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Baltimore Sun letters to the editor: energy department misstep, cartoon criticism, Orioles blame, nasty politics | READER COMMENTARY

Why did it take a nonprofit to prompt DOE to do it job?

If the Maryland Department of the Environment first got wind of problems at Baltimore sewage treatment plants from March discharge reports, as Ben Grumbles alleges, why did it not initiate inspections until contacted by Blue Water Baltimore in May? Considering he now describes the problem as “urgent” and an “enforcement priority,” that does not ring true. (“Baltimore’s two wastewater treatment plants dumped high sewage levels in rivers, inspections found,” Aug. 30.)

It seems all too likely that there was indeed evidence available in March discharge reports, but no one was paying attention. If they had been, there ought to have been inspections starting at least a month earlier than May. I join in the question raised by Blue Water Baltimore’s Alice Volpitta: Why did it take the work of a local nonprofit to prompt DOE to do its job?

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Katharine W. Rylaarsdam, Baltimore

KAL’s View cartoon improperly targets military contractors

Kevin Kallaugher’s “KAL’s View” cartoon in Aug. 29 paper insinuates that the cost for 20 years of military operations in a foreign country was due to the money contractors charged the government for weapons, equipment and supplies. It is an old accusation that has been around for years. As I personally saw in the past as a military contractor” — after 23 years in the military — the higher costs were generally due to the government changing the specifications for the equipment, adding more required capabilities. This cheap shot goes back to the old $1,000 hammers of the past. But that was only a part of the cost in the final amount.

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Who should have been on the top of the money heap? How about all the Afghan politicians and military members who lived very well on our money? Of course, that conclusion would have required a little research, while accusing military contractors was easier since that has been around since Vietnam and before.

Bottom line is the military couldn’t operate without the support of military contractors, and a lot of us busted our butts to give them the best support possible

Stas Chrzanowski, Baltimore

Orioles criticism directed at the wrong organization leaders

Recent letters to the editor about the Orioles seem to chant like the Queen of Hearts, “off with their heads,” — meaning Manager Brandon Hyde and Executive Vice President/General Manager Mike Elias.

Really? Mr. Hyde can only do so much with the quality of players he is tasked to use. More frustrating is that many players are shuffled in and out from the farm system as if a revolving door is attached to the clubhouse.

Who is in charge of acquiring said players? Mr. Elias. Do you actually believe he has an open checkbook for player personnel? Do not even go there. Who then holds a tight grip on that checkbook? Sit back, take a deep breath, relax and you will arrive at the most “P”ratical “A”nswer. This is where the ultimate change must occur, and should be demanded by every loyal Orioles fan.

If not, then the fans will have nothing but the existing status quo for many years to come.

R. William Kellogg, Lutherville

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Both sides of the political aisle play nasty in politics

Dan Rodricks criticism of Republicans, generally, and Gov. Hogan, specifically, over their assessment of President Biden’s efforts in Afghanistan was intellectually dishonest in claiming that only the GOP plays nasty “Hogan, auditioning for president, slams Biden even before the smoke clears” (Aug. 27). The problem exists on both sides of the aisle, and it was present before Donald Trump entered the political arena. Rodricks should remember the slings and arrows that President Bush received during his eight years.

While we are at it, let’s recount a few of President Biden’s favorite “hits.” Remember out on the campaign trail when Mr. Biden called out a critic at one rally as a “lying, dog-faced pony soldier?” To this day I don’t know what that means, but I do know that it was not a term of endearment. Or how about the time that then Vice President Biden told an audience that included hundreds of African American listeners that the Republicans would “put y’all back in chains.” I’m sure that Mr. Rodricks forgot that one. Both parties could benefit from some better manners. It is incumbent on each to criticize the other when policies fail, such as in Afghanistan or at the border, in a manner that is dignified and constructive.

Eric Rockel, Lutherville


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