Fool's ChoiceThe Domestic Partners Act, when thought...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

April 05, 1994

Fool's Choice

The Domestic Partners Act, when thought through, makes marriage a fool's choice.

Marriage and the traditional family have been the foundation of our wonderful country.

We would be changing that by enacting this law, because we will be encouraging a lifestyle with all the benefits of marriage.

But without the commitment of marriage, our society will not benefit.

To me, government should act for the betterment of society.

Patricia Elgin

Baltimore

Health Care Details

Polls show the more Americans know about the Clinton health reform proposal, the less they like it. Perhaps that is because the devil truly is in the details.

One devilish detail of the Clinton plan would restrict consumers' choice of health plans by forcing them to join government-run health alliances.

But if health alliances were such a good deal, they would earn my business in the competitive marketplace. If they turn out not to be such a good deal -- if they are inefficient government bureaucracies -- consumers should retain the option of obtaining health coverage outside the alliances.

Consumer membership in health alliances ought to be voluntary, not forced as Clinton has proposed. If there is any forcing to be done, it is health alliances that should be forced to compete for my business.

Recently, health adviser Ira Magaziner said his biggest frustration is that government only works at 35 percent efficiency. If that's true, why is the president proposing government-run mandatory health alliances that will operate the health care system at the same 35 percent efficiency level?

American consumers want and deserve better health care than that.

We now have the best health care system in the world. We need reforms like guaranteed issue, guaranteed renewal, portability and paperwork reduction. But we sure don't need mandatory health alliances and the government making our health care decisions for us. We are more intelligent than that.

William E. Nichols

Baltimore

The writer is president of the Nichols Group, a health and life insurance brokerage firm.

Scholarship Bill

In a recent editorial (March 18) The Sun criticized state Sen. Clarence Blount for not bringing Senate Bill 145, the proposal to reform legislative scholarships, up for a vote in the Senate Economic and Environmental Affairs Committee, which he chairs.

You stated that the senator's own fraternity, the "prestigious" Alpha Phi Alpha, supported this bill, opposing the senator's position. You were in error.

The national office of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity took no position on this bill.

Neither did it authorize anyone to speak on its behalf.

Our national office is in Baltimore, but the person testifying before the committee was from an alumni chapter in Montgomery County, one of more than 400 college and alumni chapters in Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity . . .

Wilbert L. Walker

Baltimore

The writer is past president of Delta Lambda Chapter, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.

Just Friendly

This is in response to Ann G. Joerdsma's " 'Hon' Ain't Fun for Everyone" (Opinion * Commentary March 22).

"Hon" is a friendly, simple expression. Overly sensitive people bring the black or white, male or female issues into the picture.

I don't think the "Hon Man" had any thoughts about this. He probably was and is just being friendly to people entering the city.

Jay S. Weamer

Baltimore

Monumental Debt

Isn't it possible that if, as Professor Thomas L. Anderson states, "the federal government can create money to pay any interest or debt due," the cost of a loaf of bread could go to ## $100?

I am afraid that his March 25 letter to the editor has done very little to ease my worries about the enormous, monumental debt of our United States.

Arthur Winakur

Baltimore

Teaching Children About the Holocaust

Steven Spielberg won an Academy Award for "Schindler's List." The intent of this movie as well as the recently opened Holocaust Museum in Washington, is, we are told, that the tragedy of racial cleansing must never again be allowed to occur.

How could so many people be subjected to that very injustice just last year in Yugoslavia? Do we need more reminders of past atrocities?

I agree with Spielberg's suggestion that schools should teach about the Holocaust, because education promotes understanding and tolerance, so future generations won't have to relive the tragedies of the past.

I strongly disagree, however, with your March 23 editorial stating that "the Germans require more instruction in the subject than we do." As a person born and educated in post-war Germany I find this remark outrageous and offensive.

Until I came to this country in 1970, I was never exposed to anti-Semitic sentiments.

My German high school curriculum covered the Holocaust extensively. We were required to read "Die Weisse Rose" ("The White Rose"). The title of this book was also the code name for a group of courageous young people who planned to assassinate Hitler.

Unfortunately, their plot was uncovered and they were executed. My school was named after them ("Geschwister Scholl Gymnasium"). They were heroes to me and my classmates. That was in the '60s.

Today, the lessons learned from the Holocaust are still being taught in Germany. Appalled students question: How could these unthinkable events occur in this country 50 years ago?

A few months ago, a young student stopped my 73-year old father in the streets of Muenster. She questioned him about his whereabouts and knowledge of "Kristallnacht" (crystal night), and taped his responses for a class project.

Germans are teaching the lessons necessary to eradicate intolerance, hatred and bigotry. I do not believe that Americans need less of the same.

Brigitte Grubb

Bel Air

NTC

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