence of the military, let him explain why he has ignored the advice of intelligent and experienced military leaders for the past four years, beginning with Secretary of State Colin L. Powell's "you break it, you bought it" warning before Mr. Bush chose to take our military into a war in Iraq.

The voters should be handing this failed administration and the ruling GOP the sound defeat that they roundly deserve.

But thanks to Mr. Kerry's lack of comedic talent and the cunning of the ruling party in capitalizing on the sound-bite mentality of many Americans, we may yet get more of the same unchecked abuse of power.

Mr. Kerry should apologize to the Democratic Party for botching another election.

Michael Ziegler

Monkton

State hampers effort to boost city schools

The Sun's editorial "Getting along" (Nov. 1) points out that Prince George's County also has failing schools and yet has been afforded more courtesy and time by the state to make corrections than the Baltimore public schools have ("Getting along," Nov. 1).

All agree that the school problems in Baltimore will not be solved overnight.

Maryland has an obligation to assist all jurisdictions fairly to improve education for our children, and it has failed to do so.

The Ehrlich administration's contempt for Baltimore's schools, students, parents and teachers, and its derision for the city's efforts to improve its schools, hamper the effort.

Mary Sloan Roby

Baltimore

Vote-by-mail system offers real solution

Let's agree that our electronic voting system is in questionable shape ("Election Day will be test for state's vote system," Oct. 30).

The governor has even suggested that we should use absentee ballots.

But that approach, too, involves serious problems, particularly now, with so many people turning to that alternative.

Voting machines that malfunction, judges who don't show up, poorly trained poll workers and long lines at polling places during peak hours hardly encourage voter participation.

One has to wonder why Maryland and other states don't follow Oregon's lead and use a vote-by-mail system.

It's easy and convenient, it's less expensive, it has a paper trail and, best of all, it allows time for those with impossible schedules or physical handicaps to easily exercise their right to vote.

A vote-by-mail system also eliminates the problem of finding poll workers, who are becoming an endangered species.

E. Kaufman

Cockeysville

Economists see need to raise wage floor

As Steve Chapman notes in his column "Wishful on wage hike," (Opinion * Commentary, Oct. 25), the Economic Policy Institute recently released a statement signed by more than 650 economists, including five Nobel Prize winners and six past presidents of the American Economics Association, calling for an increase in federal and state minimum wages.

These economists rightly see the urgency of the issue: The purchasing power of today's federal minimum wage is at its lowest level in more than 50 years.

The idea of increasing the minimum wage is one that has been adopted by a growing group of economists based on a wide range of studies.

As the economists declare in the letter, "We believe that a modest increase in the minimum wage would improve the well-being of low-wage workers and would not have the adverse effects that critics have claimed."

It's little wonder that economists are joining the letter's demand that we value work "by establishing an hourly wage floor beneath which employers cannot pay their workers."

Michael Ettlinger

Washington

The writer is director of the Economic Analysis and Research Network of the Economic Policy Institute.

Revive Saudi plan for Mideast peace

The Israeli engagement in the Gaza Strip continues to sow violence ("Israeli forces kill 7 Palestinians in Gaza fighting," Oct. 24).

Israel continues to act much as its patron, the U.S. empire, does. But there is a better way. It is time to re-examine the Saudi peace plan of 2002.

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