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letters to the editor 5/1

May 01, 2002

Why celebrate a black mark on our history?

To the editor:

So April is a time set aside to remember or honor the Confederacy. Why? It would seem to me that Germany might just as well set aside a month to honor the Nazi Holocaust.

Both were an attempt by a nation to deprive a portion of its populace of its God given rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Both sought to declare that the respective group (blacks and Jews) were not fully human, that it was God's decree that they should be inferior, that they should be treated like things, and in the case of at least the blacks, that they were happier and more contented to be kept in slavery and treated like incompetent little children.

Isn't it amazing what we can convince ourselves of to justify our greed, injustice and selfishness. It reminds me of the babbling of the pro- choice, that the unborn are not really human, just so much fetal tissue to be disposed of like butchered meat.

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Before we bring up the Bogy that the Civil War was not really about slavery - at least NOT in the beginning - but was really about some Holy Grail called states rights, I am going to admit straight out that, yes, this is true. States rights was a very large issue. However, exactly what states right did the South wish so ardently to preserve? You guessed it, the right to keep slaves. So much for profound noble motives.

If you doubt my word, look at the following excerpt from the MS Encarta Encyclopedia, "The chief and immediate cause of the war was slavery. Southern states, including the 11 states that formed the Confederacy, depended on slavery to support their economy. Southerners used slave labor to produce crops, especially cotton. The main debate between the North and the South on the eve of the war was whether slavery should be permitted in the Western territories recently acquired during the Mexican War (1846-1848). The slavery question overshadowed all others in the presidential election year of 1860. During the campaign, many Southerners had threatened that their states would secede from the Union if Lincoln was elected because they feared that a Lincoln administration would threaten slavery."

Yes, there were noble men and great leaders on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line. General Lee was a giant - beloved and respected by all. So was Erwin Rommel, a brilliant German Field Marshal during W.W.II, who took part in the Hitler assassination attempt. Brave men, however, cannot glorify a wicked and perverse cause. I have often reflected that it is the most piteous of facts that brave, noble men and woman must continually be slaughtered so that the greed, lust, and inhumanity of mankind may continually slither onward.

If you feel a need to "remember," remember this: The Civil War took more than 600,000 lives, destroyed property valued at $5 billion, and opened wounds that have not yet completely healed more than 125 years later. Six million Jews died in the German death camps. Today, madmen still glory in the Swastika, and others glory in the Confederate flag.

Albert E. Jenke

Hagerstown




Campus wasn't worth cigarette tax hike

To the editor:

How come the governor pushed so hard for a cigarette tax? It is only going to have people go across state lines, to buy them. He's a lame duck this year and no one can vote against him.

But I haven't heard anything about a liquor/beverage tax. People are getting killed regularly in Maryland by drunk drivers and it doesn't even stop teenagers from getting it. You should know first hand, governor! You may be like most people in government siding with the lobbies.

When are you people going to stop making a mess of things and start talking to the voters?

Sen. Don Munson, I feel you ought to step down. You let Sen. Barbara Hoffman, put you in your place and squeeze you. You were against the cigarette tax. But that budget committee chairwoman really slapped you down.

Most of the people in this area don't think we need a University Maryland education center. And who cares about air service? Remember, the smokers of your area will remember this.

Don Sharn

Hagerstown




Keep Wall Street's grubby little paws off Social Security

To the editor:

We paid into the system all of our working lives, and the benefits are to be there for us for our retirement. No matter what happened on Wall Street our Social Security benefits were there. The Wall Street insiders would love to get their hands on our money. They would live high while we struggle to make ends meet. We would have another disaster like Enron.

This is what happens when you put lawyers, accountants and bankers in charge of a retirement fund. We want to protect our Social Security for those who are retired or soon will be, and also for future generations. Social Security benefits are a promise to us from our government. We have a constitutional right to petition our government. The next congressional election will determine the future of Social Security and Medicare.

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