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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Time to ensure everyone gets access to care

Kudos to columnist Cynthia Tucker for gently nudging into public discourse the "radical" notion that "capitalism is sometimes at odds with the common good," particularly with respect to health care ("Free market is no panacea for health care costs," Opinion Commentary, June 21).

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It's about time someone said it. With double-digit increases in the price of insurance, fueled in part by the cost of uncompensated care; with pharmaceutical costs soaring high enough to render useless the new federal pharmacy discount cards for seniors; and with research now suggesting that one in three non-elderly Americans will lack health insurance at some point over a two-year period ("82 million Americans uninsured at some point in past 2 years," June 16), any prudent capitalist would conclude that the country's growing health care crisis is bad for business.

Lest one find Ms. Tucker's proposed solution -- the guarantee of "basic health care to all Americans" -- an affront to the American way of life, just look at the world's other industrialized, capitalist democracies: Each has long guaranteed health insurance as a right of citizenship, and each also has remained an industrialized, capitalist democracy.

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In many cases, we've already opted to regulate the market to ensure the common good. When, for instance, was the last time rival fire companies bartered at the front stoop of a burning abode?

Access to comprehensive health care when we need it -- without fear of resulting bankruptcy, poverty or homelessness -- is no less important and cost-effective in promoting public safety, protecting health and well-being and ensuring the common good.

Our continued inability to extend basic health insurance to all remains an affront to our humanity.

Kevin Lindamood

Baltimore

The writer is a vice president of Health Care for the Homeless.

City taxes prompt thoughts of leaving

As a city resident in the Canton area, I have been really disgusted with the constant tax increases ("Higher city taxes causing high anxiety," June 23).

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I have invested in the city and it seems my property taxes are constantly being reassessed and other taxes raised. I am scheduled for another assessment at the end of the year. Now I will be hit by the new taxes the City Council approved.

I work in Washington. I used to think it was a wise investment to live in Baltimore. Maybe it is time to move back to the Washington area.

Edwin Mejia

Baltimore

Curtis Bay area offers more than grit

I am very upset by the very first sentence of The Sun's article "Higher city taxes causing high anxiety" (June 23), in which my community is called "gritty Curtis Bay."

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There is much, much more to Curtis Bay than the industrial area. Most people do not realize that we also have a very large quantity of nice rowhouses and individual homes with lovely yards and flowers.

We have been trying very hard down here to instill pride in our residents, which we feel is vital to improving our neighborhood. Promoting pride goes along with promoting homeownership. However, it is very hard to change people's impressions as long as some people are out there putting down Curtis Bay.

I am extremely proud of this neighborhood and all of the good people who live here. I "Believe" in Curtis Bay, and so do many others.

So, please, give us a chance to continue to improve and stop putting that label on Curtis Bay.

Linda Bardo

Baltimore

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The writer is president of the Community of Curtis Bay Association.

Opposing war gives Nader reason to run

Instead of the Congressional Black Caucus directing its anger against Ralph Nader ("Black Caucus implores Nader to quit," June 23) who, contrary to Rep. Elijah E. Cummings' statement quoted in The Sun, does have a very good reason to run -- he opposed the war in Iraq and promises to end the occupation in weeks, not years -- why doesn't the caucus hold a high-profile press conference urging Sen. John Kerry to rethink his pro-war and pro-occupation stances?

Michael Melick

Baltimore

Letting Clinton stay was the real farce

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I read "The Clinton ex-presidency" (editorial, June 22), and was astonished that a writer at The Sun could make such an uneducated statement as that President Bill Clinton's "impeachment and trial were a dangerous farce that threatened the constitutional process."

It is obvious that Mr. Clinton's attempt to "hide sexual misconduct" resulted in his lying before a court of law. This nullified his oath of office, which states that the president "will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Those senators who refused to toss Mr. Clinton out of office are themselves guilty of not upholding the Constitution. Allowing him to continue in office was the real farce.

This is the true legacy of the Clinton era.

John Danaher

Overlea

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Giving a voice to the terrorists?

In response to the articles about the recent brutal murders in Iraq of Paul M. Johnson Jr. ("American beheaded; al-Qaida leader killed," June 19) and Kim Sun Il ("4th hostage killed in Iraq since April," June 23), I would accuse The Sun, and other newspapers like it, of being partners to the terrorists who commit these hideous acts.

By printing their messages to the world, The Sun serves as their mouthpiece and gives tremendous power to their small actions. By quoting them in the paper, The Sun is complicit in their terror.

Without the papers spreading their message to the world, the terrorists would be small and weak. Stop quoting them. Stop giving them a voice.

Stop allowing murderers to speak to the world using your paper.

Toni Hiteshew

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Baltimore

Sculpture disfigures train station's profile

It has been said that the so-called sculpture in front of Pennsylvania Station will put Baltimore on the map. Please. There are many other ways to accomplish this if it is needed.

I assume Baltimore is now stuck with this $750,000 abomination. If so, it should be moved to a point of land somewhere along the harbor, like the Statue of Liberty.

This statue is not pertinent to railroading or industry.

Let Jonathan Borofsky play out his childhood fantasy elsewhere, but do not destroy the facade of a handsome 19th century building that has been beautifully restored.

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Frances W. Riepe

Lutherville


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