Editor: A group of people force me, upon threat of imprisonment, to give them one-third of my income. When these people call themselves the government and use my money for the public good, then such coercion is acceptable, because I'm part of the public. But when, as The Sun reports (Nov. 4, "There's pork aplenty in that 'bare bones' budget"), these people give the money to private interests, which then in effect kick back part of it in the form of campaign contributions, it is robbery. Congress isn't just wasting taxpayers' money; it's stealing it.
Editor: Dorothy Siegel in her letter of Nov. 16 feels that parents should be removed from their children's homework situation. She asserts that when a student does not complete work or has made errors, time should be set aside by the teacher to do it.
This is delegating yet another less than pleasant task involved with child rearing on to someone who is completely outside the family. Ms. Siegel does not go into details as to when this ''set aside'' time is to be, but one can only assume she means time slots that are the property of the teacher, free periods or after school, which is totally unfair to presume upon.
We see this tactic used more and more by parents from the ''have it all'' segment of society, who use this ''detachment-in-the-name-of-independence'' ruse often, as though all the loose ends of their incompleted tasks took care of themselves with no burden to anyone, the child who is not completing homework being one. But when the explanation of how these loose ends are to resolve themselves is examined in detail there is always someone who has the extra duty unjustly thrust upon them so that the parent can be free to pursue other endeavors.
Homework is named thusly because it is to be done at home, i.e. in the family setting, tying the parents into the school life of the child. Many times it is the only chance parents have to see where their child is having problems, if that child does not have an innate ability to be a good student, which most do not. Young children especially need to be guided down the road to good study habits and that duty, sorry, is the job of the parent.
People who have absolutely no desire to involve themselves with the time-consuming tasks that are sometimes on a very juvenile level and rather boring and repetitive, but are none the less part of being in charge of a child's life, should consider this as they face the prospect of parenthood. Woe to the child whose parents believe that only the most pleasing of chores will be their responsibility, and who will unload the unpleasantries on strangers to make the child more ''independent.''
Whom to Blame?
Editor: Nearly everyone seems to have a mad-on about congressmen these days, especially because of the recent unseemly debacle over the budget deficit reduction legislation.
I, for one, venture to say that such resentment is unfair or misdirected for those who finally bit the bullet and recognized that an increase in taxes is the only equitable manner adequately to address at least some of the present imbalance between income and outgo.
It also is unfair and misdirected for those who honestly believed that drastic cutting of Medicare and other things to which we have grown accustomed would effect a solution to the problem with no increase in taxes.
While a few of the members of Congress may have proceeded from less than worthy motives, most were doing their best.
Bankers, baseball players and even priests may occasionally turn out to be bad apples. Doctors and lawyers, too, and so it is with members of Congress.
Those representatives and senators represent us, the voters, in the democracy we are proud of and fortunate enough to live in.
The debacle has proceeded from a wide-spread belief that we want all the things which government provides but do not accept that we should pay for them through taxes.
Yet two for benefits and one for revenues does not make fourThe old rule still applies. Two plus two equals four.
The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our congressmen (and women) but in ourselves.
#Francis D. Murnaghan Jr.
How Blacks Learn About Racism
Editor: Reading Ken Hamblin's Opinion Commentary version of how black people usually learn about racism in America, "Miss Collins Cracks," Oct. 17, I thought of my experiences over 33 years and find little on which we agree.
I recall not a single tale of white bigotry retold by relatives, but vividly remember racial incidents from grade school to the present that cannot be attributed to insecurity or paranoia on my part.
As a pre-schooler, I lived in an all-black Baltimore County community, seeing white people only on trips to the supermarket, laundromat, or to church with my mother. I sometimes wondered, "Why did we live apart from white people?"