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The Mail

The Littlest Victims

Posted 3/30/2005

“Rough Trade” (March 16) was really a sad exposé pushing to the surface one of the least glamorous yet very real aspects of Baltimore society—the evicted and the evictees. The comments of Otis Banks and Scott Smith seem to reinforce the sad but true saying that “misery loves company.” I was appalled to see how two people could derive so much glee from the suffering of others, no matter that a vast majority may have brought it upon themselves. I guess being swollen with pride and full of self-righteousness has left them devoid of all compassion and concern.

Most of the evictions may have been the results of drug and alcohol abuse. But has it ever occurred to these so-called businessmen that there’s a little-spoken-of aspect of all drug and alcohol use that, like war, can be best described as collateral damage? “Children” and others in these homes get swept up like tsunami debris in all the chaos and mayhem. What kind of sick bastard could love the misery imposed upon these helpless and innocent souls?

There’s not a child or family alive on the face of the earth that deserves to be scorned and debased because of the ills, evils, and irresponsibility of the parent(s) using drugs or alcohol. Granted, these men have to make an honest day’s wage, but it says a lot about the emotional state of people when they derive a state of ecstasy from it—it’s creepy. Kind of like picturing a caretaker break dancing across the funeral home floor every time he hears of a fatal fire or car crash.

Ron Joy
Baltimore

I’m OK, You’re 401 O(k)

Sorry to hear about your experience with your 401(k) (Mr. Wrong, March 16). Obviously someone didn’t advise you correctly on choices available.

If you want to be conservative, your plan should offer some options like money markets, or guaranteed growth, or income funds. The returns aren’t as great—less than 4 percent—but that’s obviously much better than (-).

I’ll admit that my 401(k) took a dive in early 2000, but overall I have yielded in the 20 percent range. Some do better, others worse obviously.

Anyway, good luck and don’t get frustrated. The S&P has outperformed any other investment long term.

Eric Lane
Baltimore

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