Cheap ShotsEditor: You do your readers a disservice by...


March 28, 1991

Cheap Shots

Editor: You do your readers a disservice by printing vitriol such as Mary Kwiatkowski's "Who Pays For Paid Holidays?" One wonders how long she has been waiting for the opportunity to aim cheap shots at state workers with unfounded allegations.

Allow me to set the record straight. The 35.5-hour work week and state holidays are not "freebies," but rather earned benefits. The operational word here is earned. It may also surprise Ms. Kwiatkowski to learn that state workers also pay those same "excessive day-care costs."

It has often been said that state workers have chosen to work for the state and if they don't like it, they can go somewhere else. It is only fair to extend the same invitation to your correspondent.

Since she doesn't seem to like her private-sector job -- the "real world," as she puts it -- she can come to work for the real world of state government, encumbered by bureaucratic red tape, never-ending and always-changing personnel policies and expedient political whims.

Starting in July, she would have the opportunity to work 40 hours while being paid for 35. How's that for a "freebie?"

L. A. Jaworski.


Central America

Editor: Your editorials, ''Afraid of Peace in El Salvador,'' (Feb. 11) and ''Nicaragua Still Bleeds,'' (Feb. 24) accurately demonstrate the fragile political conditions of these two Central American democracies.

Given the precarious positions of both Cristiani and Chamorro, the United States should act swiftly to take advantage of a unique situation: For the first time in recent history, the leaders of both El Salvador and Nicaragua are U.S.-friendly and democratically elected.

Alfredo Cristiani, the leader of the ARENA party, was elected by an El Salvador fed up with the civil war, economic hardship, and failed social programs. Without some improvement in these areas, he may be voted out of office in the next election, and his successor may not be as desirable to the U.S.

A similar situation exists in Nicaragua. The U.S., after spending millions to oust the Sandinistas, must aggressively follow through with the promised $600 million in economic aid. No leader can survive 12,000 percent inflation for long, and the Nicaraguans may just choose to oust Violetta Chamorro.

After a decade of U.S. policy designed to spurn communism in El Salvador and Nicaragua, the U.S. has the opportunity to bolster the strength of democratic leaders friendly with the U.S. Given the tenuous positions of Cristiani and Chamorro, as well expressed in The Sun editorials, the U.S. must offer substantial assistance soon or the opportunity will slip away.

Michael Cangelosi.


Foreign Aid

Editor: Should I feel reprieved that Israel has conceded, and accepted a $500 million cash grant (read gift), apparently to compensate for her tranquil role during Operation Desert Storm? An emphatic No.

I'm sorry but the news of ''compromise'' did not assuage my contempt for the Bush administration, or for that matter previous administrations, who have stroked all our ''allies'' receiving foreign aid.

The arbitration among Secretary of State James A. Baker III, the Israeli government and the pro-Israel lobby apparently left out the principal concerned party, the American taxpayers.

Where are the politicians living? Fiscal constraint has been the convention throughout the private sector and equally so in parts of the public sector. States have seen federal outlays wane while foreign endowments appear to remain status quo.

This unconscionable ''philanthropy'' by our elected officials has got to stop.

Edmund Fox.


Healing Kuwait

Editor: In the wake of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait it should be evident to most people that the world is a much smaller place. Virtually every citizen of the world was affected by the Persian Gulf war, whether a combatant or not, and whether a citizen of a combatant country or not. It was a world war in almost every sense.

Now in the wake of this disaster it behooves us all as citizens of the world to try to rebuild the world economy.

For this reason I applaud Gov. William Donald Schaefer's formation of the Maryland International Health Task force. This organization, a purely voluntary effort on the part of citizens of Maryland, is an excellent first step in reconstructing the war-torn Persian Gulf area. A massive effort will be necessary to put the Kuwaiti health-care system back on its feet, and this cannot be done in a haphazard, makeshift manner.

Medical care is needed in Kuwait right now, and it's one of the things that Maryland does well. I applaud the spirit of volunteerism that has prompted businessmen, physicians, nurses and administrators to step forward and offer their services for the benefit of the people of Kuwait.

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