Editor: "Put America First" should be our slogan. While our cities are decaying and crying for help, our leaders insist on giving money overseas instead of to America.
Charity is a great virtue, but charity should begin at home. Our cities and citizens are crying for help and the leaders ignore their pleas.
0$ Please, let's put America first.
Anna W. Raith.
Editor: In spite of criticism, Gov. William Donald Schaefer has shown vision and statesmanship in sponsoring legislation to meet the state's needs: the Linowes report on taxes, the 2020 bill to do something meaningful for the bay, etc. This has been in stark contrast to the pusillanimity and parochialism of the General Assembly, especially its inept, selfish, partisan leadership.
In light of society's self-centeredness and lack of vision or understanding and legislators' evident concern with the polls rather than leading opinion, it is doubtless unrealistic to expect meaningful action by the Assembly. However, one might hope that a special session of the legislature might, in due course, implement the Linowes report rather than wait for a second tax-reform report from yet another commission.
Two-thirds of the electorate would be relatively unaffected by the provisions of the Linowes report, one-third with greater resources would pay somewhat higher taxes. This makes sense. The additional revenues would eliminate the need for drastic budget cuts.
To allow outrageous cuts in aid to the poorer subdivisions, education, remedial prison programs, aid to the poor, etc., is a black mark on the democracy we preach to Russia and Eastern && Europe.
James C. Pine.
Editor: Now that the Clarence Thomas imbroglio is over and the Senate and in particular the Senate Judiciary Committee have broadcast their collective and individual ineptitude nationwide, there seems to be some consensus to reform the process of election and confirmation of Supreme Court justices. Particularly with the legislative confirmation part of it anyhow, since it is the most visible. However, the executive hand in the proceedings could use a little tuning up also.
If presidents would stop nominating such nebbishes as have recently been proposed and nominate persons of known integrity, outstanding judicial experience and merit, there would be no need for the long, misguided senatorial reviews and inquisitions. And if the Senate took its job seriously and refused consent of the mediocre candidates that have recently been proposed, perhaps presidents would get the message and nominate really outstanding candidates. Maybe then the court could get back to interpreting the Constitution for all the people instead of for some political ideology.
Editor: A large portion of the responsibility for the distasteful Thomas confirmation hearings belongs to George Bush. How could he nominate a 43-year-old man with little experience to the highest court? How could he nominate a person who publicly refused to air his views about legal matters? It seems to me that the decision to nominate Judge Thomas is consistent with Mr. Bush's small-mindedness and partisan politics.
What Mr. Bush has done is to open new wounds on racism; embarrass many people, especially blacks; and to be politically divisive. Where is our kinder and gentler president?
Ralph S. Beren.
Editor: In the Perspective section Oct. 6, John McClintock refers to Guatemala as a ''struggling democracy.'' This ''democracy'' has mass starvation, mass disease, mass illiteracy and murderous U.S.-backed death squads, none of which exist in Cuba, which is called a ''dictatorship.`
Perhaps Cuba is a dictatorship, but it's strange how Mr. McClintock defines ''democracy.''
Gerald Ben Shargel.
Editor: One correction is necessary in your very timely Perspective article on smoke-free schools; Carroll County schools became smoke-free this past September, making that county the first in the state to do so.
Tobacco is the No. 1 drug problem in the United States. It is now responsible for well over 400,000 deaths annually. Some 3,000 teen-agers become addicted every day -- a total of one million per year.
For the past 10 years there has been virtually no decrease in the percent of high school students who smoke, despite the efforts of the former surgeon general. Those of us who care for children recognize the urgency of doing all we can to prevent our youth from acquiring the addiction and, equally, to protect the non-smokers (by far the larger majority) from the hazards of second-hand smoke.
Miriam Klebaner, M.D.
The writer is tobacco-free coordinator for the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Editor: AFSCME Council 92, the AFL-CIO union representing Maryland state employees, agrees with the recent editorial by The Sun, ''Painful Budget Cuts.''