Ouija tells all
I noted your story regarding the U.S. Army intelligence officers who went AWOL to Florida expecting to greet Jesus after a Ouija board had told them he would return there on a flying saucer ("6 soldiers forfeit careers, determined to follow will of a Ouija board," July 27).
I'm glad these officers are gone, and I surely hope the Army will not try too hard to return them to their posts. But why were they in "intelligence" to begin with?
There should be an inquiry into what other decisions they madwith the help of their Ouija board. Wouldn't the Army be well advised to review those decisions?
Also, was the Ouija board military issue? If so, shouldn't Congress investigate the defense contractor who produced it?
George Paul Mocko
Volunteering could lead to 'You Decade'
I heartily applaud the state Board of Education's recent
decision to require future high school graduates to perform some type of community service in order to obtain their diplomas. It astounds me that anyone could find fault with such a program.
As a veteran teacher in the Baltimore County school system, I have long listened to citizens and educators alike bemoan the lack of values in today's young people.
Now that the state of Maryland has made an admirable and determined effort to instill an attitude of caring and concern in its students, out pop the "naysayers."
It is a sad but true fact that these dissenters are the same folks who cheered John Kennedy's 1961 proclamation: "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country."
How sad that, now that middle age is upon them, their idealism has gone right out the window. Worse still, these recent "Me Decade" graduates would seek to impose their jaded, selfish view of the world on the next generation.
Ironically, the vast majority of today's kids welcome the opportunity to serve others in their community. Last year alone, I had well over 50 middle school students who came to me seeking out volunteer positions in nursing homes, day care centers and the like.
Those few who were fortunate enough to find jobs like these were the envy of their classmates. When I encouraged a group of 20 students to adopt a needy family at Christmas and provide it with food, clothes and gifts, I ended up with over 100 students who got involved in this activity.
In addition to the obvious benefits of this project, the students came away from this experience with a well-needed bolstering of their own self-esteem.
And, just maybe, if "Johnny" learns to care about others as well as himself, he may grow up to be a part of the "You Decade" in the years to come.
The governor's gag
Gov. William Donald Schaefer, the undisputed reigning king of Maryland, has lifted his "gag order." The Evening Sun, through its reporters and editorials, has chronicled "The Annals of King Don" just as medieval journals chronicled "The Annals of Xantan" in the 9th century.
Further, the governor of the Free State is adhering to the polemic of Bishop Jacques Benigne Bossuet, tutor to King Louis XIV of France. Bishop Bossuet, in 1670, counseled kings and all people that royal power is absolute. Bossuet also tells us that ". . . the person of the king is sacred, and . . . to attack him in any way is sacrilege . . . "
In retrospect, this is not the 17th century and William Donald Schaefer is not ruling by divine right. Governor Schaefer, who has done good things, is an elected official of the Free State. He is responsible to the people of Maryland. His "gag order," or pretense to such ridiculous concepts, was wrong. The people of Maryland, The Evening Sun, free men and women everywhere and voters in general, should not tolerate such behavior.
I feel that the citizens of this state, believers in free press and people everywhere will agree with me that "gag orders" imposed by elected officials are wrong. I feel that the governor owes the people of Maryland an apology. I remind readers who believe in freedom that, in many countries, the elimination of rights of the people began with "gag orders."
ohn A. Micklos
Women, isn't it time for a change?
Women do not have the right to choose whether they want a child. Women are not allowed to make a decision whether they can pursue a career in the military that would involve combat. Women who can be accountants, lawyers, Supreme Court justices or senators cannot decide their destiny.
Men insist they know what we want and what we can and cannot do. Interesting, considering the shape of the world. Let's review: the S&L; crisis, the state of California, the budget, the military, the crime rate.
Should I go on? Let's look at who is in power . . . men!
I think it is time for men to take care of what they have done to our country, our environment, our world. There is lots to be fixed, and women have had little or no say as to what has happened. Do we think blaming men is going to get our world back together, our country to recovery? Probably not. Is it time to go forward, all of us, women and men?
Can we stop the generals from holding women's hands and saying women do not like to kill, as if men do, and that women do not have the ability to perform in combat?
Can we stop the anti-choice fanatics from limiting women's ability to determine their own destiny by letting women choose what they want and do not want to happen to their own bodies? Women, isn't it time for a change?
Sharon A. Jandorf
Government takes lax attitude toward bias against males
What's wrong with the boys of Baltimore City public schools? Are they wimps, too timid or simply afraid of academic RTC competition with girls?
Western High School welcomes boys with open arms but has remained an all-girls school for 150 years because boys have not applied.
After USA Today reported last Jan. 15 that Western High and the Philadelphia High School for Girls are "the only remaining single-sex public secondary schools in the USA," a complaint was filed with the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights in Philadelphia. . .
Congress enacted Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 to ban federal funds for educational institutions which practiced sexual discrimination . . . Congress enacted a tougher law called the Civil Rights Restoration Act of 1987 which ordered that "the entity of such state or local government" which distributes federal funds would be impacted if one of its institutions was guilty of sexual discrimination . . .
Since the state of Maryland and Baltimore City both would lose federal funds if Western was guilty of sexual discrimination, the attorney general of Maryland was asked to take a look.
Baltimore school system officials assured Assistant Attorney General Valerie Cloutier that "no male has been denied admission to Western High School in recent memory." School Superintendent Walter Amprey seemed satisfied since he did not even bother to reply to the letter.
When the federal agency investigated Western and the Philadelphia High School for Girls, both institutions claimed that they did not violate Title IX since no boys had applied to either institution.
Investigators found that in the winter of 1992, Western had 1,505 female students and no male students; Philadelphia High School for Girls had 1,017 female students and no males either.
But the chief of the Region III civil rights division, Dr. Robert A. Smallwood, ruled that neither school violated Title IX and when the request for consideration of the ruling was made, it was turned down by the Office for Civil Rights.
So now the coast is clear for boys to sail in to Western and Philadelphia High School for Girls. One of the problems is that some school officials are sending mixed messages.
While officials deny discriminatory practices, Western Principal Sandra Wighton was quoted in the newspaper article as saying a single-sex environment "frees girls to be themselves" and Western guidance counselor Michael Franko said about the community, "They want their daughters to come here" . . .
Some think that civil rights officials have a double-standard when enforcing laws against sexual discrimination.
For example, the U.S. Department of Justice took action against all-male Virginia Military Institute, but its Civil Rights Division chief John Dunne refused to act against about 100 all-girl colleges including the College of Notre Dame and Hood College in Maryland. It is also suspected that had Western been an all-male school, action would have been taken. . .
Kauko H. Kokkonen
Pass the Brady Bill
Newspapers, magazines and television are filled with stories of gun violence. No community is immune.
That is why Congress should pass the Brady bill [to require a delay for a police check before a handgun can be purchased] without further ado and stop the distortions of the National Rifle Association and its lobbyists.