High court is playing to the mobThe Rehnquist Supreme...

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April 01, 1991

High court is playing to the mob

The Rehnquist Supreme Court has gone beyond "judicial activism." Playing to the mob (majoritarianism), it has perverted the established meaning of constitutional rights by creating exceptions that eviscerate the rules.

Some examples:

There is a right against unreasonable search and seizure, except where the crime involves drug abuse (i.e., wholesale random drug testing by the state).

There is a right to confront one's accusers, except where the charge is child abuse.

There is a right to non-excessive bail, except where the accused is deemed dangerous. (Detention without bail in such cases is called a safety regulation ` not punishment.)

Most recently, there is a right against self-incrimination, except that the use of a coerced confession will not necessarily invalidate a conviction.

Purveyors of majoritarian propaganda applaud the court's "conservatism." Have words lost all meaning? This usurpation of rights is, in fact, radical.

"Totalitarian" is the appropriate adjective where citizens have no rights against the state. Check the dictionary.

Gregory Lewis


Revenue boost

Being greatly troubled by the serious and pervasive financial woes assailing all parts of our great state, I am recommending to the legislature the veto-proof passage of a law directing Gov. Willy Don to undertake at once acquisition and sale of various badges, buttons, banners and bumper-stickers saying:

Dump Don! Do it now! Environmentalists, frustrated Route 50 commuters, state employees, citizens of the Eastern Shore and members of the Maryland Rifle and Pistol Association will flock to buy these symbols of their deepest feelings and generate revenue exceeding the wildest dreams of our most exalted executive high-roller.

This revenue will offset Willy Don's reaction to any insult to the royal personage. Also he will take comfort in contemplating the NRA being in Chapter 11 after draining its coffers to buy and distribute "Dump Don" goodies. Clever Willy also will see out-of-state sales, e.g., to Trump creditors. These opportunities will, of course, dictate extensive travel by a large gubernatorial delegation including the royal companion, H. M. Snoops. (That's Hilda Mae ` not Her Majesty.) Costs for these boondoggles cannot be criticized because they will be more than offset by anticipated future revenues.

I urge your newspaper to take a positive editorial position on this upcoming and vital legislative initiative and publish this letter in your April Fool's Day edition.

Larry Parker


The way it was

The gulf war celebration is being overdone, especially all of the coverage commemorating the return of personnel with only a six-month tour, most with no combat duty. Why all the celebration?

I am a World War II veteran with four of five battle stars that were earned over the course of the entire campaign, a crusade which included nine months of dodging bullets with General Patton's army, building platoon bridges across rivers, lakes and streams from the English Channel to the Danube River of Germany, and crossing the Rhine River on Palm Sunday in 1945.

The front-line duty across France and Germany included a yeaof sleeping in vehicles, bombed out buildings and under trees; using your helmet as a bath basin and withstanding winter temperatures at times below 0 degrees.

Once I arrived home, I was hardly noticed other than by my family. I did not receive a thank you or anything from local, state or national officials. But now our officials are talking about cars, matching pay and counseling. However, when I departed the separation center, my travel pay was 35 cents.

Charles M. Queen


Clean water

Timothy Wheeler's March 13 news article regarding the Jones Falls highlights but one example of the glaring needs Maryland and the nation face with regard to clean water. A conservative estimate is that the country faces a shortfall of $50 billion to $80 billion in the years 1993-2000 in the attempt to meet current federal clean water and safe drinking water standards.

Although Maryland is blessed with an adequate supply of drinking water, we do face substantial capital needs to prevent pollution from overflowing sewer systems and storm runoffs, as witness the Jones Falls. We have also seen the considerable problems the Chesapeake Bay is experiencing.

A study commissioned by the Clean Water Council estimated Maryland's projected shortfall to be $1.87 billion over the 1993-2000 period.

One only needs to look at Eastern Europe to see what infrastructure and environmental neglect can do.

W. Lee Gaines Jr.

The writer is president of Associated Utility Contractors of Maryland.

Sony days

Why did Sony Florendo have to relinquish the name Sony ` a pet name her father had fondly bestowed upon her when she was a baby? What possible connection could her restaurant have with a Japanese TV set? Does anyone have the answer?

ollie E. Rudow


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