Bush giving welfare to the already-rich
Most of us agree that the verdict in the Rodney King case and the uprising in Los Angeles were equally deplorable. The best leadership that President Bush can provide is to politicize the crisis, remarking that this shows that the policies and programs of the '60s, by which he means welfare and special agendas for the poor, do not work.
Meanwhile, under his leadership, billions of dollars have been gleefully forked over for our bloated defense industries and banking institutions. That's welfare for the already-rich. Our Congress enacts programs and tax legislation that narrowly benefits special interests, including a lot of pork for their own districts. That's a special agenda for the already-rich too.
The money given to the rich robs programs to help the poor. When funding to provide prenatal care is slashed, innocent babies die. When programs to provide food for the children of the poor are cut, innocent children die.
The result is not as violent, and it doesn't make great television, but it is violence none the less. And it is really more ruthless because it is premeditated.
It is so much easier to blame the poor, the helpless, and the hopeless. And we wonder why the rest of the world looks at us and weeps.
Eroding our rights
During the Reagan and Bush administrations we have seen an attack upon and erosion of the Bill of Rights -- the packing of the Supreme Court with conservatives, the killing of civil rights legislation, the support by the presidency of groups attempting to abridge the rights of others.
Out of this atmosphere comes the Rodney King case and verdict. A governmental arm of social control has received approval to brutalize civilians. Brutality by governmental arms and agencies has happened in this country in the past. It happens all the time in dictatorships worldwide.
What we can learn from history and dictatorships past and present is that every act violating the rights and person of any citizen is an erosion of the rights of every citizen and a threat to every citizen. Each of us has a stake in protecting the rights of all of us.
ara Erica Haus
Who should decide HCFA's fate?
I was enraged by your editorial in favor of moving HCFA to Baltimore City ("The HCFA headquarters fight," May 6). Your discussion has effectively removed the debate from behind the "closed doors" to which you refer and introduced it into the arena of public confrontation.
Rallying my fellow employees to do more than just roll over and play dead while we are railroaded to a costly, unsafe and undesirable location has been an uphill fight for seven months.
Convincing folks that the city package is not a "done deal" requires constant reinforcement. Members of our employee group, HCFA Employees for Woodlawn, are confronted daily by co-workers needing reassurance that our efforts to stay in the Woodlawn location will have a bearing on the GSA's ultimate decision.
We have expended countless hours to ensure the GSA decision is made with the most accurate, information available. The damaging effect your editorial has had on our efforts is incalculable. The best resources we have to combat a reckless political decision are the rights and desires of the nearly 3,000 HCFA employees. Editorials such as yours, fraught with inaccuracies and misinformed opinion, are a detriment to the fight we are waging.
Your assertion that the city has superior transit access is an excellent example. I worked downtown for three financially lean years. I rode mass transit. You can have it. A transit bus mired in one of downtown's infamous traffic jams moves no faster than the vehicles stuck in front of it. Superior access, indeed!
You report that "neither site is particularly more crime-prone." That is evidence scant time was spent researching the facts. The study to which you refer incorrectly compares crimes reported in a 10-block area over a 12-hour period to crimes reported in a 12-square-mile area over a 24-hour period -- hardly a valid comparison.
As for the intensification of the political jockeying, you can bet your last subscriber that I'll intensify mine. Employees and business people need to know the facts to offset the injustice and sabotage perpetrated by thoughtless editorials such as yours.
Reporter Jacques Kelly's article "Hackerman House gives the once under-appreciated Walters a forceful, emphatic boost" (May 4) makes a strong case for Hackerman House helping embellish the image of the Walters. The newly renovated Hackerman House has indeed become a magnet for visitors. However, even more important than Hackerman House as a drawing card has been the work of Robert Bergman, the Walters' director.