Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

July 04, 2008

Moving monument for fallen soldiers

How heartwarming it was to read The Sun's article about James F. Barry, who has placed more than 4,000 white flags on his lawn to remind us of the painful losses in Iraq ("'Remember Them,'" June 28).

Stories of our men and women in Afghanistan and Iraq (where the temperature lately has been 115 degrees in some places) should be the very first thing we hear in the radio and TV news and see in the print news.

Instead, we are inundated ad nauseam with reporting about the Clintons, Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain.

I do not want to diminish the importance of this year's election.

But, please, let us hear more about the war and the sacrifices that our young people and their families are making.

Dovey Kahn, Pikesville

'Net deficit' isn't real shortcoming

Thanks so much for the editorial on Sen. John McCain's indifference toward the Internet ("Net deficit," editorial, June 29). It's chilling to think we might have a president who lacks the capacity to perform vital Web-related duties such as chatting up Scarlett Johansson. And do we really want a president who can't keep his Facebook page current?

But are you serious in praising the president of China for conversing online with his "constituents"?

Democratic leaders have constituents; President Hu Jintao has 1 billion people under him who have to watch their step or else.

I can just imagine one of the president's messages: "Mr. Lee from Shanghai, thanks for your suggestion to increase democracy and personal freedom in our country. I'm sending the police to pick you up right now. LOL."

And I marvel at the line about President Ronald Reagan's "inability to recall the function of a microphone."

Of course, he played the mic like a Stradivarius. He did it well enough to soundly defeat two presidential opponents, and well enough to help bring down the Berlin Wall.

I would also note the incredible arrogance in the editorial's closing line decrying the fact that each of a group of presidents The Sun sees as lacking in technological expertise were elected by the people.

Shame on the poor ignorant populace for electing George Washington just because he led us through the Revolution.

If only the geniuses at The Sun had been around back then to write snide articles about Washington's shortcomings with a toothbrush.

Carl Bowers, Baltimore

Media ignore Clark's nuances

There are innumerable exemplary things that do not qualify as executive experience. They include being a good grandfather, a good drinking buddy, a bomber pilot and a heroic prisoner of war.

Retired Gen. Wesley K. Clark, under the pressure of relentless questioning, gave a nuanced statement, which was careful to recognize Sen. John McCain's virtues but pointed out that not all the things for which Mr. McCain is rightly admired are qualifications to be commander in chief.

For that he has been widely excoriated. Mr. McCain responded with predictable self-serving indignation. And the response of the Obama campaign has been craven.

The press couldn't isolate a sound bite small enough to make it seem that Mr. Clark had said anything false or disrespectful, but almost with one voice, media pundits claimed he shouldn't have spoken anyway. The Sun claimed he was "too glib" ("Shoot this down," editorial, July 1).

Some qualities are necessary to be president.

They include a sense of proportion, logical thinking, respect for truth and the courage to speak truth even when undiscriminating opinion doesn't want to hear it.

The one person who has displayed those qualities throughout this sorry episode is Mr. Clark.

Ken Allen, Towson

Appointments show the mayor's mettle

Great mayors make great appointments. Two mayors who illustrate this principle are William Donald Schaefer and our current mayor, Sheila Dixon.

I won't try to name all the department heads and key staff members who support that point. But to see this principle in action, one need look no further than The Sun's article on the plummeting city murder rate ("Killing pace slows in city," June 29).

Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III deserves credit for this change, and our thanks and respect. But so does Ms. Dixon for appointing him.

Great appointments take political courage, judgment and integrity with the guiding principle being one criterion: the best interest of the city.

Leadership with this focus is rare indeed.

David Cordish, Baltimore

The writer is chairman of a development company.

Keep mosquitos out of rain barrels

Although they offer benefits for water conservation, rain barrels can also provide a place for mosquitos to lay their eggs unless proper prevention methods are used ("Drops in a bucket," June 28).

But effective steps to prevent mosquitos from breeding are simple. Just installing fine mesh screening over the top of the rain barrel can prevent mosquitos from using it to breed near your home.

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