Careers and CatsAn apology is in order from the writer who...


January 21, 1993

Careers and Cats

An apology is in order from the writer who insulted previous first ladies and generations of women with this: "We're about to install a first lady who's had a real career."

Well, pardon me, but my Webster's dictionary defines career as "a specific course of action or occupation forming the object of one's life." Being a lawyer or receiving a paycheck are not anywhere mentioned. Obviously the "career" choice of wife, mother and homemaker is considered non-relevant to Vida Roberts.

Concerning Mrs. Clinton being "too busy to keep a pet who needs to be walked," as the owner of two cats I find I'd better not be too busy to clean up where they so "discreetly and independently" do their business.

Julia A. Hamilton


Derelict Agency

I applaud the recent decision by Judge Bruce Williams of the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court regarding the protection of people's rights from child support agencies. My numerous personal experiences with one such agency has led me to write this letter and hopefully reveal their pathetic accounting practices and condescending attitudes.

My latest encounter with the Baltimore County Division of Child Support began in October 1992, and has still not been resolved. The entire fiasco has cost me a large amount of time and money and continues to do so.

On Oct. 27, 1992, I received a certified notice from the Baltimore County Division of Child Support stating that I had been placed on the Tax Refund Intercept Program for support payment arrearages. The problem was that at least four of my checks totaling $2,160, which they had endorsed and cashed, had not been credited to my account.

To forestall being incarcerated, I personally went to the agency and uncovered their errors for them. The account is still not correct by my calculations, which historically are much more accurate than the agency's records.

This is not the first time there has been such an occurrence, and it seems to happen on an annual basis. According to the Annotated Family Law Code of Maryland, Art. 10-110(a), "The administration may collect fees to defray the cost of providing support enforcement services." Can one be reimbursed funds to correct an error by the support enforcement agency?

Christopher R. Watson


Market Forces

The Jan. 3 article describing crime in Baltimore neighborhoods wasengrossing, upsetting and incomplete.

There are many reasons for the increasing number of crimes: hopelessness, inadequate schools, family and neighborhood breakdown, drug and alcohol use. One which was not mentioned in the article is the war on drugs.

It is not by chance that crime increased during the period of alcohol prohibition. Crime is now increasing for the same reason.

Crime will flourish whenever we make a desired consumer product illegal. It is necessary that the market be regulated in some way. As long as the sale and use of drugs are illegal, laws, the courts and the police are not available to regulate that market. Because of this, the market is regulated in the only manner available, by force.

Assuming the war on drugs will not succeed in convincing drug sellers and purchasers to stop their illegal behavior -- and nothing in our 80-year war on drugs indicates otherwise -- we can assume this regulating mechanism, these crimes, will continue.

Stanley L. Rodbell


Germany Awake

Much is being reported in the press, including The Sun, about the hatred of foreigners in the new Germany, about violence against them and about a growing anti-Semitism.

All of these developments ring tragically true, and the international press is to be commended for keeping our attention focused on these events, just as the local press increasingly informs us on the sad developments in our own country, especially the growing homicide rate in this nation's cities.

Fortunately, the people of Germany and its democratic government, perhaps belatedly and hopefully not too late, have awakened to the challenge of hatred and violence toward foreigners and to anti-Semitism.

Permit me to share a few selected comments that friends of mine and the mayor of the city of Hamburg have made in personal letters in regard to this matter.

Writes one correspondent: "I believe people in Germany have awakened. They had underestimated the extremism of the foreigner problem, but now they are ready to act in this matter decisively and effectively.

"This is long overdue. To be sure, the rightist extremists are a very small minority.

"But this minority has succeeded in creating a feeling of insecurity among the majority and in creating tensions as well as a sentiment that the government is not capable of dealing with this matter. It is also possible that some former [East German police] members are involved in the attacks on foreigners and Jewish memorials."

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