I want to say thank you to Cal Thomas for his oh-so-perfectly written message in "'Age of Aquarius' fades away, leaving a trail of ruin" (Opinion
Commentary, Jan. 31).
He absolutely nailed the attitudes of the aging hippies as well as those of the ever-so-sad Hollywood types who seem to believe that everything they say or think carries merit in the real world.
I was in college during the Vietnam War and watched the peaceniks throwing themselves into their demonstrations, most of which were far from peaceful, and mostly laughed at them.
It's easy to demonstrate or shout out pretty, meaningless words.
What is hard is to stand against anyone or anything that wants to kill us and take away our freedom.
What is hard is to stand against others who are killing those who want the same freedom we take for granted.
There is no place for these self-righteous, do-gooder peace demonstrators in the real world.
Perhaps it's Thomas who lives in the past
Cal Thomas accuses the "ideologically decrepit anti-war crowd" of living in the past ("'Age of Aquarius' fades away, leaving a trail of ruin," Opinion
Commentary, Jan. 31). But perhaps it is he who is living in the past.
It is 2007 and Mr. Thomas is still complaining about the hippie generation while also denying the moral bankruptcy of the Vietnam War.
At least today's anti-war demonstrators, no matter their age, look forward to a future when the United States is not viewed as a bully that creates more terrorists than it stops.
The writer is a student at the University of Maryland, College Park.
War cheerleaders much more naive
In his column "'Age of Aquarius' fades away, leaving a trail of ruin" (Opinion
Commentary, Jan. 31), Cal Thomas seeks to undermine the recent protest against President Bush's escalation of the war in Iraq by comparing it to the Vietnam-era anti-war protests - and comparing today's protesters to Vietnam-era demonstrators.
In so doing, he attempts to paint today's protesters as simple and naive and destructive to the interests of the United States and those we support.
The ironic thing is that Mr. Thomas and many in the Bush administration often use simple and naive language to justify the war in Iraq and its handling.
Mr. Thomas writes of the demonstrators, "Because they believe their intentions are noble, they absolve themselves from the negative consequences of their actions."
It certainly isn't difficult to imagine that phrase being more aptly used to describe the president, the vice president and all the cheerleaders of the Iraq debacle.
It seems all too clear that Mr. Thomas is yet another angry conservative who came of age during the Vietnam War.
Their influence is felt in editorial pages and radio talk shows across the country.
Unfortunately for our nation, we have some of these same frustrated conservatives in the White House, trying to win the Vietnam War today in Iraq.
David M. Blades
Use influx to revive blighted city areas
It seems to me that a simple solution to the job influx is to put a lot of these newcomers into the semi-abandoned neighborhoods of Baltimore ("A call to act before job influx," Jan. 27).
The infrastructure is there - houses, water, sanitation, electricity. Therefore, putting new people in those areas would cause no need to build more houses and deforest more of Maryland.
Unless we get smarter, I see Maryland becoming a big strip mall from one end to the other, with 24-hour gridlock.
We don't want our whole state to start to look like Atlanta.
Let's be smarter, start revitalizing our lousy neighborhoods, plow ahead on improving public transportation and get our act together - before it's too late.
Douglas S. Meek
Clark may be suing the wrong parties
If former Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin P. Clark, on the advice of his attorneys, signed an illegal contract, perhaps he's suing the wrong group ("Ex-police chief contests firing," Feb. 2).
How can we explain huge CEO payouts?
President Bush's speech on executive pay was certainly surprising. He said that CEOs' pay should reflect their performance, which implies that in many cases, it now does not ("Bush criticizes excessive CEO pay," Feb. 1).
I couldn't help but think of Thomas Sowell's column "'Greed' isn't behind CEOs' large salaries" (Opinion
Commentary, Jan. 25), in which he argues that CEOs are entitled to their massive salaries.
Mr. Sowell suggests CEOs deserve this money because they make the company a lot of money, and are highly skilled.
I agree with that - except that many CEOs make most of their money through stock options. Even if the company loses money and the CEO is fired, he is still entitled to hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of the company's stock - like the recently ousted Home Depot CEO who is taking home more than $200 million.
So if greed isn't behind these large salaries, and they are not necessarily tied to performance, how would Mr. Sowell explain their pay?
Is he being disingenuous, or is the president?
Ending FSA program won't cut care costs
Jim Jaffe's column "End tax incentives for health spending" (Opinion
Commentary, Jan. 26) totally mischaracterizes the way flexible spending accounts (FSAs) are used by the average American.
Mr. Jaffe contends that FSAs necessarily lead to abuses that result in increased demand for medical care and fuel inflation.
But the reason Congress created FSAs was that medical costs were soaring and it saw FSAs as a way to give Americans some relief. Now, Mr. Jaffe contends the FSAs are a cause of soaring costs.
Mr. Jaffe makes several arguments to support his view, all of which I could easily refute. But the bottom line is this: Does Mr. Jaffe really think that eliminating FSAs is going to lower anyone's medical costs? Will he guarantee it?
I can give Mr. Jaffe a guarantee: If FSAs are eliminated, a lot of people's out-of-pocket medical costs will go up. Period.
Let's stop this ridiculous notion that FSAs are bad for America before one of the few tax breaks we have for medical expenses is taken from us.
Honoring Barbaro could inspire public
What a great idea The Sun's editorial "Just a few more furlongs" (Jan. 30) suggested - to run the Pimlico Special as a memorial to the courageous horse Barbaro.
I for one would be a happy contributor for something so positive.