Out of touch
Regarding the perks and free services of congressmen and other elected and appointed officials, I would expect them to be required to bear the expense of their own personal transportation, recreational, beauty and barbershop services and other personal needs from their monthly earnings, just as "we the people" are required to do.
Not only must we pay our own personal expenses but we are expected to bear the expenses of a protective "cocoon" for our so-called representatives.
We taxpayers have been accused of being out of touch with reality by Gov. William Donald Schaefer. I think the situation is just the reverse and that it applies to the entire spectrum of governmental officialdom from the lowliest to the highest, with pitifully few exceptions.
lanche K. Coda
Public taken for a ride on the gas tax
When William Donald Schaefer became governor of Maryland he worked with the legislature to raise the gasoline tax a nickel for road maintenance and public mass transit funding.
The roads are still in terrible condition and there is still not enough public mass transit available. Again they have raised the gasoline tax another nickel for the same purposes. I suppose this nickel/dime business is the peoples' fare for being "taken for a ride."
The media report that many voters feel Bill Clinton wants "too much" to be president, that he "looks too good . . . too smart . . . and too articulate." After examining recent presidents, these sound like manageable flaws.
If sincerity, principles, character and integrity are legitimate issues in a presidential election it also raises questions about Mr. Clinton's probable opponent in November.
Did the president really believe Dan Quayle was "the most
qualified person to step in and run the country?" Or that Judge Clarence Thomas was really the most qualified jurist to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court and "race was never a factor?"
What do we call it when a candidate demands "Read my lips. No new taxes!" and then, after being elected, raises taxes? (And explains it by saying, "Oops, I made a mistake.")
Is it good politics or simply "slick" to properly identify irresponsible fiscal policy as "voodoo economics" and then, in return for a place on the Republican ticket, spend 12 years slavishly supporting it and creating a devastating federal deficit?
How do we judge a candidate who promises to be the "environmental president," but who then overrules his own Environmental Protection Agency and puts the nation's wetlands and forests at risk?
And, finally, how much does someone want high office if, under political pressure, they flip from being a Planned Parenthood supporter to being a staunch right-to-life advocate who imposes a "gag rule" on health clinics for indigent women?
Politics is the art of compromise and politicians do have the right to change. But actions speak louder than either words or appearances and the ultimate question is whether the American people need a leader made of sterner stuff.
Roger C. Kostmayer
Regarding "Police shape-up cuts two top jobs" (April 15): The most recent reorganization aspect of this "shake-up" within the Baltimore City Police Department couldn't possibly have been orchestrated to encourage three top level police personnel (with in excess of 25 years of dedicated service each) to rethink retirement, or could it?
ne T. Freeman
The writer is vice chairwoman of the Northeastern District Police Community Relations Council.
Risks of peace
Does anyone see the potential for similarity between the minority South African rulers finally beginning to recognize the rights of the majority population to co-exist on an equal basis with the possibility of Israel's recognizing its Palestinian majority population's rights?
I believe that reform in South Africa came not only from sanctions placed on it by the rest of the world but from fear of violence and utter chaos that would result if something was not done to bring a transition to equality.
Now I don't pretend to understand all or even part of the tension between Arabs and Jew, but I do know that an "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth" only leads to complete and mutual destruction.
It has to stop somewhere, someone has to make a stand. In short, someone "must take the risks of peace" and it usually must start with the one who has the (perceived) upper hand.
What are our educators waiting for when they should be following in the footsteps of the Los Angeles school system? Educators there recently decided to give out condoms to high school students after notifying parents that if they didn't want their kids to get free condoms, they must say so.