The Bell TollsWell, the results are in and only now are...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

April 11, 1993

The Bell Tolls

Well, the results are in and only now are many Americans realizing the ultimate effect of the Bush administration's unilateral decision to play with our federal payroll taxes.

How many Americans, as they finish their tax returns, are suddenly waking up to the fact that the little gift they thought President Bush had handed them in their paychecks last year was actually a deferred expense? Their refund, or final tax payment, just isn't what they expected.

There are those who would claim that the Reagan/Bush era was good for America. I don't know. Mortgaged to the hilt, we are $4 trillion in debt, with the S&L ax looming precariously overhead. Twelve years of an alleged ''economic upswing'' were crowned with 12 months of additional free spending. And now the recess is over and the tax bell is ringing -- only we need not ask for whom the bell tolls.

William F. Eckert

Ellicott City

Up a Poll

Thank God we live in America, where we have a diversity of views and opinions.

There appears to be a desire to curb an individual's or a group's views or opinions by special interests trying to protect their own turf.

I refer to an article in The Sun from the Associated Press on March 20, "Pollsters criticize Perot's referendum."

Warren Mitofsky, vice-president of the National Council on Public Polls, takes aim at Ross Perot's survey. He does so for the following reasons: one, the referendum results will mislead the public; two, it is not representative of what America thinks; three, the results will not yield scientific results; and finally, the questions will be skewed to reflect Mr. Perot's views.

Well, Mr. Mitofsky is partially correct on all points, but his entire industry is based on dealing with the minimizing of these flaws.

There is no perfect survey or public opinion poll no matter who conducts it. Take a few minutes to look up the definitions of opinion and polls in your dictionary.

It does not take a rocket scientist to discover that opinion polls are all flawed no matter how they are constructed. I am not aware of many public opinion polling companies who can afford to send out 20,000 surveys. So, if 10,000 surveys are returned regardless of their flaws, that is a substantial amount of information. What a great database.

Personally, I get the feeling that Mr. Perot is causing some people in the polling business to be uncomfortable. I also have the feeling that the message might not be what some special interest groups want to hear.

We Americans live in a pluralistic society made up of a diversity of peoples, opinions and ideas. Ross Perot is an example of our diversity, no different than Jesse Jackson, Pat Buchanan, Hillary Clinton or Jack Kemp.

I did not vote for Mr. Perot, but just like any of the above mentioned individuals he is needed to keep our feet to the fire.

George F. Hillegas III

Baltimore

Hypocrisy or Courage on Ads?

I see that, disturbed by the misuse of guns, your classified advertising is no longer accepting ads for guns or gun shows.

I agree with you that guns can be abused.

I think we will both note that alcohol, automobiles, motorcycles and boats can also be abused.

Since I am sure that you do not wish to be labeled sanctimonious hypocrites, I expect to see ads for the above disappearing shortly from the pages of your paper.

Raymond Geddes Jr.

Baltimore

____________

Marylanders Against Handgun Abuse congratulates The Sun on its courageous decision to discontinue running gun sale advertisements.

Criminals, stopped from buying handguns at a gun store by Maryland's waiting period and background check law, can all too easily buy these weapons through private sale advertisements.

The Sun's decision not to exacerbate this loophole is commendable and of no small significance. Dovetailing with the recent passage of Gov. William Donald Schaefer's gun show bill, the action will really help to make sure handguns are kept out of the wrong hands.

Let's hope others follow The Sun's exemplary lead. We must do everything we can to reduce the carnage on our streets.

Jane F. Caplan

Baltimore

The writer is deputy executive director of Marylanders Against Handgun Abuse.

Biased Column

We, students at Harbor City Learning Center, are writing to you in reference to Michael Olesker's March 25 column.

We feel that his impression of our school as "an educational court of last resort" is totally biased.

The fact that people perceive Harbor City as a "last resort for kids with troubled histories" outrages us. Many of the students who attend Harbor City choose to become a part of this outstanding center of learning.

We feel that Olesker's commentary is a result of prejudged concepts. We would like the opportunity to set the record straight. We want to bring our concerns to the public's attention so that you may be able to understand our curriculum, social status and life styles.

We have extended an invitation for Mr. Olesker to visit our school, with the hopes that a positive commentary would follow his exposure to Harbor City students.

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