Needed Face-LiftContrary to the statement in your Aug. 22...


August 31, 1993

Needed Face-Lift

Contrary to the statement in your Aug. 22 editorial, "Can Gore Reinvent Government?," federal employee unions are not "ready fight changes suggested by the Gore group." To the contrary, we, too, realize government functions could use a much-needed face-lift.

As representatives of 150,000 of this nation's federal workers, the National Federation of Federal Employees has played an important role in demonstrating the willingness of unions to work as full partners in restructuring the way our government serves its citizens.

However, we realize that none of the goals set forth by the group headed by Vice President Al Gore can be fully realized without a full and open assessment of the needs of all of the parties involved -- the Clinton administration, federal government management, rank-and-file federal workers and those whom we serve: the American people.

Your editorial omits one significant truth about federal employees: It was the Clinton/Gore team's promise of change that garnered many federal employee votes which, in turn, helped propel the duo into office. Instead of being "ready to fight changes," we have consistently welcomed them.

Robert S. Keener


The writer is national president of the National Federation of Federal Employees.

Too Many Chinese

In a letter (Aug. 14), Andrew Lee wrote about his experience interviewing illegal Chinese immigrants. One of the complaints he heard is one other Chinese immigrants have stated, that the one-child family policy is a terribly repressive feature of a repressive regime.

When a country with one-third of the arable land we have in the United States has a population of 1.1 billion, a strict policy is the only option left. This is what it comes to.

There is no way China can feed, house and employ 2 billion people. Critics of its draconian policy decision must realize that if any country fails to adopt a population policy that is not repressive, based upon incentives and disincentives, this is what

it comes to.

Carleton W. Brown


Flagrant Review

I am but a fledgling Fulghumite, having read only one of the author's books, but I must take exception to Ann Egerton's flagrant Aug. 12 review of Robert Fulghum's latest book.

It smacks more of smugness, arrogance and pontificating than does the hapless target of her diatribe. Hardly a critical piece. In a base, personal sense, it also smacks of jealousy.

Wake up, Ms. Egerton. Robert Fulghum's readers have already decided that he is indeed worthy of their high regard. I can only wonder what you may have had to say about Walden's famous resident, Henry David Thoreau. Talk about "rustic arrogance."

I strongly suggest that Ms. Egerton keep those feisty fists of hers clenched deeply into her pockets as her singular contribution to the lessening of the violence and sleaze so rampant in our society.

Dorothy E. Birrane


Wrong Generation

In his Aug. 23 column, Theo Lippman Jr. erroneously refers to Sen. Daniel Inouye as "a first generation Japanese-American."

My Webster's New World Dictionary defines first generation as "designating a naturalized, foreign born citizen of a country" or "sometimes, designating a native-born citizen of a country whose parents had immigrated into that country." These definitions do not apply to Senator Inouye, who was born in Hawaii in 1924.

According to Senator Inouye's autobiography, "Journey to Washington," his paternal grandparents immigrated to Hawaii in 1899 with a four-year-old son who became the father of the

future senator. In the same book, Mr. Inouye states that his mother was born in Hawaii in 1902.

Leon K. Walters


Safety Net

Your Aug. 19 front-page story about panhandlers and the homeless and other recent articles on the subject prompt us to ask the following: Wouldn't we all feel more comfortable if we had the "safety net" in place that has been promised by political leaders at least as far back as Ronald Reagan?

The "truly needy," as they have been designated, would receive specific services more appropriate than random coins from panhandling.

And those now asked to supply the coins could refuse in good conscience, knowing that all destitute people can be cared for.

Katherine R. Hollander

Sidney Hollander Jr.


Budget Fiasco

The liberal media have been delighted to join in President Bill Clinton's blatant class warfare, assuring readers and viewers with every breath that the $241 billion in new taxes will come almost entirely from "the rich," who allegedly have not been paying "their fair share."

But the media went into the tank with Mr. Clinton to conceal the fact that 80 percent of his $255 billion in so-called "spending cuts" -- virtually all of which aren't cuts at all, but merely reductions in the rate of increase -- will occur in years after 1996. The $241 billion in new taxes, on the other hand, will be imposed retroactive to Jan. 1, 1993.

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