Readers’ Thoughts

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I read with great interest the letter in Friday’s paper from Tom Young about rights being denied at a hearing in Annapolis.

This is just another glaring example of how the majority party in this state runs things. If you are opposed to their point of view, you might as well talk to a wall because you will not be heard.

Who do we have to blame for this? Ourselves. It is we the voters who keep putting the same party in place year and year after year. Until there is more of a balance in the legislature, this will continue to happen.

It is never a good thing when one party (no matter which) has such a majority in state government. The majority party has the feeling that their’s is the only opinion that matters and if someone disagrees too bad.

What does this hold for the future of our state?

Len Bender

Ocean City

Md. Still Not In Line

With Adam Walsh Act


On Jan. 18, 2011, a bureaucrat from the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services informed the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee that Maryland still is not in compliance with the federal Adam Walsh Act. This may cost Maryland over half a million dollars in federal grant money.

Four states have been found to be in full compliance with the Adam Walsh Act, why isn’t Maryland?

It is stunning that for all of Governor O’Malley’s alleged attention to detail and work ethic that he still cannot fix problems preventing the protection of our children.

On Feb. 3, 2011, Governor O’Malley delivered his fifth State of the State Address. He proclaimed “… I believe in the better future that our children deserve.” What kind of future will our children have if Governor O’Malley will not stop making excuses and start protecting our children?

Rai Douglas


(The writer is the president of AFSCME Local #3661, which represents Maryland parole and probation employees.)

No New Employees


We continue to hear and read that Ocean City "needs: six more policemen and "must" get them into the police academy this spring.

We are wondering why the city needs to add six more police to the force. Have we had recent retirements from the force? Has the population of Ocean City increased lately? Are the police exempt from the "no new hire" policy?

Until our economy recovers, we are not in favor of hiring any new employees.

Ann and John McDermott

Ocean City

Ethanol Funding A Waste


As one of the "American People" so often referenced by Congress, I am viewing the current budget process with a skeptical eye.

I have yet to see the seriousness that so many of the newly swept in congressional members promised in the last election. A glaring example is the refusal of both parties to address one of the biggest wasters of money in the nation. The $25 billion subsidy to produce E-10 ethanol gasoline, a product that environmentalists now admit was a mistake, lowers vehicle fuel mileage, has caused large numbers of people to spend millions to repair damage caused to lawnmowers, weed whackers, etc. and even more for boaters.

A product that uses food to produce fuel and is causing the price of things like chicken feed to increase which affects food costs negatively. Converting to corn as many farmers have done, due to the ethanol demand, creates increased damaging nitrogen runoff than many of the crops it replaced. The effect of all this corn conversion to ethanol still has a minimal impact on the overall gasoline fuel supply. The real question is why both parties are avoiding what should be an obvious substantial savings in the budget instead of the recent approval by the EPA to allow an ethanol increase to E-15.

My suspicion is that the Democrats see higher gasoline prices as a way to force Americans to convert to more efficient cars and the Republicans are protecting a business interest and facing the strong agriculture lobby. Both sides should wake up and do what is right. If they can’t see the value of a 25 billion dollar cut for a product that has proved to be a mistake and would benefit the American people if it were gone I am not very hopeful that the pre-election promises will be kept.

Jack Barnes

Ocean Pines

Support Appreciated


The Noel Community thanks everyone that donated gloves, hats, and socks during our ninth annual gLOVEs drive over the Valentine Day season.

Local food pantries, lower income day care facilities, and social service groups have already distributed the items collected. Together, we were able to warm the hearts and hands of our friends in need. We are especially grateful to St. Andrew’s and St. John Neumann’s Catholic churches and to the Worcester County Libraries in Ocean City, Ocean Pines, and Berlin for hosting the collections.

We appreciate everyone’s generosity again this year.

The Noel Community

A Thrifty Pentagon?


We’ve long heard of the hundred-dollar hammer. How about an extra-engine earmark for the Joint Strike Firefighter? Secretary Gates says he doesn’t want it. Its price tag is $2.9 billion. To boot, it outsources hundreds of American jobs overseas. What a poster child.

What a poster child for ending the era of endless military dollars, a huge need Republicans tip-toe around as they try to focus our attention only on the federal government’s domestic functions they want to kill — especially those that regulate big corporations.

Military waste derives largely from its function as corporate welfare.

Maybe four rather than five super-duper aircraft carriers will have to do when they each cost $6 billion.

Maybe some bases can be shrunk or closed. Do we really need 14 air bases in Iraq? Maybe one million active military personnel will work as well as 1.3 million. This 23-percent cut could ease the costs of Tricare, the health plan for soldiers and their families.

Can we really afford 100,000 troops in Afghanistan when each soldier costs $1 million each year to support? Together, the Iraqi and Afghan wars have cost us more than $1.1 trillion.

Haliburton and Blackwater, Lockheed-Martin and Boeing have done better than bandits. The last two each gave more than $2 million to GOP candidates in 2008. Northrop-Grumman, Raytheon, General Dynamics, BAE Systems and United Technologies each gave more than $1 million.

Republicans have sworn to cut $100 billion from domestic-regulatory functions. Where is their oath to cut $200 billion from the Pentagon? A $700 billion budget would become $500 billion. Hey, it’s still half a trillion, still a lot for CEOs to lavish on GOP candidates in 2012.

J.A. Hoage

Severna Park, Md.