Off to WarEditor: The president and Congress...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Off to War

Editor: The president and Congress argue over who has the authority to send our country to war in the Middle East and, as a mother and grandmother, I had a crazy dream: Only those who have children or grandchildren at risk in the military should have that authority.

We might still go to war, but I would know the decision was made with tears, like ours, when we saw our children leave for the desert.

Abbie H. Rose

Towson

Not a Likeness

Editor: I am writing in reference to a cartoon in the Dec. 28 issue of the Austin American-Statesman, drawn by Kevin Kallaugher of The Sun and then syndicated.

I do not deny the import of the cartoon, which is an accurate representation of what happened recently with the new policy in minority scholarships. Especially the last two panels are true and funny, too.

My problem is with the first panel, which shows a goofy-looking European-American who purports to represent the Department of Education.

This is quite wrong. It was not a European-American who formulated and announced the plicy, but a renegade, conservative black man, Michael Williams.

I assume that the artist did not correctly depict the man's ethnicity because that would complicate the issue, and because it is unwise to show non-whites in anything but a complimentary light.

While I fully realize we are living with the legacy of 350 years of racism, I also think it necessary to not overstate things.

KAL's cartoon was wrong and misleading because, in this case at least, European-Americans cannot be blamed for Mr. Williams' public relations gaffe.

Richard Pennington

Austin, Texas

Taxpayers' Right to Appeal

Editor: Your inflammatory and unrealistic editorial, "Anarchists Dundalk," reinforces many people's view that your paper is irresponsible and certainly incorrect in many matters.

To label Councilmen Donald Mason, Douglas Riley and William Howard IV as "anarchists" is a direct slap to the citizens of Baltimore County and the hard-working people of Dundalk. An anarchist is one who promotes disorder or incites revolt against an established government. To read the editorial, one would believe that Councilmen Mason, Riley and Howard are attempting to overthrow the government.

Some of the statements by these elected officials may have been harsh, abrasive and perhaps overzealous. However, to call Councilman Mason, Riley and Howard "anarchists" is creating falsities and illusions that do not exist.

ohn A. Micklos

Turkey Point

Editor: Anarchy is truly a strong label.

My spouse and I found the audience at that meeting quite restrained and with a total knowledge of the property tax system. It was this knowledge, indeed, that led us there.

Many residents of the Seventh District come from the steel industry. They are the same folks who have taken numerous cuts in pay over the past several years while other segments of society have continued to progress.

Being a veteran property tax protester, I can attest to the fact that the appeal system works. But there must be a valid cause.

Educating the property owners was what this meeting was all about.

Wouldn't a good citizen, after all, speak out for fairness? Property taxes have never been a fair tax. They persecute those who take pride in their homes.

Kathleen Beasley

Edgemere

Distorted Lending

Editor: The savings and loans, banks and insurance companies are taking a bum rap for a financial crisis which is much larger than any of its component parts.

The heart of the problem resides in investment priorities which, for the last two decades or more, have directed capital toward socially unproductive speculation and waste, while starving those industries whose expansion is translated into socially necessary goods and services.

Basic industry has been left to rust. Investment capital in a healthy economy would be expanding and modernizing basic industry, and thus making more accessible at lower costs such things as housing, transportation, energy and food and a clean-up of the environment while creating more higher-paying, safe and secure employment.

Instead, investment capital is in a mad rush to buy existing real estate, stocks, bonds and securities and to fund buyouts and takeovers of existing plants -- leaving little capital for efficient management and research and development. Wages and working conditions are sacrificed to finance the debt incurred in such nonproductive investment.

As working people have less money to buy back the goods and services they create, unemployment, underemployment and poverty increase. The blessings of such poverty are, of course, crime (to make ends meet), drugs (to make existence tolerable), illiteracy (why teach or learn if the jobs are drying up?).

In a frenzy of speculation, investors borrow ever-larger amounts with ever-decreasing security (junk bonds) at even higher interest rates to compensate for the ever-growing risk factors.

Those savings and loans and banks which refuse to engage in such risky ventures realize a lower return on their investments. In turn they must offer lower interest rates to their depositors.

As depositors withdraw to invest in higher-interest institutions, there is no way more "conservative" or "responsible" savings and loans and banks can survive. The frenzy leaves no room for the satiated.

For each individual financial institution, it's a matter of invest in increasingly unsecured entities or die.

I am hardly in the habit of defending savings and loans, banks and insurance companies. But in and of themselves, they have )) little choice. It's the entire system which is at fault.

And if nothing intervenes in this frenzy, our society could self-destruct.

The Reagan-Bush administration no doubt hurried the process with deregulations and refusals to acknowledge a problem. But the Republicans did not create the crisis and the Democrats did not offer any alternative.

The problem seems to reside in the market economy at this historical stage of monopoly capitalism.

The Soviet Union and Eastern Europe have picked a poor time to experiment with a market capitalism purged of its single socially redeeming quality -- its ability to increase living standards by jTC making socially necessary commodities ever faster, cheaper and better.

What is necessary is that the American people take control of our economy to reprioritize investment as well as government spending away from speculations and waste and into socially necessary investment.

The continued rule of that one-half percent of the American population which owns more wealth (35.1 percent) than do 90 percent of the rest of us (who own 28 percent) is almost entirely dependent upon its ability to reverse investment priorities before the 90 percent of the rest of us take such power away from them.

I know of no way they can do this while maintaining their rule.

A. Robert Kaufman

Baltimore

Harbor Carillon

Editor: We at Christ Lutheran Church in the Inner Harbor read with delight the story about the new carillon at Old St. Paul's. It is a wonderful addition to Baltimore.

However, it is not the only carillon in the area. Christ Church has had a 16-bell carillon since 1960.

John R. Sabatelli

Baltimore

The writer is pastor of Christ Lutheran Church.

Marshalls' Plans

Editor: Regarding The Sun's Dec. 15 business article, I would like to set the record straight concerning Marshalls' plans for the Westview Mall.

We remain committed to the Westview Mall; our store is scheduled to open in 1992. The design of the store is modeled upon our newest prototypes and we feel confident that it will be a successful venture.

Marshalls is coming to Catonsville. We look forward to being a part of that business community.

John Ingram

Andover, Mass

The writer is a senior vice president at Marshalls.

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