Westinghouse honors won by local students
Marylanders should be extremely proud of the high school seniors who ranked well in the most recent Westinghouse Science Talent Search. Maryland has less than 2 percent of the U.S. population, so proportionately it should have had less than six participants ranking in the top 300 in this prestigious national science project contest. Yet there were 13 such students -- 15 if you include the two who live in Maryland but attend Georgetown Day School in Washington, D.C.
Marylanders won four (or five) of the top 40 places. California had just four; Florida had only one in the top 40. Only New York can boast having more students than Maryland in the top 40.
In the top 10, Maryland had the ninth-place winner: Benjamin Jun of Bethesda, who attends Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, won a $10,000 college scholarship. He plans to study electrical engineering at Stanford University.
The following Maryland schools, all of them public, were represented in the top 300: Walt Whitman in Bethesda, Atholton in Columbia, Frederick (2), Oxon Hill (3), Winston Churchill in Potomac, Colonel Zadok Magruder in Rockville, and Montgomery Blair in Silver Spring (4). Oxon Hill, Rockville, and Silver Spring (2) students made the top 40. Oxon Hill's Mark David Pilloff, was, at age 15, the youngest of the 40.
In terms of the scientific promise of its ablest and most ambitious students, Maryland need bow to no other state. These young people deserve at least as much acclaim as the star athletes in their schools. For the sake of their futures and that of our country, I hope they get it.
Julian C. Stanley
The writer is professor of psychology and director of the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth at the Johns Hopkins University.
Among the many absurdities associated with government and our current deficit and budget crisis are two of particular note. One is "mandated programs," the other is "matching funds."
The mandate, of course, is backward. Instead of legislating programs that require ongoing funding, we ought to mandate that no program be legislated unless it has an unencumbered source of funds.
The acquisition of matching funds is often cited as justification for passing legislation, and it is absolutely the worst reason to legislate. We end up requiring the federal government to give us funds that it doesn't have to match funds that we don't have.
I can't believe your newspaper would write an editorial encouraging the town of Elkton to deny the Ku Klux Klan its First Amendment right to parade ("Standing up to the Klan," March 10). If it were The Baltimore Sun's First Amendment rights in question, you'd certainly be on the other side of the issue.
Perhaps the most telling flaw in your argument is the final sentence of the editorial. "Whether or not Elkton loses the war, fighting the battle against hate and racism is always right." Does this give us license to kill all Klansman? Of course not. Nor does it give us the right to trammel their civil liberties. Your editorial espouses an "ends justifies the means" philosophy. That is a dangerous position to take.
For many years I have defended The Evening Sun to friends who are New York Times and Washington Post snobs. However, your coverage of former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin's death March 9 was appalling.
To put news of Mr. Begin's death on Page 5 was a travesty, not to mention an insult to Baltimore's Jewish community. I am not ordinarily a letter writer but this kind of disrespect cannot be allowed to pass unchallenged.
Hurrah for Bob Miller, the Oriole spokesman who responded to Del. Howard P. "Pete" Rawlings' assertion that the Orioles fail to encourage team support among African-Americans. The Orioles' programs in the Baltimore City public schools are positive; they promote enthusiasm, encourage recreational reading and reward good citizenship among school children.
I believe that Delegate Rawlings' efforts should not be limited to the city's black majority but should extend to the entire population. Those with the means to purchase baseball tickets do so regardless of race. I wonder whether the issue is race or demographics. The Orioles should continue to encourage the active participation of all city residents.
Ronne J. Lippenholz
It is difficult to know where to start in response to Richard P. McBrien's anti-American-Irish Catholic article (Other Voices, March 2). He compares the politics of Patrick Buchanan with those of Gov. Mario Cuomo.