Europe produces both positive and negative historyGeorge...


January 12, 1996

Europe produces both positive and negative history

George Weigel, "Europe since it was enlightened," Dec. 28, feels that Europe has given little to this century but fascism and communism.

It is apparent that Mr. Weigel does not want to look past the negatives to see the positives in Europe. Hopefully, few people give our history this unfair treatment.

In Norway, there are massive recycling programs, pollution controls and environmental policies which have made the country a pristine example for the rest of the world.

Germany has similar environmental programs, yet both economies are doing well with what some here would call ''government interference" and ''expensive," "anti-business" policies.

The social programs in some European countries, although excessive in some cases, should be an example to us, in that they make health care available for everyone and provide for the elderly.

The educational systems in many parts of Europe produce children who not only are prepared in math and science and know their own history and literature, but also are multilingual.

France has a reputation for being rude and not speaking English to American tourists, but what ''English-only'' American would appreciate a tourist from France asking for directions to the White House in French?

Finally, with all the debate over the European Union, who cannot agree that at the least it is a fascinating attempt at creating a new political and economic entity?

History has shown that no nation stays on top for long, and Europe has seen a decline this century. All one needs to do, however, is to take a walk up to the Acropolis in Athens, stroll past the Forum in Rome, spend a day in Paris, London, Madrid or any other city in Europe to remember that this continent is our older sibling with so much history -- the horrors with the enlightened moments, much like the rest of us.

S. Lee Nevins


Kane is why 'Exhale' needed to be made

I found Gregory Kane's column, 'Exhale adds to bashing of black men,' Jan. 3, degrading and supporting some of the attitudes in Terry McMillan's book.

I was very offended by Mr. Kane referring to women as hens and men as roosters. Are we talking about people or a farm?

His attitude was extremely defensive. This movie was just one aspect of the relationship.

If he wants to show a man who's been stood up, then he should make his own movie.

Ms. McMillan wrote a fictional book about women and their wanting to be loved. It is her viewpoint, and she cannot speak for the entire population. And as for Earl Ofari Hutchinson, he was not invited to the show because the topic was Ms. McMillan's movie, not the betrayal of black men and black women in literature.

Laura C. Tomlin


Rodricks kept light on aid for the poor

Compliments to Dan Rodricks for his attention to the plight of the poorest of Maryland's poor.

More than any other newsperson (news or feature, print or electronic), Mr. Rodricks persisted in criticism of the Glendening administration's late-1994 decision to terminate assistance to the 21,000 desperately poor Marylanders who must rely for their subsistence wholly upon the compassion of others.

Prior to the announced termination of the Disabled Adults Loan Program (DALP), the state contributed as much as $205 a month to program beneficiaries.

Now, thanks in very large part to Mr. Rodricks' periodic pieces, the administration has agreed to reinvest in DALP, though (at $100 a month) not at a level commensurate with the state's fair-share responsibility to its poorest citizens.

In resolving to advocate for a more appropriate government response to their needs, groups like ours can draw hope from Dan Rodricks' commendable example.

Richard J. Dowling


The writer is executive director of the Maryland Catholic Conference.

Lots of laughs in a newspaper

Seldom do you find a chuckle in The Sun, especially in the Business section. But in the Jan. 5 edition a piece on the economy provides a real laugh.

It seems that the government shutdown has resulted in economists not having enough numbers to do their "forecasting." The paper quotes Labor Secretary Robert Reich as saying, "The private sector does rely on this information [for] everything from what to order, when to order, how optimistic to be about inventories and sales."

It gets funnier as you go on: "Without these reports it is not just the financial community that's handicapped, it's also the entire business community."

If so, conceivably private firms should shut down as well as the government during this crisis.

R. D. Bush


Hunting season for stay-at-home geese

I enjoyed Tim Wheeler's Dec. 24 article describing the differences between migratory and non-migratory Canada geese.

As a hunter, I agree that a hunting ban is necessary to rejuvenate the migratory flocks.

I also agree with his concern, expressed near the end of his article, that if the non-migratory flocks keep expanding and become a nuisance, ''. . . public support for waterfowl conservation could be undermined.''

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