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Allison blazes path to business future

The investment by Allison Transmission, a division of General Motors, represents the future of manufacturing in Maryland ("New GM hybrid, new shot at jobs," Feb. 2).

Innovation is the essence of today's business enterprise and the only way to stay competitive in manufacturing today. By thinking creatively and responding to the market with an innovative hybrid transmission, Allison has carved out a future in today's turbulent economic waters.

With its high level of investment in research and development, Maryland has the best climate in the country for manufacturing innovation and new products.

Nationally, two-thirds of all research and development spending is related to manufacturing. And in Maryland, research and development spending not only grows the biotech and health sciences manufacturing sectors we hear about so often, but also creates opportunities for every segment of the industry.

Think about Under Armour, for example. That company offers innovation, new product development and a variety of very hot products in the apparel industry.

The women and men at Allison, as well as the members of the bipartisan "Team Maryland" - Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr. and Aris Melissaratos, Maryland's secretary of the department of business and economic development - demonstrate that pioneers with vision and unity get to see the new horizons first.

Mike Galiazzo


The writer is executive director of the Regional Manufacturing Institute.

Investments testify to strong climate

When Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s veto of the Wal-Mart bill was overridden, cries were heard from the governor's office that this would send the message that Maryland has an unattractive climate for business.

But less than three weeks later, there was the governor smiling as General Motors announced the injection of more than $115 million into the economy of Baltimore County with its new plant in White Marsh ("New GM hybrid, new shot at jobs," Feb. 2).

Then, only days later, there was the governor's secretary of business and employment development announcing the plans for a $150 million to $200 million investment by Duke Realty in renovating the old Broening Highway plant into a new industrial park ("Old GM site to employ 3,000," Feb. 3).

Apparently, businesses don't think Baltimore and Maryland have such a bad business climate.

Irwin E. Weiss


Constitution forbids warrantless search

The question of whether voters support warrantless domestic eavesdropping may be interesting but should not be relevant ("Security, rights split swing state on NSA spying," Feb. 6). The Fourth Amendment is clear about searches without probable cause. They are unquestionably unconstitutional.

The hideous notion that people who are not doing anything wrong have nothing to fear from being spied upon is antithetical to our way of life.

It may seem relatively easy to trade freedom for a little security, but it is wrong, as Benjamin Franklin warned. And in this case, it is not clear that any additional security has been gained.

While President Bush likes to talk about his responsibility to protect the American people, the oath of office he has twice taken states that it is his duty to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

He is doing nearly the opposite.

David Schwartz


Make the Patriot Act a permanent power

Now that the vital Patriot Act has once again been extended for just five short weeks ("Senate near deal to renew Patriot Act," Feb. 3), it is high time that the Democrats quit playing politics and give their approval to making the whole Patriot Act permanent.

The Patriot Act is an important tool that has enabled law enforcement agencies to share information that is vital to disrupt potential criminal activities before they can be carried out by terrorists.

It is now vital to our national security that the Patriot Act be made permanent, before some of its provisions expire again.

Al Eisner


Jogger was victim of poodle pugnacity

The recent fervor over the jogger kicking the attacking dog has disgusted me to no end ("Jogger won't be charged for kicking poodle," Feb. 4).

As a spokeswoman for the state's attorney's office noted, we don't hear nearly as much about abused children as we have about the dog injured in this incident.

But the victim here was the jogger; the dog - off its leash, uncontrolled by its owner - was the attacker.

So the jogger was bigger and kicked the dog. Well, the dog was "armed" with teeth.

If anyone is guilty of anything, it's the dog owner.

As a former Sun paperboy, I've had my share of experiences with dogs. I can tell you that their size does not matter, and even small dogs can be vicious.

Loose dogs are unlawful. And as citizens, we have the right to protect ourselves against any aggression.

D. Schaefer


Learning from killer sets wrong example

Any child I had at Mount St. Mary's University in Emmitsburg would be removed from that school ("Prisoner proves an unlikely teacher," Feb. 3).

The misguided tolerance of accepting Vernon Lee Evans Jr. as a positive force in the moral development of students reflects the harmful influences infecting the sensibilities of young students in colleges today.

Mr. Evans is a murderer. He will always be a murderer until he is put to death.

Proponents of "turn the other cheek" need to understand that heinous acts deserve fatal results. Retaliation and retribution bolster the purpose of justice.

And to expose 21-year-old students to a philosophy of tolerance for the dregs of society is almost criminal.

Eugene Daly

Perry Hall

Sexist ads prove work is not finished

It was telling that the front page of Sunday's edition devoted as much space and equal column inches to coverage of GoDaddy.com ("After many fumbles, it's a go," Feb. 5) as it did to the passing of two legends of the equal rights and feminist movements, Betty Friedan ("Visionary feminist ignited change," Feb. 5) and Coretta Scott King.

Already feeling sad at the loss of these two bold leaders in the fight for human equality and mutual respect, I felt downright assaulted by the graphic opening paragraph about GoDaddy president Bob Parsons' offensive ad campaigns.

Being provocative for its own sake may be part of Mr. Parsons' entrepreneurial aims. But can't The Sun do better - especially in a time of mourning for Ms. Friedan and Mrs. King?

It dishonored their work to juxtapose it to front-page coverage of such a sexist ad-maker.

And it also proved how much work still remains before us.

Jean Silver-Isenstadt


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