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The Baltimore Sun

Arab-Americans devoted to the nation

Thank you for The Baltimore Sun's editorial applauding former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell's courageous condemnation of Republican demagoguery against Arabs ("Decrying ethnic slander," Oct. 21).

Sen. John McCain's inadequate response to a woman who recently complained she could not trust Sen. Barack Obama because "he is an Arab" was, "No, he is not an Arab; he is a decent family man." This implied that being a decent family man and being Arab are somehow mutually exclusive.

As an Arab-American whose family has been proud to call themselves Americans for 90 years, and with relatives who have served in the U.S. military in every major war since World War I, it is heartening to hear some voices demanding "enough Arab-bashing" of the 3 million Arab-Americans and 7 million Muslim-Americans in the United States.

Many other ethnic and racial groups of Americans have suffered demonization at various times in our history. Every time this is allowed to occur, without vigorous denunciation, all Americans are diminished.

We are a nation of immigrants. What makes us loyal Americans is not our color, religion or ethnicity but our shared values and deep commitment to the principles espoused in our Constitution and Declaration of Independence.

Arab-Americans and Muslim-Americans are as devoted to our nation as any American.

We must steadfastly ensure that they are never made to feel marginalized or excluded from full participation in American life.

George Gorayeb, Washington

The writer is vice chairman of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.

Better regulation the wave of future

Sen. John McCain's approach to the financial crisis is the standard Republican one - blame Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the government and shy away from more government regulation of the economy ("Freddie Mac worked to kill regulatory bill," Oct. 20).

As Mr. McCain has said, he's not an expert on economics.

But as President Bush has already admitted, government regulation is crucial, and more is needed, not less. Europe is more at ease with this more regulatory future, and we should accept this course sooner rather than later.

David Eberhardt, Baltimore

Slots won't solve state's fiscal woes

It has been a while, but I can remember when state officials in Maryland were pushing very hard to get the lottery in place ("Slots no longer seen as fiscal fix," Oct. 19).

We were told then that the lottery would be the savior of Maryland by getting us better schools and better roads and lowering our taxes.

We got the lottery, and what happened to all of that money it was supposed to create?

Now we are getting the same sort of push from slots supporters, who are arguing that slots will save horse racing, get us better schools, lower taxes and better roads, and put an abundance of money in our coffers.

The only thing I can see happening with slots is that the money will go to the same place the lottery money went.

Noel Garrett, Gambrills

Cutting transit routes is wrong way to save

State Transportation Secretary John D. Porcari's proposal to gut and or cut several commuter bus lines, eliminate the MARC 10-trip card and cut back on MARC train service has to be one of the dumber ideas he has proposed ("MTA to cut commuter bus routes," Oct. 17).

Think about it: The economy is in the tank and all of us are squeezed by dreadful gasoline prices, and yet the transportation secretary wants to reduce transit service?

A better way to save money might be to examine and reduce the salaries and perks of the secretary and his staff.

David I. Zeiger, Baltimore

Wrong time to waste money on dog park

The letter "Dog owners deserve a park of their own" (Oct. 21) is laughable.

The city is cutting fire and police overtime, extending its hiring freeze, facing possible layoffs and a $36.5 million shortfall ("City cuts fire, police OT and extends hiring freeze," Oct. 21), and the writer wants it to fund a dog park?

Put your dog on a leash, walk it around the block and stop this ridiculous request.

Richard Thompson, Catonsville

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