Editor: I enjoyed Peter Osterlund's April 28 article on the Social Security tax cut debate, but feel compelled to correct a mistake in the table that accompanied the piece.
The table sought to compare Social Security taxes under the tax cut proposal and under the present scheme for workers with various levels of earnings.
It showed that workers with annual earnings of $25,000 and $50,000 would get a tax cut, while those with earnings of $75,000 and $100,000 per year would see their Social Security taxes increase. This is incorrect. In fact, the proposal would result in a Social Security tax cut for all workers.
#Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
The writer is a Democratic Senator from New York State.
Editor: The editorial in The Sun of May 11, regarding Towson State student's disregard of commonly accepted standards of decent human conduct, struck home to me. I live in Towson, where much of the disturbances take place -- not only on campus, but in houses where students rent accommodations outside the dorms.
There are some things the university officials could do to call attention to the need for these off-campus residents to be considerate of neighborhood environments. For instance, just two houses from mine there are two properties owned by an absentee landlord who rents to many more students than the number the law sets for non-related renters in the same house.
In my case, these students have been almost ideal neighbors -- quiet, well-behaved and as neat as one could expect in a house the landlord is letting fall to pieces. The houses are a disgrace in an otherwise attractive area of resident homeowners. Gutters are falling off, paint peeling, porches sagging. There is no excuse for anyone renting these tenements to students or to anyone else, for that matter.
On the other hand, I have friends and relatives in Towson who are constantly troubled by unsupervised students. One of these friends has been awakened and kept awake until 3 a.m. by a group of male students who brawl and play loud music, not just occasionally but frequently. Several of those living nearby have had to call the police three times in one night.
It is a mystery to me that the police have to be called more than once before they respond. My friend and another neighbor have visited the owners at least twice. The owners live just two doors away from the noise, but they contend that they cannot hear it. When I suggested that my friends phone the owners at night, at 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. when they are being disturbed, they said the owners had an unlisted phone number.
I suggest that the university should be informed of the names of students who are creating disturbances and that the police use more stringent measures to stop this behavior. The landlord is, after all, responsible for his property. The police are duty-bound to enforce the peace.
Editor: Why are elections held on Tuesdays? Wouldn't Sundays be more convenient?
Since voters must cast their ballots in their home districts, it is often difficult for those who work elsewhere to get to the polling place in time to vote. Or if they do make the effort to vote before or after work, there are likely to be longer lines than at other times of the day.
Other countries routinely hold elections on Sundays. Why can't we?
Marjorie C. Thomas.
Editor: On May 5, Kay Withers, writing for The Sun's Perspective section, belittled the Polish Constitution of May 3, 1791 as part of Polish nostalgia for a "glorious past that never was."
The 1791 Polish Constitution, Europe's first written constitution, was a valiant effort at constructing an effective governmental scheme. It was Poland's response to the First Partition by its unfriendly despotic neighbors.
It recognized separation of governmental powers and proposed
a governmental form emulating the British model.
True, the 1791 Constitution was never a document of governance because Poland was subjugated by force and partitioned off the world map.
It was, however, the Bill of Rights of the Polish tradition, the RTC embodiment of much that was enlightened and progressive in Poland's past.
For more than a century, it was the rallying cry for restoration of the Polish nation-state.
Ms. Withers seems particularly peeved that the 1791 Polish Constitution "enshrined Roman Catholicism as the 'ruling religion,' renunciation of which was forbidden."
Ms. Withers quotes from the 1791 Constitution's Article I, but she neglects to recite or recognize the remainder of the article which stated, "but as the same holy religion commands us to love our neighbors, we therefore owe to all people of whatever persuasion, peace in matters of faith and the protection of government; consequently we assure, to all persuasions and religions, freedom and liberty, according to the laws of the country."
By this constitutional provision, Roman Catholicism was recognized as Poland's established religion, but the 1791 Constitution also decreed freedom of religion and "peace in matters of faith" -- a unique concept 200 years ago.
M. Albert Figinski.
The Roots of Hispanic Alienation
Editor: The recent riots in Washington involving Hispanics and the District of Columbia police have been described by the press the consequence of mistrust between the two principlas: the former made up of an alienated and socio-economically disadvantaged group, mostly Salvadorans, against what it perceived as a prejudiced law enforcement agency.
The truth and most significant point lies beyond that simple explanation. The consequences of the disastrous United States policy initiated during the Cold War which attempted to bring stability to Central Ameridfaa and the Caribbean nations now appears nakedly clear only two miles from the White House.
What the U.S. administrations saw as stability for the U.S. was, in effect, a destabilizing policy toward the other America.
In El Salvador, a country where the U.S. has sent more that $3 billion in 10 years to support a military-oligarchy complex, more than 70,000 Salvadorans have died, mostly violently, at the hands of armed forces trained, equipped and directed by the U.S. military and intelligence agencies.
The population in that tiny, poor country has been uprooted and devastated by torture, shooting, bombing and terrorism. Nobody has escaped from the uncivilized designs of those in power, not even the American churchwomen, the archbishop or the Jesuit priests.
The Salvadorans, after being violated in their most basic human rights, have done what peoples have always done. They have run for their lives, not to poor and unstable Nicaragua or Honduras, but to the great power that appears as the stable nation where they can survive.
The same situation occurred after the invasion of the Dominican Republic in 1965 when the Dominicans descended en masse on New York. Latin Americans traditionally did not emigrate, in spite of poverty and dictatorial systems.
Now the rules of the game have chanaged. The terrible violence of the U.S. interventions and the internationalization of the world economic system have sharpened the corners of injustice and humanity.
Another case in point is the recent vciolence in the Middle Easwhere the Kurds have run blindly from death and destruction only to find more misery. The difference is only that it is not practical to swim across the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean to come here. They have walked into Turkey and Iran instead.
This policy of seeking stability at the expense of other peoples' cultures and lives has to stop somewhere, and alternative ways to live and let live have to be found.
No longer can a powerful nation pretend that peace is the outcome of violence and all can be done in the guise of creating a stable world. Latin America has never made war on or threatened to disposses the U.S. On the contrary, Latins have always admired the foundation of the U.S. Constitution which proclaims the sacred right of human life.
The Salvadorans who rioted in Washington learned this objectionable behavior in a foreign and hostile environment where they felt segregated and abused.
Let us not forget that one of the forces contributing to their presence here was the intervention of the power of Washington in their country. They came here searching for a stable world in which to remake their lives.
The Romans, the French and the British never learned their lesson. Let us hope the United States will do better before it is too late
lberto J. Diaz