Rep. Bartlett exemplifies capital gridlockI am shocked...

Letters

February 02, 1997

Rep. Bartlett exemplifies capital gridlock

I am shocked but, sadly, not surprised, at Rep. Roscoe Bartlett's decision to support the "ethically challenged" activities Speaker Newt Gingrich by voting against the sanctions which were imposed upon Mr. Gingrich by the bipartisan House Ethics Committee. Mr. Bartlett was one of only 28 members of Congress to vote against the committee's recommendations.

In explaining why he voted against the bipartisan report, Mr. Bartlett said that in his opinion, other members had committed more grave violations, yet were not punished as severely. Well, Mr. Bartlett, none of those other members, whoever they may be, has ever become speaker of the House as a direct result of benefits gained by those ethical violations. It is clear that Mr. Gingrich used his college course to organize grass-roots Republican support, which contributed to the Republican takeover of Congress in 1994 and his own installation as speaker.

In addition, given the heightened sense of awareness among the American people as to the nature of campaign financing, it would have been appropriate for Mr. Bartlett to take a stand for political reform, and for bipartisanship, and vote to support the bipartisan report. Instead, he turned a deaf ear to it, which is a shame.

In a Washington where both parties are trying to be part of the solution, Roscoe Bartlett continues to be part of the problem.

William C. Woodcock Jr.

Ellicott City

Black-on-black violence

I really do not understand the black leadership in Baltimore City, or the rest of Maryland for that matter. It rants and raves about some descendants of the Confederacy having special license plates. It rants and raves about Clarence Thomas not being a good enough role model because he does not agree with its version of affirmative action. It complains that too many blacks are in jail and on death row, that it's a racist thing, whites against blacks.

They do not address what seems to be the more important issue of black-on-black violence. They are more outraged by an insignificant license plate than the senseless murder of a young black child.

What happened to priorities? Do they want the streets of Baltimore to resemble the streets of Mogadishu? How many more innocent black children will have to die before the black leadership and others finally confront the violence head on? Perhaps they just don't want to admit the problem because they would have to admit their own failure.

lTC At the same time, Baltimore's leadership wonders why people are leaving the city for the suburbs. You read all the time that the governor and General Assembly are funneling more and more money into a dying city. To what end? At the expense of the growing counties surrounding Baltimore? Even business and industry are leaving the city and have been for some time. But hey, the city is going to have a multi-million dollar stadium for a losing football team. Talk about priorities.

As the saying goes, "Money can't buy love." Poverty is not an excuse for doing drugs or killing one another. Plenty of people during the Depression were poor, but they had strong families and a determination to make it through. You can't legislate or buy people into being decent. It has to come from within.

Gangs and drugs fill a void in people's lives. Lets fill that void with something else that will promote personal responsibility and two-parent families.

I think that going back to basics, like going back to church, is a good place to start looking for solutions. There are some wonderful church communities in Baltimore. Religious faith and the church family can provide individuals and families with the emotional and spiritual support that so many people lack. I just pray that the black leadership will finally get it before more young people and children like James Smith III die.

Patricia Holbert

Westminster

Pronunciation woes on TV news

Two letters in The Sun on Jan. 25 encouraged me to write on the poor use of our English language by TV newspeople.

One area that my wife has brought to my attention is the difficulty with words longer than two syllables. For example, "Terrists worry Present Clinton, unfortunally." Where is that Missipi river? This sort of sloppy pronunciation is all too common.

Another area is pronunciation of Italian proper names.

Rules of Italian pronunciation are easily learned in a few minutes. Remember the name "Buttafuoco" that was in the news? I don't know how he wants his name pronounced, but I would say, Boota foo oh ko.

Unfortunately, one of the Baltimore newsmen has Americanized his own name's pronunciation, so I shouldn't be surprised at what others do. Yet strangely I never hear anyone make a mistake with "Pagliacci."

@4 I can't blame children when adults do so poorly.

Andy Gardner

Westminster

Growth without emergency services

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