Berger's ThinkingDaniel Berger's insightful Perspective...


February 06, 1994

Berger's Thinking

Daniel Berger's insightful Perspective article Jan. 23 was sabotaged by the headline, which I felt seriously misrepresented Mr. Berger's bottom line, namely:

1. President Clinton's recent achievements abroad are gaining stature and credibility both for him and for the U.S.

2. Current scandal-mongering by the president's critics at home is misguided and inappropriate. If the critics succeed in bringing his presidency down, at least it ought to be for misdeeds he may commit in office, and not for "alleged improprieties in an earlier decade elsewhere."

3. These attacks are undermining American leadership abroad (as well as the credibility of the Clinton presidency at home), and they are not in our national interest.

So it is a mystery to me how the headline writer came up with, "For the Leader of the World, the Scandals Matter," which instead of encapsulating Mr. Berger's thinking, seems to give credence to the attacks.

Fran Nyce


Improvement Plans

While we do not agree with the state of Maryland that Patterson High School has been declining drastically enough to be considered one of the two worst high schools in the state, we do admit that the behavioral problems and lack of high school readiness of many of our incoming and repeating ninth graders places a great challenge before us.

We are ready to work shoulder to shoulder with the city school system and any other organizations that will join with us in the effort to create a new Patterson High School for the children of our community. A Patterson High School that has basic standards of attendance and academic achievement that must be reached by all students.

This process of change and improvement began long before the state made any overtures toward us. Since June, our School Improvement Team has been meeting and developing positive plans to make Patterson High School an even greater school than it has been during its illustrious 60 years of service.

We are energized by those whom we ultimately serve, the children of our community. We are committed to establishing a ** positive, creative learning environment for them. We owe it to their present, and we owe it to their future.

Phillip F. Pucher


The writer is chair, Patterson's School Improvement Team.


The Jan. 20 Opinion * Commentary page included an interesting juxtaposition.

George F. Will ("Why Can't a Woman Be More Like a Man?") admires Michael Crichton's fictional challenge to patriarchy's importance in sexual harassment cases. (A woman, it seems, abuses her power in Crichton's novel, "Disclosure.")

Elsewhere on the same page Peter A. Jay ("Life Trots Out Its Checks and Balances") describes a man starting his tractor thusly: "All right, sweetheart, he thought. No excuses this morning. No headaches. Let's just do it. And when he turned the key off she went . . ."

Perhaps Mr. Will should postpone celebrating the demise of patriarchy until it is no longer commonplace for men to characterize recalcitrant inanimate objects under their control -- ships, cities, cars, tractors -- as women.

Matt Gallman


Pet Safety

In her article of Jan. 27 on "Pets that kill pets stir Md. legislation," staff writer Marina Sarris goes for the tear ducts but not for the facts.

As someone who has had pets of all persuasions, I certainly understand the emotional devastation caused by their loss.

However, your readers should also have been made aware of the pet owners' responsibilities to protect their dependent animals.

The article focuses the issue of responsibility on the owners of the vicious dogs. And those owners absolutely have the responsibility to confine their pets to their own property, or have them under control on leash. In fact, the city and many other

locales have dog ordinances to that effect.

The owners of the cats that were attacked and killed, however, have a similar responsibility. Cats should not be allowed to run free outside.

The Feline Society and other cat welfare advocates unequivocally state that cats should be kept inside. If not, they are subject to such dangers as disease, poisoning, vehicular threat, and, as illustrated in this article, attacks from other animals.

When one animal attacks another, one or both of the pets involved is not where it should be, under the control of its owner.

Any cat owner who allows the cat to wander outside is responsible for any harm that comes to it, regardless of the source.

Dog owners can be prosecuted under the "leash laws" if they fail to control and protect their pets. We obviously need similar laws to force cat owners to keep their pets safe and where they belong.

Let's not compound the tragedy of the death of a helpless pet by allowing its unthinking owner to benefit financially.

Margaret L. Steiner


Who's Looking After the Arabs' Horses?

This is to express my horror and outrage concerning the five horses the Horse Rescue Center found on Jan. 23 in the city.

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