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Letters to the Editor - June 27

June 27, 2012

Powell is an intellectual namedropper

To the editor:

Man, is Allan Powell smart. I appreciate that he has a weekly column to remind the great unwashed of his brilliance.

He reads Voltaire. Better yet, he explains Voltaire to us dim bulbs who couldn’t possibly understand him on our own. Intellectual namedropper.

I get it; he’s smart. Now let someone else who can move the public discourse forward use the space.

Mark L. England
Hagerstown




Three things could improve Major League Baseball

To the editor:

Some changes are needed in Major League Baseball.

First, I think the designated hitter should be the rule in both the American and National Leagues. I respect the National League’s way of batting the pitcher, but I like the designated hitter the best.

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Also, I think they need an instant replay policy. There are plays that are so very close and also very important that we can’t expect the umpire to always get it right. These kind of plays need to be looked at by instant replay, because sometimes this could make a difference in the outcome of the game. I’ve seen

it happens time and time again that the umpire misses the call for the third out, the team batting stays alive and the next batter then hits a three-run home run. Of course, like football, there would have to be a maximum number of instant replays in a game, at crucial times when needed to be used by the manager.

The third thing needed to make everything equal is that all stadiums need to be the same dimension. For instance, a fly ball in stadiums with shorter outfields becomes a home run. Also, the foul lines are closer to the playing field in some parks, and the backstops are various dimensions. The game is being played with all these different dimensions. I think if they were all the same it would be better.

Jack Myers
Hagerstown




‘American Exceptionalism’ should not be embraced

To the editor:

I read Ned Garrett’s letter bashing Allan Powell with interest. I disagree, however, with his argument that Americans should embrace “American Exceptionalism.” At best, this narcissistic concept is the adult version of receiving a trophy for just showing up. At worst, it is a propaganda ploy to fool voters into backing candidates based on a slogan rather than understanding their position on the issues.

The U.S. has much to be proud of and, as Garrett says, we should be thankful to live here. But, as Powell wrote, we are not perfect. We cannot rest on our laurels. And worse, we can easily loose the hard-won gains of the last 296 years.

Even today, for example, there is a thin line between justice and vigilante law. DNA evidence has repeatedly overturned convictions, many times involving blacks. We often prejudge alleged perpetrators based on emotional, racial, religious, gender or economic grounds rather than wait for illumination from the courts and evidence.

And while Garrett writes that “we are a country where the opportunity to succeed monetarily and personally is unlimited,” the inflation-adjusted income of the median households fell 4.8 percent between 2000 and 2009, hitting middle income earners the hardest.

I suppose Garrett refers to those who become super wealthy. But it is impossible for most to achieve such wealth. And for a decade, we have been going backward. Unless you aspire to feudalism, you might want to rethink the idea of unlimited opportunity.

Instead, think for yourself. How many of us are likely to earn even $200,000 in a year, ever?
Slogans are not reality. I hope that we Americans pay attention to issues and to what is good for us rather fixate on illusion.

Larry Zaleski
Hagerstown




A trip to downtown Frederick might be in order

To the editor:

I have been reading the articles about how the new stadium is going to revitalize downtown, and I am not convinced.

I think the first step in this revitalization would be to pick a nice sunny day and put all of the Hagerstown City Council and the mayor on a bus, take them to Frederick and drop them off at South and Market streets, then tell them that they will be picked up later at Seventh and Market. If they get there and have not figured it out, well maybe we should just leave them there.

Last Thursday, I needed to be at Market and Church streets at mid-day. As I started to drive up Market Street, I realized that downtown is as busy as it was 20 years ago, and much prettier. There were people (shoppers) everywhere, and near Market and Patrick streets there were groups of people in the crosswalks going both directions. It was at this point that I remembered Frederick’s stadium is way out near Route 70 and Route 270, not downtown, so this couldn’t be the reason for all this activity.

Well, I have to go now. I am on my way to Frederick to enjoy the day on Market Street shopping. Join me?

Larry Naugle
Falling Waters, W.Va.

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