'Doable' tips for a governor who pays visits
I'm the citizen who got the unexpected house call from His Royal Highness William Donald Schaefer because of the irreverent letters I had sent to him. These letters were not angry. They were humorously satirical and playfully pricked his pomposity. I blew the whistle on him because he came to intimidate and to chastise.
The media people did all the work in publicizing his visit. Their broad animosity toward HRH must have a cause. Perhaps some hint can be found in his habit of belittling the press by calling the men "junior" and the women "little girl" whenever he's not on camera.
The response from fellow citizens was amazing. All the phone calls we received were congratulatory and friendly, and many people had their own stories about HRH. We received mail with Schaefer memorabilia such as T-shirts, posters, poems, bumper stickers and obscene cartoons. We didn't hear from any royal robe hem kissers.
HRH sent me a nice note and said, "Why not . . . give me some 'doable' constructive suggestions?" OK, governor, if you want to run for president, make peace with the media and practice a bit of humility toward your fellow citizens in Maryland. Don't forget you were re-elected by less than 15 percent of the voting-age population; 85 percent of the eligible citizens did not vote for you.
Also, return the $40,000 pay raise.
Cornelius J. Hourihan
Back to the past
Fifty years ago President Roosevelt signed a law giving workers the right to organize and strike for better working conditions and wages without the fear of being fired. The U.S. gives lip-service to the rest of the world for human rights and encourages people like Lech Walesa to organize his workers to overthrow their governments. Unions have been instrumental in bringing down the Berlin Wall, changing Poland's government, and now the Russian miners are turning the screws on Moscow.
Ever since Reagan replaced the air traffic controllers with scabs, other companies have been trying to figure out how to get rid of their union workers. Now the Supreme Court has ruled that employers can hire permanent replacements when their workers on strike. Maybe the goal of the government is to bring back the 14-hour, 6-day, $20-week in the hope it will bring back jobs that have been exported to Third World countries. This may backfire as more workers lose their jobs and homes and another Lech Walesa may come along and topple this government. I don't want my children and grandchildren to have to lose all the benefits I helped attain by pounding the bricks for the 39 years I was a union worker.
I urge all our representatives across this country to support and back the anti-strikebreaker legislation before Congress.
Russell C. Baker Jr.
The writer is a retired United Auto Worker who lives in Perry Hall.
The choices in Iraq
The Kurdish and Iraqi refugee issue involves a choice: moral and humanitarian intervention, military and political intervention or sitting on our hands. The president should not, and cannot legally, intervene with force in the internal politics of sovereign nations. He can and should, however, do three things.
First, he should arouse and focus the American people, as he did on behalf of Kuwait. The plight of Kurdish women and children barefoot and starving, facing the winter and possible genocide doesn't require much hype. Bush is the leader of a people who are traditionally compassionate and unselfish, and he must represent the best aspects of our national character.
Second, and again as he did with the United Nations coalition, Bush needs to galvanize the U.S. and the border countries to respond quickly and effectively to the most desperate refugee crisis in 20 years and probably since World War II. This means food, clothing, shelter and medical care.
Finally, Bush needs to lead the Security Council in a resolution that spells out to Saddam and his henchmen the dire consequences of military retaliation or crimes against humanity such as genocide, mass murder and assaults on unarmed civilians.
Roger C. Kostmayer
Parking lot clues
What I find surprising is all this talk about the loss of employment at all levels of business and reaching into the state and city where layoffs are becoming an everyday occurrence.
If you looked around the parking lots of their workplaces, you would probably have found the lots filled with foreign cars owned by those same people who are now pounding the pavement looking for work.
They pour tens of thousands of dollars at a time into foreign economies and then complain that there aren't enough jobs to go around nor enough funds to pay government employees' salaries.