Hero parades: hot sun and empty honors
A great parade to celebrate Desert Storm will be staged on June 8 in Washington, D.C. It reminds me of Abraham Lincoln telling about a man being tarred and feathered, who remarked he would feel put out if it weren't for the honor of the thing.
As I understand it, troops are being told they should feel honored to come to Washington and be housed in college dorms or worse, while parade organizers live more like the queen of England did on her visit. Moreover, the honorees must put on a happy face and march in the hot sun for the cheering crowds.
Despite an $8 million price tag, the troops will not be feted and treated to sumptuous meals or nights on the town, let alone a visit to Memorial Stadium to watch the Orioles (another royal prerogative).
Most important, they will not have their poverty-level wages raised. They will not be rescued from subsisting on food stamps and they will continue to raise their families in run-down housing, with marginal health care. They and their loved ones will continue to suffer the reported pains of impoverishment, disruptions, and isolation that now characterize military life. In short, these heroes are stuck with second-class citizenship. Thanks a lot.
Somehow, there seems to be more subterfuge than substance in these hero affairs and I wonder whom they are really benefiting. Don't tell me it's the troops, and definitely don't say it's the financially strapped cities and towns which must ultimately foot the bills.
For all our common sense, we will probably thank these shysters as they use us and the troops - and have quite a jolly and profitable laugh at our expense.
No tax cut
I take exception to your May 20 editorial, "Tax Cut in Baltimore County." You must not have had all the facts.
There is no tax cut in Baltimore County. Three cents on the property tax rate equates to approximately $4 million. New taxes and fees being imposed amount to $7.4 million, but they are called "revenue enhancements." And that does not count the increases in home assessments.
In addition, the budget was balanced by using $16 million of prior years' surplus (citizens' taxes paid in advance) which will have to be replaced next year with more "revenue enhancements" to keep the county's AAA bond rating.
The "fiscal radicalism" of Councilman Don Mason you refer to was $8 million of carefully studied reductions of some of the excesses of the previous administration, which is what I thought the last election was all about.
John D. O'Neill
The decision to dismiss Frank Robinson as manager of the Orioles is a controversial one, but given the expectations for the team this year, it was also inevitable. Frank was being squeezed from both sides. On one side were the players who, with few exceptions, have performed far below anticipated levels. On the other side is an ownership and executive management combination that has done little to erase fans' perceptions that the team's fiscal concerns outweigh the commitment to winning.
That said, I think the move was a good one. Aside from injuries, there needs to be improved evaluation and use of the talent of the Orioles ' and a renewed attention to fundamentals.
Although Johnny Oates should be well received, Frank Robinson's contributions to the Oriole organization should not be diminished. More than any other player, he represents the winning tradition in Baltimore. I'm sure I'm not alone in hoping his presence will have an impact on the organization, in some capacity, for a long time.
Brian K. Cox