Prosecutor produces weak charges for mayor
Until last week, my "gold standard" for wasteful, spiteful, politically motivated witch-hunts of public officials that, in the end, only produced a few poorly supported allegations of criminal behavior was the infamous federal Office of the Independent Counsel under Kenneth W. Starr.
As we all know, a Republican-controlled Congress hostile to then-President Bill Clinton's progressive agenda established this office, which spent at least $65 million of taxpayer money in an attempt to hound Mr. Clinton out of office.
Well, now I have a new candidate for the most contemptible and unjustifiable investigation of a sitting public official.
When a grand jury (the fourth and I hope last to be convened by State Prosecutor Robert A. Rohrbaugh in this case) handed up a 12-count indictment of Mayor Sheila Dixon, and read the ridiculously petty and trivial allegations of misconduct contained in the so-called charges against our mayor, my immediate reaction was: "A new Starr has been born" ("Indicted," Jan. 10).
Mr. Rohrbaugh's relentless and personal pursuit of Ms. Dixon that extorted her revelation of a personal relationship with developer Ronald H. Lipscomb is eerily reminiscent of Mr. Starr's pursuit of Mr. Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. And we know what that amounted to - nothing.
I trust that Ms. Dixon will be speedily acquitted of all of these accusations so she can put this sorry business behind her and devote herself to her office without this distraction.
Following that, I hope the state prosecutor will be speedily removed from office for "conduct prejudicial to the proper administration of justice," as provided for in the Maryland Code.
John Bosley, Baltimore
Can Obama also offer hope to the unborn?
I have tremendous respect for President-elect Barack Obama. But every time he speaks about hope, I experience a deep sadness in my heart for the thousands of babies aborted every day in America. Are they not human beings endowed by their creators with certain unalienable rights?
Some people are pro-choice because they don't think the potential future happiness of an unwanted child could outweigh the suffering imposed on the mother. Other people support the option of abortion out of a warped sense of freedom, forgetting that freedom comes with responsibility.
What I see common to all pro-choice standpoints is a sense of hopelessness - a feeling that abortion is a necessary evil.
I disagree. Let us have hope for the unborn. Let us support them, foster them, help them to grow into productive citizens of a country that maintains justice for all.
We must recognize that human beings are not a commodity to serve our purposes, but rather people to serve.
I think Mr. Obama has the charisma to make this revolution of thought a reality. But he needs our help.
He needs to know that America is ready to love and uphold human life where it is most threatened - in the womb.
Lucas Southerton, North East
Many more Germans resisted Hitler's rule
As a historian who has spent a part of his life researching the history of the German anti-Hitler resistance, I would like to point out that, contrary to the suggestion in The Baltimore Sun's short comment on Tom Cruise's movie Valykrie, the attempt to remove Adolf Hitler was not just a matter of a "handful" of conspirators ("Report Card," Jan. 8).
The act of assassination, of course, had to be known to only a few people considering the tight web that the Gestapo had created all over Germany and occupied Europe. But the number of resisters was considerable.
In the immediate aftermath of the assassination attempt, 200 people were executed by the Nazis. By the end of the war in May 1945, some 5,000 people had been rounded up for the plot, placed in concentration camps or executed.
The anti-Hitler resisters were very much aware that their chances for success were at best 50-50.
But they felt that this action had to be taken to show to Germans and the world that there were Germans who had the courage to try to free Germany and the world from what some resisters saw in Adolf Hitler: the "incarnation of evil."
It was their conscience and their love for the fatherland that in the end motivated their action.
Armin Mruck, Reisterstown
The writer is a professor emeritus of history at Towson University.