Tribute to freedom: state control
On the 215th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, the major news item was that our legislators in Annapolis came up with 500 new laws. That's an average of five a day during the session.
This is outrageous. The public would have been better served had the legislature repealed 500 existing laws.
The American Revolution was about throwing off the shackles of oppressive government, and today we have a related problem.
I doubt that many of the new laws eliminated any restrictions on the citizenry. More likely, they added new areas in which the government is given more say over our lives and property.
Even when new rights are created for some group of citizens, people need to be reminded that giving rights to one group means taking a right from another group. In some cases, the effect may be benign, but the greater likelihood is further control over our lives and fewer aspects of life in which the decisions are ours to make as free people.
Joseph B. Rector
Life's essential value cannot be determined in the relative category "more or less." Its determination requires a choice of each individual in the absolute category "either/or."
Either human life is its own justification or it is not. Abortion poses this question.
Your June 18 editorial, "No choice but choice," states a truism insofar as it recognizes that we shall each, severally, answer for our moral choices. In the words of Hamlet, "Conscience doth make cowards of us all."
You say, "The analogy between compulsory childbearing and compulsory abortion is not so far-fetched as it may seem at first bounce."
While everything compulsory is analogous as such, any direct analogy between childbearing and abortion amounts to saying that existence is analogous to nonexistence.
This is far-fetched, even if, as an aggregation of individuals, we insist on answering "more or less" to the question "either/or."
President Bush wants to maintain the black quota on the Supreme Court.
Babe Ruth Stadium
I hope the new ball park will bear the famous name Babe Ruth. The Babe Ruth legend is overflowing as it is and needs no further embellishment. Yet no other name would bring as great a benefit and public recognition. What a tremendous boost his name would be for the city, and what city can't use a boost of this magnitude?
It puzzles me that well-known Baltimoreans fail to recognize the great impact the name Babe Ruth would have on their hometown. Come on, Vince Bagli, Bill Tanton, William Donald Schaefer, Barbara Mikulski, Helen Bentley, Ben Cardin, Kurt Schmoke, etc. It's time to stand up! For the life of me, I can't believe only John Steadman sees the light.
I dissent from Wiley Hall's column urging that the new stadium at Camden Yards be named for retiring Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.
I don't quibble with the fact that Chief Justice Marshall should be honored. His life and contributions to society have brought great honor to Baltimore and Maryland. A library would be an excellent choice, a courthouse even better. But a sports stadium? There is no evidence Justice Marshall even has an interest in professional baseball.
Let's name the stadium after a Baltimore sports institution, a family that has contributed more to baseball than any other in the last couple of decades. Let's dispense with first names and just call it Ripken Stadium.
Replace the leaders
There is too much talk and not enough action in regard to the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. Corporations move to foreign countries for cheaper labor, but is there any downward trend in prices when their commodities reach the market? Who pockets the profits? The same people.
The housing situation is in shambles because of taxes imposed by the federal government, straining the budgets of states, counties and towns and forcing them to take extreme measures to meet demands. Many people today will never own homes; many more will become street people and renters will be forced out due to increased costs in utilities. Who pays? The taxpayers.
Who is to blame? Congress, filled with supposed intellectuals, people who lack substance and fresh ideas.
I hope that in the next election these people will be singled out, and we will rid ourselves of another Republican president and many of those in Congress.
Beyond the courts
The Evening Sun's editorial, "The new justice" (July 2 expressed concern over the prospect of Judge Clarence Thomas sitting on the Supreme Court. A large part of that concern centered on the abortion issue. In that regard some essential points need to be addressed.
Two catch phrases are regularly employed in the "pro-choice" defense of abortion "freedom of choice" and "reproductive rights." Neither is really understood. It is correct that women have a right to control their bodies ' to conceive or not to conceive. But logically, that choice is made before engaging is sexual intercourse. If a woman decides not to become pregnant, she can receive guidance and select from a wide variety of contraception methods at Planned Parenthood clinics.
What pro-abortion advocates ignore is that statistics show nearly half of all abortions are performed on women who have had one or more previous abortions. How many of these women took advantage of the services of Planned Parenthood? How many of these women made their first appearance at these clinics after they become pregnant?
With freedom comes responsibility and the obligation to make informed decisions. The greatest threat to anyone's rights is ignorance and lack of individual responsibility.
The central issue is not who sits on the Supreme Court. The issue is that a woman, sick or poor, take control of her body and exercise her reproductive rights in the most fundamental sense of the concept. We should not resort to abortion as a remedy for the lack of individual responsibility.
From crisis to crisis
Until I read Donald Howard's June 3 letter, "Feeding the nTC ogre," I was beginning to think nobody cared about government waste. If we ran our homes and businesses as we allow the government to operate, we would end up bankrupt and become social outcasts.
Nobody seems to care that the Seagirt Marine Terminal, the most modern in the world and which the taxpayers own, is part of the Port of Baltimore (also known as the port that doesn't work). We keep losing shippers to other ports and the only new ones we attract are from our other terminals. Several years ago it didn't seem to bother anyone that we paid the school teachers by stealing money which was supposed to buy books for the children.
It's perpetual: We lurch from one financial crisis to the next and don't have sense enough to realize the politicians solve every crisis the same way: raise taxes and fire unnecessary employees.
Why does The Evening Sun make such an issue of the laying ofof government employees? It happens everyday in private business.
Forrest Gesswein Jr.