Obstruction and sabotage by RepublicansTwelve years of...

the Forum

October 20, 1994

Obstruction and sabotage by Republicans

Twelve years of Presidents Reagan and Bush racked up a trillion dollar deficit, saw the gulf between rich and poor widen to Grand Canyon proportions and the middle class besieged to the point of desperation.

Leveraged buyouts and corporate mergers put thousands out of work, while chief executives were bestowed obscene salaries and "golden parachutes."

Cutbacks and blind neglect exacerbated the plight of the cities, soup kitchens sprouted, the homeless abounded and crime and drugs flourished.

Now when President Clinton energetically tries to tackle the country's problems, he is met at every turn with acrimonious Republican obstructionism.

Bob Dole and Co. quashed the jobs stimulus bill, short-changed the crucial prevention aspect of the crime bill, callously killed all possibility of health care reform for this year and are now sabotaging the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

Peeved that the GOP lost the presidency, Senator Dole, Sen. Phil Gramm et al. are in a permanent fit of pique, acting like spoiled brats instead of responsible congressmen.

If they can't legislate their way, there will be no legislation at all. They resort to technicalities, delaying tactics and paroxysms of filibustering to withhold any victory from Clinton.

But a defeat for Clinton is a defeat for the American people. Evidently, the GOP doesn't give a tinker's damn about promoting the general welfare.

The party system was not meant to result in paralysis. Congressmen are supposed to work together productively in a spirit of cooperation, compromise, negotiation -- not indulge in tantrums to bring the whole process to a stop.

Rea Knisbacher Baltimore

Unrecognized

Baltimore's Afro-American teachers and principals continue to overlooked when it comes to ability and recognition. Five teachers and principals were honored as outstanding educators and received $25,000. How were they chosen? Was there a search committee? Were all the schools in this city and other counties aware of the search?

We teach our children to believe anything is possible if you put forth the effort. Perhaps we should say "maybe," but keep working toward a goal anyway. Will things ever change? Surely there must be at least one Afro-American teacher or principal qualified to receive some recognition as an "outstanding educator" in the state of Maryland.

Clara C. Jones

Baltimore

Reparations

Did The Evening Sun actually pay Michael Fletcher for the piece "Reparations for blacks is no laughing matter" (Other Voices, Oct. 13)?

The subject is indeed laughable, not to mention the ridiculous logic that supports its absurdities.

If you want a good reason for the advent of conservatism in our country, one need only read the foolishness contained in this gem.

Have not the myriad social programs aimed at the betterment of blacks since the 1960s been reparations on a grand scale?

Has not affirmative action advanced blacks while excluding others? Did not the Great Society throw billions at a problem and find little or no cure?

Doesn't the Moving to Opportunity program to this day give poor blacks an "equal opportunity" with their neighbors who had to work for their place in society?

Not to mention a social welfare system that provides health care, food stamps, child care and rent subsidies.

Reparations have been and continue to be paid, but it's people like Mr. Fletcher who pretend not to see the obvious.

Ideas like his will continue the Civil War into the 21st century. I would suggest that the blacks he identifies as being unsuccessful begin to use the opportunities our society has given them and work to achieve parity with their brothers.

More subsidies are not the answer.

Joseph L. Bishop

Monkton

In support of the bells of St. John's

I am often asked why I like living where I do, so close to Greenmount Avenue (or the Old York Turnpike, as I prefer to call it), and my answer is always the same: the bells of St. John's.

Before the bells of St. John's-Huntingdon Episcopal Church were automated, I could only rely on the 10:20 a.m. Sunday chimes and the daily 5 p.m. concerts the Rev. Jesse Parker so beautifully and skillfully played.

Now from 8 a.m. until 5:45 p.m., I savor the bells for a few fleeting seconds every quarter hour. At 6 p.m., I settle in for four minutes of a blissful hymn, seldom dry-eyed. I am not Episcopal, but Jewish.

In my nine years here, I have watched as sanitation and police services have eroded, merchants have abandoned Greenmount Avenue and treasured neighbors have moved out.

Sometimes it feels hopeless, but then I hear the bells and my spirit is truly lifted and renewed. I operate a tea room, also steps from St. John's. The bells are quiet enough that the windows must be thrown open to hear the chimes, and in the warm months my customers comment daily on the tranquil, inviting music.

This neighborhood remains, because of the bells of St. John's, the Victorian village so beloved by Lizette Woodworth Reese.

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