Bank ControversyEditor: Baltimore Bancorp's request to the...


September 22, 1990

Bank Controversy

Editor: Baltimore Bancorp's request to the Federal Reserve Board to investigate whether T. Rowe Price Associates Inc. is in violation of the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 is ludicrous.

T. Rowe Price is doing what Baltimore Bancorp's Board has failed to do: protect the interest of the shareholders of the Corporation. The bank's board has failed to act in the best interest of the shareholders by its failure to accept First Maryland's $17-a-share offer.

T. Rowe Price, in filing with the SEC, is acting in its fiduciary capacity for its clients in whose accounts the stock is owned. If anyone should be investigated, it is the board of Baltimore Bancorp.

Melvin C. Vernon Jr.

Danville, Va.

Break It Up

Editor: Schools may see few alternatives to flunking students, as your headlines of Sept. 4 declares, but there are some solutions. First, return to the older practice of dividing the school year into semesters, 5A and 5B, for example, running concurrently. Then, rather than failing the slower students, skip the good students one semester as soon as they have mastered the work. The bright students will easily make up what little is usually taught in half a year and will also be able to be graduated and ready for college or work at 16, saving the public school systems tons of money and bright kids lots of boredom between their 16th and 18th years.

Educators should worry more about teaching and less about social adjustments. Children at the same chronological age differ widely in maturity. The schools' emphasis on a "right age" for any particular grade is instrumental in setting up early a pattern of stereotyping which later results in prejudices and discrimination about "right behaviors" for the "old" at 65.

The change from the semester to the year was instituted for the convenience of the administration to the detriment of the pupils.

Finally, this change would accentuate the positive: rewarding accomplishments, not punishing failure.

Frances M. Lerner.


Our Constitutions

Editor: I read with interest Ray Jenkins' column Aug. 25 in The Sun. I was intrigued until he got to the point of picking out West Germany and Japan as bad guys.

It is a matter of historical fact that the constitutions of West Germany and Japan were rewritten after World War II. It is also fact that, in the case of Japan, the content of that constitution was dictated by none other than our very own Gen. Douglas MacArthur, specifying that Japan would never again become a threat to the U.S.A. I am reasonably certain that the same conditions were stated when West Germany's document was created.

It is true that Japan and Germany have sent nobody to the Middle East. The statement that there are constitutional prohibitions on this action is also true. But the part that is left out that needs to be stated is that our own leaders in those years made very certain that those constitutions were written out of fear of another war.

Now we are reaping the benefit of that fear. Please do not structure arguments to place "blame" for this fact of history on those nations that were beaten and, for a time, subjugated by us when in fact we took great pains to assure that those limitations were embedded in their constitutions.

To conveniently ignore the actions of the United States with regard to the constitutional content of West Germany and Japan and to belabor them about their constitutions when they had no say is at best a cheap shot. It smacks of mean-mindedness, an attribute not to be admired in a journalist.

Robert A. Rudolph.


Alden Whitman

Editor: Ray Jenkins' very enjoyable piece on the dean of obituary writers indicated that Alden Whitman of the New York Times ''elevated the humble journalistic endeavor of writing obituaries to a genuine art form.''

What, however, could the late Mr. Whitman have done to add a touch of romance, glamour, even photos to the life of the biblical Methuselah?

The Bible gives Methuselah one of the shortest recorded obits. All the biblical writer could come up was: ''And Enoch -- began Methuselah -- and Methuselah lived 969 years, and he died.''

Milton Albert.


An Eye for an Eye

Editor: Why should the Iraqi diplomats in Washington live ''high on the hog'' while our diplomats in Kuwait City are being starved and deprived of the necessities of life?

Why not the stand of ''an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth''?

George E. Houck. Baltimore. Editor: As a union member, I fail to understand Jeane Kirkpatrick's attitude toward wealthy Arab nations that employ foreign contract workers. One must remember the native populations of the Persian Gulf states are sparse, so seeking guest workers is a necessity.

These wealthy nations provide jobs for some of the world's poorest citizens. Along with their paychecks, they enjoy modern medical care, decent housing and can send money home to places like Sri Lanka India, Bangladesh and Egypt.

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