Editor: Sincere thanks for your front-page spread on our new wave of anti warriors. It was just the shot in the arm my wavering support of our position in the Persian Gulf needed.
Editor: Carl Bacharach died a few weeks ago. His absence seems unreal. He was bright, warm, colorful and caring, rare and welcome qualities in a judge.
An early anecdote of him is that of the legislator on the floor of the House of Delegates years ago, who pretended to have a small secret radio with which he could get voting instructions from his friend, Jack Pollack.
In recent years he was often seen driving an ancient car, enjoying his meals at a deli more than most people, wearing his dark European fisherman's cap, or perhaps lecturing young criminal defendants in an avuncular manner.
He was blessed with a unique combination of elements in his personality -- a delicious sense of humor and a profound belief in the worth of human beings, especially the humble variety.
His decisions were quickly thought out, clearly announced and expressed in pithy language. He hated cant and hypocrisy, ridiculed ostentation and hollowness, and felt strongly that the Trenton Democratic Club has as much right to have a monopoly on ethics as the Gibson Island Club.
I remember his partly mock and partly real fear when an unknown man with a briefcase walked into his courtroom and Carl timidly asked him if he was from the IRS. He was not. The spectators enjoyed it. On another occasion he said to a witness, "Don't raise your hand and be sworn. We grew up together. I wouldn't believe you under oath or not under oath."
He refused one time to allow a young landlord to evict a young female tenant when he was convinced that the tenant had granted the landlord sexual favors. In his verbal opinion he announced that this was what was known in law as "a counterclaim."
Carl never allowed his judge's robe to affect his feelings for people. He maintained his friendships all his life with clerks, elevator operators, and taxi drivers. It was mentioned that courthouse employees cried when they heard of his death. His well defined sense of loyalty affected his professional, personal and family relationships. This gentle man loved family, friends and people generally. He also had an abiding love of justice, and an equally strong affection for mercy. He was an intelligent and practical judge "who never forgot what human frailty is."
Editor: You recently published a letter from Stephen Kranz, a New Orleans attorney, who praised David Duke, the sometime Nazi, national leader of the Ku Klux Klan and defeated candidate for the U.S. Senate. The letter stated that Mr. Duke was supported by "all segments of the white population" because he "represented their social and political attitudes on the 'unspoken' issues" of the economy, welfare reform and education.
Sixty years ago Adolf Hitler, a man for whom Mr. Duke has repeatedly expressed admiration, spoke to a nation beset by high unemployment, hyper-inflation and disorder. Hitler promised the German people that he would bring about full employment, a stable currency and law and order. Hitler, like his modern day follower in Louisiana, offered only the easy "solution" of creating scapegoats.
David Duke has already exceeded the accomplishments of the man he so admires. Hitler, before destroying German democracy, never received more than about 35 percent of the "Aryan" vote. In Louisiana 55-60 percent of the white voters supported the former national leader of the Klan.
Alan C. Cohen.
Duke and Hitler
Editor: Having just read Stephen Kranz's letter concerning the people of Louisiana who voted for David Duke, I hasten to respond. Mr. Kranz paints the portrait of an educated, angry and frustrated white population who believe David Duke to be responsive to their concerns. Let us never forget that this portrait resembles that of Nazi Germany and the popularity of Adolf Hitler.
Do all of those legal and medical professionals who believe in Mr. Duke's honesty, sincerity and integrity also support Mr. Duke's other beliefs, which he takes no pains to hide, and which should scare the "h---" out of all of us?
Racism is alive and well, and when we elect officials such as David Duke to public office we then need to examine our society and ourselves to see which direction we are headed and what we can do to save us from ourselves.
Editor: Your editorial, "The Northern Alliance," Nov. 23, points out that the 34-nation alliance meeting recently in Paris represents less than one-fifth of the world's people, also that it is populated mostly by Caucasians and Christians in a world that mostly is not.
Your essay warns that Iraq must be "brought to heel" so as not to pit this powerful alliance against the Third World; and so as to not to have "the richest and whitest part of the world seem to be ganging up on a small, brown, backward Moslem nation." This to court the continued support of Arab countries.
The key phrase is, evidently, "seem to be." The Sun, like most of our country's major media, is a long-time supporter of the pitting of interests of the U.S. and its allies against the Third World, with little quarter given, and with the result that the situation of many millions in the weaker nations has become increasingly desperate.
The message of your editorial "seems to be" that it is OK to conduct policy as usual, but we must not "seem to be" doing so.
For many decades,the unenlightened self-interest of the U.S. and other powers has been justified with appeals to the defense of freedom and democracy (even where there was none) and to the political religion called anti-communism.
Now that many here know that there has been little democracy in Kuwait, and since the anti-Communist card cannot be played, Washington has evoked the specter of international law flouted, aggression calling for punishment and brutality in excess. But more and more Americans are aware that their own country has in numerous instances countenanced, supported and even initiated all of the above.
With major U.S. media reporting for decades on the fact of the U.S. economy's dependence on Mideast oil and stability, the true motivation for U.S. intervention is, this time, more visible to Americans than during such past exercise of power.
Increasingly, parents, wives, husbands, siblings and close friends of our military people in the Middle East may be asking themselves the bottom-line question: "Am I so interested in not jeopardizing even a part of my relatively economically comfortable, safe existence that I am willing to risk untold suffering, maiming or death for my loved ones -- and for the hundreds of thousands of foreigners in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Iraq who are reported to be subjected to those same risks should war come?"
Richard G. Berman.
Editor: In the Nov. 3 issue of The Sun, Pat Meisol reported that Dr. Herb F. Reinhard, president of Frostburg State University, has a $75,000 "discretionary" account in the university's operating budget. This is highly misleading and inaccurate.
The account in question is titled the president's contingency reserve account and is no more "discretionary" than any other account in the university's $43 million operating budget.
Indeed, it must function within the state budgeting, procurement and expenditure restrictions. The president is responsible for this account and all other accounts.
Based on Ms. Meisol's assumptions, the entire budget of the institution is "discretionary."
The dollar amounts reported in the article for entertainment by the president are accurate. However, as I mentioned to Ms. Meisol, they are funded through several sources including this account. Other sources include the president's operating account.
These expenditures adhere to state procurement and expenditure regulations. In Maryland, these restrictions are substantial, certainly greater than in most states.
The writer is a vice president at Frostburg State University.