Letters to the Editor - June 5

June 03, 2011

Parrott distorts the truth for political gain

To the editor:

In recent days, there were two items in this newspaper related to the state's decision to give equal college tuition benefits to children of all tax-paying families in the state, including illegal immigrants.

One announced the number of signatures that had been gathered by Del. Neil Parrott for the recall of the new state law that offered those benefits. The second appeared the next day in "Mail Call," where a caller equated illegal immigrants who are fresh over the border with those who are to be eligible for in-state tuition at Maryland colleges. This is just the message of fear and xenophobia that Parrott's recall initiative of the tuition bill is generating.

The Mail Caller has misinterpreted the spirit of the bill. What this law recognizes is that the young people who will benefit from this in-state tuition are children who have lived in Maryland most of their lives and come from hardworking families who pay taxes like the rest of us, even though they are not citizens. To deny them the same benefits as other taxpayers would be unjust. Our country was founded by immigrants who fled to this country for better opportunities and our revolution was fueled in part from our citizens being taxed without receiving the benefits from those taxes. Are we now, 200 years later, going to approach immigrants who might be illegally in this country by denying them the benefits from the taxes they pay?

While illegal immigration does create some problems for our society, we need to realize that the answer to these problems is not to be found in fear and hate but rather through means that will help us reap the benefits of new productive citizens, just as the country benefited from the acceptance of our ancestors. Parrott should know this.

But, instead, he is choosing to bolster his political stance by fueling discontent through distorting the benefits of the tuition bill. I hope he has read the Mail Caller's remarks and realizes the damage his approach is doing and will spend his valuable time with positive endeavors.

Ira S. Lourie


The greatest generation shows its colors

To the editor:

About five or six years ago, I received an email from an emergency room doctor in San Antonio. He complained of all the elderly people flooding into the ER in his area. San Antonio is a popular place for retirees, especially military members and their spouses.

I don't recall the exact reasons for the doctor's complaint, but he realized the history that was passing, even fading before his eyes. Instead of treating patients' illnesses only, he began to talk with some of them. And after hearing their stories, he had to repent of his grumbling about the high volume of traffic in his workplace.

They were polite and respectful in spite of their pain and condition, even showing patience after long waits in the ER. Comparing them to some of our more recent generations of Americans, they were actually a pleasure to serve.  What was the formula for such a noble crowd?

Most of them were born on the heels of World War I. When the stock market crashed, they starved. When tyranny reared its ugly head in World War II, they fought. When the hippies played, they worked. They lived lives of poverty, pain, suffering and death mixed with social transformation, prosperity and hope like this nation has not ever seen before, nor probably ever will. With their own eyes, they witnessed our economy at its lowest and highest. They saw the most devastation of invasion like nothing since the War of 1812. They reaped the benefits of hard work and lived the American Dream with humility, a character long lost in our society.

No generation throughout our history has been perfect, but these folks were exceptional for our day and age. I am a member of the military honor guard and each funeral for these 80-plus-year-old folks marks a deeper personal mourning for me. I feel as though jewels are falling off of a crown, we are losing a precious commodity in America.

So the next time you see one of these 80-somethings in public, give them a polite greeting of the day, and I guarantee they won't disappoint you with stone silence. Open the door for them or help them with their groceries, for they are a treasure to our history.

V. Orlando

Martinsburg, W.Va.

Once again, Bartlett dodges the Medicare question

To the editor:

I appreciate the fact that Rep. Roscoe Bartlett took time out of his busy schedule to comment on my letter to the editor concerning the canceled Town Hall at Robinwood on May 19.

On May 18, I received a call from Bartlett's office informing me that the town hall portion of the meeting was canceled, but representatives from for-profit insurance companies would have booths set up with reps to answer questions about how the new health care reform would affect Medicare. I also received an email stating the same thing.

I have no interest in hearing the talking points of the corporations (for-profit health insurance companies) who have been the driving force in the dramatic rise in health care costs. The article Bartlett cites "to eliminate the confusion" my letter caused him bolsters my position that Bartlett refuses to stand in front of his constituents and answer the hard questions.

The Herald-Mail reported that Bartlett "seemed to raise more questions than answers," and a constituent told the reporter, "I came away with more questions after hearing Bartlett speak."

In light of this, I ask Bartlett to simply answer the question I posed in my letter: Why did you co-sponsor and then vote yes to end Medicare as an entitlement while giving yourself and other millionaires another 10 percent tax reduction, and how does this bill improve the lives of your constituents in Maryland's 6th District?

Victoria Ross


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