Special coddling for white collar criminalsIt seems former...

LETTERS

August 24, 1996

Special coddling for white collar criminals

It seems former Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker is another in a long line of white-collar criminals who suddenly develop a deathly illness when faced with a probable prison sentence.

With this type of coddling by our judges, it is no surprise many people have no respect for government and scoff at the criminal justice system.

Perhaps if most average criminals received this treatment, there would be minimal prison overcrowding.

Donald Holland

Baltimore

A sad centenary at Arlington

On the 100th birthday of my late Dad, who worked for The Sun from 1929 to 1969, I went over to Arlington National Cemetery Columbarium to make a ''rubbing'' of his tombstone.

At the information desk, I asked the way and the attendant gave me a map and suggested that I stop in the office for assistance.

The young man went to his computer and punched up my father's information. I said, ''It's his 100th today and I thought to come by. All my family is gone now . . ."

He gave me the tombstone's exact location with a diagram and '' asked, ''Are you driving?'' I said "no."

''It's about a mile each way," he said. Five long blocks, it was about the same distance I had walked every day of my childhood from Rokeby Road in Rognel Heights down Walnut Avenue to the streetcar on Edmondson Avenue; and then back after school.

On my return, I thought to thank him for assistance. He gave a flippant, ''Goodbye,'' over his shoulder, ''Come back in a hundred years -- har, har, har.''

I turned to a nice lady beside me whose mouth dropped open and I said, ''I'll do my best . . .''

-! It was a very sad day for me.

Rodney Crowther III

Washington

Perot owns the Reform Party

There is now no excuse for anyone to be under any illusion concerning Ross Perot and the true nature of the Reform Party.

Although there are many proofs that the Reform Party is nothing more than a one-man operation, one fact alone from a Sun article (Aug. 11, "Perot Reform Party begins two-part convention today'') should tell us all we need to know.

Richard Lamm, a candidate for the Reform Party nomination, was denied access to the party's mailing list because such access ''would constitute a 'gift' of considerable value and would violate federal election laws.'' Yet Ross Perot was allowed to use that same 1.1 million-member list to solicit votes for this own nomination. How can this be? Because you cannot make a gift of what one already owns.

Ross Perot is not a member of the Reform Party; he owns it and its mailing list.

The unfortunate Mr. Lamm was allowed to mount a doomed campaign and the Reform Party went through the motions of a convention to produce the illusion that the party is a grass-roots movement that has found a champion in Ross Perot.

The truth is that the Reform Party is owned, largely financed and controlled from the top by Ross Perot, and nothing will happen in the party without his approval.

Within the Reform Party are many good Americans who love their country and who want true reform of our political system. They should be reminded that for the last two years the Republican Congress has kept its ''Contract with America,'' the promises on which the American people overwhelmingly elected them, and instituted many good reforms, especially in the way Congress itself does business.

This same Congress has sent two balanced budgets to President Clinton, both of which he promptly vetoed. The solution is obvious.

David E. Gonnella

Baltimore

State should take over race tracks

The threat to close down Pimlico and sell the Preakness, for that is what it was, should make it very clear that now is the time for Gov. Parris Glendening and the legislature to create a nonprofit racing authority to take over and operate the Maryland race tracks.

This has been done competently elsewhere and could be carried out just as successfully here.

The Maryland Stadium Authority and Baltimore's nonprofit operation of the public golf courses by an authority-type corporation have shown that this is the way to go.

Thomas J. O'Donnell

Towson

Cats deserve a few headlines

I really enjoyed the Aug. 13 article, "Top Dog." Particularly interesting were the currently popular names for dogs.

All the articles I have been reading lately have shown cats now outnumber dogs as pets. So, what I want to know is, do you intend to write an article on cats similar to the one you wrote on dogs, including popular cat names? Turnabout is fair play.

R.D. Teich

Ellicott City

Alcoholism hurting city more than other drug abuse

In an Opinion Commentary article (Aug. 9) about budget cuts affecting a client, social worker Lauren Siegel catalogs the man's working-class background and psychiatric profile, ending with, ''I had no trouble understanding how he became an alcoholic."

Alcoholism is not a symptom of an underlying psychiatric diagnosis, nor one's position in society. It has symptoms of its own like other primary diseases which, left untreated, result in death.

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