What's RightEditor: Your editorial, "The World is...


December 03, 1990

What's Right

Editor: Your editorial, "The World is Listening," suggests that Congress should butt out of the Gulf situation because of political party squabbling and the whims of other nations. Are you asking Congress to suspend its constitutional obligations because of hard choices and foreign scowls? Exactly the opposite should be done! Congress should meet its constitutional responsibilities for war (or not) so the world knows where the United States, both executive and legislative, stands and means to stay. Why dally? We all know that any congressman could have safely voted for war on Dec. 8, 1941.

But foremost, we have up to a half-million servicemen in the Gulf region sent there by the commander-in-chief. Whatever transpires, they deserve the constitutional will of the Congress, so that when they return, they can look the nation in the eye and say -- we went, honorably and legally. Let there be no room for oily trails of skewed political half-truths traced by self-greased hole seekers as followed the Korean and Vietnam wars. Congress is hired by the people to weigh -- and paid by the people to decide. As a former senator and president, Harry Truman said, ''Do what's right.''

Quentin D. Davis.


Charles Bailey

Editor: The world, unfortunately, does not know about Charles Bailey, a professor for 28 years at the Community College of Baltimore, but scores of his colleagues and thousands of his former students will never forget their genial, saintly and radical teacher of philosophy and history. He died Nov. 17, after a lengthy bout with cancer.

"Bailey," or simply "Charlie," as most called him, joined the faculty of the old Baltimore Junior College in the days of post-World War II "chickenry," when BJC was part of the city school system. From the outset the Twenty-Fifth street pedocrats had a hard time placing this GWU-Harvard-Columbia-Oxford scholar in an appropriate pedagogical niche. Oxford did not dole credits or points, and the thought of such a thing was past the cerebrocells of the hickory sticklers of those days.

But Charlie did fit in, and devoted his life to teaching and comforting the afflicted as well as afflicting the comfortable. It was comfortable in those unenlightened days to afflict all teachers with something called "in-service" classes to win them promotion points. I joined him in a wretched series on urban renewal, which in that day meant persuading slumlords to clean up their hovels and put on a good (form-stone) front. Charlie's approach was to rise and address classmates and speakers on the counter-profit stupidity of such a move. Slumlords hated him.

But students never hated him, nor did Charlie ever express hatred for anyone, altruist or scamp. The worst I ever heard was when he declaimed to a foe, "It is a good thing for you that you were never in the military service, for had you been, your face would not be as it is now, for someone would have disfigured it!" (Oxonian, perhaps, for somebody ought to kick your teeth in!)

Bailey was a student of the world. He dabbled in politics and ecclesiology; became an ordained priest of the Liberal Catholic Church and spent years heading the Maryland Theosophical Society. To move in political or arcane circles in those days meant to know Charlie Bailey, lifelong friend of such opposites as Madalyn Murray and Loyola's Father John Wise.

He will never pass from memory.

John Taylor.


Late Pick-ups

Editor: We enthusiastically awaited the first municipal pick up of recyclable materials. Over the previous weeks, we had faithfully accumulated several containers of papers, glass jars and metal cans. Yes, this required some time and effort, but what worthwhile items don't?

To our dismay, our recyclables were not picked up after two days of phone calls and assurances.

Even more discouraging is the lack of participation throughout the local area. (Since, for two days, the materials were not picked up, it was easy to see who was participating.)

We must realize that we are citizens of a larger community, larger than our own immediate dwellings and neighborhoods, and, accordingly, must accept some responsibility for alleviating the billions of tons of trash which are going into ever-shrinking landfills.

A5 Please, save and properly dispose of recyclables.

Susan E. Mannion.


No Sale, Teach

Editor: The inspiring article about Booker T. Washington Middle School's dedicated principal contained one chilling sidelight. The reporter mentioned meeting a newly hired teacher: "a former salesman, he is going to teach special education. 'I'll be taking some courses to learn about all those psychological things and learning disabilities,' he says."

Apparently, some of our city's most vulnerable children are being put in the hands of an inexperienced, untrained teacher. Would we hand over our children to be operated on by a first-year medical student? If not, why would we allow an unqualified person to perform brain surgery on our children's education?

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