When Silence Isn't GoldenYour editorial, "When Silence...


January 08, 1995

When Silence Isn't Golden

Your editorial, "When Silence Isn't Golden" (Dec. 15), touches on the very essence on how the community at large should act and react where unbridled hatred raises its ugly head. . . . Professor Raul Hilberg, author and scholar on the subject of the Nazi period and the Holocaust, expounds in his latest book, "Perpetrators, Victims, Bystanders," on the problems and pitfalls remaining silent in the face of hatred. One cannot assign guilt to anyone who remains silent, but the failure to show a collective responsibility is a grave omission in the exercise of civic duty.

It is encouraging to know that the law enforcement agencies and the community are dealing with the happenings in Anne Arundel County in the most serious terms. It is incumbent on all of us to serve notice to those who are plying their hate trade that their actions will not be tolerated in our midst.

In a quote attributed to Edmund Burke, he stated, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." We would do well, all of us, to heed those words.

Leo Bretholz


Sunset Vision

The new (old) Right is emerging. They promise to undo everything the people have accomplished in the past 62 years.

President Clinton was wrong when he said they were going back "Reaganism." They want to go clear back to the Harding-Coolidge-Hoover era, where Reagan got his ideas from.

First there was Harding and "Teapot Dome." Then, "Silent Cal" sitting for five years in the White House; his philosophy: "Give to big business and big money, and let it trickle down, the common people are not capable of taking care of it or themselves." Then there was "Herbert" -- the crash of '29 was not his fault but what he did afterward was. . . .

Henry Ford later in the '30s hired scabs and goons to crack the skulls of his workers because they wanted $5 for an eight-hour day and time and a half for over 40 hours a week.

Newt Gingrich and his cohorts want to return all orphans and welfare children to orphanages and work farms, circa 1920s, where they depend on charity to sustain them and work every day instead of school. This is not surprising about Newt Gingrich; when he no longer needed his wife and daughter for a military deferment from the Vietnam war and his wife had cancer, he abandoned them.

Then the Republicans want to give back the capital gains and income tax that the top 5 or 6 percent of the people pay, which means that the deficit, which is finally coming down, will go back up or be paid by the middle- to low-income. . . . They want to go back to the $1,000 toilet seats, $500 coffee pots, $50 bolts and vacations in all the exotic places in the world for defense business chief executive officers and the high brass that caters to them.

However, this is not the worst thing that is happening. It is not the people who vote Democrat or Republican or Independent. It is the 40 percent of the people who do not register to vote and 22 percent of the people who registered, then were too lazy to vote, saying what difference will one vote make? They are letting less than 25 percent of the people run the country. I'll bet you can't find more than 5 percent of the people who make $100,000 per year or more who don't vote in every election that comes along.

I am in the sunset of my years here, but my heart cries out for my grandchildren and great-grandchildren and all of their generations. . . . I am proud to have been an active part of my generation. I was privileged to fight for my country and was fortunate to return with only minor physical problems. I am proud of the life my two children are living and of the 14 grandchildren and the many great-grandchildren that are here or will come. I am certain there is another life after this where families will be together.

Walter F. Hay


Animal Rights

As a so-called "animal rights fanatic," I take exception to Lawrence D. Lease's letter to the editor, which appeared in your paper on Dec. 11.

The vast majority of animal rights activists are peaceful, law-abiding citizens -- not "criminals" who engage in violent activities as Lease implies. One of Lease's accusations -- poisoning and maiming hunting dogs -- does not even make sense since animal rights activists work to end animal suffering, not cause it. . . . If Lease is going to point a finger, perhaps he should start with those who have injured or killed activists -- such as George Adamson and Dian Fossey -- working to protect animals and the environment. Even hunters, who promote themselves as law-abiding sportsmen, have done their share to kill innocent people. . . . Because People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA )is the most visible animal rights organization in the country, we are also the first target of people who want to discredit the animal rights movement.

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