Diana's life and death revealed mistakeThe life and recent...

LETTERS

September 20, 1997

Diana's life and death revealed mistake

The life and recent tragic death of Diana, Princess of Wales, have reinforced my belief that the founders of our republic were exceptionally wise in rejecting monarchy and aristocracy without apology or regret.

One cannot look at the recent history of Britain's House of Windsor without getting the distinct impression of a hypocritical and Machiavellian dynasty, prepared to use a girl barely past her teen years and, now, her two sons, in an attempt to protect its royal status and obscene tax-funded privileges. If a non-destructive person such as Diana could be perceived as a threat to be expelled, then it is the dysfunctional character of the House of Windsor and of monarchy more generally that is to blame.

Meanwhile, the houses of Spencer and Windsor appear to be in a war over the cultural and moral education of the now 15-year-old future head of state for over 70 million Britons. Leave the boy alone.

To our friends in mourning in the United Kingdom, I can only urge: Stop the madness: Republic Now!

T. Bruce Godfrey

Reisterstown

Weld hearing fiasco embarrassed nation

The spectacle in the Senate over the William F. Weld confirmation hearings has finally driven home the point we all saw but didn't want to admit:

Our government is a pathetic joke, totally unworthy of our respect.

In fact, all it deserves from the American people is scorn and contempt.

It's no wonder that our country is the laughing stock of the rest of the world.

William Smith

Baltimore

Helms is no more a 'tyrant' than Biden

In a letter to the editor that appeared Sept. 14, Roger C. Kostmayer of Baltimore states that Sen. Jesse Helms' decision not to hold a confirmation hearing for William F. Weld is ''outrageous'' and ''subverts both the Constitution and the Senate.''

Mr. Kostmayer goes on to say that Senator Helms is ''arrogant'' and an ''aging and anachronistic Senate chairman'' guilty of tyranny.

Senator Helms has done nothing out of the ordinary or in violation of Senate rules. Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. is one of William Weld's biggest supporters and currently sits on the foreign relations committee with Senator Helms. Previously he was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. As chairman Senator Biden denied hearings to 40 nominees for the bench. Over the last 10 years, 153 people have been denied hearings for different posts. This is more than one denial of a hearing a month. Is this subverting the Constitution and the Senate or is it business as usual?

This whole episode is nothing more than political opportunism manipulated by the left. Only committee chairs have the power to deny a hearing and you can only be a committee chair when you are the majority party. The Republicans have only been the majority for the last 3 years. Nobody was outraged when the Democrats were denying Reagan and Bush appointees hearings.

Mr. Kostmayer, are you ready to level the same charges against those in the Democratic Party who have rightfully done the same

thing as Senator Helms for decades?

Jeff Zenger

Baltimore

Track wouldn't benefit Middle River

It is very clear to me that the rich will get richer while the unemployed will stay that way. Officials say the proposed NASCAR racetrack will bring jobs, about 260 full-time jobs -- how will this help the unemployed of Middle River? All the other jobs are part-time or volunteer. It's pretty hard to live on a volunteer's pay!

The Illinois racetrack article states that they try to give contracts to local people -- will this racetrack do the same? How many Middle River residents have business that will be able to interact with the racetrack?

The article about Mr. Mattioli states how hard he has worked in his life. Well, how about an article about the families that will be affected by this racetrack? Hard-working families put all their effort and money into getting a little piece of property with peace and quiet and now there will be roaring cars and traffic jams. That's not why they bought the property.

Mr. Mattioli is quoted as saying, ''It will break my heart if people don't realize what a great asset this would be to Baltimore County.'' I think more correctly it would break his wallet.

Patricia Murphy

Baldwin

Banks not sharing record earnings

Your Sept. 12 edition reported that banks' earnings hit a record for the second quarter, up 5.8 percent.

It is a tragedy that these earnings are not reflected in increased interest payments to depositors and dividends to stockholders, but mainly to the depositors whose money is the backbone of the banking industry.

Richard L. Lelonek

Baltimore

Tobacco deal is a bailout for the merchants of death

The so-called ''tobacco settlement'' is little more than a bailout for the merchants of death.

The deal would give the tobacco industry immunity from future class action lawsuits. It would shield the industry from punitive damages, which are meant to punish the most outrageous corporate misconduct. And it would tie the hands of the Food and Drug Administration in controlling nicotine. No wonder the big tobacco companies are for it. It will allow them to make more money, and give them the legal right to keep on addicting our children. Congress, and the president, should ''just say no'' to this bad deal.

Sam Ruark

Baltimore

Pub Date: 9/20/97

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