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The Mail

That's Just Wrong

Posted 2/11/2009

Mr. Wrong only once every three weeks? (Mr. Wrong, Feb 4). While I sometimes enjoy the rants, where else can I find the gratuitous use of cusses except in perhaps amateur college papers? F-bombs and their cousins, often used, make for irritating reading and exhibit a lack of diction. I'm sure as a professional writer you can express your thoughts without leaning on the constant crutch of cussing. You remind me of college drama players I once saw who introduced cigarette smoking in almost all scenes by all characters, whether called for or not, because they could.

Philip M. Wright

Legal Solution

A solution to the destructive results of Baltimore's "informal economy" has been on the city's radar for decades, but is ignored by city leaders for their political gain ("Shadow Players," Feature, Jan. 28). Legalizing or decriminalizing some or all drugs would help address the city's drug-addict population and the city's addiction to drug money. Legalizing the trade of some drugs and decriminalizing the use of others--treating their use as a public health issue, not a law enforcement issue--would boost the city's tax base, reduce the number of addicts not receiving treatment in our overcrowded prisons, and free police resources to fight serious crimes and unsolved murders. But very few of our city leaders take the proposition seriously because they prefer to score political points by cracking down on addicts so they can say they are "tough on crime." It's time to push our leaders to make radical changes that will help the city and its addicted population, and be ready to make radical changes to our City Council if it fails to do so.

Brian Bittner

The writer is a co-chair of the Baltimore Green Party.

Dixon Is Innocent Because She's Black?

A brief note to register my disappointment with Larnell Custis Butler's latest letter regarding Mayor Dixon ("Dixon a Victim," The Mail, Jan. 28). Like LCB, I don't know if the allegations are true or not, but it is ridiculous to assume that the basis for them is institutional racism absent any evidence of that being the case. To defend someone because they happen to be the same race, gender, or whatever as you are is absurd. Is LCB really saying she doesn't care if the mayor is guilty or not, she will defend her because she, too, is a black woman? Surely we should all be equal under the law. When public officials let us all down, we should all be outraged.

I believe that when someone attempts to prevent debate by suggesting that the questioners must have some sort of prejudice they are preventing free speech in a particularly insidious and divisive way that should be challenged whenever it occurs.

Alex Harvey

Editor's note: With this issue, we must unfortunately bid farewell to Staff Writer Jeffrey Anderson. He will be missed. Best of luck, Jeff

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