Budget BustersIn the aftermath of Southern California's...


February 15, 1994

Budget Busters

In the aftermath of Southern California's earthquakes, following on the heels of Midwest floods, Florida's hurricane and forest fires in the West, I wonder how adequate, timely and effective federal financial aid to these unfortunate citizens would be if the balanced budget amendment were in effect?

Saul Goldberg


Economic Leapfrog

Here we go again. The Federal Reserve raises short-term interest rates in order to ''ward off inflation.''

Has it forgotten the leapfrog antics of the economy in the Jimmy Carter years, when the Fed raised interest rates, which actually raised prices and fueled inflation? It was like a dog chasing its tail -- the prime rate went up, followed by business loan and mortgage rates, and the cost of everything went up.

The Fed may have set in motion the resurgence of inflation it professed to anticipate. Does it actually want people to buy less but pay more? Does it want industry to expand less, hire less, but pay higher existing wages tied to a rising price index? ''If it ain't broke, don't fix it,'' applies here.

The Fed must rescind its action before the inflationary spiral is allowed to spin. Or we'll all be playing economic leapfrog again.

Maurice F. Mackey Jr.


Joyful Noise

In response to "The Sound and the Flooring" (Jan. 9) by Edward Gunts I regret to say that he has been badly misinformed.

Nobody will dispute the magnificance and grandeur of the Church of the Redeemer, but until last summer that building was also an acoustical disaster. Obviously, no acoustician had been consulted prior to construction.

Some time after my arrival in 1961 as organist/choirmaster at the Church of the Redeemer, I asked the vestry to bring in acoustical experts to determine what could be done about a situation which was crippling, muffling and smothering not only choir and organ sounds but the corporate prayers, responses and singing of the congregation as well.

Subsequently, the acoustical firm of Bolt, Berenek and Newman of Boston was contracted and parishioners will remember the Sunday when balloons were burst during worship and the congregation was requested to cooperate with various sound tests.

The report of that survey is in the Church of the Redeemer files for anyone to examine. It is a testament to the acoustical disaster of the building.

As for the new slate floor, the results are glorious and at least a 50 percent improvement in sound. Now my hope is to live long enough to see that porous ceiling sealed and made a hard surface.

Make no mistake, the only ones to "muck up the masterpiece" were those responsible for selecting floor and ceiling materials appropriate for the reading room of a library but not for a vibrant and exciting acoustical environment necessary for corporate worship and a glorious choir and organ.

Arthur Rhea


The writer is retired as organist/choirmaster of the Church of the Redeemer.

Not All Can Meet Naval Academy's Demands

The Baltimore Sun has quite properly extensively covered the Naval Academy electrical engineering examination cheating incident and provided incisive editorial comment. The mission of the academy is to produce military officers who will assume the highest obligation that can be vested in citizens of a nation ` the protection of their country's freedom and way of life. It is very appropriate, therefore, that the affairs of the Academy be subjected to thorough public scrutiny and accountability. This article seeks to provide additional perspectives on the cheating incident, amplifying The Sun's coverage.

It is important to understand that the service academies are unique institutions. Although they provide baccalaureate degree programs comparable to those of the finest universities in the county, their principal purpose is to produce combat leaders. Gen. Douglas MacArthur said it best in his famous "Duty, Honor, Country" speech at West Point in 1962: "Your mission remains fixed, determined, inviolable. It is to win our country's wars. . . . All other public purposes will find others for their accomplishment. But you are the ones who are trained to fight. Yours in the profession of arms."

Producing effective combat leaders is not an easy task. Young persons must be subjected to an intensive program of moral, mental and physical development, in which exposure to pressure, including stress, is an essential element, in order to impart the requisite qualities of courage, discipline, toughness and reliability.

Recently a group of educators, including college presidents, was asked to review the academy program. They were complimentary of the academy's academic excellence, but concluded the demands imposed on midshipmen would require five years at a civilian university. The academy's response was "we know that, but our approach is necessary to produce the rigor required to mold combat leaders."

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