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Fire Morton (and Ditkoff)

Posted 4/13/2005

I have been reading City Paper every week for the past decade, and this is the first time I’ve ever written. Most of my opinions have been well represented by other letter writers: Joe McWhatever is a hilarious, brilliant, honest reviewer and a lousy columnist; Anna Ditkoff is a god-awful, pretentious, self-obsessed, misanthropic, misguided writer; thank you for the extensive arts calendar, but could you please extend your horizons—there are more good bands in Baltimore than the dozen you guys like; you seem to be unaware that a pop reference needs to be “pop,” as in “popular,” not utterly obscure; and, overall, a little less arrogance and condescension would serve you all well.

However, there is one thing I must add: Brian Morton’s writing in Political Animal is doing a great disservice to the liberals in this town. His endless whining and bitching is giving me a headache. He does nothing but complain about the actions of his political adversaries without ever contributing one solid idea or positive suggestion. He seems to think his greatest purpose in life is to come up with cute, insulting nicknames for conservative politicians, and then repeat them ad nauseam in hope they’ll catch on. He is also under the false impression that the Democratic Party represents the liberals in this country.

Mind you, I do not consider myself a liberal (though I must admit, most of my co-workers do). I believe a fair and just society is created through a dialogue between the two political extremes. But, with such a clever, thoughtful, and well-written column as the one Russ Smith contributes (Right Field), representing (primarily) the conservative point of view, it is unfair to let the liberal side continue to be espoused by a whiny-pants writing on a sixth-grade level. You have had better in the past. Please fire this bastard (and Ditkoff, while you’re at it).

Jeremiah Clark

Right on

I wanted to say the article about the National Guard and Reservists was dead on (“Second Stringers,” March 23). I have been active and reserve. The Reserves were a joke. The people weren’t properly trained, and it’s treated like a weekend hangout. That’s why I quit. But now that the Reservists see George W. Bush’s plans for them to do the job, they’re running scared!

As far as the article on the guys who empty homes (“Rough Trade,” March 16), the people of Baltimore need to see what drugs and bad decisions can do. That article actually gave me back my self-esteem, because for years I was ashamed my house was foreclosed. But my daughters (14 and 11 at the time) helped me clean and make sure the house was spotless. The Realtor felt bad I couldn’t afford it any longer, because I lost my child support. He said the house was gorgeous and well-kept for a single mother.

Thank you, City Paper, for going where no other publication has gone before.

Sharon Wright

All You Need Is Guns

Crime is a problem only in that honest law-abiding citizens are rendered helpless against criminals (“Being Tough on Crime Doesn’t Pay,” Quick and Dirty, March 23). That is because the criminal is the only one with a gun.

Maryland gun control does not work. Look at the effect on violent crime in the 36 states that have passed “right to carry” laws, where every citizen has the right to carry a firearm if he has not disqualified himself previously. The numbers speak for themselves. You can cry and whine that the black men are criminals and we need to lock them up and the community suffers (as if it does not suffer when they are loose). That’s life. But there is no reason to let crime run rampant in our communities. Right to carry has proven itself to lower crime, like it or not.

Geoffrey Taylor

Are You Gonna EAT That?

I have been reading your paper every week for the past four months. I am very proud of your hometown vibe and your apparent drive for investigative journalism. A couple weeks ago, as I was leaving a local establishment, I picked up your EAT Dining Guide (March 2). I noticed that every restaurant listed received a rave review.

As a city resident, I frequent many of the locations listed in your guide. I have observed many health-code violations, including dogs in restaurants, foreign matter in the food, and lousy service. Within the last couple of months, it has become known that the Baltimore City Health Department has not been doing its job effectively.

I may be misinformed, but I have not seen serious journalism in City Paper concerning the Health Department and specific health-code violators. I question whether the lack of inquiry into this matter on the behalf of City Paper readers may be attributable to pandering to advertising clients, which in large part seem to consist of these dining establishments?

I make this point because I wish to see City Paper maintain its independence. Keep up the good work.

Roland S. Harris IV and Shaida Shirmohammadi

Editor Lee Gardner responds: Our EAT guide is designed to offer diners recommendations, hence the overall positive tone. Looking into health-code violations is more likely to be a subject for our Mobtown Beat section—and now that you mention it, that’s not a bad idea. Thank you for the thought, and for your concern about our carefully defended independence.

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