Letter Clock CityPerhaps the city of Baltimore...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Letter Clock City

Perhaps the city of Baltimore should contact the editors of the Guinness Book of World Records or the makers of Trivial Pursuit.

Baltimore has what could be a one-of-a-kind feature in its skyline: not one but two clocks which have letters instead of numbers.

They are the Bromo Seltzer clock and the Baltimore Sun clock in Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

A baseball fan sitting in the upper deck on the first base side of the stadium can easily see both clocks, simultaneously.

Where else in the world can anybody look at two letter clocks, synchronously? No place but Charm City. Or, better make that Letter Clock City.

Don't believe me? Go down and buy a ticket to the ball game, if you can get a ticket.

If you can't get one, you might go home to a Bromo Seltzer and a read of The Sun.

Jamie Blount

Baltimore

Mixed Signals

Your editorial "Loans Aren't Gifts" (Aug. 4) pointed out the poor manner in which our public funds have been loaned and collected in the name of business development. We are expected to accept this waste of our tax dollars, through non-performaning loans and preferential terms, in an attempt to lure businesses to the city, away from the suburbs.

It's ironic that this is the same city that Dr. Bruce Lebowitz noted has "no free lunch." In his letter (July 23), he describes how the federal government is helping to destroy small health care businesses by dumping free health care on Baltimore's seniors at select clinics. As a result, we can expect fewer city health providers, as this federal health program pushes these doctors to the suburbs, away from the city.

Having just recently closed a dental office in East Baltimore, I can't help but wonder which direction the city is going. I never asked the city for a loan, but if I had, I would have repaid it.

I never asked for a preferred business status; I annually paid Baltimore over $2,300 in personal property tax and $3,000 in real estate tax.

I didn't have to be enticed to open my business in the city, I grew up there. All I wanted from Baltimore was what we as a country expect from our neighbors, a fair market.

Michael T. Hargadon

Baltimore

Campaign Money

A recent letter to the editor made a mistaken reference about contributions to the re-election campaign of U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski.

Individual employees of TimeWarner Inc. contributed to the Mikulski campaign. These contributions were sent from private citizens and not on behalf of the corporation for which they work.

Senator Mikulski has a long and proud history of supporting our community's law enforcement officers. The contributions from these individuals who happen to be TimeWarner employees are consistent with her record.

As a Republican who strongly endorses Senator Mikulski's re-election, I am encouraged by the widespread support she receives throughout Maryland.

We are fortunate to have her represent us in the Senate, where she is a responsible and responsive legislator.

Eric B. Stillman

Baltimore

Accolades for Bush

How refreshing it is to find an article in The Sun, Aug. 5, in favor of President Bush.

Thank you, James Kilpatrick, for saying everything I have wanted to say.

And if we can get the deadbeat Democrats out of Congress, George Bush will show us what he can do for his country.

Barbara J. Borg

Baltimore

Fraudulent Reform

The latest government plan to reform health insurance is a fraud. "Managed competition," the plan backed by President Bush, means more government interference in the private affairs of doctors and their patients.

Under this system, government "sponsors" will negotiate with physicians and hospitals to keep costs down. Doctors will also be paid a fixed fee, regardless of how much treatment the patient requires. Translated, this means government bureaucrats will take over medicine.

Two fundamental issues are completely ignored in the debate over health care.

First of all, why is medical treatment so expensive in the first place? Because doctors are greedy and uncaring, according to the media establishment.

But why was this not the case until recently? The answer: Medicare and Medicaid.

These programs have increased the cost of health care -- through bureaucracy and restriction of competition -- precisely as their opponents predicted would happen 30 years ago.

Instead of learning from this mistake, politicians in both parties TC are now poised to give government even more control over medicine.

The second issue involves the rights of doctors. How can the government justify the violation of physicians' rights to set fees and determine the standard of care?

A baker is not told how to make bread. A grocer is not told what he can charge for milk.

But doctors -- who spend years in exhausting preparation for heroic work -- will now have to submit to irrational government fees and regulations. Do you really want your physician to work under these conditions?

"Managed competition" will solve nothing, except to create a shortage of good physicians. The only solution is to phase out government programs and return the control of medicine to the free marketplace -- where it belongs.

Michael J. Hurd

Columbia

Fears of a 'Too Black' College Park

Is the University of Maryland College Park, as Samuel Podberesky (Letters, Aug. 8) claims, "a fully integrated campus?" Only to whites. As Andrew Hacker points out in his book "Two Nations Black and White, Separate, Hostile and Unequal," whites consider a neighborhood "fully integrated" when blacks make up less than 8 percent of the residents. A larger percentage of blacks means that, to whites, the neighborhood is "changing" or "black." Experience and research shows whites move out and refuse to buy in the neighborhood. Is that what Mr. Podberesky fears, that UMCP will become "too black"?

Mr. Podberesky's suggestion that the Banneker Scholarship Program should be disbanded because UMCP has met or exceeded every black undergraduate enrollment goal set by the federal government, is further evidence that he fears UMCP will become too black. Were the "goals" that he refers to actually "ceilings"? Unless one decides that more blacks would make the school "too black," those goals are clearly not a stopping point.

Mr. Podberesky says that there is no institutional discrimination at the university because this is not 1954. Would Mr. Podberesky tell any Jewish person to forget the Holocaust, that it is in the past and has no effect on what is taking place today in Germany, because it occurred over 50 years ago? Does any Jewish person, or honest non-Jewish person, really believe that there are no present effects of the Holocaust in any German institution?

How can he believe that the remnants of 200 years of slavery, followed by 100 years of de jure segregation, and at least 20 years (a very generous figure) of passive resistance to desegregation have all disappeared from College Park's campus? Is it because from the standpoint of Mr. Podberesky UMCP should not have any more blacks?

What would be the reaction of most of the white professors at UMCP to one of their daughters announcing her engagement to an Hispanic? An Asian American? A Native American? A black American? An honest answer recognizes that most of those white professors, as Mr. Hacker points out that most white Americans do, make presumptions of inferiority about blacks that are not made about any other ethnic group.

Those same white professors would fly to Korea or Colombia to adopt a child, but would never under any circumstances give a thought to adopting a black child in America. Why? And why does Mr. Podberesky believe that those professors do not interact with the black students they encounter at College Park with that same assumption, that same negative attitude? Does he really believe there are no remaining effects or has he chosen to close his eyes to them?

The parents of black college-bound children remember College Park's history well and have serious concerns about sending their children to an institution with a history such as College Park, without some kind of indication from the university that it is prepared to go beyond history. College Park should be proud it is not afraid of too many blacks. The Banneker Scholarship Program is one way that College Park can increase its black student body.

Patsy J. Cannon-Lewis

Baltimore

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