Flag-protection amendment is an outrage
The May 12 editorial, "Assault on the Constitution," hit right on the mark with me.
I have always believed in the Constitution and thought that this country's greatest enemies are those who wrap themselves in the flag in an audacious attempt to come across as being more American, more patriotic than the average citizen.
As for the amendment to outlaw desecration of the flag, I'm not sure most people today realize what they are supporting. As appalling as it is to watch someone burn our flag, it is that person's action and our response to do nothing that is this country's greatest strength.
It is better to smile and ask the flag burners how they can have so much hate for a country which provides so much freedom that they can desecrate its symbol without fear of rebuke.
To amend the Constitution by banning this specific activity and to pass laws to punish those who engage in this activity means that the flag burners will have succeeded in fulfilling what they had set out to achieve, the subversion of the First Amendment's guarantee of free speech.
What will come next, an amendment to prohibit criticizing the president? What does the global community think about us when someone can openly make scathing remarks about our president without being punished? Should the president not be afforded the same protections as the flag?
Tolerance is the foundation of this great nation. It has been my belief for sometime that if the Constitution had an expiration date and had to be ratified all over again it would not stand a chance of passing in its present form.
In their efforts at social engineering, too many politicians view our constitutional guarantees of freedom and liberty as an impediment to their getting the job done. Their true motive is votes at election time; the proposed amendment usually comes about from some isolated but hideous incident which got sensationalized on the national news and created a massive public outcry.
Laws based on a moment of public outrage would be to step backward on the long road we have traveled through history.
K. J. Walker
Saving Md. racing without slots
There is a way to rescue Maryland's horse racing industry and slots are not involved.
In order to survive, it will have to be equal to the purses at Delaware Park, otherwise the trainers will take their horses there.
If enough Maryland trainers remain at Delaware Park for the entire race meet, it could mean curtains for Pimlico and Laurel. Delaware Park's race meet dates are April 4 to Nov. 9.
The plan is easy to comprehend and no slots are involved. Direct whatever percentage that warrants the sum of $3 billion, on an annual basis, to Maryland's treasured horse racing industry.
That is the sum slots brought to the proud state of Delaware the first year.
Britt A. Martin
Unintended irony in hospital guide
I'm responding to your article, "Survival Guide for a Hospital Stay" (Parade magazine, May 4) because it touches almost everyone at one point in life. The article is a curious mix of journalism and "tongue in cheek" irony, although it was not meant that way. Its suggestions included:
1) Meet your surgeon and anesthesiologist ahead of time!
(I have a friend three days out of heart surgery who was transferred to a Baltimore hospital for the occasion without knowing when surgery would take place or who the surgeon would be.) The doctors simply don't allow the time to talk with the patients.
2) Learn who will continue and complete the operation.
Ha, try that one!
3) Take a recorder to make sure you have heard directions correctly!
Again, that will go over like a lead balloon.
I went to a local "top of the line" specialist in the field that I needed.
When I came up front with the fact I had four questions that needed an answer I was told, "Lady, my patients come here to listen to what I have to say and then do what I tell them."
When I said that was fine after I had my answers, he simply said, "If you don't like the way I do business, you don't have to stay here," at which point our ways parted.
As long as doctors refuse to come to the phone or answer questions in a polite and ethical manner, what is the way to solutions, especially in view of the fact that when you suggest or ask for a second opinion one is confronted with "hurt feelings"?
Pub Date: 6/01/97