Patriotism?, Can't afford it, Guv'nor!In Shaw's "Pygmalion,"...


Patriotism?, Can't afford it, Guv'nor!

In Shaw's "Pygmalion," Doolittle is asked: "Have you no morals?" His reply: "Can't afford 'em, Guv'nor!"

Recently, the Brookings Institution issued a survey that would probably anger Maryland's favorite Japan-basher, Rep. Helen Bentley, R-2nd. It reported that Americans still have considerably more faith in Japanese automobiles than the ones coming out of Detroit. The Japanese cars have the reputation of being better built and more economical, even if the American-made cars are improving to Japanese standards.

Until I am convinced that American cars are better than Japanese cars, my answer to the question, "Have you no patriotism?", must be, "Can't afford it, Guv'nor!"

Gerald Ben Shargel



I am responding to a letter (Forum, June 5) of Ray Hamby regarding the Johns Hopkins Health Plan's disenrollment of some of its Medicare members.

When the decision was made to transfer the Johns Hopkins Health Plan's members to the Prudential Health Care Plan, the intention was to transfer all 118,000 members, including the members enrolled through Medicare. Some of the members with Medicare, 372, to be exact, rather than "thousands" as suggested by Mr. Hamby, were enrolled under a program with the federal government. Hopkins officials discovered in working through the issues that regulations would not allow that federal program to be transferred; they therefore had no choice but to find other insurance for those 372 members. All other members, including all other members with Medicare, were transferred to the Prudential Health Care Plan.

The 372 members for whom other insurance became necessary were given 60 days' advance notice by Hopkins and were offered alternative policies through the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). Hopkins volunteered to pay for those individuals' membership fees in AARP, and the policies they were offered had no waiting periods and did not rule out coverage due to any preexisting medical conditions.

Hopkins made every effort to ensure comprehensive coverage for all its members, and we at the Prudential Health Care Plan are proud to inherit that tradition of caring.

Barbara B. Hill

The writer is president of the Prudential Health Care Plan. ;

Hooray for opera

Recently the Baltimore Actors' Theatre Conservatory, a fully accredited college preparatory school of the arts, held its 10th commencement exercise. We had the pleasure of having Michael Harrison, general director of the Baltimore Opera, as our TC speaker. His speech, which reflected his dedication and love of the arts, was an inspiration to graduates and audience alike.

The Baltimore Opera is fortunate to have such a devoted administrator who makes himself available to cultural organizations such as ours. Continued success is wished for Mr. Harrison and the opera.

Walter E. Anderson

The writer is headmaster of the Baltimore Actors' Theatre = Conservatory.

Another big spender

I can remember clearly when Baltimore County Councilman Vince Gardina, D-5th, began running for office. I remember his statements about the big-spending politicians who should be removed from office.

He often made campaign speeches assailing big-time politicians for being owned by the big developers ' suggesting that they owed their votes to the developers in exchange for tickets to political fund-raisers.

Isn't it ironic that after being elected to office by the people, our new councilman, Vincent Gardina, decides to hold his first fund-raiser at $100 a ticket? I wonder how many overtaxed little people of his district bought those tickets.

It seems that all we've done is replace one big-time politician with another. The more things change, the more they remain the same.

Gerri Bitzel


Just say no

Josephine W. Johns (Forum, June 13) is splitting hairs in an attempt to justify her stand in favor of legalized abortion. Only the weak-minded and gullible will be swayed by such an argument.

Women have won, and justly so, the right to vote, the right to hold public office, to own property, etc. However, a very heavy line should be drawn at a woman's right to commit murder. After all, it is the woman's prerogative to say "no" to the life-creating act of sexual intercourse. This is where the line should be drawn, before the act, not after.

The male legislators who vote for legalized abortion merely do so to assure themselves that they shall "have their cake and eat it." Granted, a woman may do as she wishes with her own body, but if in the process she commits murder, she should then be held accountable and brought to trial for breaking God's law, just as any other person convicted of murder.

Blanche K. Coda


Don't disarm

I rise to protest any and all efforts to disarm law-abiding citizens in America. The Declaration of Independence proclaims as a "self-evident" truth that "men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights," among them the right of "the people to keep and bear arms." A government that does not trust its people with guns cannot be trusted with power.

When Hitler's army invaded my native country, Holland, where gun registration had been mandated, the Nazis simply took the lists and gathered the guns. Registration leads to confiscation. When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.

Remember the words of the female student from Beijing: "Tell the American people never to lose their guns. As long as they keep their guns in their hands, whatever happened here will never happen there!"

Americans, "Stick to your guns!"

John A. Dekker


Plant some trees

It is time for the state to atone for its own deforestation sins. Recently this state enacted legislation to keep land developers in line by requiring them to replant or leave standing existing trees. But take a drive along any Maryland highway and see if the state teaches by example. The answer is no.

There should be no reason for grassy slopes and median stripes that must be maintained by cutting. Plant some trees and let it go to nature. Trees along highways are the perfect complement for the nation's biggest polluters, cars, not to mention additional sediment runoff control. But there is nothing that mandates replanting trees along highways. Or, if there is, it's not enough.

Martin R. Lagon


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