August 31, 2008

Slots the wrong way to balance a budget

Like everyone else, I am struggling to deal with the current economy. As a military reservist and a government employee with a wife, kid and bills to pay, I sit at the kitchen table trying to make my budget numbers work. But one solution I do not consider is playing the lottery or slots. That would be irresponsible. And that is no less true for the state of Maryland ("Slots opponents drafting suit over ballot wording," Aug. 26).

When my budget numbers get tight, I have to cut back. It is not any more popular in my house than it would be for the state, but it is what folks have to do.

I am put off by the way the governor has framed this slots campaign. He has not been honest about the social costs of slots, and a variety of organizations have said that the state's income estimates for slots are too rosy.

I'm going to keep working to make my books balance, and Maryland should do the same thing - but without slots.

W. R. Kraus, Edgewater

Musings about family not front-page fare

Congratulations to Dan Rodricks for front-page coverage of his son going off to college ("The little boy who no longer lives here," Aug. 26). I guess that will look great in his family scrapbook. I feel a bit teary-eyed myself every fall when my young daughters begin another year in school. However, I don't think that would make the front page.

Mr. Rodricks is a good columnist and a satisfactory replacement for Marc Steiner on WYPR. But his musings are not front-page news.

Florence Monaghan, Timonium

'Thunder' just cruel to nation's disabled

Reading about the movie Tropic Thunder, it hurts me, as a single mother raising a developmentally disabled child, to know how some members of our society will treat or look at my daughter in the future when I won't be there to protect her from the unkind words and indifference of others.

I am not one to boycott films, but I will do so in this case. More people would understand this if they took the time to get out of their own heads and get to know the disabled. In the process, they might learn something.

Carol LoSchiavo, Ellicott City

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