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Opinion: Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor: Sept. 21, 2012

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Opinion,Letters to the Editor

Obama's class struggle rhetoric unhealthy for nation

I must share with you my thoughts about Obama's campaign. It is shocking for me to see how a politician here in the United States can divide people for political gain by stirring up resentment against the wealthy. The familiar tone and rhetoric of Obama's campaign reminds me of what happened in China decades ago and how harmful this kind of rhetoric could be to our society.

I grew up in China with the ideology of equality and class struggle. We were taught since childhood that proletarians were poor because the wealthy, exploited us and the only way we could have a better life was to overthrow them, to take away their land and properties and redistribute them equitably among society. This ideology was overwhelmingly appealing to many people who were struggling financially in China at the time. As a result, the whole country participated in this cruel battle that started with ideological belief and ended with violence -- one group against the other. It was one of human history's great tragedies.

History teaches us that something is not right in our society if people are made to feel ashamed of or scared of being rich (successful). Something is definitely wrong if presidential candidates are judged by their wealth instead of by what they can do for our country. This election should not be about grand promises but about common sense approach to our nation's problems. This election should not be about how to redistribute wealth but how to create wealth. Stop spending the money that we don't have and stop punishing the successful! Don't let America turn away from the principles and values that have made us a great and prosperous nation!

Helen Zheng

Gaithersburg

Legalized marijuana would cut incarceration costs

Re: "Pot could be tax windfall, but skeptics abound," Sept. 19

While it's true that it's too early to tell how much tax money recreational marijuana laws could produce for these states, it is only one economic factor voters should take into account when considering the issues surrounding the legalization of marijuana. I think it's also important to note the amount of money that would be saved as a result of scaling back the war on drugs (at least when it comes to marijuana).

Not only does the United States currently have the highest incarceration rate out of any country in the world, nearly half of all drug arrests are marijuana-related. The amount of taxpayer dollars that would be saved from eliminating the money spent on the arrest, prosecution and incarceration of marijuana offenders is worth paying attention to as well.

Lauren Galik

Washington

Armed forces members need respect

Our volunteer military forces are exhausted after fighting two major wars in the last 10 years. I am outraged that this important issue is totally ignored by our leaders and politicians.

The U.S. Army reported that 38 solders killed themselves in July, and on the average, one American soldier commits suicide every day. Also, requests for medical discharges have doubled in recent years. The solution proposed by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is to study the issue, and provide more medical assistance to our troops.

As a young adolescent, I spent a number of years in various German concentration camps and witnessed suicides and attempted suicides. I also served two years in the U.S. Army, and spent nine months on the Korean front line during the war. We must recognize that there is a limit to what a human being can endure. No soldier can tolerate multiple tours of duty in a war zone, especially where foes and friends are impossible to distinguish, without suffering serious adverse mental and/or physical consequences.

We always had a volunteer army. However, during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War the draft was instituted, and the burden of war was shared by the whole nation, as it should be.

Our adversaries have taken note of our weakened military posture and lack of leadership and they are filling the vacuum created by our retreat from many vital areas. And our friends are losing confidences in our country and act accordingly to protect their own vital interests.

Our president, members of Congress, leaders of the military and we the public are responsible for allowing this inhuman and unfair condition to prevail in our armed forces, and for our weakened leadership position in the world.

Ruben Moller

Wheaton, Md.

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