Republicans and reporters are busily telling us what Ross Perot isn't, but they're ignoring what he is -- America's version of "none of the above."
A big thing in Mr. Perot's favor: in the newspaper pictures and televised reports that I've seen so far, he does not have a "cheerleader-type" wife always hanging onto his side, looking up at him with hero-worship eyes. (After the attention- and media-hungry Nancy, it has been such a relief having Barbara Bush in the White House.)
uth Ann Pierce
Upon visiting this country many years ago, a well known British writer observed that "the American love of oratory can be nationally dangerous, perhaps because Americans are more emotional than the English and more easily stirred."
If you agree with this assertion, prepare this diversion: When asked about Ross Perot, don't let your vote be known until his specific proposals are.
A fee might deter wanton tree-cutting
Nestled along the eastern boundary of Patapsco State Park, Catonsville, the town where I live, is cloaked in a mantle of trees of every shape, size and species.
Huge tulip poplars and oaks rise up in stately columns among the big old homes that line our streets. Maples, ash, sycamores, XTC spruce, hemlocks, white pines and even an occasional Dawn Redwood round out the collection, making Catonsville a true kingdom of trees. But all is not well in my kingdom.
At least once a week, I awaken to the sound of chain saws somewhere in my neighborhood, and it usually means the loss of another big tree.
The reasons I am given for these botanical murders are as varied as the trees that grow here. They usually go something like this: "I'm afraid it will fall on my house;" "I'm tired of raking leaves;" "Its roots are cracking my sidewalk," and "I want more sunlight."
Since we are learning more and more about the beneficial effects that trees have on our environment, these excuses for tree removal just don't hold up very well.
I think it makes perfect sense that the cutting down of a tree in most cases should involve more than a telephone call to the tree service man.
How about a state law requiring a tree removal fee of $200? This fee would serve the dual purpose of fattening Maryland's lean coffers and maybe at the same time would make some people think twice before they decide to remove that healthy 150-year-old giant from their front lawn.
Recently I read that the state board of education has decided to ban smoking in public schools by staff and students. I agree with the ban but I am concerned about its enforcement.
Smoking has long been a problem in public schools. It used to be up to the teachers to police the building to enforce school policy. The problem has never been solved.
Now the situation is different. The law makes it illegal for a teen-ager to buy cigarettes, yet it is still up to teachers to police the school to stop teen-age smokers. Doctors and nurses do not have to do this in hospitals. They have security people to enforce laws while they practice their profession.
The ban could end smoking in public schools or it could create a demoralizing situation for the staff and build barriers between them and the students. Enforcement of the ban is a matter local boards of education must decide immediately and equitably.
David A. Fisher
Clinton's the one
As we continue the pre-election chaos and see President Bush on "Good Morning America," I would like to remind all voters of something: "Read My Lips."
Now is the time for Americans to remember this little phrase, as President Bush has nicely arranged question and answer sessions with the (carefully) selected "public." Do all these folks really expect an honest answer from a man who has been haunted by a glaring broken election promise?
It has been made clear that Mr. Bush will stoop to any level to win. Remember Willie Horton? Of course some people aren't fooled by Mr. Bush; that's why we have Ross Perot. Unfortunately, in my opinion, many voters go for Mr. Perot only as a desperation vote.
Please, America, make the only right choice by voting for Bill Clinton. Mr. Bush is out of touch, dishonest and seems to only want to "get close" to the American public and their problems when he needs a vote. Mr. Perot has absolutely not one bit of political experience. He is known to be almost dictatorial in nature and certainly not too open-minded.
Mr. Clinton is the only candidate I have seen who has addressed issues and who has had actual plans on how to implement his policies. If he were in office, Congress would no longer have the old bi-partisan excuse.