Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

January 25, 2007

Maryland needs revenue from slots

After reading new Comptroller Peter Franchot's comments about slot machines, I think he missed the point big-time ("Comptroller Franchot sworn in," Jan. 23).

I thought the idea behind slots was revenue for the state.

Our rainy-day fund has now been greatly reduced. Education, road repair and health insurance for uninsured Marylanders are just a few of the items that need the attention of our state now.

We can't rely on the federal government. Our federal debt and the baby boomer generation's Social Security needs are going to cost trillions.

Everyone has heard about the Foxwoods casino in Connecticut; it is so remote that public transportation cannot get there. But it brings in hundreds of millions of dollars each year for that state.

We have a similar opportunity in Maryland: Rocky Gap. The state subsidizes a hotel, stuck in the middle of nowhere, that has skiing in the winter, golf in the spring, summer and fall, boating, shopping and all the other neat touristy things, plus a conference center that we need a draw for.

Slots offer an opportunity for this to pay for itself as well as supply a revenue source to the state. Could you imagine world-class entertainment year-round along with the other activities and world-class gambling?

Connecticut did it; why can't Maryland?

Fred Schattall

Hampstead

Military tactic creates enemies

Could someone please explain to me how kicking in the doors of thousands of Baghdad homes would make friends for the United States ("Poll shows opposition to troop rise in Iraq," Jan. 18)?

Like the U.S. invasion of Fallujah, this tactic is bound to be a blood bath.

If there aren't any enemies of the United States in those areas before such a travesty, there certainly will be some afterward.

With tactics like this, I believe the chief recruiter for the adversaries is none other than President Bush.

Some of his arms merchant supporters may not shed a tear at the prospect of permanent war. Their bottom line needs enemies.

Richard J. Ochs

Baltimore

Opposition to war sounds like silence

While Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. claim to be hearing "echoes of Vietnam" ("Troop increase in Iraq spurs reflections on Vietnam War," Jan. 22), the noise they really hear - if I can borrow another 1960s slogan - is "the sound of silence."

The invasion of Iraq, under pretenses as false as the attack in the Gulf of Tonkin, has brought barely a whimper of opposition for the past three years.

If you lived through the invasion of Vietnam, you remember that only two senators, Ernest Gruening and Wayne Morse, had the integrity to oppose the rush to destruction in 1964.

Sen. Robert C. Byrd and Mr. Kennedy eagerly supported it, and the rest - as they now tell us - is history.

The echo of Vietnam that I see is the spineless Congress, which is still unwilling to block the "surge" by cutting off the funds ("Echoes," editorial, Jan. 14).

Every day, our representatives bob and weave while hundreds of human beings are killed and billions of dollars that could be spent in Baltimore are squandered in Baghdad.

Bill Barry

Baltimore

Schools were right to open after snow

I, for one, applaud Baltimore schools CEO Charlene Cooper Boston for keeping the schools on schedule ("Wintry mess posed hazard for schools," letters, Jan. 23).

Where was the letter writer that morning? I left for work at 4:30 a.m., and the side streets, the main roads and the Beltway were all cleared.

There was no reason not to open the schools on time.

Joseph Kortash

Catonsville

Misleading about abortion rights

The anti-abortion screed "Peaceful alternatives" (Opinion * Commentary, Jan. 22) is typical of the sorts of half-truths and distortions heard from right-wing, anti-choice extremists.

If you believed their propaganda, there are no women in the world who go voluntarily to get an abortion. They are all forced by evil boyfriends, husbands or families.

For the record, I am a typical woman who had an abortion. I was 26 years old, married and working a good job, and it was my choice, with my husband's support. I wasn't coerced and I don't feel any guilt. As far as I'm concerned, I had a minor operation and I'm fine. That's it.

Ann Bowen

Lutherville

The article "Peaceful alternatives" (Opinion * Commentary, Jan. 22) misses an important point concerning Roe vs. Wade. This argument is not about "choice" or "life." It is, rather, about privacy: a woman's right to privacy concerning her own body.

The argument about when a life begins is irrelevant. All Roe vs. Wade argues is that it is not any of our business what a woman does.

K. G. Ambridge

Bel Air

Schaefer earned his pensions

What in the world was The Sun saying in its article "Schaefer's pensions add up" (Jan. 22)?

William Donald Schaefer has been a public servant for 50 years. As stated in the article, the former city councilman, mayor, governor, comptroller is positioned to make "more in pension benefits than he was earning on the job."

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