GOP is working for common sense on Y2K problemMy...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

August 04, 1999

GOP is working for common sense on Y2K problem

My Republican colleagues and I watch with growing concern and occasional disbelief The Sun's refusal to recognize the contribution of Republican legislators -- even when you agree with us.

The Sun's editorial "Fair protection from Y2K lawsuits" (July 10) commended President Clinton for "finding ways to compromise" on a bill giving businesses some protection against the inevitable flood of Y2K lawsuits and suggested that such "common sense could be put to good use in Annapolis."

Yet the fact that the entire Republican delegation in Annapolis did everything in its power to accomplish such a compromise was ignored in the editorial -- and misreported in The Sun's news articles.

In the legislature's last session, House Speaker Casper Taylor, a Democrat, sponsored a Y2K protection bill. This bill passed the House by a vote of 136-1. It passed the Senate 30-17. Both of these votes provided a "veto-proof" majority.

But Gov. Parris Glendening vetoed the bill on May 12 -- a month after the end of this year's session, giving the legislature no opportunity to override his veto.

On June 3, House Republicans wrote to the speaker of the House and the president of the Senate requesting they convene a one-day special session of the legislature to reconsider this critical -- and time-sensitive -- legislation.

On the same day, House Republicans held a press conference calling for the legislature to convene to vote on the Y2K bill veto or consider a compromise bill that would address some of the concerns the governor had expressed.

The Sun's article on the press conference, "GOP seeks special session to override veto of bill to provide year 2000 protections" (June 4), ignored the Republicans' written statement that the bill had passed with a veto-proof majority (confirmed by the official vote count) -- and gave the vote count on the wrong bill.

This inexcusable error allowed The Sun to conclude that there was no veto-proof majority, and quote Senate President Mike Miller's accusations of Republican "partisanship."

With so many Democrats supporting that bill, partisanship is not the problem.

Senator Miller has sole responsibility for blocking a special session and preventing common sense from being put to good use in Annapolis. This has never been reported in The Sun.

Robert H. Kittleman, West Friendship

The writer is minority leader in the Maryland House of Delegates.

State needs standards in all fields of learning

It is interesting that the State Board of Education has issued specific academic benchmarks that children must meet in reading, writing, mathematics, science and social studies ("Setting school standards," July 28).

What is equally interesting is that the board has set no standards for achievement in the arts, moral education or physical education.

That is not acceptable. It has led to a generation of physically flabby cultural philistines who are despoiling our civilization with their shallow pretense of living.

The first 12 years of children's education should prepare them to be productive, well-rounded, clear-thinking individuals -- whether they are in private or public schools or home schooled.

Clear expectations should be established in all fields to make sure this happens. It won't happen if left to chance.

Russ Seese, Aberdeen

Gore's qualifications outweigh Bush's money

With all the hoopla about Texas Gov. George W. Bush, isn't it possible that he has amassed so much campaign funding because of apprehension that when Vice President Al Gore is nominated by the Democrats, his stature will rise to a point where his election as president will be assured?

Despite all the efforts to demean and mock him, the vice president is a statesman with an abundance of knowledge, ability and experience.

As a congressman, senator and vice president, Mr. Gore has proved that he is capable of administering the highest office in this nation.

We are confident that the time will come when his true ability and fine character will shine forth.

Mollie B. Cohen

David W. Cohen, Baltimore

Vegetarianism and nonviolence

Thanks to The Sun for printing Coleman McCarthy's article "Consider the lives of animals" (Perspective, July 25).

With documented evidence supporting the link between man's cruelty to animals and toward his fellow man, everyone should heed Mr. McCarthy's message of nonviolence to all species.

No greater acts of animal cruelty occur than in the food production business. Every day millions of cows, pigs, chickens, turkeys and calves endure extremely crowded conditions until they are pulled or dragged to their death.

Any person who ignores the plight of these animals, and eats their flesh, is contributing to his or her own demise and to man's cruelty to animals.

Teresa Robinson, Perry Hall

Coleman McCarthy's comments on man's attitude toward animals make a good point: Advocating nonviolence is an attractive, abstract idea, but if you're really serious about it, why not start with your dinner plate?

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