Today is a reminder to cherish the nation and eradicate...

Letters to the Editor

July 04, 1998

Today is a reminder to cherish the nation and eradicate hate

"We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal; that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable rights . . ."

These magnificent words from the Declaration of Independence are a tangible reminder of why we celebrate today. The Fourth of July is not simply a day of fun and drinking.

The words remind us of the debt we all owe to the patriots of 1776. The wise and pragmatic pursuit of independence, which was ultimately won by bloodshed, must never be forgotten. This nation was conceived in revolution and has become a great, humanitarian nation.

In honor of the patriots of 1776, let us work to eradicate hate from our great land. Let us work to become the best in whatever endeavors we choose. Let us accept all Americans as equals as true brothers ans sisters.

Finally, let us honor the memory of the patriots of 1776 by instilling in our young people a love of country and nation.

The patriots of 1776 gave us a nation. Let us continue in their honor to work to perpetuate this nation and its belief in a democratic system. This is our obligation to future generations.

John A. Micklos

Baltimore

Naval Academy discipline not so disparate after all

Michael Olesker's column ("Geography of Mids' trysts saves athlete's PR value," June 28) argues that the Naval Academy exacts harsher discipline for non-athletes than for athletes.

Mr. Olesker failed to mention that two of the three midshipmen expelled were athletes. Plebe Felicia Harris started every game at point guard and led the 1997-98 women's basketball team to the most victories in academy history. Further, she is considered one of the most outstanding female players recruited to the academy.

Aaron Smith was a point guard on the men's basketball team. He started early for the 1997-98 team but was relegated to reserve status after several games. However, he was expected to make a significant contribution in his senior season.

Adm. Charles Larson's rendering of discipline appears not so disparate when one is presented with all the facts.

Peter J. Equi

Baltimore

Blaming the wrong parties for dispute in Middle East

The editorial ("New map won't find way to Mideast peace," June 26) misses the true understanding of Arab intentions toward Israel and blames the wrong parties for a perceived impasse in the "peace process."

Robert O. Freedman, who has gone out of the way to make Yasser Arafat a partner in a "peace process," finally acknowledged in his article ("This land is mine," June 14) that Mr. Arafat has not met his 1993 Oslo obligation to revise the Palestinian National Charter, which calls for the annihilation of the Jewish state and denies the existence of Jewish people.

Mr. Freedman further observed that Mr. Arafat continually incites Arab mobs to liquidate the "Zionist entity," a clear violation of the Oslo accords.

Both the charter and Mr. Arafat's continuing incitements are reflections of the religious hatred in Islam for Jews and Christians.

I have seen excerpts from Palestinian television of Mr. Arafat exhorting mobs to Jihad and martyrdom and of the hate being inculcated in Arab children who want to emulate the suicide bombers. The chanting of Mr. Arafat and his mobs is eerily reminiscent of Hitler's Nazi Germany.

Mr. Arafat's signature on Oslo I was a dubious commitment at best. Today, his supposed commitment to peace is meaningless.

The Israelis would have been vilified had they responded promptly to Mr. Arafat's intransigence in 1993. After giving much, without reciprocity from their erstwhile "peace partner," they are vilified because they will not give more.

The Sun does its readers a great disservice by blaming the Jewish state for Mr. Arafat's misdeeds.

Sol E. Gerstman

Pikesville

Performance helps explain governor's poll advantage

I think there is a better way to read recent polls ("Reading the polls, June 28).

Three sequential polls show a shift toward Gov. Parris N. Glendening during the past three months. The Mason-Dixon poll in April showed a dead heat between Ellen Sauerbrey and Mr. Glendening, the Peter Hart poll in May showed a six-point advantage for the governor and the Washington Post poll in June showed a 12-point advantage for the governor.

(A skeptical observer should dismiss any conclusions of the Hart poll pertaining to slot-machines because the poll was commissioned by race track owners.)

Two facts might explain this trend:

First, the governor's position on the slot-machine issue was highlighted after Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke endorsed Eileen Rehrmann and, second, state senators and delegates are boasting about the accomplishments of the legislature this term and crediting the governor for his negotiating skill to produce legislation, including unanimous approval of his budget plan in the Senate.

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