Schaefer credo doesn't serve all the peopleAlthough the...

the Forum

October 30, 1990

Schaefer credo doesn't serve all the people

Although the irony in the first two paragraphs of your editorial (Oct. 25) in support of Governor Schaefer's re-election was probably unintended, and lost on most of your readers, I want you to know I enjoyed it. Mentioning the space shuttle as the technological epitome of a century characterized by the growth of fiscally irresponsible government at every level is more apt than I am sure it was intended to be. The space shuttle is, of course, first and last the creature of perhaps the most profligate government in history. I suspect that the governor envies the federal government its ability to spend money on such marvels as the space shuttle.

More ironic still was your disparaging reference to the "bucolic" America of horse-and-buggy times. No government designed the horse and buggy for the transportation needs it served for so long. Perhaps if the political climate of that era were more like that of today, the 19th century might have produced its own scientific boondoggles like the space shuttle.

Mr. Schaefer's project will be, I am sure, of benefit to some of the voters who elected him. There are some in this state, however, who will never have the benefit of the light rail system, nor will they ever attend a baseball game at Camden Yards. If these people, who had no choice but to help pay the cost overruns for Mr. Schaefer's monuments, had other and, in their eyes, better uses for their money, so much the worse for them. If the governor's credo, as you would have it, is "the more government serves the people, the better," it must not refer to all the people. Either that, or it assumes that to serve the people one must first extort money from them.

Mr. Schaefer will, of course, win re-election. As a politician of a saner era put it, "It is of the very essence and nature of a democracy, for a faction claiming to be a majority to oppress a minority, and that minority [is] the chief owners of the property and the truest lovers of their country."

Steven M. Rouzer


Cut the fat

Your Forum Extra column by Kenneth H. Masters (Oct. 18)

shows how unaligned he is with the voters or reality.

If voters approve a 2 percent cap they are telling the officials to cut the fat. Masters says that, "Because education is such a major piece of the country budget, it will take a substantial hit." He says his younger daughter will be out of the school system before the ax falls.

No mention of looking for fat to cut, using county vehicles longer vTC before trading in, no rugs in the county executives' offices.

If factory workers are asked to take cuts in pay when their firms are in hard times, why can't our elected officials take a cut when the cap is voted in?

R.W. Yale


Smoke and mirrors

In his letter, "Crime control" (Forum, Oct. 8), Fred Davis implies that additional gun control would reduce crime. He even ridiculed a previous writer's letter as using a "tired old example" of New York and D.C. as gun control cities with high crime rates. These cities are not "tired old examples" of the failure of gun control, but, rather, glaring current examples of that failure.

New York has had its notorious "Sullivan Law" for 85 years and in D.C. it appears that the only people who have guns are the police and the criminals.

Members of MAHA (Marylanders Against Handgun Abuse) and HCI (Handgun Control Inc.) are constantly claiming that gun availability in adjacent states indicates a need for a national waiting period law. This is all part of a "smoke and mirror" game to hide their real agenda, which is the outlawing of ownership of all guns by private citizens. It so happens that no citizen of any state, or of Washington, D.C., can buy a handgun in any adjacent state, legally, because the 1968 Gun Control Act prohibits such purchases.

A better name for MAHA would be "Marylanders Against Gun Ownership," a name that would more clearly define the group's objectives. As part of its strategy, it blames gun ownership by honest citizens for crime problems. In reality, the problem centers around drugs and failure of the criminal justice and penal systems. Crime control cannot be equated with gun control, which affects only the honest citizen.

C.D. Baker Jr.


Spiritual needs

I was happy to see the feature article by Patrick Ercolano (Oct. 10.) on Brother/Dr. Dan Sulmasy who indeed provides a great contribution and healthy perspective for the Johns Hopkins Hospital. I agree that doctors and nurses should take their part in considering patients' spiritual needs. Certainly we who work with the chaplains' office try to uphold our particular responsibility. However, I believe we should not let the hospital's administration off the hook.

The Rev. Dr. Clyde Shallenberger has admirably pioneered the chaplaincy program at Hopkins. In my view, however, his program is underfunded and understaffed.

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