Saturday Mailbox

SATURDAY MAILBOX

January 27, 2007

Let `One Maryland' guide government

Gov. Martin O'Malley's clarion call for "One Maryland" should not be limited to just broad public policy vision, but instead should become O'Malley's March(ing) orders for the way that state agencies operate ("An inaugural with family, faith and stars," Jan. 18).

This mantra needs to percolate across all levels of state government to maximize leveraged resources in the face of expected budget shortfalls ("O'Malley to slow spending," Jan. 19).

A One Maryland approach encourages state agencies to collaborate aggressively on issues that cut across their various functions.

Some recent pieces in The Sun have offered a glimpse of that promising future.

The editorial "Turning the tide" (Jan. 15) exhorted state leaders to get serious about preserving the bay and alluded to creative collaboration.

The column "Governor O'Malley's chance to reshape PSC" (Opinion

Commentary, Jan. 18) offered a credible, simple approach to address the restructuring of the Public Service Commission and future electricity rate increases by employing unimpeachable experts.

Mr. O'Malley has made some strong early choices for his Cabinet. His nominee to be secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation, John D. Porcari, and his choice to lead the Department of the Environment, Shari T. Wilson, both appear to be unifiers capable of promoting a One Maryland vision within their agencies and across other agencies.

Let's hope that the governor's future nominees for state government leadership are cut from the same cloth.

Thomas C. Snyder

Ellicott City

The writer is a former director of the air and radiation management administration of the Maryland Department of the Environment.

O'Malley should push an alternative vision

Bravo to Dan Rodricks for calling on Gov. Martin O'Malley to be bold in laying out his vision for Maryland ("O'Malley's first speech was too ordinary," Jan. 18).

He is right that now is the time for Democrats to counter the prevailing anti-tax, anti-government ideology with a message of their own - a new vision that presents an alternative to conservatism, an answer to America's challenges and a basis for restoring our nation's greatness at a time when we have been brought low by a generation of Republican rule.

Congratulations to Mr. O'Malley for giving an inaugural address that laid the foundations for just such a new vision ("An inaugural with family, faith and stars," Jan. 18).

The new governor set forth themes that will serve him well in the months and years to come:

"One Maryland" - opportunity for all, responsibility from all and a unified community of all.

The imperative of advancing the common good - a fundamental concept utterly neglected by Republicans, who have chosen to bow down instead at the altar of individual wealth and power.

Leadership that has the will to call for sacrifice and make difficult choices.

I hope the O'Malley administration and the Democratic Party will demonstrate the confidence and vision that the times demand.

Matthew Weinstein

Baltimore

The writer is a former member of the Democratic State Central Committee.

All have a chance to know God

I was very surprised when I read The Sun's article "Teaching the unknowable" (Jan. 18). I believe God is very knowable, and indeed is an entity with which we can all have a very positive personal relationship.

In the article, Rabbi Lawrence Kushner was quoted as saying that "Judaism does not require adherence to specific doctrines," and also that "you don't have to believe anything to be a Jew." But doesn't the word "Torah" mean "the law" - a series of principles God intends for mankind to believe in and follow? Doesn't the book of Exodus contain the Ten Commandments?

Rabbi Kushner was also quoted as saying, "Christianity is a tradition of creed. Judaism is a tradition of deed." I would direct the rabbi's attention to the book of James in the New Testament, where it is written, "Faith, if it doesn't have works, is dead." I would also present the saintly life of Mother Teresa as an example.

Rabbi Kushner also says that God is "ultimately, utterly unknowable." I would mention to the rabbi many instances when God has revealed Himself to mankind, such as to Adam and Eve, Noah, Moses, Abraham, Isaac, Joseph and so on.

The article included the following quote: "God is responsible for all that happens in the world." But most of the bad things that occur in this world are the result of the poor choices of humankind.

I believe that God is a God of love whom we can all approach with humility and in prayer.

James S. Moss Sr.

Baltimore

Disaster in Iraq is now inevitable

When President Bush spoke to the nation on Jan. 10, he said, "Failure in Iraq would be a disaster for the United States" ("Iraq situation `unacceptable,'" Jan. 11).

What he forgot to say was that success - or victory, or whatever you want to call it - would also be a disaster for the United States.

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