It's great that Governor Martin O'Malley is looking to run for President in 2016 (Baltimore City Power Rankings, Aug. 7). I, for one, sincerely hope that he runs and wins. With just two caveats: 1) that he wins at the same time the Senate and House of Representatives are controlled by Republicans, so that the rest of the country will see that he is nothing more than an empty-suited, whining, cheap-shot artist when he can't get his way; and 2) that he take his in-law, Baltimore City Councilman Robert Curran, with him as court jester.
If our elfin-eared governor can blather on about how he aspires to a higher office, then I have the right to change his birthright name. Fair is fair.
From here on, he will be referred to as "Omar Tariffe." Yes, it has been the worst-kept secret in the Land of What Used to be the Land of Pleasant Living (pre-Omar reign) that he wants to cruise down Baltimore-Washington Parkway to a bigger house, with lots more help.
And those good ol' boys in Annapolis, the Mike cronies-come on. In barbershop parlance, we have a Mike with a Beatle cut (House Speaker Michael Busch), a Mike who stole his hairstyle from a delegate from the 1780s (Senate President Thomas "Mike" Miller), and Governor Shariffe, who prefers media/news videos and photos be taken in front of him (so as to hide his balding pate).
I truly have to take a humorous perspective on the goings-on at King's Dominion. It is necessary for survival. I believe everything Brian Williams tells me.
I'm sorry, but the more I see these clueless, bumbling tax/tariff/fee-muddling moguls, the more I say proudly: Born in Baltimore, reared in Maryland.
Patrick R. Lynch
Capped I am writing to celebrate the mini-miracle known as the crown cap (City Folk, Aug. 7)! First off, I know from my research at the Baltimore Museum of Industry that this wonder of ingenuity is called a "crown cap," because when it is turned over, it looks like a little crown. Is that cool or what? Then, after this tiny keeper of carbonation was invented, it took the inventors longer to invent a bottle opener than it did to invent the cap! Bummer man!
However, when the opener was invented, skeptics were skeptical about whether this flimsy device could hold carbonation in a bottle! So the inventors put a case of Crown Beer on a Baltimore Clipper, the fastest sailing ship of its time! (It had to be fast! Pirates then did not look or act like Johnny Depp!) Then they sailed the ship down to South America and brought it back! When they opened the top and it was still fizzy, they knew they had something.
So next time you pop the cap on an ice-cold brewski or a soda of your choice, like a frosty Mexican Coke, pause and give thanks to the lowly but helpful bottle cap that was invented right here in Baltimore. Thank it for keeping your Natty Bohs and your Stewart's ginger beers sparkly from your first to last ahhh of enjoyment!
Fruit Basket I read Jenn Ladd's article (Film, July 24) about the movie Fruitvale Station, and I believe the targeted and premeditated murder of 22-year-old Oscar Grant on a subway platform in the city of Oakland, and in the state of California, where many incidents of the past "black history protest movements" seem now to be about sentimentalism, is a selected memory.
As an Afrocentric feminist, I am disturbed about the killing of Oscar Grant by the two thuggish police officers. I bet you one thing: Both police officers got some sexual gratification from killing Oscar Grant, and George Zimmerman did the same when he killed Trayvon Martin.
Have you ever noticed that a cocked gun, or cocked Taser, are similar to a cock, dick, or phallus (penis)?
As I see it, the judicial system in America is a Christian, spiritually conscious, racist political system created by slave owners to create prejudice and racism to contaminate all branches of the federal government to keep white domination in America forever more.
I believe that the white bigots who are Tea Party members, and conservative Republicans, are not interested in creating a sense of humanity for all racial groups to live and work equally in the same economic spaces in America. As a result, America is becoming an apartheid democracy.
As an Afrocentric feminist, I am sick and tired of most whites, and some "I want to be valued as a white person" black police officers (also want-to-be cops), who have a personal agenda to kill off by guns as many black young boys or black men because of their physical traits (Zulu- or Xhosa-looking warriors, especially black as night).
I wish I had a sacred place to shelter all black men to keep them from harmful, bigoted, and psychologically impaired white police officers (some blacks) who should be yearly tested psychologically for prejudice, racism, bigotry, religious beliefs, and family-taught stories, jokes, and lies about black people.
To this day, I am upset over the killing of Trayvon Martin. I know a truth that is still believed in my family. Trayvon Martin's spirit will not leave this earth until he has settled the score with George Zimmerman, who will have visual visits from Trayvon Martin, or feel the presence of someone watching him. It is alleged that visiting spirits have put many people in mental institutions for killing black folks. Did your grandmother ever talk about that to you? Mine did.
Please read the following books: Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall and The Cross and the Lynching Tree by James H. Cone-a black man.
The poet-philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson has written: ". . . every history in the world is my history." I know a lot of white people in America, and around the world, do not want to be a part of the American Negro history or the African history of Africans! This old black woman (age: 71) knows that everybody in the world doesn't want to be my black color.
Larnell Custis Butler
Animal Collective My friend Alan Barysh (Mail, Aug. 7), and anyone else who feels that there is some conflict between working for animal rights and human rights, would do well to seek out a piece called "Animals, My Brethren" (also translated as "Animal Brothers"), written by vegetarian Edgar Kupfer while he was imprisoned in Dachau for his pacifist politics.
From his inside view of the Nazis' hell on Earth, Kupfer wrote, "I think that men will be killed and tortured as long as animals are killed and tortured. So long there will be wars, too. Because killing must be trained and perfected on smaller objects, morally and technically."
Research bears Kupfer out on this: Several psychological studies have found a relationship between childhood cruelty to animals and violence toward people. The cliche of the serial killer who starts off with the neighborhood cats and dogs has a basis in fact.
On the other hand, some prisons have experimented with having inmates care for abandoned dogs and cats, and have found that encouraging compassionate behavior towards our non-human cousins helps inmates learn how to behave better towards their fellow humans.
A society that says of non-human animals, "They are not like us, and so it is OK to exploit them for our benefit," is going to find many of its members using that same argument on other humans: "They're only (racial slur), they're not real people."
When some fans of flesh-eating argue that fish or other animals can't really feel pain, this bears a disturbing similarity to research showing that white people (including medical professionals!) tend to subconsciously believe that black people are less sensitive to pain than their fellow pale-skins.
But a society that encouraged its members to practice being nice to every being with a central nervous system would find that practice paying off not just for cows, chickens, and fish, but for humans of all races, genders, and socioeconomic statuses. When you can see enough similarity between you and a fish that you don't want to hurt the fish, you're not going to find skin color a barrier to compassion.
Animal liberation and human liberation are necessary corollaries to each other: expanding the bounds of compassion beyond the self, beyond family and friends, beyond one's own ethnic group or gender or nation, beyond species, to include all beings capable of experiencing suffering.