Letters To The Editor


December 07, 2007

Lousy wages block entry to middle class

The black underclass Cynthia Tucker speaks of cannot realistically join the ranks of the middle class so long as these men and women are expected to provide for a family on poverty-level wages ("As black middle class rises, underclass falls still further," Opinion * Commentary, Dec. 3).

Baltimore's commercial office cleaners, who are predominantly African-American, are paid as little as $7.50 per hour.

Until these jobs, which have to be filled by someone, pay a more livable wage, the gap between the super-rich and the poor will continue to grow.

If we want to get serious about helping workers get ahead, the focus should be on ensuring employers improve training and compensation.

We cannot expect workers to rise out of the underclass until we address the problem of the low-paying jobs that created and maintained this underclass in the first place.

Valarie Long


The writer is vice president of Service Employees International Union Local No. 32-BJ.

How can president still demonize Iran?

The demonizing of Iran finally took a hit with the release of the National Intelligence Estimate that found that country has not actively pursued nuclear weaponry since 2003.

Yet the Bush spin machine continues in high dudgeon with the president stating, "Look, Iran was dangerous, Iran is dangerous and Iran will be dangerous" ("President insists Iran still a threat," Dec. 5).

From an administration that has often allowed its ideological beliefs to triumph over reality (as in Iraq), such a response reveals that nothing has changed - and Iran continues to be in its sights.

And this raises the question: Which is more dangerous - Iran or the Bush administration?

Dave Lefcourt

Ellicott City

Congress must reject any attack on Iran

Iran has no nuclear weapons program. It's that simple ("President insists Iran still a threat," Dec. 5).

Despite all the talk coming from President Bush and his administration about how dangerous Iran is and the possibility of World War III, the truth is that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003, according to a recently released National Intelligence Estimate.

President Bush has known of this finding for several months.

Our army is stretched to the breaking point, the current wars have caused the nation's debt to balloon in the last five years, wreaking havoc on the economy, and most of the people in the country are opposed to more war.

It's time for some answers about the real reasons for the rhetoric about starting a new war with Iran.

Congress should make clear that Mr. Bush does not have the authority to attack Iran without its approval.

Linda Black


Send Iran's leader to see Nazi archive

How exciting that Nazi documents warehoused in Germany for 60 years are now open to the world ("Nazi archive opens to public," Nov. 29).

Would someone please invite Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to view them?

Perhaps then he might change his mind about suggesting that the Holocaust never happened.

Judy Chernak


Trying to stem tide of illegal migrants

Taneytown Councilman Paul Chamberlain Jr. is attempting to prevent the loss of his town to a culture of tolerance for the violation of our laws.

Criminal immigrants have no rights as a result of their residence. To enjoy the rights of this nation, you must, first and foremost, be legally present.

Those who would obfuscate this issue, and they are readily identifiable in the article "Immigrants again an issue in Taneytown" (Dec. 5), attempt to use the term "immigrant" as if it were interchangeable with the terms "illegal alien" or "criminal alien." But that simply does not compute.

Mr. Chamberlain should be lauded for his prescience; there can be no doubt that his small town, which so far has been little affected by immigration, will eventually be the target of those illegal and criminal immigrants.

He is simply acting now so that it won't be impossible to act later, when those illegals have gained the upper hand in his community.

Robert L. Di Stefano


Katrina refugees can help themselves

I'm having a very difficult time feeling sorry for the Hurricane Katrina refugees who have been living in government-owned trailers for over two years and are now crying foul on the eve of their evictions ("FEMA evictions, few options loom for Katrina refugees," Dec. 3).

Why haven't these people found alternative housing in the past couple of years? Do they expect the government (our taxes) to support them for the rest of their lives because they were unfortunate enough to live in New Orleans when Katrina reared its ugly head?

Tracy Bernard, a displaced resident, said, "I know I'm going to find something. I have faith. I know God's going to work something out for us."

What's wrong with "working something out" for herself?

Remember that God helps only those who help themselves.

Gail Householder


Spending-hike cap isn't hard to meet

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