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Letters to the editor - 7/12

July 12, 2004

Starr deserves downward thumb, too



To the editor:

One needn't be a Clinton lover in order to make the most vigorous of dissents to your "Thumbs Down" of June 19. In fact, one needn't even disagree with your conclusion that "it" was a waste of time and money.

The antecedent of "it" doesn't spring readily to mind, but a little parsing leads one to conclude that "it" can only be, in your words, Clinton's "victorious fight against impeachment."

It may seem like hair-splitting to you, but I'm compelled to point out that the impeachment battle was lost by Clinton - only the Senate fight against removal from office was "victorious."

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I guess my view of this is that "it" does indeed "deserve a badge of shame" and that it was a waste. But, surely we all realize that Clinton, while hardly meritorious in the whole ugly mess, didn't impeach himself. You should have awarded the "Thumbs Down" to Ken Starr and his reprehensible, wretched and ravening Republican accomplices.

If you want to award a "Thumbs Down" to Clinton for hyperbole in describing his fight as "a badge of honor," I won't argue. But, surely the stupidity award must go to the Republicans for basing an attempted legislative coup d'etat on such thin gruel as to make Clinton seem a heroic figure.

Glenn Wasson

Shepherdstown, W.Va.




Coat in poor taste



To the editor:

While I congratulate Tiffany Jenkins on her success in the Miss Maryland contestant, I was very disappointed to read that she was awarded a fox fur coat and hat with her crown ("Miss Maryland 2004 crowned," Sunday, June 20).

Foxes killed for their fur suffer incredibly. Those caught in the wild are trapped in steel leghold traps that snap on their limbs or body parts and leave the animal to bleed, freeze or starve to death. If a fox is still alive when a trapper checks the trap, it's killed, either by suffocation - the trapper stomping on its windpipe - or being clubbed to death.

Some foxes are so desperate to get out of a trap they will literally chew their own limbs off. Foxes raised on fur farms meet similar fates. They live their entire lives in small cages. Often they are left in their cages outside in freezing temperatures to promote fur growth.

Foxes, whose natural instincts are to live in the wild free of cages, will suffer complete mental breakdown and pace for hours in their cages due to the intense confinement. There are no social enrichment or veterinary requirements for fur farms, nor are they required to be treat animals humanely. Foxes at fur farms are killed usually by placing a rod in their anus that will electrocute them and cook their insides. Known as "anal electrocution," this is done to preserve the fur.

Other methods of death include clubbing a fox to death and gassing a fox to death.

All of this suffering is completely unnecessary and cruel. I strongly request Miss Maryland to please pass on the free fur coat and hat and instead choose to be a humane and compassionate Miss Maryland. I also urge the Miss Maryland organization to practice compassion and stop the use of fur garments as prizes.

Andi Bernat

Gambrills, Md.




Thanks, Father



To the editor:

Now is the time to say thanks.

Father Robert Passarelli (Monsignor) is sick. He has gone back to his family in Frostburg, Md., where his care is being assisted by Hospice.

Father Passarelli was assigned to St. Mary Catholic Church here in Hagerstown for almost 50 years! During that time he touched thousands of lives. No one was more faithful at calling on folks in the hospital and he was always on call when he was needed.

He was well-known and liked and respected by Catholics and Protestants and Jewish people alike and a friend to all. It seemed that he knew everybody in town.

He was always good-natured and friendly, but he was firm in his moral convictions and not afraid to stand up for them.

It doesn't matter what church you belong to or what faith you profess, if you could just take a minute and send him a card or a note he would appreciate it very much. Don't be afraid that he won't remember your name, he has a phenomenal memory. Please don't phone or expect an answer to your card, but be assured that it will be appreciated and will make him happy! It will make you feel good, too.

His address is: Fr. Robert Passarelli, 27 First St., Frostburg, MD 21532.

Jack Garrott

Hagerstown

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