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Polite language aside, abortion is still killing...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Polite language aside, abortion is still killing a baby

Paul Blumenthal painted a sterile, medical picture of abortion as he applauded the recent Supreme Court ruling upholding partial birth abortion ("Leave medicine to the doctors," Opinion Commentary, July 25).

In his account, delivering a baby, except for its head, then puncturing the skull and suctioning out the brain is not murder; it's simply an "abortion procedure." The baby is only a "fetus."

Mr. Blumenthal uses the word "viability" rather than saying that the baby is still dependent on its mother.

"Viability" is a word abortionists have used to depersonalize the relationship the baby has to its mother before birth.

Everyone can feel more comfortable knowing that this is really a matter of the physician-patient relationship and not about killing babies.

Anyone who has seen a sonogram and seen the baby moving, the heart beating, the tiny head, fingers and toes knows that it's not a blob of tissue or a "fetus." It's a baby.

The author emphasizes that doctors should determine what procedure should be used to best help their patient.

In obstetrics, there are two patients. After conception the baby is a unique human being. It is not a part of the mother's body. A baby is not a cancer. There are two lives to consider.

The abortion buzzwords that have become so familiar and painfully politically correct emphasize our callused hearts. We refuse to open our eyes. We refuse to know or believe babies are being killed everyday.

Wishing this were not true does nothing to stop it from happening. Using medical terminology does not clean up a filthy, murderous business.

Dana M. Schilling

Bel Air

In his deceptively persuasive article on partial birth abortion, Paul Blumenthal neglected to include all the players in the abortion scenario. He made no mention of the innocent baby -- viable, alive, in fact, alive and kicking until put to death.

Nor did Mr. Blumenthal adequately cover the considerable medical opinion that this drastic procedure is never medically necessary and in fact can be harmful to the health of the mother-to-be.

However, he does fall under the biblical injunction of Isaiah: "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil ..."

Douglas Hoffman

Baltimore

Don't send public funds to support the Baraka School

I cannot decide if it is the blatant discrimination or the hypocrisy about in the Baraka School issue that disturbs me the most ("Agreement reached on funding for Baraka School," July 27).

While I applaud the Abell Foundation for taking this innovative approach to deal with at-risk youth and creating this school, I resent that my tax money is going to support such an exclusive institution.

Baraka is a boarding school that discriminates based on sex and probably on race as well; I doubt if non-African-Americans would be admitted.

As a private organization, the Abell Foundation can use its funds as it sees fit. However, what gives them the right to raid city school funds for this endeavor?

Apparently, the school board endorses this expenditure because students would otherwise have attended city schools.

But this can also be said of the tens of thousands of city students who currently attend private schools. These same administrators and teachers fought hard to oppose any expenditures of state funds to private schools.

I suppose that representatives from the private schools and the archdiocese of Baltimore will be the next to show up at North Avenue with their hands out.

It is only fair. Many of their students "would otherwise attend city schools" too.

Joseph J. Myers

Baltimore

The city's drug crisis must no longer be ignored

I hope many people carefully read The Sun's article on the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency's assessment of Baltimore's drug plague ("Drugs worsen in city, U.S. says," July 29). We cannot ignore the fact that Baltimore (and probably the surrounding suburbs) is a prime heroin and cocaine market.

We can be hopeful that the DEA and Mayor Martin O'Malley will keep their pledge to bring this catastrophe under control in three years and one day, perhaps, make our streets safe.

Of great concern, however, is the question of whether the powerful families and wealthy conglomerates in the United States really care at all if the underprivileged and people of color are exploited and destroyed by the illegal drug trade.

Can we really hold 9, 10 and 11-year-old children accountable for not understanding that illegal drugs are deadly when we fail to keep them off our neighborhood streets?

Carol Dagenhardt

Reisterstown

Don't abandon dogs and threaten others

In light of the terrible death of Mark Garrity Shea in Africa by a pack of hyenas ("Mark Garrity Shea, 11, loved science, sports," July 24), I would like to point out a potential danger in our own Druid Hill Park. Dogs -- including pit bulls -- are routinely abandoned in the park near the zoo.

I recently spotted a German shepherd-type puppy there and have been attempting to catch her. While doing so, I came across another dog, a male that was not neutered, holding one leg up in pain.

I contacted several very conscientious people at the zoo who attempt to round up these abandoned dogs and find homes for them or take them to shelters. They had rescued three dogs, including a collie, the day before I called.

Their first question was, "Is it a pit bull?" A friend who works near the zoo informed me that people regularly drop off wounded "losers" of pit bull dog fights.

Leaving any dog or cat in a park when we have animal shelters that can care for them or, at the very worst, euthanize them peacefully is just plain wrong, for the animal and for people.

Cats and dogs are not wild animals. We domesticated them thousands of years ago and now we are responsible for them.

Let's spread the word about the benefits of spay-neuter -- as The Sun just did in the article about the Maryland SPCA's mobile Neuter Scooter -- and promote responsible pet ownership. And let's look for ways to end dogfighting.

Toni Gardner

Baltimore

The writer is a former board member of the Maryland SPCA and writes a column about pets for Country Living magazine.

Dylan may be legendary, but he didn't write everything

The Sun's coverage of pop music is uneven at best. The Sun hit a new low with a preview of a Bob Dylan concert ("Bob Dylan at Merriweather," July 27).

The piece called Mr. Dylan a "legendary singer-songwriter" and said that his "repertoire includes scores of hit songs." True enough, but of the five examples of hit songs given, two were not even written by Mr. Dylan.

"Take a Message To Mary" was written by Felice and Bordleaux Bryant, and was a hit for the Everly Brothers in 1959, (when Bob Dylan was finishing high school). Dylan recorded the song on his 1970 mostly-covers album "Self-Portrait."

"Sittin' On Top of the World" is an old blues standard that was recorded by the Mississippi Sheiks in the 1930s, Howlin' Wolf in the 1950s, and Cream in the 1960s.

Bob Dylan was the most influential songwriter of the 1960s and has done some decent work since. It is possible that he has performed these two songs live, but to call these two covers part of his "repertoire" is idiotic.

Jim Maher

Baltimore

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