Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski accepted $4,000 from executives of Warner Brothers, the company that made Ice-T's "Cop Killer," the despicable rap song that advocates the killing of police officers.
I think she should return the money in protest against the company's irresponsibility.
Last month, 60 members of Congress signed a letter expressing "our deep sense of outrage" over Time-Warner's distribution of this vile record. Senator Mikulski was not among the signatories, who included 57 Republicans and 3 Democrats.
Police groups, citizens associations and Republican leaders have protested the Ice-T rap and urged a boycott of Time-Warner. The Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police paid to send a fellow officer, who was blinded by a gunman, to Beverly Hills to participate in the protest at the Time-Warner shareholder's meeting.
With Maryland police officers' lives on the line, Senator Mikulski should not show contempt for our police by accepting contributions from executives of this unethical company. At the least, she should donate the money to the widows and children of slain police officers.
Suzanne K. Peyser
If George Bush dumps Dan Quayle, as Karen Hosler suggests in The Sun (July 21), he will surely lose in November.
The Republicans are supposed to be conservative and the Democrats are supposed to be liberal. If you ask me, the only true conservative part of the Bush/Quayle '92 ticket is Mr. Quayle.
Ms. Hosler implies that many Republicans want Mr. Quayle out. This is simply not true.
Many of us remember that it was he who fought hard in Congress to have the Patriot missile funded in the first place. Many of us also realize -- unlike his boss -- he has never flip-flopped on abortion.
Also, Mr. Quayle was the one one to have enough guts to talk about family values, something that is very important and is what this country was founded upon.
I grant you that Mr. Quayle might not be the scholar that some of our previous vice presidents have been. What you may feel he lacks in intelligence, he makes up abundantly with integrity, common sense and morals. Those are probably three of the most important qualities someone needs to be president.
May I also remind you that Winston Churchill was not a scholar, yet he is considered by many to be one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century.
Unfortunately, I am not old enough to vote in this upcoming election. If I were, and if Mr. Bush replaces Mr. Quayle, I wouldn't be voting. I'm sure that I wouldn't be alone!
Mary M. Shaffrey
Who Will Pay?
Asbestos was considered a useful product, and it had widespread application years ago. At that time, we were unaware of the dangers associated with asbestos. It does not seem fair to penalize business and industry today for what was not known many years ago.
The award of $11.3 million to just three people claiming to have asbestosis is outrageous. When some 8,500 others will try to follow suit, it will cost someone dearly.
Who is that someone?
Well, the companies will go out of business paying claims and will certainly lay off thousands of workers. Insurance companies that pay claims of such large magnitude will certainly raise the premiums on all businesses and individuals.
Therefore, thousands of average citizens indirectly will pay the bills and suffer the financial consequences and lose work opportunities.
Of course, many lawyers will make out like bandits.
The world today seems to be lacking common sense.
It is sad that Shahid Mahmud (letter, July 26) believes that a defense of India (against China) is necessarily an attack on Pakistan. His letter is filled with far too many inaccuracies and unsubstantiated allegations to pass unchallenged.
There can be no comparison between human rights in the world's largest democracy and those in China or Pakistan. Yes, there are certainly police excesses in India; where are there not? There are human rights violations in India, and I regret them.
At the same time, India has some of the most active human rights organizations in the world, a vociferous and diverse press and, perhaps most importantly, a vibrant participatory democracy.
While Mr. Mahmud no doubt has the Pakistani viewpoint on the wars between India and Pakistan or the war of 1962, when China invaded a completely unprepared India, this is almost certainly not the verdict of almost any unbiased historical account.
India does spend too much of its GNP on its military. Any amount would be too much. However, to put matters in perspective, defense was 19 percent of the budget in 1988; 30 percent of Pakistan's (much smaller) budget was spent on defense in the same year.
Unfortunately, China continues to be an unpredictable factor on India's eastern border while the U.S. government has indicted Pakistan for its . . . covert development of nuclear weapons. I do not feel that India has a viable alternative to a strong military.