Thursday, March 6, 2014

Activists get letters published

Limit Md.’s solitary confinement use
Published: March 3

The March 2 editorial “Too alone” mentioned a number of states that have taken action to reduce the use of solitary confinement. This legislative session, the Maryland General Assembly has a bill that would provide a study into how Maryland uses this punishment, particularly with vulnerable populations such as juveniles and those with severe mental illness. The state places about 8.5 percent of prisoners into what it calls segregation, which is higher than the national average. With more states and even Congress recognizing both the financial and human toll of this practice, now is the time for Maryland to start reducing its use of segregation and prolonged isolation.

Susan Kerin, Rockville

The writer serves on the steering committee of the Interfaith Action for Human Rights.

© The Washington Post Company,0,5070412.story

Defense cuts don't go far enough [Letter]
11:00 AM EST, March 1, 2014

As a peace activist, I am skeptical of the alleged cutbacks in military spending. I remember the "peace dividend" which never happened.
Then I read "Pentagon cuts could affect Maryland" (Feb. 25). The article was misleading. Most economists will tell you that you can get more bang for the buck if tax dollars go instead to non-military investments such as Baltimore's infrastructure. For example, Maryland could really benefit if investments in renewable energy allow the state to slowly wean itself away from coal, gas and oil.
Our Maryland senators and members of the House of Delegates must step up and support SB493/HB738, "Economic Development: Commission on Maryland's Future." The Future Commission is a first step toward creating a roadmap that will keep Maryland workers prepared for the jobs of tomorrow. Help reprioritize federal spending, away from military waste and toward our communities' needs.

The article mentions the F-35, but the authors failed to note its exorbitant price tag or that the plane has myriad problems. This is just one of many wasteful and unneeded weapons projects. Severe cuts to the war budget with subsequent savings being used to revitalize cities can provide us with a significant uptick in the moribund economy. Everyone benefits from a peace budget.

Max Obuszewski, Baltimore
To respond to this letter, send an email to Please include your name and contact information.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun

Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218. Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at] Go to

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

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