Scholarships by legislators wasted moneyTwo commendations are...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Scholarships by legislators wasted money

Two commendations are in order pursuant to your lead editorial of Oct. 15.

The Evening Sun is deserving of plaudits for your perseverance over the years in opposition to education patronage.

And we should applaud the eight state delegates who have committed to oppose the program in the next session of the legislature.

They are giving up a lucrative political plum at home, and their colleagues in Annapolis will shame them for their betrayal of their institution.

I know something of this issue in that I was the only candidate among scores of them in Anne Arundel County in both 1986 and 1990 running for the General Assembly who was willing to publicly and vocally condemn this outrageous practice.

It makes Maryland the laughing-stock of the other 49 states and wastes $8 million per year of scarce taxpayer resources. Our cause is just. We will someday prevail.

Bill D. Burlison

Crofton

Laundry lines

I loved the article by David J. Boyer of Ellicott City about hanging clothes outdoors (Other Voices, Oct. 14). I've hung my clothes outside all my life and saved a lot of money.

My son lives in a new house in Ellicott City and is not allowed to hang clothes outside. I thought we were supposed to conserve energy and help the environment. So how can a builder forbid hanging clothes outside?

This law should be changed. There is nothing more beautiful than seeing clean clothes blowing in the wind.

Mary Blanton

Randallstown

Into the fire

After Ross Perot's initial bail-out from his campaign, most of his supporters then felt they would not follow him out of a burning building.

Now, after his re-entry and seeing his info-mercials and debate performances, I suspect that many of us are now ready to follow him into the burning building.

No, he has not provided specific solutions, but he has clearly and honestly defined the problems and is the only candidate who gives one confidence that he can accomplish what he sets out to do.

That burning building is ours.

Dave Reich

Fallston

Adoption, not abortion

Regarding Paulette Mason's article, "Pregnant -- and looking for advice" (Other Voices, Oct. 15), this is indeed an unfortunate situation. It's a shame each and every child isn't wanted and loved. But abortion is not the answer.

The answer lies in the fact that there are thousands of couples in our country who cannot have children and would jump at the chance to adopt her baby.

Our daughter and son-in-law are one of these unfortunate couples. They have been trying for six years to have a child to no avail.

Unless you have walked in the shoes of a couple which has gone through these heartaches, it would be hard to understand. Also, the process of adoption is long and difficult.

We never stop praying, we have written letters, made phone calls and everything else we could think of.

People are under the impression that anyone can have a baby. This is a wrong impression. There are so many women and men who cannot bear children.

Our daughter and son-in-law, I am sure, would love to adopt her baby.

Gerry Geist

Hampstead

False appeals

Bea Gaddy isn't the only one upset by attempts to raise funds in her name. Recently, we learned that someone has been canvassing city and county neighborhoods trying to sell candy and other items in the name of the Salvation Army.

We wish to advise everyone that we do not solicit donations or contributions door-to-door. Our appeals are always by letter or through our familiar red Christmas kettles.

David D. Jones

Baltimore

The writer is Baltimore area commander of the Salvation Army.

Can't win?

I don't understand why, even though a lot of people like Ross Perot's ideas more than the other two candidates', they're not going to vote for Perot because they don't think he's going to win.

These people are "unclear on the concept."

I wonder how Perot would fare if his running mate was Lee Iacocca?

A. Miller

Hanover

National cycle

With election day fast approaching, I'd like to encourage everyone to get out and vote. And remember we are the representatives of our national heritage to future generations.

Please consider this quote from Alexander Tyler when you walk into that voting booth:

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover they can vote themselves a largess from the public treasury.

"From that moment on, the majority will always vote for the candidate promising the most benefit from the public treasury. The result being that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy and is always followed by a dictatorship.

"The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to great courage, from great courage to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy to dependency, from dependency back again to bondage."

Where are we in this cycle? Please vote thoughtfully and prayerfully. Thank you.

Nancy Hostetler

Ellicott City

Clinton gets presidential nod on basis of three key points

After watching all three of the presidential debates, I think way too much of the media analysis has focused on the form of the debates -- who had the best sound bites, who looked the most presidential, who scored the most points on jabs.

Most of the public is not interested in this. We would be better served by reviewing the debates around three basic questions fundamental to any presidency.

First, which candidate offers the most realistic strategy for our economy in the next four years?

President Bush has proposed little new; the same policies will keep us in the same place.

Ross Perot seems overly focused on the deficit. His drastic prescriptions could prolong the recession and constrain change.

Analyzing the dynamics of the world economy, Gov. Bill Clinton has proposed making targeted investments in our people, infrastructure and growth section of the domestic economy. Given our economic straits, the Clinton investment program seems sounder.

Second, whose foreign policy is best suited to respond to the demands of a changing world?

The Bush foreign policy claims credit for changes in Europe and the Soviet Union but has failed critical tests: Why was Saddam Hussein coddled? Why have we been so slow to provide support to Russia and other European states struggling to build democracies? Why are we so impotent in helping Sudan, Bosnia and other strife-torn areas?

The Perot policy seems preoccupied with asking these questions without posing a policy direction.

The Clinton foreign policy is less transfixed on Cold War alignments and more focused on developing new relationships in Africa, the Asian rim and Latin and South America. Human rights and democratic rights are held as consistent objectives for foreign aid. It seems like a policy that can shape a new world order, rather than one that only responds to the order that emerges.

Third, which candidate is likely to attract the best talent to his administration?

President Bush has promised to fire his team while disparaging the role of government. This doesn't bode well for attracting a strong new team or the president's ability to make the best appointments.

Ross Perot seems a bit obsessed with loyalty; Adm. James Stockdale's selection as a running mate doesn't suggest that this is the wisest test.

In his 12 years in Arkansas, Governor Clinton tapped some of the best policy minds in the country to be his advisers. The impressive lists of his supporters and the strength of his campaign indicate that he can assemble a first-rate team.

By this analysis, Governor Clinton promises to make the best president. Hopefully, it also suggests who should win the presidency.

Patrick M. Costigan

Baltimore

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