AFDC isn't the only form of welfarePoverty is supposed to...

the Forum

December 30, 1991

AFDC isn't the only form of welfare

Poverty is supposed to be the raison d'etre for welfare recipients. However, "a rose by any other name is still a rose." And there are many welfare programs under names other than welfare.

The hue and cry of many elected officials and political aspirants is to advocate welfare reform. Members of the minority communities are quick to feel guilty and get uptight. A close examination of all welfare received in this country, however, reveals that most of the recipients are not black.

What are government payments for drought relief? Welfare! What are low-interest or no-interest loans to businesses like Chrysler? Welfare! What are subsidies to farmers? Welfare! What are government payments for the construction of telephone lines in Western, rural areas? Welfare!

Blacks need not feel guilty or threatened by welfare reform. Instead, we should remind the political protagonists that they should use a broader brush, reform the other welfare programs and leave programs for impoverished citizens alone.

Frank M. Conaway


Going public

Patricia Bowman was a victim, at least in her own mind. As a victim, she wanted others to know the truth, and indeed, this is an important part of her healing process.

Unfortunately, she chose the judicial system as a forum. Our judicial system is based on winning, not on getting at the truth. To win over a jury, one must tell a story that is more believable than the story told by the other side. One must rely on fabrications as well as the truth. Holes and contradictions, even though one is truthfully telling the story as he or she can recall it, does not sit well with a jury that has been instructed on "reasonable doubt."

Considerable effort went into constructing the story to defend Mr. Smith ` six attorneys at a cost of over $1 million. The prosecution's strategy appeared to rely on just telling the truth, without offering plausible explanations for gaps in the alleged victim's rape scenario.

Ms. Bowman should be commended for now going public with her story [in a recent television interview] and ` unshackled by courtroom procedures ` discussing the truth as she perceives it. Mr. Smith, if he chooses, can do likewise. One hopes that as a xTC result the incidence of rape will be significantly diminished in the future.

Larry Guess

Havre de Grace

Clearly clear

Frank A. DeFilippo writes: "The law empowers the secretary of state to determine which candidates are of presidential caliber, based on the national recognition they achieve." (Other Voices, Dec. 19).

DeFilippo tells me he got this inaccurate information directly from the secretary of state.

Allow me to set the secretary straight.

Section B of the State Administrative Board of Election laws, pertaining to the 1992 presidential election, reads:

"The secretary of state certifies the names of presidential candidates to the State Administrative Board of Election Laws to be placed on the party primary ballot when he has determined that the candidates are recognized in the news media throughout the United States or in Maryland as candidates for that party's nomination." (Italics are my own.)

This document is so clear - how can anyone misread it?

A. Robert Kaufman


Try this hypothesis

Hypothesis: Hitler flees the bunker, sheds his mustache, dyes and restyles his hair and studies elocution until he projects geniality with never a jarring shriek. Then he declares that he feels no animosity toward decent Jews and Gypsies and forgives those who unaccountably dislike him. Finally, he asserts his passion for brotherhood among all peoples and offers his services as general secretary of the newly formed United Nations.

Question: Would anybody take his candidacy seriously? I mean, outside Louisiana.

Benjamin Collins


Welfare reform

Help social services recipients to keep from using their money for drugs. The first time a social services recipient is convicted of drug use should be the last time he or she gets a government check.

Evelyn Clark


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