Let's have no more 'negative' news
John Carroll, in his commentary, "War as seen through the eyes of the military filter" (Other Voices, Feb. 11), expresses displeasure at the controlled news briefings now being conducted.
He feels that the news coming out of the gulf is great in quantity but lacking in quality because reporters are not free to rove and to report everything they see, as they were in Vietnam.
Mr. Carroll fails to mention that much of the news from Vietnam was of a negative nature. During the battle of Khe Sanh we learned much about Marine casualties. We were not shown the enormous damage inflicted by B-52 raids on North Vietnamese troops around Khe Sanh. Reports of Viet Cong atrocities at Hue received little publicity at the time. The Tet offensive was seen as a communist victory when the opposite was true.
I would strongly urge that the Vietnam reporting techniques not be used as a model for improved coverage of the gulf. Instead, we should be guided by those who covered World War II.
Charles S. Wehner
All Marylanders should be made aware of proposals headed for the General Assembly to remove support from some of our most vulnerable citizens.
They earn their livelihood with physical work at minimum wages, and if they become temporarily incapacitated and a doctor certifies that they will not be able to work for at least 30 days, they can presently qualify for medical assistance and $205 a month from public assistance. But the Department of Human Resources, with the governor's approval, wants to change the 30-day provision to six months.
This means that many accident victims, candidates for surgery who need brief periods of recovery, patients in need of treatment for newly developed diseases and various others will "fall through the cracks" because no doctor will say the healing, the recovery or the treatment will take at least six months.
These men and women cannot get workmen's compensation because their new problems are not job-related, they are not entitled to unemployment insurance becaue they did not get laid off and they have no health insurance because they have never earned enough money to pay for it.
What are they to do? Move to the streets? Look for space in overcrowded shelters? Eat in long overtaxed soup kitchens? Steal and end up in prison ($40,000 per person per year, according to what I have heard)? Lose all hope and end up in a mental institution ($80,000 per person per year)?
We must all protest this heartless additional downgrading of our fellow citizens.
Alice W. Muth
I completely agree with [National Public Radio commentator] Mark Crispin Miller's views on society and the media. There is a lot of hate and frustration out there. Instead of going to the source of the trouble, a scapegoat is found.
Corrupt and ineffectual governments have always used this strategy. It was this way of thinking that put Hitler into power. I believe the popularity of the gulf war among the American people is due to the fact that the idea of war appeals to the violent tendencies in a lot of people.
War is the ultimate violence, in which it is legal to kill someone. Sometimes you even get a medal for it. Perhaps one day this rampant violence will be replaced by a saner and more gentle philosophy.
Several years ago, Governor Schaefer, in energetic pursuit of foreign investment dollars for capital-starved Free State industry, visited Britain before proceeding to the Continent. While there, he was provided an escort both efficient and charming, one Sir Reginald House, formerly of the queen's entourage.
In conversation one evening, the ebullient Schaefer convinced his host that the retirement he [House] was then contemplating would be happier should he emigrate to our state. Taking this good advice, the Londoner last fall relocated in a delightful spot several miles southeast of Sudlersville in Queen Anne's County. Unfortunately, he soon suffered a bout with the gout.
Question Schaefer's other traits if you will, but do not doubt his loyalty to a friend. Characteristically, he had kept in touch with Sir Reginald and soon learned of the Englishman's illness. Accordingly, Schaefer caringly inquired of a Queen Anne's delegate, "How's that Brit, House, of the Eastern Shore?"
Regarding Gilbert Sandler's column of Feb. 5, "Songs written about Baltimore," our son, Steve Sisgold, in 1980 wrote the words, music and recorded the song, "Baltimore, You Can't See It Passing Through." The records were distributed to our mayor, local disc jockeys and displayed in record stores.
The opening words were:
Friends asked me to write a song
$ About a favorite town.
We need a hometown boy to tell it all
) Spread the world around about
! Baltimore, Baltimore, you can't see it passing through
: It's the spirit in the city and the pride of the people
; That really touches you.
The other verses go on to mention the people and places that made our city famous. Even though Steve has been living in California for a number of years, he still includes this song in his professional appearances, wearing his Oriole cap, and is grateful for having grown up in our town and proud to tell others about it.
Tillye and Morris Sisgold
Better build jails
The Feb. 12 Evening Sun reported that Governor Schaefer' next gun ban "lists 39 semiautomatic weapons that could not be sold in Maryland" after July 1, if the governor's legislation is enacted. Current owners "would have to get rid of them within six months unless they could get a permit from the state police."
Although the proposal is intended to address a non-existent problem, it is easy to see how banning "assault weapons" will end crime in Maryland. The drooling gun nuts who own such firearms are well-known to the state police: They've undergone onerous background investigations, endured the courageous seven-day "cooling-off" periods and have submitted themselves and their war weapons to state police registration.
But, despite the ease with which those deadly weapons could be confiscated, there remains one question. After the formerly honest gun nuts are criminalized under the new Draconian gun law, where will our fearless leader find the money to build a jail to punish them?