Saturday Mailbox


December 09, 2006

Thursday's paper presented an interesting juxtaposition of articles.

The Sun's article on the report from the Iraq Study Group delineates the catastrophe created by the Bush administration in its baseless launching and bungled conduct of the Iraq war ("Time running out in Iraq, panel says," Dec. 7).

As one who protested in Washington before and after the invasion of Iraq, I am part of a large group of Americans who has wanted to see justice done - which means no less than the impeachment of an executive who ignored the constitutional limits of his power and lied to the American public.

I wanted revenge, to be blunt.

And then I read about the power of forgiveness to heal ("Give Forgiveness a Chance," Dec. 7).

Then, as a Christian and a humanist, I realized that the Dec. 8 observance of the anniversary of John Lennon's murder with a "Day of World Forgiveness and Healing," as proposed by his widow, Yoko Ono, is exactly what many of us need.

We need a way to get past our grief over the thousands upon thousands of lives that have been lost and continue to be wasted in our fiasco in Iraq.

We need to reclaim a spiritual higher ground to be effective diplomats and reconcilers.

Perhaps we will never attain the true forgiveness demonstrated by the Amish people after five of their children were murdered.

But we must search the corners of our hearts and minds so that we can let go of this injustice and move toward peace.

Ann Burdette

Ellicott City

The household arts aren't just for girls

Susan Reimer wrote in her column "Martha Stewart shares long-lost motherly tidbits" (Dec. 5) that "Books like this one [Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook] ... contain the kind of housekeeping wisdom our grandmothers taught our mothers, but we were too busy reinventing being female to learn."

Well, as both a feminist and an aging baby boomer, I somehow managed to get through college and graduate school and start my own business and still found the time to learn the home arts from my mother and from other sources.

Ms. Reimer also writes, "Now see if you can get your daughter to pay attention when you try to tell her this stuff. You are not going to be around forever, you know."

But guess what? I don't think these tidbits are only for passing down to our daughters. What about our sons?

I don't assume my sons will ever live with a woman who will tend to such things. I do assume that my sons will have lovely holiday dinners with friends and family and that, if they are serving as hosts, they will do so with good taste.

I have already shown them how to put candlesticks in the freezer to get wax off and they know how to set a table.

When I reinvented how I would be female, it included deciding that I would raise my children without sexual stereotypes.

And that is a good thing.

Susan A. Seim


The deaf don't live in a `closed world'

The headline on The Sun's article on the Maryland School for the Deaf offers a negative connotation not supported by the article.

The headline "Closed world ponders a bold new opening" (Dec. 4) reflects a typical stereotype of the deaf world and does not use the proper words to describe our deaf world.

We live in a vibrant world. We are taxpayers; our students go to the public library and to McDonald's for a quick bite, just like other students.

The students at the MSD - not to mention the deaf community in general - do not live in a closed world that is cloistered away from the mainstream as The Sun's headline suggests.

The MSD is a diverse community offering excellent academic and athletic programs that maximize the abilities of deaf students.

The Sun's article offered a balanced perspective on the idea of admitting hearing students to the MSD.

It would have been better balanced with a better headline.

William J. Bowman


The writer is an alumnus and member of the board of the Maryland School for the Deaf.

Affordability quotas hurt housing market

The Sun's article "Housing bill targets income diversity" draws attention to the city's need for affordable housing (Nov. 30). Unfortunately, the City Council's proposal to address this problem may do more harm than good.

The bill ignores the fact that investors already consider the city's housing needs when they finance home construction.

They look at the availability of everything from luxury condos to affordable units when they decide what types of housing consumers will need most and what housing they will invest in.

Setting a quota for affordable housing would interfere with investment decisions the private market makes best on its own. And it may even deter new construction in the city - including investments in affordable housing. And that would be a loss to all of us.

The legislation also ignores the fact that Baltimore has a large amount of abandoned housing, which could be renovated into affordable units.

As proposed, the law provides no incentives for such rehabilitation, which is our best hope for a vibrant and safe city.

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