Hollinger's RecordI read Bruce Bortz's Oct. 20...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Hollinger's Record

I read Bruce Bortz's Oct. 20 column concerning Sen. Paula Hollinger first with amusement and then with increasing anger.

I certainly couldn't recognize the senator that I have worked with, the individual who is the outstanding authority on health-related issues in the Maryland General Assembly.

Mr. Bortz is right that the senator has staked out a prominent position on health care issues, but completely wrong that she has merely achieved "some" success.

Under the leadership of Senator Hollinger, legislation was passed to expand the prescription-writing privileges of nurse practitioners, thereby increasing their ability to care for patients.

Senator Hollinger successfully sponsored the Health Care Decision Act, which revised living wills and the durable power of attorney.

Senator Hollinger was a co-sponger on H.B. 162, legislation guaranteeing Marylanders the right to choose, and a sponsor of a bill which prohibits physicians from self-referring patients to laboratories in which they have a financial interest, and of course the senator has been a leader in AIDS legislation, crafting policies which promote public health and care for people living with AIDS.

Mr. Bortz may not like Senator Hollinger, and he can editorialize as he wishes, but he should at least acknowledge the facts.

Liza Solomon

Baltimore

Prejudices

Once again, The Sun was able to prejudice an article within the first two paragraphs of "Pure and Proud" (Oct. 24).

What I found to be a very interesting and informative article regarding a trend toward teenage abstinence started with comments referring to "militant virgins" and "in-your-face abstainers of the 1990s."

Why must you start in such a negative manner on a topic that really is very encouraging?

Theresa Meisenbacher

Ellicott City

No Help for Gays

If I had not been so saddened, I would have been angry with Marty Hylbom's letter to the editor (Oct. 26) addressing the possibility of "change" for the homosexual.

I agree with Mr. Hylbom about the inaccuracy of the article as related to the ability of people to change; they can't. He mentions area groups that help "these gay and lesbian strugglers".

I find it hard to believe that they ever help anyone who actually is gay. On several occasions, I have requested information from the Baltimore-based group to legitimize their claims; I have been denied.

I am hard pressed to find credible data from any of these groups regarding effectiveness. I can only speak as one who was involved in the Baltimore "ministry." Many of us who are gay have gone through these programs only to be able to solidly affirm our gay/lesbian sexual orientation.

There is no such thing as "ex-gay," only deeply repressed. Through my experience, I have seen that many people who affiliate themselves with these programs are looking for acceptance from the church and society; they are full of internalized homophobia and have low self-esteem.

While their conflict seems quite real, it is the oppression fostered by ultraconservative views, not the fact of being homosexual, that is the true problem.

Recognition of these groups only further promotes spiritual, psychological and social violence against lesbians and gay men.

Cheryl A. Johnson

Baltimore

Classy Jail

I was greatly disturbed when I read that the U.S. government will spend about $12,000 to build a two-room jail suite for Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman.

All that he needs is a bed, sink and toilet like all other prisoners. Why should the American public spend money to build him a suite so he can have his "own shower and a conference room?"

The Muslim cleric has been accused of masterminding many terrorist activities worldwide, including the February bombing of the World Trade Center in New York City.

Perhaps the needs of the families of the six people who were killed and over 1,000 persons who were injured in this disaster should be addressed rather than the comforts of the cleric. Plus unknown expenses in lost revenues, cost of investigating the calamity, etc.

Philip Binder

Glen Burnie

3 for Capital Punishment

At least twice in the Oct. 27 edition, capital punishment in general and the execution of John Thanos in particular are condemned as uncivilized.

You scornfully remind us that the United States is virtually alone among Western democracies in using capital punishment (too infrequently). Frankly, I think that means we are more practical and realistic than our cousins.

The bleeding hearts and limousine liberals are confused: The power of capital punishment as a deterrent applies to the scum being executed and is most certainly effective. Once dead, Thanos will not kill again; nor will Ted Bundy.

Capital punishment is just that: punishment. Revenge might be a motive for the families of the victims of these lawbreakers, but not for society. Let the punishment fit the crime.

What benefit will accrue to our society by continuing to spend tTC tens, perhaps hundreds of millions of hard-earned tax dollars to keep these convicts housed, fed, clothed, entertained and neck-deep in lawyers? What benefit to society is there in endless appeals and legal challenges? What about applying those same sums to education, job training, housing, the hungry, the homeless?

Capital punishment? We need it, we have it, let's use it.

Kent E. Butler

Annapolis

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In reference to an article in the Maryland section (Oct. 29), "Death penalty foes map effort to halt execution," I take great offense to Rev. David W. Rogers stating, "If the state executes John Thanos we will be on the same level as John Thanos."

Don't ever compare me or anyone in support of the death penalty on the same level as Thanos. Thanos is the lowest poor excuse for a person on this earth.

John Thanos is a cold-blooded murderer who does not deserve to breathe another breath. The death penalty is not morally wrong. Our state needs to start enforcing the death penalty. We also need to make criminals serve their full sentences and not get out for good behavior. What a joke!

To Mr. Rogers and any other bleeding heart liberal, I would say, "What if we put the likes of John Thanos in your care and have him around your family, and you pay for him the rest of his life? He deserves to die, if he killed a family member of yours it would be a whole different subject."

The man wants to die, give him his last rites and bury him. Enough is enough, let's start worrying about the decent people on this earth.

Death would deter crime, as would serving full terms; the state needs to quit playing.

Mary L. Snyder

Baltimore

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Capital punishment is neither deterrent nor revenge and should not be viewed as such. It is a device, a means of getting rid of individuals who are dangerous and incapable of living in a civilized society.

There are crimes so heinous, so brutal, so savage that they stagger one's imagination.

Criminals who commit these crimes are worse than wild animals and should not be housed and fed in prison at taxpayers' expense.

Implacable and vicious enemies of all of us, they should be disposed of painlessly and expeditiously. There should be no hangings, no gas chambers, no electric chairs.

We don't need barbarity. A lethal injection is all that is necessary and in my opinion, justice will have been served.

Ruth H. Schaffer

Baltimore

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