Ugly ContrastEditor: The March 10 column by...


Ugly Contrast

Editor: The March 10 column by Sydney Schanberg regardin U.S. policy toward Cambodia throws ice cold water on the warm glow of victory following the war in the gulf. While reading this, my mind's eye conjures up two contrasting images. The first is that of George Bush's Hail-to-the-Chief party before Congress, while the other consists of the huge pile of human skulls portrayed in "The Killing Fields."

For those with the stomach to watch, this film chronicled the genocidal rampage perpetrated by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia in the late 1970s. How odd that the government which successfully prosecuted a technically flawless war against the evil that is Saddam Hussein sees fit to ignore -- even indirectly support -- Pol Pot's continuing effort to regain control in Cambodia. Of course, Mr. Pot is fighting a government installed by that eternal bane of the Pentagon, Vietnam, and Cambodia has no oil to speak of.

The truly amazing thing about political hypocrisy is not its depth -- one does become somewhat inured after a while -- but rather the ease with which it is found. One need only turn one's head, in this case, one third the way around the world, from the Middle East to Southeast Asia.

Peter Brodsky.



Loss of Heritage

Editor: Frank Somerville's article concerning the auction o Tiffany stained-glass windows from an Episcopal Diocese-owned building on Monument Street should serve as a call to action to church members who are interested in historic preservation.

A telephone conversation, concerning the windows, with an aide of Bishop A. Theodore Eastman was answered with comments regarding the fiduciary responsibility of the diocese. A question concerning whether the diocese also had a responsibility to the community was answered mainly with a stammer.

It has been only a short time since the state and numerous individuals provided well over $500,000 to restore St. Paul's Rectory for temporary use by Preservation Maryland. St. Paul's Parish will ultimately receive the full benefit.

It appears the Episcopal Diocese management did not get the message that Baltimore landmarks are precious to her citizens, as they have responded by proposing to sell off her treasures.

Apparently the diocese regards this cannibalization as a financial matter only, with no regard for Baltimore heritage.

Whats next? Anyone want a statue, an altar, a painting, an organ?

Paul F. McKean.



Cheap Shots

Editor: It's been hard to believe what the media are doing t Gov. William Donald Schaefer.

A few incidents have been blown completely out of proportion and given coverage over and over again. The war in the Middle East almost pales in comparison.

When you stop and think about it, what are his sins? What is all the news about?

Maryland has a governor who reads all his mail and actually takes phone calls from average citizens. He listens to radio talk shows and calls in to respond. To me, this is a man who cares and is doing his job beyond what we would normally expect of a busy governor.

In his first term he traveled to every county, city and town in this state to meet with and listen to citizens.

Think of the thousands and thousands of letters and conversations from citizens. Most of these are requesting something, expressing a problem with government or venting frustration in some form.

All are read. All merit a response. Most, where possible, are reacted to in a positive manner. Red tape is cut, agencies attempt to help, individual staff members go to see the person(s) -- all at the governor's insistence.

In a handful of instances -- out of the thousands -- he has reacted to citizens whom he felt were wrong or misinformed. If anything, maybe the governor is a little too human.

Governor Schaefer has given us too much of himself over too many years to be treated as he has been lately. Let's give him a break.

Richard H. Trainor.


The writer is former state secretary of transportation.

Still a Champ

Editor: I am writing to you concerning your March 17 Sunda Sun article, "The Decline and Fall of a Champion, Johnny Unitas."

This article disturbed me deeply. I had the pleasure of working with Mr. Unitas at National Circuits Inc. I remember him as one of the nicest men you could meet, and so down to earth.

Due to my age, I never knew him as Johnny Unitas, the No. 1 quarterback and a man Baltimore adores. I knew him as Mr. Unitas, a fellow worker. When I first met him, I didn't even realize who he was. I am probably the only person in Maryland naive enough to ask him whether he used to play football.

Occasionally, people would just come in off the street, ask i "the" Johnny Unitas really worked there and then ask to see him. He always made time to come out and shake their hands and give them an autograph, and never complained. You didn't have to be a "big" person for him to be nice to you.

The point of my letter is that as much as Baltimore adores Mr. Unitas, why can't we give him a little of what he gave us? He truly deserves it. He'll always have my support and respect.

Robin LeCompte.


7/8 Editor: I read with interest about the Rev. Clifford Johnson o the Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church. I don't share all of his theological beliefs, but I certainly commend his ethics.

To his rejection of a large contribution from a State Lottery winner, I intone a loud "Amen."

I think it is unethical for our state government to spend $25 million on advertising to induce people to spend their hard-earned income on lottery tickets.

I believe the original reason for the State Lottery was to offer an alternative to the numbers racket that was perceived to be run by gangsters. Fine, but with a gross take of nearly $1 billion, much of it from people who can barely support themselves and their dependents, haven't things gotten out of hand?

As to the advertising, some of it would make the cigarette peddlers blush.

Ernest Linke.


An Atrocity

Editor: The recent atrocity filmed in Los Angeles exemplifie all that I find unacceptable on the part of law-enforcement officers. This is especially true since I am a retired police officer.

One thing keeps puzzling me, and that is if, as stated, this does not appear to be racially motivated, why does the media keep reminding us that the victim was a black motorist?

David L. Kreek.



Unpopular War

Editor: Like many Marylanders, I bought the March 10 Sunda Sun to read the section titled "43 Days, Images of the War."

As I read through the interesting articles I noticed the one headline on page 12E, "Gulf War, Unlike the Conflict in Vietnam, Was Popular Back Home." Nothing could be further from the truth.

As usual, the press has failed to understand the support for our country and the difference between the words, "support" and "popular." It is unbelievable how stupid the press has been throughout this whole ordeal.

To equate home support for the troops and the president as popularity is unthinkable. As you were quick to point out in "The War in Numbers," 122 Americans died in this conflict.

God only knows how many Kuwaiti and innocent Iraqi people lost their lives as well.

How could this possibly be popular? No, this war was far from popular. Necessary? Yes. Supported? Yes. Popular? Not even close.

While I flew my flag throughout the entire six weeks and tied yellow ribbons to my house and cars, I grieve each and every loss of life and the senselessness of war.

Let us not forget what led to the need for this war, or those who supported Saddam Hussein with arms that killed American soldiers. For if we are too quick to forget, we will have yet another "popular war" in only a few short years.

Stephen Wilkerson.


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