Clinton TardinessI became a Democrat because Franklin D...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

January 31, 1994

Clinton Tardiness

I became a Democrat because Franklin D. Roosevelt was my role model, because Hubert H. Humphrey fought for the passage of the first major civil rights law for persons with disabilities (1973 Rehabilitation Act), because Jimmy Carter brought the idea of ethics to foreign policy, because our party nominated the first woman to run for vice president and because of the efforts of such Maryland Democrats as Rep. Steny Hoyer and Rep. Kweisi Mfume for the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

However, I am beginning to feel some disappointment with some recent events.

First, it has now been a year since Bill Clinton became president and there still is no assistant secretary for civil rights in the Department of Justice and chairperson of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (Imagine what would happen if Clinton were a Republican.)

Second, there is a lack of commitment and enforcement of civil rights laws by the Department of Justice. People with disabilities can no longer look to the department to enforce provisions of the ADA.

Those who file complaints to seek justice are informed that only such cases will be taken that the department determines to be "of national significance."

Justice Department officials are sending form letters to persons who file complaints advising them to get an attorney and not expect the department to investigate their complaint.

This has the effect of driving the cost of complying upward and increasing the hostility between persons with disabilities and those who are slow to comply.

And, of course, that makes lawyers richer.

Robert S. Ardinger

Columbia

Biased Car Study

A careful reading of the article, "Study likely to intensify 'California-car' debate," Jan. 17, showed that the study was funded by the auto and oil industries. It was basically a selective study of previously published literature.

What else is new?

In addition, John Quinn, Clean Air Act issues manager for the Baltimore Gas & Electric Co., said, "There's no new analysis here." Baltimore Gas & Electric supports California car standards in Maryland.

May I add that the health of the Chesapeake Bay demands California car standards in Maryland, since 40 percent of the acid rain dumped into the Chesapeake Bay comes from automotive exhaust? What about the rights of crab and rockfish lovers and succulent raw oysters?

In addition, cleaner cars mean lower gasoline consumption and more money in the pockets of all drivers.

This research also makes no mention of the effects of dirty car exhaust on the respiratory systems of all who breathe foul air, the cost of higher medical bills and lost time.

There has also been a study made on the effects of acid rain on soil productivity in Eastern Shore farms. Losses were shown to be in the neighborhood of 5 percent.

Isn't it strange that biased research leaves out important elements in cost comparison when funded by interested parties?

There are already "clean cars" in existence. Volvo has run one successfully in a three-year research project. So has Japan. Ford has been working on one.

This is the auto of the future. Is our auto industry going to fall behind again and lose its long-term market share?

Ernest M. Stolberg

Baltimore

Public Hysteria

Just before she died on Jan. 2, Dixie Lee Ray, the former chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, rebuked scientific illiterates in the government and the media.

They have created public hysteria about studies involving radiation and humans at the dawn of the atomic era on the premise that any amount of exposure to radiation is dangerous.

Nonsense. In the Fernald School study, for example, boys were exposed to radiation averaging 172 millirems. That was less than a tenth of the exposure from a chest X-ray at that time.

As Dixie Lee Ray pointed out, we are all exposed to radiation. A little more or a little less "is of no consequence."

David C. Stark

Bel Air

Appeals to Morality

In no way do I accept the lifestyle and merchandising purveyed on The Block.

But, like many people in this city, I am outraged over the distorted sense of priorities that would allow thousands of public dollars to be used in a clean-up campaign whose primary goal is to hand over a prime piece of real estate to private developers while the public foots the bill.

Seemingly bottomless pits of money can always be found to subsidize Inner Harbor hotels or for clean-up campaigns, such as the one in progress on The Block.

All this when AIDS, drug use, and homelessness run rampant, and city officials cry broke when confronted with their inaction and indifference to pressing social problems.

If patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel, surely appeals to morality rank as the first.

Curtis Price

Baltimore

Inspiration

I want to thank you for publishing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech in its entirety.

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