Qualified?On Jan. 25, President Clinton made his first...


February 04, 1993


On Jan. 25, President Clinton made his first major move since taking office toward his campaign promise of reforming the health care system. He appointed his wife, Hillary, to head a task force aimed at studying the problem.

As a physician, I would like to know what unique qualifications Mrs. Clinton possesses that make her suited for this important position.

Has she a degree in public health? Has she worked in a hospital, in the insurance industry or in any capacity that would give her insight into the problems of our health care system?

To my knowledge she has not. I believe Mrs. Clinton's formal training is in law, not a profession traditionally concerned with holding down health care costs.

I am sure Mrs. Clinton, in her important position as first lady, will rightfully influence the decisions of the president.

However, her appointment to head this task force, the findings of which have such great potential impact on our country, seems perhaps inappropriate. We did not elect Hillary Clinton, nor has she undergone congressional approval as other presidential appointees must.

Are there not more qualified individuals in the new administration, the secretary of health and human services for instance, who could head this task force?

Perhaps Hillary Clinton has qualifications pertaining to health care of which I am unaware. If this is so I hope that Mr. Clinton will justify her appointment by making these known.

Steven Madreperla, M.D.


Stop Drug Traffic

The record 335 murders in Baltimore in 1992 were greatly due to the drug trade and drug traffickers' weapons.

Who really benefits from all this crime and carnage? Who steps over bodies and laughs all the way to the bank? Isn't this murder and mayhem in Baltimore (and other American cities) at least as devastating as the savings and loan and Iran-contra scandals?

When will a special prosecutor pinpoint exactly who profits from drug-dealing and drug-related murders? When will congressional hearings sniff along the money trail?

Are those who benefit really so powerful, so important and so influential that they can prevent action against them?

Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke has already offered some sensible ideas to stop drug trafficking. When will Gov. William Donald Schaefer and other top state officials show some public concern?

Grenville B. Whitman


The Deportees

If not for the very real dangers that exist, the irony of the plight of the Palestinian deportees would almost be humorous.

Israel is again accused of being the main obstacle to peace in the Middle East, by deporting members of two organizations whose primary objectives are to thwart any attempts at a peaceful solution.

Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad are not only vehemently against any solution that will include the existence of a state of Israel, they are as violently opposed to any Palestinian who does not believe in the rule and law of Islamic fundamentalism.

The irony increases when one understands that the PLO and its supporters, such as all the members of the Palestinian negotiating team, along with the Syrian, Egyptian, Jordanian and Saudi Arabian governments -- those strongly advocating the plight of the deportees -- are themselves targets of these very organizations.

It is interesting to note that recently there was a conference of Arab states in Tunis with the sole purpose being to find a way to combat what they believe to be their greatest threat, the rise in Islamic fundamentalism.

They referred to this great danger, led and financed by Iran, as international terrorism. I must, therefore, be expected to believe that Islamic fundamentalism is a threat to all the Arab states and the world, yet not a threat to Israel?

David Spitz

Owings Mills

Bounty Hunter

A murderer escapes from the courthouse. Local, state and federal police are assigned to finding the felon. What an enormous amount of energy and money wasted! And the public is subjected to a desperate man who has nothing to lose in a continuous pattern of terror.

Why not take a page from a John Wayne movie? The best way to recapture the desperado is to offer a reward of $50,000. As the Duke might say, "Don't be surprised if his own friends turn him in, pilgrim."

J. Seymour Sureff


Matter of Conduct

There is an interesting parallel between a current incident at the U.S. Naval Academy and the controversy over legalizing the presence of gays in the military.

A midshipman is accused of forcing unwanted sexual attention on a service member of the opposite sex.

RTC A major concern about gays in the military is they might damage morale by forcing unwanted sexual attention on service members of the same sex.

Isn't the real issue here conduct?

It is conduct that should be regulated, not the gender of the perpetrator or the victim.

No one, military or civilian, should infringe on the right of a person to be inviolable.

Rosemary L. Duggins


Simple Integrity

Say it isn't so, Roscoe, say it isn't so. Just an hour after taking the oath of office as our new congressman in the 6th district, Mr. Bartlett turned his back on a key campaign promise.

During the campaign he bragged about taking the "lead or leave" pledge, which committed him to leave Washington if the national deficit was not cut in half within two terms. This, he claimed, separated him from other double-talking politicians.

During the same campaign he ridiculed his opponent, Del. Tom Hattery, for not signing this pledge.

Mr. Hattery is an experienced legislator. He recognized the appealing gimmickry of this pledge and knew it would cost him votes by not signing it. He had a tough choice to make in the heat of the campaign: easy votes or simple integrity. Mr. Hattery kept his integrity.

As for Mr. Bartlett, he now claims that there was a loophole in his promise that lets him off the hook of keeping it. Hmmm. Say it isn't so.

Dana Moehrle

George Moehrle


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