Perspective of History

A favorite topic of discussion on talk shows and in the other media is how President Bush lied to us and got us into a war. Some folks went so far as to start a movement called "Not in Our Name." Why is this president being treated so harshly on this subject? Please consider:

* In 1941, after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt was accused of withholding information about the attack so he could get America involved in the war. We did not hear a lot about it during the war (too much at stake), but that conspiracy continues to exist today. Millions of people died. Did President Roosevelt lie to the American people?

* In 1945, President Truman approved using the atomic bomb against the Japanese to end World War II. Today there are those among us who believe it was unjust and constituted crimes against nature and humanity. Did President Truman make Americans criminals?

* In the 1950s, President Truman got us into a "police action" in Korea, which many believe was a war. Our military was required to take the same real estate over and over again, at great cost in human life, because President Truman limited the action of our military. Did President Truman deceive Americans with the "police action" gambit for us being involved?

* In the 1960s, President Kennedy committed our country to help in the Bay of Pigs invasion to dispose of Castro in Cuba. He did not follow through, and many were killed. Later, Cuba united with Russia and almost started World War III during the missile crisis. Did President Kennedy deceive the American people, lie to our friends and endanger our country?

* Also in the 1960s, President Kennedy and President Johnson got us involved in the Vietnam conflict, and thousands of Americans lost their lives. Because of that war, our country was ablaze in riots, killing, looting and civil unrest. Did these two presidents betray the country and the American people?

* In the 1970s President Carter, after some of our citizens were taken hostage in Iran, made one unsuccessful attempt to rescue them. Lives were lost in that attempt, and our citizens were in captivity for more than 400 days. Did President Carter fail in his duty?

It is clear that President Bush acted as past presidents have in the defense of our country. In all those conflicts cited above, as in the ones we now face, if our presidents acted in any manner other than making decisions based on the best information available to them, our system is a total failure; our nation is no different from those ruled by Kahn, Hitler, Stalin and down to the current despots trafficking in blood and terror. If that is true, we cannot trust what we have done in the past, what we do now and what we will do in the future. And if that is true, that intellectually bankrupt tramp Michael Moore is right and deserves the millions he is making bashing our current president and America.

James Gray

Charlotte Hall

Reelect SMECO'S Hewitt

Over the last six years, it has been my distinct pleasure to serve with Francis Hewitt on the SMECO Board of Directors. Francis is a dedicated board member and a true Southern Maryland gentleman who serves SMECO with distinction.

During the time I have served him, I have been impressed by his advocacy for our consumer members and our highly dedicated and professional employees.

On Sept. 1, I hope you will attend SMECO's annual meeting in Hughesville and reelect Francis Hewitt to serve you for another term.

W. Michael (Mike) Phipps

Owings

Checks and Balances

The idea of [a] "code home rule" [form of government] is very bad for the people of Calvert County. Tax increases are also bad, and anyone who raises my taxes is actually admitting that they mismanaged the tax money with which they were entrusted. Code home rule eliminates the checks and balances of a democratic society and is not in the best interest of the citizens of our county.

If this county is so misguided as to vote out those checks and balances, then this or any future Board of County Commissioners will be able to raise our taxes whenever they have let the "tax and spenders" squander our money on unnecessary requests for funds.

In the past, we have had many of our taxes (piggyback, special tax districts, property tax rates) raised, and I did not vote again for any of those who raised my taxes. We may have only one current county commissioner whom I will vote for the next time around. Time will tell.

Jim Meadows

Lusby

Support a 'Living Wage'

Since 1994 more than 120 counties and cities across the nation have passed "living wage" laws. The laws require large companies with government contracts of more than $100,000 to pay their employees a wage that is above the poverty line.

In Maryland, that wage would be $10.50 an hour -- or approximately $21,000 a year. It would be hard for many of us to imagine what it would be like to shelter and feed a family on less than $21,000 a year. Housing costs in this area are so high that rent would use up half the money before food and other necessities could be purchased. Our state taxpayer dollars should not be used to create poverty-level jobs; rather, the state should set the moral standard for the community by paying people a wage that will enable them to house and feed their family.

During the 2004 General Assembly, a living wage bill (SB 621) was passed by the Maryland Senate and the House of Delegates.

A statewide coalition led by Progressive Maryland included representatives from small businesses, AFL-CIO, United Methodist Church, Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, and many other organizations as well as numerous individual voters encouraged Governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) to sign the bill.

Unfortunately for so many hardworking families, Gov. Ehrlich vetoed the bill. Now we must encourage our Southern Maryland delegates and senators to override the veto.

Studies reveal that jurisdictions with living wage ordinances indicate costs to be less than 1.2 percent, which is less than the rate of inflation (Christopher Niedt, Johns Hopkins University).

As for the contractor, studies of current living wage ordinances, including the one in Baltimore City, indicate there was a decline of real contract costs. Living wage ordinances save contractors money because of lower employee turnover, as well as increased productivity and morale.

Gonzales Research & Marketing recently completed a poll asking voters if they would support requiring large companies with state contracts of more than $100,000 to pay a living wage of approximately $21,000 to their employees. Statewide, 67 percent of the voters were in favor, while 23 percent opposed. The Southern Maryland/Eastern Shore voters were in favor 66 percent, with 25 percent opposed.

I encourage everyone to read on the computer about the living wage issue at ProgressiveMaryland.org. Many of us are blessed with jobs that provide for a high quality of life for our families. It is difficult to know that some of my neighbors have to struggle full time or even double time and yet still live in poverty. Our community is being served by these individuals working state contracts, and they deserve the respect of a living wage.

Encourage your representatives to override the veto. I implore my state delegates Sally Y. Jameson (D-Charles), Van T. Mitchell (D-Charles) and W. Louis Hennessy (R-Charles) and state senator Thomas M. "Mac" Middleton (D-Charles) to override the veto.

Connie Dunbar

La Plata