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Letters to the Editor 1/12

January 12, 2001

Letters to the Editor 1/12



People, not courts, should pick winners



To the editor:

Watching and listening to the events of the recent presidential election leaves me with many questions regarding our democracy and governmental institutions.

Having voted for the candidate that eventually was called the "winner," I suppose that I should be somewhat satisfied with the results. However, to the contrary, I am deeply saddened and come away with serious doubts and dissatisfaction regarding the results.

When I cast my vote, together with the millions of other voters in this country, I had no idea that it would be as close as it would be, nor that the results would be decided not by the voters, but by a group of five justices sitting on the Supreme Court in Washington.

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I now wonder why I ever thought and believed that politics was removed from judicial decisions. After watching that sorry mess unfold in Florida, I'm now convinced that not only is the judicial system of this country not free of politics, many facets of it are actually controlled by politics.

I read where Jeb Bush, Governor of Florida, has put a large group of people together, a commission no less, to "study and correct" the many irregularities in the Florida election laws and voting system. If the system is that flawed, why shouldn't he, and why didn't he correct it before the election instead of afterward?

It now seems so easy to dupe the voters and then attempt to show his attention and concern with a flawed system. Where was that attention and concern prior to the election? Perhaps he didn't foresee the close scrutiny that would be given to the Florida election system and laws. I can't imagine what the people of many overseas countries might have thought as they watched the election process in Florida for the past five weeks, not to mention the millions of voting citizens in this country.

The crowning event of having five conservative justices use the tactics they did to decide a "winner" was the greatest injustice of the entire process. Perhaps their individual and collective sense of what should be done trumps the desire of millions who thought their votes would be the deciding factor.

Justice Stevens had it right when he wrote in his dissenting opinion that night that the real losers in this election are the millions of citizens that believed the judges and courts were the guardians of the laws in this country.

While we are all citizens of this country, we must deal with this decision and make the best of it. However, it would be very disappointing indeed if we don't see the apparent weaknesses in our electorial system and correct them prior to the next election whether it is local, state or national in scope.

Being a senior citizen of this country and a Korean War veteran, I have voted many times in the past. Never have I been so disappointed in the manner an election result was decided than this past election.

Winning by the majority of votes is one thing, winning by the decision of five justices using "legalese" and "gibberish," based on a claim of "equal protection under the law" is another matter entirely.

We the people are the real losers in the last election, regardless of your choice of candidate.

Bill Hahn

Maugansville




The Free State in name only



To the editor:

Louis Goldstein has got to be doing pirouettes in the grave over this one.

I decided to peruse our new Maryland 2000 tax packet with "Billy Don, Serving the people" as the logo proudly proclaimed on the cover.

I noticed that the determination of the local tax rate has changed. There are these four-digit decimal rates that look like blood alcohol levels, that you multiply by the taxable net income.

My fellow Freestaters, you may recall that you used to take a percentage of your Maryland tax to determine your local rate, which the General Assembly set a maximum that jurisdictions could not go above. I believe it was last set at 55 percent of the state tax.

Well, a little math on my Apple computer and I determined what I suspected these bloodsuckers were doing. This new mathematical determination has raised the county rate where this Freestater resides (Allegany) to 59 to 60 percent of the state tax.

This state had a $1 billion surplus. When are they going to get their hands out of my pocket? When? When are my fellow Marylanders going to get mad and, as they said in movie "Network," say, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!"

The liberal Democratic administration of this great state will not rest until they can take all of your hard-earned money and give you a small allowance. This must stop. What's new Freestaters? I'll tell you what's new. You're being ripped off!

Travis Medcalf

Frostburg, Md.

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