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The Talk: Violence against animals, violence against humans

In his column Sunday Dan Rodricks attempts to make sense of the disparate attention paid to the trial of twin brothers accused of burning a pit bull known as Pheonix and the case of Lakesha Haynie, who wound up getting probation for burying her baby. Part of it, he says, is what seems to be an innate human affinity for animals combined with years of desensitization to violence in Baltimore. Part of it just has to do with the details of the cases and what the prosecutors can prove in court.

You can vote in our poll on whether State's Attorney Gregg Bernstein is making the right decision to pursue a new trial in the Phoenix case.

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Sunday's front page story by Julie Bykowicz of The Sun's State House bureau about the debate in Annapolis over the death penalty has generated some strong responses from readers, primarily those who disagree with the governor's advocacy for ending capital punishment.

We weigh in on today's editorial page in favor of a moratorium on the use of hydraulic fracturing (aka "fracking") to extract natural gas from shale deposits in Western Maryland. There are real questions about the environmental impact of the practice in Pennsylvania, so a wait-and-see approach seems prudent. We also argue against a proposal in the State House to require voters to present photo ID at the polls. There are very few cases of voter fraud but a great many people -- predominantly the elderly, the poor and minorities -- who lack photo ID and would be unlikely to get it just for the purposes of voting.

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Former Sun reporter Gadi Dechter has an explanation on today's op-ed page of the social impact bonds that are part of President Obama's budget proposal.

And we have two takes on the revolution in Egypt. Maryland law professor David Super shows the connections between the demonstrations in Cairo and the history of civil rights protests. And former oil industry executive Charles Campbell connects the dots between American energy policy and the emphasis on corn-based ethanol with world food shortages and the sudden political instability in the Middle East.

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