Tough GoingIn answer to William Hudson Jr., president of...


January 14, 1993

Tough Going

In answer to William Hudson Jr., president of AFSCME Council 92 ("State Business," letters, Jan. 4), I would say let's stop having the tail wag the dog.

He was not elected to represent the citizens of Maryland. He represents the interest of the public employees, who are in reality hired by us the citizens. Please do not tell us that we are not being taxed enough.

I believe that it is really arrogant to compare what citizens of individual states are paying in taxes based on their relative incomes.

Taxes are only necessary to pay for essential services and are in reality one of the largest factors in reducing our earnings. They consume the earned wealth of citizens and their businesses and such help to destroy the state's industry upon which Mr. Hudson's public employees depend for sustenance.

In this time of recession many Maryland residents have been with reduced income and so the state has collected less, but it cannot expect these citizens to produce more tax revenues. The state must reduce its expenditures in any way possible, as we all must do when the going gets tough.

Otto C. Beyer

Ellicott City

Literary Allusions

The columns by James J. Kilpatrick and Carl T. Rowan place in juxtaposition on the Dec. 30 Opinion * Commentary page reveal how very far we have yet to go to heal our differences. The only common thread I found was their references to Thomas Jefferson.

Although my own thoughts are far more in line with those of Mr. Rowan, I am not altogether in disagreement with certain valid ones of Mr. Kilpatrick.

What really disturbs me though are not his opinions, but rather his personal attacks on Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh: "the ugly face of Mr. Walsh;" "this vulture;" "the likes of Mr. Walsh." These are not the expressions of the James Kilpatrick I have admired for years.

I remember fondly his television debates with Shana Alexander many years ago. He was always courtly to her, and he spared her the vitriol found in the first paragraph of his article in The Sun. And his debates with Carl Rowan on Saturday nights on Channel 9 were always marked with this courtesy, even when he was quite angry.

With his comparison of Mr. Walsh to Victor Hugo's Inspector Javert, I was, at least, comforted that here again was his literate mind at work.

But there are some of us who also read Victor Hugo, and one must remember that Javert pursued only one man, not a cabal of high government officials.

Good fiction, like "Les Miserables," is the depiction of life at its emotional extremes. To equate Mr. Walsh's obsession (and what is wrong with that?) with Javert's stalking of Jean Valjean is to trivialize what three Republican presidents and their cronies have done to this country.

Would Thomas Jefferson agree with Mr. Walsh or with the cabals of the last 12 years and those of Richard Nixon?

Iris M. Streich


National Paranoia

Although I agree with Clarence Page's opinion (The Sun, Jan 5) that many of today's social problems are deeply rooted in a more complex, damaged soil, I cannot concur with his analysis that Americans are "jaded" by our national plight.

Mr. Page is wrong when he assumes suburban residents are not shocked by inner-city violence. We are not only shocked, we are scared; for ourselves (as inner-city crime spills into the suburbs) and for the many decent people trapped in the wild jungles that our cities have become.

It is because Americans cannot "shrug" off acts of violence and the accompanying effect of paranoia that gun sales have skyrocketed recently. We see ourselves as the true last line of defense.

The shooting death of the young Japanese student that Mr. Page refers to is a sad example of how deep our national paranoia has set in. It has become almost an act of courage to shop at a mall, or attend a downtown theater, or, as in the Baton Rouge case, to even answer a knock at the front door.

Americans have not "punched the snooze button" and closed our eyes to America's problems. Didn't we just elect a new president who ran largely on the promise to address domestic issues? Are not more new members entering Congress today than at anytime since 1944 (with the promise to cut the red tape and get on with the business of healing our nation's wounds)?

Didn't the United Way's latest campaign collect more contributions then expected, even after the recent administrative scandal, and in spite of this "temporary recession" (as Mr. Page calls the longest post-war economic down turn)?

Didn't The Sun recently name Bea Gaddy as Marylander of the Year, whose great work is supported in part by businesses, lawyers, volunteers, and even, as Mr. Page might interject, by those not "impressed even by a riot any more"?

Americans are not turning within themselves because we do not care. We are turning in because we do not know where else to turn.

I believe that what America needs most now is an understanding of everyone's situation and prayers for our country.

John Tully


Media Still Fosters Anti-German Hatred

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