Philosophy is necessary for liberal arts
The bureaucrats are at it again. The committee to decide the fate of the University of Maryland system has arranged the possible elimination of the French department at Salisbury, the linguistics department at Bowie and the philosophy department at Towson.
As an adult who has returned to college (at Towson), I recently completed my first philosophy course. The course encouraged reflection and analysis; the whole purpose of philosophy is to reflect on the meaning of life.
How can any liberal arts college worthy of the name entertain the idea of eliminating a discipline that fosters inquiry into the purpose of human existence?
Barbara R. Gormley
Donate to schools
Your story on the lack of books in city schools (May 7) is not new nor is it forgiveable.
At least 23 years ago, my eighth graders were sharing Sherlock Holmes books in English. That's enough to start a fight, so I ran off copies.
Now, teachers are limited to reams of paper per month, so running off copies is extravagant.
How about if every household donates, tax-deductible, an amount of $250 to $500 per year to a city school -- especially those whose children could go to private school, but either believe in public education or want to save toward $25,000 annual college costs?
These basic book and paper problems must be dealt with and extra funds from able parents and grandparents would thrill the staff and boost morale and learning.
Robin R. Gaber D.D.S.
The rampant cruelty to the ponies and horses in Baltimore City that pull overloaded wagons of produce and junk is overwhelming. Some of these poor creatures have open sores under too-heavy harnesses due to the constant abrasion of them against their backs during too many hours of hard work on the streets.
Their housing is deplorable -- small, cramped stalls where they can't move around, in sheds which are located in alleys.
Henry Bergh started the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in 1866, the first such organization in the country, after witnessing extreme mistreatment to work horses. If he were alive today, he'd still be fighting for them.
Everyone who loves animals must demand better treatment for these horses and report cases of cruelty to the authorities.
Gutting the State Police
It is with growing concern, disgust and anger that I read of the Schaefer administration's continuing intentions to "reorganize" the Maryland State Police in order to "boost sagging morale and improve its public image."
The citizens of Maryland need to know that what is actually occurring is a concerted effort to emasculate an organization that has served the state faithfully and effectively for more than 55 years.
Public safety secretary Bishop Robinson states that civilians will be hired to perform some jobs now done by troopers, who would then be freed for highway patrol and criminal assignments.
The fact is that most civilian positions being created are in place of and not in addition to existing police positions. Police positions are not being freed; they are being eliminated. Dozens of police positions have already been eliminated and more are planned.
Additionally, State Police are being required to hold as many as 80 police positions vacant in order to meet budget restrictions. There were no troopers hired in 1992 and there will be none in 1993.
The effect of these actions has been and will be to reduce the number of troopers on patrol and investigating crime.
The fact is that the Maryland State Police Medevac program is considered the best in the nation, if not the world.
The fact is that airport security at Baltimore-Washington International Airport is consistently ranked among the best by federal authorities.
The fact is that the Maryland Port Authority police under the leadership of the Maryland State Police have received worldwide recognition.
The fact is that the State Police commercial vehicle enforcement program has been in the forefront of such efforts on a national basis.
In prior years, State Police were placed in these and other programs because of the inability and ineffectiveness of other agencies and organizations to do the job.
The current problems afflicting the State Police are not the fault of the men and women of that organization.
The fault lies with the consistent failure of William Donald Schaefer and Bishop Robinson to provide the department the support and leadership it deserves and needs.
Morris L. Krome
The writer is a retired major in the Maryland State Police.
Cavalry to rescue
Golly, the things one can learn while reading The Sun! A while back, your paper carried an advertisement for a woman's suit made of "calvary twill." Christ's seamless robe evidently had at long last been found and put to a utilitarian use -- but where were the big headlines to that effect?