Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

January 28, 2007

Nothing novel about sensitivity

The front-page story on sexual harassment training for Maryland legislators was terribly depressing ("Trying to instill basic sensitivity," Jan. 25).

Don't harass women when you have power over them? Don't make female colleagues feel uneasy with sexual remarks you would not dare make around your wife or daughter? Those ideas seemed to hit these men like a hot news flash. Have they been asleep for the past 20 years? Was this truly the first time they had ever heard that they should treat women with respect?

The Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue is not appropriate for the waiting area in a legislative office? It's strange anyone should have trouble with that idea.

Del. Steve Schuh is baffled that a legislator should not repeatedly ask a woman for a date - a woman who is in Annapolis, along with Mr. Schuh, doing the public's business. There are plenty of places in this world where this delegate can hit on a woman as aggressively as he wishes - but the state capital is not one of them.

Thomas V. Mike Miller, the president of the state Senate, pleads that all this is just too novel to him.. This 64-year-old is moaning that he's getting senile and losing his self-control?

Maybe "depressing" is just too weak a word for what this represents. I prefer "disgusting."

Helen Lee McComas

Baltimore

Reporter reveals double standard

Sun reporter Jennifer Skalka needs to take training on basic sensitivity, having used the term "testosterone-charged" to refer to a historically male state legislature. What an ironic double standard her treatment offers, the term being used in an article on so-called sensitivity ("Trying to instill basic sensitivity," Jan. 25).

If anyone ever referred to the inane rants emanating from females such as anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, Sen. Barbara Boxer or former Rep. Cynthia A. McKinney as "estrogen-filled," he would be burned at the stake.

Harry DeBusk

Reisterstown

Why should the state prop up horse racing?

Would someone please research the files from the late 19th century to see if anyone was suggesting slots or some other method of subsidy for the buggy whip industry? If horse racing can't make it on its own, why should it be supported any more than buggy whips were ("Pimlico Special halted, raising stakes on slots," Jan. 26)?

There have been efforts over the years to keep alive industries and services that were anachronisms, and fortunately most of those efforts failed.

Rex Rehfeld

Baltimore

No negotiations with Iran, Syria

Columnist Trudy Rubin supports negotiations with Iran and Syria, claiming that the United States has serious economic and political leverage with the two nations and thus would have a favorable environment for discussions ("An opportunity for diplomacy in Middle East," Jan. 23).

Certainly no one who has followed the aborted efforts of the U.S. to impose meaningful sanctions on Iran or Syria would agree.

With Russia and China opposing any sanctions with a bite on Iran and Syria, both of these latter nations have suffered very little from the unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States. With the continued economic interests of Russia and China in these two nations, the likelihood that any pressure can be applied is almost nil.

What would be the result of negotiations with Iran and Syria? For Iran, it would be for us to look the other way as that nation continues its nuclear program and extends its influence among its fellow Shiites in Iraq. For Syria, negotiations would signal an approval for the continuing terror emanating from that nation.

When Iran and Syria give strong signals that they will change their aggressive ways and their support for terror, that will be the time for negotiations with those two nations.

Nelson Marans

Silver Spring

Since Israel's birth, it has sought peace

Recent letters in The Sun that claim Israel is not serious about making peace do not contribute anything to the debate ("Israel isn't serious about making peace," Jan. 22, and "U.S. funds help Zionist agenda," Jan. 24).

While Israel is rightfully criticized for issues such as its settlement policy, disproportionate military retaliation to attacks, and detention and imprisonment of Palestinians, it is wrong to claim Israel is not serious about peace.

Israel has signed peace treaties, returned territories and been willing to engage in diplomatic efforts with anyone who dares to seek peace. Israel has done so since before its inception and has continually done so throughout its history.

It is easier to wage war for both sides, but it takes courage to cease fire, withdraw from territory and speak directly to your enemies.

All sides desire peace but gain nothing from those who demonize each other by insinuating conspiracy theories about "Zionist propagandists" or "Islamo-fascists."

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