Letters to the Editor - April 11

April 11, 2011

Do your homework when transmission work is needed

To the editor:

I’m writing this to let people be aware of a problem I recently encountered at an auto repair shop.

I called one asking if they tested transmissions. They said that they did. I told them what it was doing, took it to them and a couple of days later was told, “We tested the transmission and it’s no good.”

What I did wrong was I did not ask if they have the equipment to test it and what is wrong with the old one. So their test was a ‘Fred Flintstone’ test. Three minutes down the road and back, and that told them my transmission was no good. So, a lot of money later, the transmission was replaced.

So, just because a shop takes out transmissions and puts them back in does not mean they have testing equipment or they have the experience to repair a transmission because they might not have the tools to do so. If they replace the transmission only, you can be pretty sure that yours will be no good. Do your homework.

Here is another thing. When I asked where the replacement transmission came from, I was told that they have the right to refuse to tell me. That has got to change. I feel if they can’t tell you, they have something to hide.

John Baker
Clear Spring

Parole denials show prison system is about punishment

To the editor:

In the March 21, 2011, edition of The Herald-Mail, it was noted that Sen. Christopher B. Shank voted against the Lifers Bill being presented. Shank said the governor and the Parole Commission should review cases and figure out which criminals deserve parole or commutation.

Recently, Gov. Martin O’Malley refused to commute or parole seven recommendations presented to him concerning lifers. It is obvious the governor could not have properly or responsibly reviewed these cases, because one of those denied was Jack Cowan, who was deceased. It is apparent that as long as decisions concerning lifers remain political, the old rubber stamp, “DENIED,” will be applied regardless of their health or rehabilitation.

If the Division of Correction is about rehabilitation, and a segment of the incarcerated American citizens are continually denied parole despite having proven they no longer pose a threat to society, then why does the state spend so much money on programs under the guise of rehabilitation?

Yet, despite the struggles that lifers face in gaining parole, they continue to be model incarcerated American citizens throughout the prison system. Case in point: Recently, there was an attack by a nonlifer on a teacher in the Hagerstown prison complex that was thwarted by a lifer.

Lifers who have served 25 years or more value life more than nonlifers serving shorter terms throughout the system. To continue to deny those recommended to return to society shows that the prison system is about punishment and not rehabilitation.

Money would be better spent if the state would utilize paroled lifers to help curb crime in the community, the way various prison administrations utilize lifers programs to improve conditions inside the institutions.

Theodore Wiener, No. 153-037
Roxbury Correctional Institution

Godless governments at root of death, destruction

To the editor:

I am writing in response to Dan K. Thomasson’s column, “A religious zealot with soldiers’ blood on his hands.” As a follower of Jesus Christ, I agree with much of Thomasson’s commentary regarding the Rev. Terry Jones and his Quran burning. While I disagree with Muslims on academic and historical grounds, it seems clear that publically disrespecting their sacred text would do little to reach them with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

However, I believe Mr. Thomasson is demonstratably false when he writes:

“Religious zealotry has been the root cause of more death and destruction in the history of the world than any other single thing.”

While these types of statements have become commonplace, history tells another story.

In Dinesh D’Souza’s book, “What’s so Great about Christianity?” he demonstrates that while religion has been guilty of violent acts (and these are inexcusable), it’s the atheistic regimes who have much more to answer for:

“Even taking higher population levels into account, atheist violence surpasses religious violence by staggering proportions. Here is a rough calculation. The world’s population rose from around 500 million in 1450 AD to 2.5 billion in 1950, a fivefold increase. Taken together, the Crusades, the Inquisition and the witch burnings killed approximately 200,000 people. Adjusting for the increase in population, that’s the equivalent of 1 million deaths today. Even so, these deaths caused by Christian rulers over a 500-year period amount to only 1 percent of the deaths caused by Stalin, Hitler, and Mao in the space of a few decades.”  

An honest, historical inquiry should demonstate to any thinking person that it has been godless governments that have “been the root cause of more death and destruction in the history of the world than any other single thing.”

Chad A. Gross

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