KKK shouldn't be allowed to spew hate
Sept. 16, the Ku Klux Klan demonstrated on the corners of Routes 94 and 144 in Lisbon. Parked on the side of the road was a bus with a sign that said "Special K."
It is unbelievable to me and my family that an extremist group such as the KKK has the nerve to bring a bus load of its members into my community and try to make a mockery of the moral and ethical values of the citizens who live here.
There is nothing positive about the KKK. They are a negative organization based on hatred and they are a gross misrepresentation of freedom of any kind. They preach about prejudice, hatred and violence and they talk to anyone who will listen. I want them to know we are not listening, we do not care what they have to say and we do not want it here.
I believe we as citizens of Howard County deserve to have the right to stop this kind of display of hatred in our own community.
I would like to know who it is that issues the permit for this group to allow them to make its showing, and if it is an elected official, who is it? We as a community deserve to know the answer to this question so we can take care of this situation by the next election. We as a community and all of our children and grandchildren deserve to exercise our rights to freedom of speech and freedom of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness without having to worry who is standing on the street corner and what kind of hatred and intent to violence they are petitioning for.
As a health-care professional, I see sickness of all kinds of every day, but this type of display is the sickest thing of all. As as a community we need to pull together, find the cure and not let it happen on our streets anymore.
Lucinda S. Puterbaugh
FDA should speed drug review process
I am writing concerning the Sept. 11 article, "Many obese eager to try new 'fat' drug but approval is years away." The article indicated that it could take at least five years before the FDA could approve the drug which caused weight loss in lab mice. Though I agree that testing of the drug is necessary, five years or more is too much time to wait for people who could benefit from this medicine.
When it takes so long to test a drug for possible harmful side effects, other problems arise from the waiting. The expensive testing contributes to the high cost of creating new drugs, as high as $200 million, according to your article. In addition, the expense and time involved in testing new drugs could discourage pharmaceutical companies from trying to create new and innovative medicines. More important is how many suffering people could have been helped by useful medicines that took several years for the FDA to approve.
The FDA should continue to determine potential risks of new drugs, but should make the process more efficient to save money and speed the approval (or disapproval) of medicines. When someone develops a cure for cancer or AIDS, should the United States have to wait five years and suffer thousands of preventable deaths while the FDA approves the drug?
Ripken's mates became kids again
The most memorable image from nights 2030 and 2031? The Orioles dugout scene. The sheer and shared pride and joy shown by Cal Ripken's teammates brought baseball back to the level of gamesmanship and unadulterated team spirit we have so dearly yearned for.
These men were not thinking of contract negotiations, endorsements or even personal statistics. They had one collective thought in mind -- their Cal; our Cal.
Seeing Rafael Palmeiro and Bobby Bonilla pushing Cal onto the field, Manny Alexander's non-stop smile and the countless tears of others brought home to me the real difference between baseball and so many other modern mass-marketed "events." Baseball celebrates how much we have in common, not how diverse we are.
On the more practical side, do we see our long-awaited team leader emerging?
It has been commented on so often that the Orioles "need another Frank Robinson." It would not only be unfair but even counterproductive to try to thrust that role on someone like Cal, who for whatever reasons, doesn't want it. But Bobby Bonilla has shown that spark. Maybe he's still "feeling his way around" this year. But if he assumes -- or is "elected" to -- that role next year, I believe the Orioles will at long last play up to their potential. Go for it, Bobby. And by the way, I'll never forget that you bought two of the special $5,000 seats when you weren't expected to or didn't have to.
Citadel cadets' boorish reaction
Gloria Ray Carpeneto, in her Aug. 28 letter, certainly expressed my feelings at the reaction of the Citadel cadets. They do indeed reflect a male fight to exclude women from what they hope to keep as a male world of power. I hope the Citadel will try to improve the intellectual and human education of its cadets, and not only the qualifications for the closed-circle old-boy network. I am a 61-year-old married mother of three grown sons. I hope they are more fair-minded than those cadets.
Laura J. Platter