Foul EditorialI share with the author of your "Fowl Play...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

April 27, 1994

Foul Editorial

I share with the author of your "Fowl Play" editorial (April 9) disapproval of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's continuing approval of the "curious legal fiction that frozen chicken may wear the 'fresh' label in stores." This is dishonest.

But your editor is worse than dishonest in suggesting that the policy was adopted "for the benefit of Arkansas interests that helped Hilary Clinton hit the commodities futures jackpot." The USDA's policy is not new; it antedates by far the arrival of the Clintons upon the Washington scene . . .

To suggest otherwise in order to present the Clintons with their problem of the day -- to divert them, out of fear that they may succeed, from their efforts to find solutions to real problems -- is, as I said above, worse than dishonest: it is unpatriotic, mean-spirited, contemptible.

William Bader

Towson

Tax-Free Benefits

Quite apart from her commentary, facts in Susan Reimer's April 7 column are grossly inaccurate.

The welfare mother not only receives the welfare payment, which is peanuts, but food stamps, supplemental food program for Women, Infants and Children, free medical care and housing subsidies, plus any other benefits of the local community and private sector -- such as heating and utilities subsidies, educational benefits, job training and access to food pantries and clothing closets.

All of this is tax free. The real economic value of this windfall and inducement to illegitimacy is between $12,000-$14,000 in taxable wages.

I appreciate Susan Reimer's willingness to address this all-important issue, but she ought to get her facts straight.

Money is a prime inducement to the irresponsible acts of welfare mothers. Until we remove that inducement, we are doomed.

I have counseled working single mothers and many seriously consider returning to welfare since it pays better and doesn't interfere with their TV watching. Something is radically wrong with such a system.

Paul H. Wragg

Catonsville

In Singapore

I refer to the response Marylanders made to The Sun (news story, April 14) on the caning episode in Singapore. Knowing this to be a liberal state, I was relieved to see from the headline that a large majority approved.

But it appears that most of them missed the point, as did the reporter, who dredged up some sociologists to deplore the situation and warp the meaning of the results, by implying that the average citizen isn't sufficiently knowledgeable to make such learned judgments on his or her own.

This could be history in the making. A leader of Western civilization has appealed for clemency, claiming our rights and freedom are uppermost, along with our policies of compassion; a leader of eastern civilization rebuts, claiming that their emphasis is on "society and group interests." What are we really talking about here?

Almost 220 years ago, on April 19, 1774, the Minutemen fired "the shot heard around the world" to give individuals their rights and freedom from repressive rulers.

Jefferson, Adams, Madison and company assumed that all Americans knew how to act maturely. This was one huge error.

Rights give you the choice to do something, or nothing; you may select whatever pleases you. But if you choose to do something, whatever that is, and if democracy is to work, you should be held responsible for the outcome. Individual responsibility for your acts and yourself is the key to democratic survival.

Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore has fired "the second shot heard around the world" to give us a wake-up call. Even though his aim was poor, hopefully he got our attention to a gaping hole in the existing democratic system.

Without an immediate solution, all the democracies of western civilization are in danger of going out of business.

Fred Mott

Towson

Guns Kill Kids

My heart aches for little Tito Taylor and his family. I don't know why the death of this sweet-faced little boy touches me more than the death of other children, but I know that I can't handle the terrible waste any longer.

Our children are our future and yet our children are dying. We have an epidemic on our hands.

Yet we act is if we are helpless to change things. How can we stand by and watch our children be maimed or die just because some people, with a strong lobby, believe there is a "God-given right to bear arms"?

Easy access to guns is insane; and the insanity must end.

The Sun is to be commended for its April 10 article tracing the bloody trail of a single handgun which started its journey in North Carolina and ended its career on the streets of Baltimore.

If the handgun that killed Tito had been stopped somewhere along the way, or if it had never even been manufactured, that little boy would still be here today playing with his friends.

Jeanne M. Ruddock

Baldwin

Putting Out the Flames Fanned by Bigotry

Not being either a black or a Jew, I have some trepidation about voicing an opinion about the ongoing turmoil between these two groups.

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