Cheers for FrazierIt is sad that many policemen are...


September 04, 1994

Cheers for Frazier

It is sad that many policemen are disturbed and disappointed that City Police Commissioner Thomas Frazier is not supporting them against allegations of brutality (Perspective, Aug. 21).

It should be noted, however, that many Baltimoreans are equally disturbed and disappointed that senior officers seem to show no inclination to rein in policemen such as one whose exploits were highlighted not long ago in The Sun.

An innocent citizen lost the full use of his hands due to unrelenting brutality. Charges against him were dropped, and he successfully sued for false arrest.

There is no need for armed "mad dogs" and their ilk, and senior officers must live up to their responsibility to prevent abuse by their subordinates and to discipline them when necessary.

The message is clear -- brutality no longer will be tolerated. Three cheers for the commissioner!

avid L. Harris


Medical Headache

Sen. Bob Dole repeatedly stated in the Senate that the United States has "the best health care delivery system in the world." This is patently untrue.

I know because I am an American who has had the privilege to live with my family in several countries during the past decade.

We have extensive experience with the government-sponsored medical care systems of Australia and Canada, since our children were born there.

Their births were completely covered (in Australia, if our income had been above a certain threshold we would have had to pay about 15 percent on some procedures).

In addition, the Canadian and Australian systems covered the mother's and infant's stay in hospital a few days after childbirth. The extended stay is especially important for nursing mothers and for the general care of the infant.

After they return home, community nurses and baby clinics monitor the health of mother and child and provide free immunizations.

Here in the U.S., often the uninsured portion of the tab for a normal birth runs into the thousands of dollars.

And unless there are complications, only about a 24-hour stay in the hospital is covered by most insurance policies. Well-baby checks are usually covered, but in general immunizations are not.

Thus, the transition from pregnancy to motherhood is much smoother in Canada and Australia, and the mother feels she has community support.

Here the change is more abrupt, and with today's crumbling family structures, young inexperienced mothers often feel they are left to fend for themselves.

Since returning to the U.S., we have had far more hassles with our insurance companies than we did with the medicare systems abroad.

And here we are paying about $1,000 a year more for medical insurance than would be taken out of our taxes for medicare in Canada or Australia.

Why is their coverage superior at a lower price? Perhaps because there the money isn't padding the pockets of the insurance industry.

I believe that the bad experiences Americans have with the health care system leads to a general anxiety about health issues, an anxiety that I have not detected abroad.

So I strongly disagree with Senator Dole's contention. Compared to the other places I've been, the U.S. health care system is the worst.

erhardt Meurer


Bad Journalism

The Sun has done immeasurable harm to the city it is supposed to serve by exploiting the terrible Loch murders to fan flames of hysteria and fear.

Sun writers with ill-concealed satisfaction wrung the last drop of blood from a very ugly incident to create an atmosphere of mistrust and defeat. That is irresponsible journalism at its very worst.

Marco H. Sampson


Japan's Surrender

In his Aug. 21 letter, "Hiroshima was not a mistake," Donald Fritz erred in contending that America's only mistake was not warning inhabitants of Japan's major cities to leave and escape our bombings.

In the period between March 9, 1945, the date 334 B29s dropped over 2,000 tons of incendiary bombs on Tokyo killing 83,759 people and injuring 40,000 more, and the first A-bomb drop on Hiroshima on Aug. 5, 1945, tons of leaflets were dropped over major Japanese cities asking people to surrender.

It was only after our second A-bomb attack on Nagasaki on Aug. 9 that Emperor Hirohito decided to capitulate. Very wisely, President Truman dispatched Gen. Douglas MacArthur to head the U.S. military mission in Japan.

General MacArthur quickly established cordial relations with Hirohito and his subjects. Due mainly to MacArthur's untiring efforts, Japan rapidly sprung back on its feet.

Japanese can thank General MacArthur for the fact that their country today is the leading economic nation in the Pacific and ranking third highest in the world.

The two A-bombs helped convince them they had lost the war. At the same time, the horrible effect each of those two bombs caused convinced our scientists they knew what they were doing.

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