Letters To The Editor


November 10, 2006

Will O'Malley face the same standard?

In the wake of the latest episode in our great experiment in democracy, I find myself reflecting on the politics of the past four years ("O'Malley, Cardin declare victory," Nov. 8).

Four years ago, the state of Maryland was in dire financial straits. Today, we have a budget surplus instead of a deficit, a growing economy and improving test scores among public school students.

All of these things were accomplished during a time of divided government in Maryland.

During the past four years, the General Assembly rejected many attempts to legalize slot machines.

We will now find out if the speaker of the House of Delegates truly opposes slots as a matter of conviction, or if he was simply refusing to give a Republican governor any legislative victories.

We have also witnessed thousands of dollars and hours and lots of news coverage spent dealing with the firing of political appointees by Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.

Does this mean that Mr. O'Malley will be required, as governor, to retain all those appointed by Mr. Ehrlich?

And will the Assembly hold hearings if he does not do that?

Maryland has changed over the past 10 years. The state may still appear to be a Democratic stronghold, but the population is more moderate than it has been at any time in history.

We demand leadership, honesty and a true bipartisan government.

It's time to be consistent and hold the next and all future governors to the same standards as the last one.

William Winner


Can The Sun find new punching bag?

Now that Mayor Martin O'Malley has won the gubernatorial election ("O'Malley, Cardin declare victory," Nov. 8), who will The Sun have to beat up on?

Harriet M. Baverman

Owings Mills

A chance for Bush to boost his legacy

Tuesday's Democratic landslide might ironically benefit the long-term reputation of the president - who has, up until now, been headed toward a ranking as one of our three worst presidents ever, along with the likes of Chester A. Arthur and Herbert Hoover ("A rough road lies ahead for Bush," Nov. 8).

It is still too early to see if the latest votes and polls will chasten the White House over its clueless commitment to an escalating civil war in Iraq, which is dismembering America's military culture, and to compromising basic human rights here and abroad, and to tax cuts for the rich, loony views on stem cell science - and much, much more.

But the American people spoke clearly for a new sense of the common good, with rights, respect, opportunity and fairness here at home and a projection of those basic American values once again to the entire world.

This is long overdue.

If President Bush listens, cooperates and alters his approach, his legacy may move upward so that he may rank among the list of our 10 worst presidents.

And that's progress.

Stan Heuisler


Next governor needs to ease his oratory

I'm delighted that the person I voted for will be the governor for the next four years ("O'Malley, Cardin declare victory," Nov. 8).

But would someone please inform Martin O'Malley to tone down the overblown oratory?

Jon Grose


Hezbollah threatens region's stability

The writer of the letter that suggested Israeli aggression is the problem in Lebanon is way off base ("Israel's aggression still real problem," letters Nov. 6).

Hezbollah attacked Israel, not the other way around; it is an illegal army in a democratic country (Lebanon).

Hezbollah launched rockets from civilian areas and used civilians as shields (and these are war crimes).

Hezbollah seeks to destroy Israel. Hezbollah doesn't want a democracy in Lebanon or Israel; it wants an Islamic state, with no freedom of religion and few human rights.

And Hezbollah doesn't want to live peacefully with Israel or the United States.

James Christhilf

Glen Burnie

Smoking ban merely a matter of health

Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. But I take issue with those who condone smoking in bars and restaurants ("Don't demonize smoking in bars," letters, Nov. 4).

As a former member and activist of the Maryland Alliance of Non-Smokers (MAN), I cannot begin to extol strongly enough the results of our efforts, which spawned nonsmoking areas in restaurants and the workplace almost 30 years ago.

It is a proven fact that smoking and secondary smoke cause lung cancer, emphysema and related diseases. But I am happy to say that as a result of MAN's research and lobbying almost three decades ago, the harmful effects of tobacco smoke have been curtailed.

It is also a well-known fact that most people today, smokers and nonsmokers alike, prefer to dine in the nonsmoking area of restaurants and that having nonsmoking areas has not greatly harmed the income of most restaurants.

I do hope that in due time a smoking ban in bars and restaurants will be in effect.

If a smoker can sit in his or her place of worship or a theater without lighting up for three hours, he or she can do the same thing while in a bar.

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