Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

November 08, 2007

Cory L. Richards' excellent column "Abortion vs. adoption: deflating mythical link" (Opinion * Commentary, Nov. 4) rightly points out the hypocrisy of politicians such as Rudolph W. Giuliani on the abortion vs. adoption issue. However, in reality, the hypocrisy of the pro-life movement on adoption is even worse than Mr. Giuliani's self-serving platitudes.

While the pro-life movement has demanded strict regulation of abortion for many years, many of its organizations have not only failed to support but have often actively obstructed meaningful regulation of adoption in recent decades.

The result of this double standard is a growing human rights catastrophe in adoption in which millions of children are languishing without homes around the globe while adoption fees and abuses skyrocket.

The numbers of adoptions are falling and will continue to plummet until the industry is as carefully regulated as some family planning clinics are.

If we can have a $200 abortion, we should have a $200 adoption.

More important, the same kinds of safeguards that ensure waiting periods, parental notification and capped fees for some family planning clinics should apply to adoption agencies.

Maureen Flatley

Essex, Mass.

The writer is a consultant who works on adoption reform and international adoption issues.

No excuse justifies turning to torture

When we look back at this shameful period in our nation's history, we will shake our heads that arguments such as those expressed by Richard Saccone were ever seriously considered ("When does coercion become torture?" Opinion

Commentary, Nov. 5).

Mr. Saccone scornfully uses notions such as keeping "an unlawful combatant up 15 minutes past his bedtime" to ridicule opponents of torture and to imply we don't understand what is needed to protect the United States.

Certainly, arguments can be crafted to define almost any coercive methods as legal; those arguments do not make such methods right.

By allowing semantic games and fear to cloud its moral compass, this country is quickly losing its principles.

David Schwartz

Baltimore

I was sickened by Richard Saccone's attempt to rationalize torture.

Torture is illegal. It was made illegal by Congress when it approved the Geneva Conventions.

We made torture illegal because it is inhumane and beneath our dignity as Americans and people with consciences.

There is no excuse for torture - it is illegal, inhumane and fundamentally in contrast with the principles of the America I believe in.

Beth Greenland

Towson

Show discipline in funding for war

Vetoing the $23 billion water bill, President Bush reportedly said it lacked fiscal discipline ("Override likely for water bill veto," Nov. 3).

This from the man who has demanded hundreds of billions in successive "emergency" supplemental appropriations because he doesn't want to include funding for the Iraq war fiasco in his regular budgets.

Here is a way we could see some fiscal discipline: All further expenses for the Iraq war, apart from those for things such as body armor, food, medical care and withdrawal of troops, would have to be paid for up front with special taxes to raise the needed revenue.

We could start with a 90 percent tax on the profits of all military contractors.

Katharine W. Rylaarsdam

Baltimore

Stop state building to close the deficit

I would like to put this question to our state legislators: How much of the deficit would be eliminated if, for one year, no new state building projects or programs were funded and no increases were made to the funding of existing projects and programs ("Parts of tax plan falter," Nov. 4)?

As a former construction contractor in another state, I can anticipate the objections of that industry if such a policy were adopted, and I'm sure there would be objections from many other quarters.

But would that be too big a price to pay to reduce the deficit?

I, for one, don't think so. And I think most state taxpayers would scarcely notice the difference.

Jerry Carpenter

St. Michaels

Bargain land sale cheats taxpayers

With Gov. Martin O'Malley crying the blues about the shortage of money in the state's coffers, I found it rather alarming to see The Sun's article concerning the Shoshana S. Cardin School's plans to purchase the 22-acre parcel state property at the Rosewood Center for $550,000 ("School to buy 22 acres at Rosewood for building," Oct. 26).

That's $25,000 an acre. Pray tell me where else in Owings Mills can one find prime property for $25,000 an acre?

If the state is willing to give away prime land like this, we all should be informed.

I could come up with dozens of buyers at that price, and certainly a few more at, say, $30,000 an acre.

If he doesn't even know the value of an acre of prime land in Owings Mills, perhaps this is why the governor finds himself short of funds.

Jeanne L. Turnock

Baltimore

The writer is a real estate broker and appraiser.

Don't issue illegals a driver's license

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