Remember Quayle's qualificationsI never realized we had so...

the Forum

May 10, 1991

Remember Quayle's qualifications

I never realized we had so many political experts in this country who are familiar with Vice President Dan Quayle's qualifications.

Just who was asked to participate in the Time magazine poll, which indicated that two-thirds of Americans felt our vice president was "unqualified"?

Doesn't the public realize that this young lawyer and former senator was chosen by President Bush to be his vice president and will be chosen again for the next election? Also remember that the public chose and elected him!

Forget the stereotype of the vice president most people hold, that of a nice old gray-haired man who just nods and smiles like a favorite uncle.

I'm sure in an emergency Vice President Quayle can handle any political problem better than Johnson, Humphrey, Agnew, Rockefeller or Mondale. Remember, we elected him. Now let's back him up and knock off the poor-taste jokes and gibes!

Bernard Markevitch


Bottle tax decision

Charles D. Connelly does not present an accurate account of what transpired in the Baltimore County bottle tax affair (Forum, May 6).

He writes on the premise that all beverages in Baltimore County are purchased by way of vending machines, while in fact most are bought over supermarket counters.

In Baltimore County we supermarket purchasers were charged 3 cents extra at the inception of the bottle tax, and upon its repeal, this 3 cents was rescinded. So Baltimore city's decision to repeal its bottle tax should not hang on the invalid argument put forth by Connelly and others who are in favor of keeping the city's bottle tax for reasons best known to themselves.

Blanche K. Coda


Police and the law

The point of Abraham N. Tennenbaum's article on police violence (Other Voices, May 2) escapes me. An unequivocal acknowledgment of police responsibility to obey the law themselves while enforcing it would have greatly helped.

Perhaps this "former police lieutenant and current researcher in the Institute of Criminal Justice and Criminality at the University of Maryland College Park" should clearly come out with it: Police brutality is criminal behavior, and perhaps he should not lump legal and illegal use of force together.

But his suggestion for an enlightened approach to the problem in a broad context of criminal behavior was thought-provoking, although we might do well to question his emphatic discounting of the value of and need for police training programs.

If Mr. Tennenbaum means to imply that society in general, and not the police alone, has responsibility to reduce criminal behavior, one would then infer he also believes in such means as training and education to improve self-discipline and to encourage good citizenship. (Isn't that why police participate in community relations activities?) So why then does he not also consider better training, education and discipline for our police as potentially effective means to improve police compliance with the law?

Instead, he states we should reduce crime so as to reduce the number of contacts police would have with potential criminals the very activity we pay them for doing because there's a correlation between the number of police contacts with potential criminals and incidents of police using force, which opens up the opportunity for police to use force unlawfully. Just reduce crime and you reduce police violence, he suggests.

I'll admit, in a very simplistic way it makes sense. But come on now, let's get real. And let's hope no public funds paid for those findings.

Dan Hetrick


Wacky governor

King Donald stopped changing chapeaus to admonish me for my letter (April 9), after a promise to control his irascibility and refrain from writing nasty letters to his constituents. He must curb his petulant peevishness or his next hat could be the fool's cap.

A supermarket tabloid recently referred to His Honor as "the wackiest governor in America," which emphasizes that when you play the buffoon, you leave yourself open to ridicule.

Remember, governor, you can't surpass the late Hedda Hopper in the hat department, but there is always next year's Flower Mart!

Kelton Carl Ostrander


DEd syndrome

I note that Hilton Bostick has endorsed Samuel Banks for superintendent of Baltimore city schools (Forum, May 1). With the aid of a dictionary, I have struggled through the letters that Mr. Banks regularly writes to newspapers. I need the dictionary because Mr. Banks is a victim of the DEd (Doctor of Education) syndrome. He never uses a short, simple word when he can find a longer, obscure substitute.

The high baloney content of all communications, written and oral, from our present superintendent, Richard Hunter, shows that he has the same affliction. The short tenure of most big city superintendents is sad evidence that the disease is usually fatal.

Paul Slepian


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