Praise for Waste
Whoa! Wait a minute. You heap praise on our beloved governor for coming into office with a major surplus of funds and with well endowed rainy day and sunshine funds and whose "do it now" policy has spent it all plus future income so that we are now flat broke and deep in debt?
It is true that he has prodded and pushed and thrown money at education, but he has not eliminated the gross over-staffing and inefficiencies in our school systems.
It is true that we have a new trolley, but the money spent so far is only a fraction of the amount that will be required to make it really useful to more than a few people.
It is true that our new ballpark is nationally acclaimed and that the businesses close by will reap enormous benefits, part of which will trickle back to the state, but the biggest beneficiary is the owner of the Orioles business, who conned us into providing him with a new place for grown men to play an elementary school game.
We do not praise a governor who has to surround himself with an enormous cadre of well-paid yes-men who require large amounts of office space at our expense.
Even though some bureaucracy has been trimmed, we are still one of the highest taxed states in the Union; taxes needed to pay for too many public servants with too many "sick" days and too-generous pensions.
The brave delegates and senators were the ones who resisted the pressures to increase taxes, not the other way around as you claim. I am writing my delegate to thank her for standing firm, although she was still engulfed in the last-minute flood.
Richard L. Anderson
I have to agree with Carole Martens' letter of April 13 in that I, too, object to the half-naked women featuring lingerie sprawled across the pages of The Sun. But is this because The Sun is "a man's world"?
Do they publish these ads to demean women? No, they do it because they sell advertising, and the market is there.
Would the advertisers spend the big bucks for an ad that size if it weren't selling bras and panties by the truckload? Are they trying to offend anyone? Is it men flocking to the underwear counters on their lunch breaks? No, it is women, the much desired, overly self-indulgent spenders of the age.
If we as women are hurt by seeing the female model, absolutely perfect, oozing sensuality in an environment way too intimate for the audience of the publication, remember that it is women who put her there.
Far from being "a man's world," the world of retail is shaped by the women who can't resist a sale, who are born to shop and who have to have the latest fashion, even in undergarments.
Your festive opening day coverage was stained by the whining of Michael Olesker about the condition of the American cities and how it's all George Bush's fault. When will Mr. Olesker and all the other news-media innocents realize that the horrible problems of the cities are not Washington's fault?
All the federal government can do is pour money into the cities' coffers to be misspent, mismanaged and squandered. We have already tried solving these problems with huge amounts of money. It doesn't work.
What on earth can George Bush do to stop a 15-year-old girl from getting pregnant? What can he do to keep a street-corner drug deal from going down? How can he motivate kids to get a decent education offered them by the taxpayers? What can he (( do to stop an errant street thug's bullet from killing a child at play? Can George Bush convince a homeless alcoholic to rehabilitate?
The problems of the cities will be solved only when weepy liberals support common sense programs to get people off the dependency of government hand-outs. We need welfare programs aimed at rebuilding the family unit with a father present in each home and rewards for achievement instead of failure.
Harry R. Shriver
Music critic Stephen Wigler's article on the technical expertise of elderly pianists brought to mind a few memories I would like to share.
Certainly in any group of elderly women pianists at least two names come to the fore: my teacher, the great pedagogue Rosina Lhevinne, who played concerts well into her nineties, as did the amazing French pianist Magda Tagliaferre.
I attended Tagliaferre's last New York recital at Alice Tully Hall. It was a technical tour de force which left many people half her age gasping. Perhaps she was the exception to the rule but it certainly was a remarkable performance, octaves included!
Another remarkable lady I had the good fortune to hear in her later years was the great harpsichordist Wanda Landowska. If anything, age seemed to improve her performances.
I should also like to mention the doyenne of Australian composers, the great composer-pianist Miriam Hyde, recently honored by Queen Elizabeth II. For her 80th birthday next year she writes me that she plans to perform both the great Brahms F minor sonata and the Liszt B minor sonata.
Your article, "Captain blamed in sinking of Titanic partly cleared," is another example of British whitewash in this disaster.
The first occurred at the first inquiry after the sinking. Captain Lord's lookouts saw a ship coming from the southeast (the Titanic's direction of travel), saw it stop around 11:40 p.m. (when the Titanic hit the iceberg) saw white distress rockets around 12 a.m. (when the Titanic fired off her rockets), and saw her disappear shortly after 2:15 a.m. (she completely sank at 2:20 a.m.).
Captain Lord never even bothered to get out of bed to look for himself! And even if the Californian was 19 miles away (which I doubt, because the real evidence suggests both the ships were drifting together and not away from each other), the Californian saw the Carpathia (a ship which was responding to the SOS) when it was still 25-to-30 miles out.
And the simple fact is that the Titanic's officers and passengers could see a ship in the direction of the Californian. Subsequent investigation revealed no other ship in the Titanic's vicinity.
Would it have made a difference? If Captain Lord had responded when he first was told of the distress rockets, it just might have. Sadly, the trend nowadays is to revise, or worse yet expunge, history that may be unappealing. And that makes it no longer history.
David K. Henderson