Any politician must learn to take the...

THE BALTIMORE EVENING SUN

Any politician must learn to take the heat

Governor Schaefer's nasty note to a female motorist who rebuffed his roadside campaigning was unbecoming to his high office. According to newspaper and other media accounts, the lady said she simply gave him a "thumbs down." Whatever the gesture was, he went too far in tracing the woman's address through her car license and writing a note on his official stationery insulting her appearance.

In stooping so low, he put himself on about the level of a nasty little adolescent throwing spitballs. But he's not a child. He's the most powerful individual in our state government. As governor, he is one of the nation's political elite. He's even spoken of as a potential presidential candidate.

People in public service at all levels are expected to maintain decorum. Consider police officers who must take verbal abuse routinely. They are not expected to get into name-calling exchanges with those they arrest. School teachers don't throw spitballs back at the kids.

If you're a politician running for office and you stand by the side of the road waving at cars, you are asking for gestures of support, but you can't demand them not in America. And unless someone tries to run you down, you have no justification for recording tag numbers and writing nasty notes to those who oppose you.

Dan Hetrick

Baltimore

Thomas' legacy

"I'll See You in My Dreams" was a film Danny Thomas made that typified his own career. As an American of Lebanese descent, Thomas played the role of Gus Kahn, the famous

songwriter who succeeded in his profession after a series of hard knocks. Contrary to any misconceptions about a person with Middle Eastern origins, Danny Thomas personified only the highest standards of behavior in his professional and humanitarian projects.

His own show, "Make Room for Daddy," and his productions "Andy Griffith," "Dick Van Dyke" and others earned him great wealth.

In a gesture which will always be a monument to his memory, Danny Thomas used his millions to help in the building of St.

Jude Hospital in Memphis, which is known for treating children.

Joseph Saffron

Baltimore

Executive pay

Governor Schaefer seeks to justify his huge salary increase on the basis of the hours he devotes to his job. Our previous governors seemed able to run the state with less effort and with more reasonable salaries.

If the governor's inefficiency causes him to work such long hours and achieve such abysmal results, should the residents of Maryland be penalized further by subsidizing his increased income? Executive compensation should be based solely upon

performance, not upon hours worked.

Bruce W. Didier

Potomac

Protesting protests

I have, for several months now, been trying to find the words to express my disgust for the spineless Americans who have been, and are now, actively protesting Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm.

Come on, people do you really think that ignoring Saddam Hussein would bring peace? Perhaps the Kuwaiti people were )) trying to ignore him the day before Iraqi soldiers moved into their country, raped their women and slaughtered their children. Will ignoring a cancerous tumor make it go away?

We all want peace, just as you do. But sometimes you have to fight to retain that peace. Maybe your marches and demonstrations would be more effective were they held in the streets of Baghdad. At least then they would be directed toward the true aggressor, instead of President Bush.

0 God bless our troops and return them safely.

Janice Carrigan Hill

Vass, N.C.

Biased reporting

In response to the article by Michael Hill in the Jan. 30 Evening Sun, I must say I found his story to be a poor example of fair and accurate journalism.

The article, which depicts the supposed trials and tribulations of WBAL news, is totally biased when you consider the sources quoted are disgruntled employees who are no longer with the station and not even brave enough to give their names.

Anybody knows that with new management there are changes. Old people leave; new people arrive. Sometimes it's for the best that these "old hires" leave. The "new hires" have the fresh and exciting ideas.

This article clearly was an unfounded attack on the "two most visible hires," Carolyn McEnrue and Lorraine Jewett. And about Ms. Jewett's taking a shower on camera: Any intelligent person would have realized she was reporting to the people at home about the horrible conditions our troops have to deal with not the least of which is one cold shower a day.

In the true sense of responsible journalism, Mr. Hill failed to air both sides. There was no need to offer some names and not others. This was an obvious personal attack.

Tami Schultz

Randallstown

Headlight bill

I protest your "Trivial pursuit" editorial (Jan. 29), in which you minimize the benefits of requiring motorists to turn on headlights whenever their windshield wipers are on.

Any legislation that would reduce auto fatalities is desirable. Motor vehicle accidents are the third leading cause of death in the United States. Only heart disease and cancer kill more Americans. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of deaths among young Americans.

Headlight illumination substantially improves visibility. A number of states now require headlight use during rainstorms. Because headlights substantially increase visibility, many vehicles employ headlights whenever they are in operation, day or night school buses, postal trucks, military vehicles.

A law that required headlights to be on when it is raining would be a life-saving measure at negligible cost and inconvenience.

Gilbert M. Bers

Salisbury

Gun tax data

I thought that perhaps Wiley A. Hall 3rd might be interested to learn that a federal excise tax has been collected on firearms since 1937.

Should Mr. Hall desire to ascertain the facts about taxes on firearms before he writes about them, the Interior Department is the agency with all the data.

Charles F. Havens

Aberdeen

'Infant-ada'

Wise up, Saddam Hussein. You are losing a great opportunity. To assure your success, you merely have to man your aircraft, tanks and missiles with your 10-year-old children. This could be your own "Infant-ada."

Who would dare to touch a hair of those innocent children? You could immediately bring the world to its knees. What kind of monster would harm a hair on the head of these benevolent children?

Norwood Shpritz

Baltimore

Roe revisited

After reading "Abortion distortion" (Forum, Feb. 1), I wondered just who were the "fools" referred to in the letter. The readers? Evening Sun editors? Or the writers for the archdiocesan right to life committee?

They claim that "Roe vs. Wade stands for abortion on demand ... that any woman may, for any reason ... abort her child throughout the entire nine-month period." This is simply not true.

Roe vs. Wade states that a state criminal abortion statute is violative of the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, that in the stage prior to approximately the end of the first trimester, the abortion decision and its effectuation must be left to the medical judgment of the pregnant woman's attending physician. For the stage subsequent to approximately the end of the first trimester, the state, in promoting its interest in the health of the mother, may, if it chooses, regulate the abortion procedure in ways that are reasonably related to maternal health.

For the stage subsequent to viability, the state in promoting its interest in the potentiality of human life may, if it chooses, regulate, and even proscribe, abortion except where it is necessary, in appropriate medical judgment, for the preservation the life of the mother."

Need I say more?

Larry Dickens

Baltimore

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