Wasn't only one to oppose stadiumIt's ironic that such a...


April 14, 1996

Wasn't only one to oppose stadium

It's ironic that such a supposed bastion of free speech as The Sun would give me a thumbs down (April 9, "Assembly OKs major reforms") for voicing opposition to what I believe is wrong for Maryland. Would I have been given a similar thumbs down if zzTC had spoken out for something that The Sun supports?

The price of freedom of speech is sometimes high. I could have rolled over and played dead. Instead, I chose to speak my mind. I don't see how you can characterize that as bragging.

Other senators opposed the stadium. There was no retribution against them. I was an easy target and made an example because I was from a rural area. That was a childish reaction by some legislators. They are the ones who should be getting the thumbs down.

My vote against the "Art Modell Stadium Giveaway" was not a vote against Baltimore. Everyone who knows me knows that I am a strong supporter of the city and did much for the city as a member of Congress. But my constituents were overwhelmingly against the stadium deals. Polls showed that the rest of the state, including Baltimore, was also strongly opposed.

The legislature's first funding priority should be education. That's why I oppose the stadium deal. it showed misplaced priorities. Ironically, monies for southern Maryland schools were then pulled in retaliation for my protest.

Southern Maryland is the state's one economic bright spot. A Department of Fiscal Services study says the 6,800-job expansion at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station will mean $38.6 million in new annual tax revenue to the state. That compares to a questionable economic benefit derived from the stadium.

I regret the loss of needed impact aid for schools. My constituents understand what happened and who was responsible. They are telling me I did the right thing. It is hoped that in its next session the legislature will recognize the error of its ways and do the right thing.

Roy Dyson Annapolis

The writer is state senator for the 29th District of Maryland.

Sunday book reviews welcome

I have been most impressed with the improvements made in the Sunday Sun Perspective section and I wanted to compliment those responsible for making this section one of the best in the nation.

Recent pieces which captured my attention were the excellent article by Michael Pakenham in celebration of the 50th anniversary of George Orwell's masterpiece, "Animal Farm," and the outstanding review of Jonathan Cohen of "Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust."

I lived through the era of National Socialism in Germany and agree with the author of the text that the Holocaust definitely ". . . grew out of Germany's national character."

The only problem I have with the Holocaust study, as reviewed by Mr. Cohen and other books and writings on the subject, is that all too often they go into tremendous detail in recounting the "who" and "what," while skipping over the "how" and "why" of the matter. I firmly believe that a greater understanding of the "how" and "why" is far more important in insuring that we are never subjected again to a hell on earth like the Holocaust.

A question that is rarely asked when one takes the time to delve into the anti-Semitism of the previous century is: what changed a liberal Germany from 1850 to 1870, a nation that had moved into the rarefied atmosphere of equality by granting Jews equal rights under the constitution of the North German Confederation?

Eugene Blum Baltimore

The patient knows quality of life

Sara Engram's balanced article, ''The 'right' to die is often the wrong issue,'' (April 7) left me discomfited by her last sentence, '' . . . there will always be nagging doubt whether all the people who might choose it really understand their options.''

Sadly, when a physician (or any health care taker) presents ''options'' to the terminally ill, they are usually in the presenters' idiom.

It is not the patient's quality of life that is under consideration, but rather the physician's evaluation of the patient's quality of life -- something that can be fixed, eg, depression, pain, etc.

Of course efforts to improve the patient's quality of life, are mandatory.

However, this can only be achieved when the doctor knows his or her patient, having been a partner during the meandering course of the patient's illness.

Then the doctor knows when the patient's suffering is overwhelming, when the wish to die is real, and counseling is a shared experience.

Quality of life: yours, mine or the patient's?

Nathan Schnaper, M.D. Baltimore

The writer is professor of psychiatry and oncology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Watchdog needed now more than ever

Was it out of respect for Hyman Pressman that one of his successors, Comptroller Joan Pratt, waited until his death to announce the appointment of her political campaign manager to a key post in the comptroller's office?

Or was it just happenstance?

Try to rest in peace, Hyman.

Thomas G. Bodie Cockeysville

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