Honor CompactEditor: John Micklos' letter to the editor on...


September 18, 1991

Honor Compact

Editor: John Micklos' letter to the editor on Lieutenant Gov. Melvin Steinberg's plight (Sept. 5) does raise questions. The record of accomplishments should equally list the governor who initiated the programs.

Mr. Steinberg's public service record contains some positive results. However, public interest groups can also classify his certain policy performance as poor. The term "ugly," however, is reserved for the current, sad period of relationships between two public servants. Citizens should ask Mr. Steinberg why he took the oath of office after the 1990 election, given the governor's policy positions.

Mr. Steinberg should honor the compact with Gov. William Donald Schaefer and all Marylanders. Mr. Steinberg is part of the Schaefer administration, and to separate the relationship would be a crude political move which citizens of Maryland would remember in 1994. Governor Schaefer's fall in public popularity polls is no reason to support Mr. Steinberg's resignation.

Edwin S. Crawford.


Thoughtful People

Editor: George P. Will's column, "Why Vote at All? Leave it to More Thoughtful People," concluded that a smaller electorate is usually better informed. Mr. Will's elitist, Hamiltonian perspective clearly demonstrates his lack of confidence in the political sophistication of the "common man."

Who exactly are the more "thoughtful people?" Would the grassroots supporters of Eugene McCarthy in 1968 qualify as "thoughtful people" or would the Democratic bosses who secured the presidential nomination for Hubert Humphrey?

Mr. Humphrey entered the presidential race too late to file in the state primaries. However, he was able to assemble enough delegates to win the Democratic nomination on the first ballot. I am not belittling Mr. Humphrey, but want to illustrate the connection between political frustration and voter apathy -- a term and relationship that Mr. Will does not identify.

Mr. McCarthy received more than 2.9 million votes -- or 38.7 percent of all votes cast -- in the 1968 Democratic primaries. The Democrats adopted several rule changes for 1972 after the fact, but that did not change the sense of political frustration of those who participated in the primaries, since their votes were virtually ignored at the convention.

Defeat alone does not lead to frustration and disenchantment, but the belief that the presidential nominating process is both outdated and unresponsive to the electorate is a different matter.

obert Edwards.


Historic Estonia

Editor: The Sept. 7 Reuters map, "The Baltics gain independence," misleads your readers by implying that the history of Estonia begins in 1709 with its annexation into the Russian Empire.

Czar Peter I did conquer the Baltic provinces that year by defeating the Swedes -- and he was able to achieve the dream of his predecessors and open a window to the West. However, Estonians date back long before that time as members of the ancient Finno-Ugric tribes (Finns, Estonians and Hungarians) which first settled on the shores of the northern Baltic at least 500 years before Christ. Some contend that the settlements occurred immediately following the end of the Ice Age.

Over the centuries, Estonia has endured occupation by the Danes, Swedes and Germans also, but its people speak a language belonging to the Ural-Altaic family, not the Indo-European (Teutonic, German, Slavic, Scandinavian) of its occupying neighbors.

Estonia is part of Northern Europe, not Eastern Europe or the Soviet Union.

artin Sarapik.



Editor: How can we expect students to learn proper English if educators like Nancy Grasmick spout the pretentious nonsense quoted in The Sun of Sept. 3?

What exactly is meant by "There has to be a coordination of inter-agency initiatives to support that child who may come from a less than nurturing home environment"?

English is a marvelously direct language, but this convoluted newspeak makes a mockery of it.

Couldn't she have found a simpler way to say we have to help our dangerously neglected children?

R. N. Ellis.


Teach the Cubans New Lessons

Editor: Your editorial about the pullout of Soviet troops from Cuba provoked some interest as to what the American reaction should be. No doubt, there are many of us who are pleased about the turn of events, much of which is in the spirit of "Good! Now they can stew in their own dilemma." On the other hand, this watershed in the fate of the Communist experiment in Cuba can also be a challenge for the United States.

While we may not hold much regard for the Castro regime, the great majority of its citizens are worthy of our assistance. The variety of help, rather than in the one-shot handout approach, can be that which leads to greater economic independence. Why not approach Fidel Castro with an offer to help Cuba if he should agree to modify the political structure to gradually become more democratic over a designated period of time?

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