1999 is not the end to the millennium I keep seeing...

Letters

January 10, 1999

1999 is not the end to the millennium

I keep seeing references to 1999 as the last year of this century. One such was in the lead editorial in The Sun Jan. 1. But the last year of this century is 2000, not 1999.

We start counting with one, not zero. Thus, the last year of the first decade is 10, not 9.

Similarly, the last year of the first century is 100, not 99. The first year of the second century is 101 and its last year is 200. The last year of the 10th century, or equivalently the first millennium, is 1000, not 999. The first year of the 11th century, or of the second millennium, is 1001.

Continuing, we see that the last year of the 20th century, or of the second millennium, is 2000, not 1999. At the end of the latter year, we have only covered 99 years.

George H. Winslow

Ellicott City

Not one died for Clinton's lies

Lying under oath? Perjury? I think the legal framing of Bill Clinton's lies is irrelevant. When a president speaks to the Americans he serves, he stands in a docket loftier than any court of law. What he tells us should be the truth, no matter whether his hand rests on a Bible, the Constitution or a TV podium.

And if he lies, what then?

First, we ask why. To maintain national security? To stay in power? To skirt constitutional requirements? To advance personal ideology? We know most of our presidents have lied for those reasons and others. Then, we ask the consequences.

Ronald Reagan lied to us and Congress, and thousands died in Central America as a consequence. For years, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon lied to us and the consequence was 50,000 Americans and millions of Vietnamese killed.

Who died for Mr. Clinton's lies? Nobody. Perhaps, someday, his marriage. Yet the Republican leadership has effectively terminated the top-level functions of all three branches of our government and spends millions of our tax dollars each day, atop the $60 million already spent by Kenneth Starr to rub the president's nose in his sin.

The voters will remember this travesty.

Al McKegg

West Friendship

Lies, spin and rationalization

When President Clinton made his famous finger-pointing statement, he could have responded in one of three ways: "No comment," admit to the affair, or deny the affair. He decided to deny the affair and his lie was directed at the American people. This act made it the business of every citizen of our country. This alone is cause for dismissal from office.

I read, hear and see his supporters (mostly liberal Democrats) say his actions are unacceptable, inexcusable, dishonorable, untruthful, outrageous, disgusting, etc. Without hesitation, they rationalize the above descriptions. The American people should listen carefully and analyze these spin masters.

How do you accept the unacceptable? How do you excuse the inexcusable? How do you honor a man who is dishonorable?

When his supporters say we must move on to more important issues such as education, where was the president the last six years. Where was the governor of Maryland and the mayor of Baltimore? Statistics show that in Baltimore, 67 percent of students don't graduate, 82 percent failed the national math exam, 64 percent read below grade level and our country ranks last in education among industrial nations. For a long time, lies, spin and rationalization have been the procedure of the Clinton administration.

David A. Dilegge

Ellicott City

The definition of a hypocrite

I don't like a hypocrite, and I don't like Gov. Parris N. Glendening. In a letter by Mr. Glendening in The Sun on Jan. 2, titled, "Governor's New Year's resolution for a better society," the governor says he had the honor of standing with President Clinton when he announced programs for the benefit of the homeless.

This is the same President Clinton who the governor criticized during his re-election campaign for his disgusting sexual misdeeds, and who the governor shunned when he appeared at a Montgomery County school, saying he could not explain or justify the president's behavior to his own son.

In the same letter, the governor wrote, "We must respect and rebuke those who seek to divide us by race." This is the same governor who ran scurrilous, untrue television ads castigating his opponent Ellen Sauerbrey as a racist.

Random House defines a hypocrite as "a person who pretends to have morals or principles, etc., he does not actually possess."

That is, unfortunately, our governor.

Donald B. W. Messenger

Columbia

Liberals are truly the racists

A Jan. 2 front-page article ("Mass. dispute raises race") concerning affirmative action in Massachusetts underlines the liberal view of minorities -- that they can't compete on even ground with the majority.

It's liberal racism, period.

Step away from the emotional knee-jerk reaction and take a logical look at how liberal and conservative thought relates to racial issues.

Proof of motives are in actions, not words or rhetoric. Conservative policies are based on equality of opportunity for all.

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