Challenges AheadWith the change of administration, we...

Challenges Ahead

With the change of administration, we Americans can once again feel hope. Hope that we now really might have a "kinder and gentler" America, that Rodney King's plea for us all to "get along" together might truly happen, that together we can negotiate our differences in good faith, that no problems are too big or insurmountable, if we are willing to face them rationally and courageously for the common good, and that the "American dream" for our children and succeeding generations can be realized.


Barbara Jordan said at the Democratic convention that cutting entitlements "won't be easy, but we must do it."

If we are to overcome the profligate borrowing of the past 12 years and put ourselves on a globally competitive footing, we must demonstrate to our creditors our will and ability to meet our obligations and to do so without impairing their assets by inflation.


This means monetary and fiscal discipline: prudent investment, public and private, in productive enterprise with revenues derived from a balanced budget, including a line item veto for reduction of the debt.

If the new administration will keep us informed about what priorities it is setting and why, how they are to be achieved and why it is in the best interest of the country to do it that way, we can accept the necessary sacrifice and pain, provided it is imposed fairly and responsibly.

We are ready to face the challenge of change. But as democratic citizens, we have the right and duty to verify what is being done in our interest.

Lawrence B. Coshnear


Disturbing Trend

I have noticed a disturbing trend in The Sun lately. Whenever a violent crime occurs anywhere in the state, you find a quote from some cooperative soul who is willing to compare it to Baltimore City.

Recently, a merchant interviewed after brutal murders at a Randallstown bank said the area was becoming "just like an extension of Baltimore City." In another story, a State Police spokesman referred to I-95 as "almost like the mean streets of Baltimore."


If I didn't know better, I'd say you were on a deliberate campaign to insult the hundreds of thousands of law-abiding citizens of the city and their dozens of safe neighborhoods.

By dragging a reference to the city into every crime article, you pander to the meanest generalizations of people who blame the city for their problems.

Next time, maybe you can find a colorful quote for a crime article that does not slander the city.

Henry M. Kay




I'm really tired and bored of Madonna this and Madonna that. Who cares?

All she wants is attention, and that's exactly what she's getting. The media are focusing too much on her, when the rest of America is not interested.

It's actually pathetic how low she can go. But am I surprised? Not at all. Who else would you expect to write a book on sex and sell it for $49.95? It was bound to happen sooner or later.

The fact that she's making millions off this book while many Americans are unemployed is more obscene than her nudity. What scares me the most is that we're not at all shocked at her behavior.

What could that mean? Have we gotten so used to this indecency? What has become of our society today?

Andre Lee


Ellicott City

Bishop Eastman

Frank Somerville has fairly reported (Oct. 30) the controversy about the blessing of a same-sex couple this past summer. There are many who support this specific occasion and many who oppose it, often vehemently.

In the heat of controversy, the passion of conviction has led a lay group of Concerned Episcopalians to challenge the integrity of Bishop A. Theodore Eastman. Among their serious allegations, they charge: "Your conception of your pastoral role as bishop . . . is woefully flawed."

Those who really know Bishop Eastman as a person as well as a bishop know him to be dedicated, theologically informed, thoroughly honest, fair and pastorally sensitive.

To impugn his character falls far short of speaking the truth in love. Indeed, for any Christian, it shows a failure to follow the baptismal covenant to "respect the dignity of every human being."


I hope we can come to deal with honest, fundamental differences without the divisive spirit of meanness which infects so much of our world today.

Rev. Robert P. Patterson


The writer is rector of Church of the Redeemer.

Schaefer's Endorsement

As a registered Democrat and longtime Maryland resident who has consistently supported this state's excellent Democratic leadership, I was dismayed to learn of Gov. William Donald Schaefer's Bush-Quayle endorsement. Many Marylanders feel a little betrayed.


Brazenly presented by such fanatically extremist mouthpieces as Pat Buchanan, Phyllis Schafly and Pat Robertson, the Republican convention platform was unabashedly endorsed by the Bush-Quayle ticket.

It was nothing more than a bigoted exercise in homophobia, anti-feminism, forced imposition of pseudo-Christian ethics and abridgment of civil liberties, bordering on neo-fascism. I do not want a government espousing such dangerous and questionable ethics representing me.

Bill Clinton and Al Gore strike me as persons of integrity who have both the desire and knowledge to change the "status quo" for the better.

George Bush's lackluster track record speaks for itself: a stagnant economy and national debt that has burgeoned to outrageous proportions; severe environmental disregard; ineffective strategies addressing drugs and crime; government intrusion into the privacy and freedom of what a woman does with her own body; precious tax dollars wasted on un-necessary defense projects and foreign aid when so much is neglected here at home.

Homelessness and unemployment have reached an all-time high, and this country spends enormous sums to prop up a health care system which is entirely bureaucratic, inadequate, more concerned with profits than patients and completely substandard to that of many other countries. In four years George Bush did not begin to address the issue of adequate health care until just before the election.

As Americans we should feel ashamed when we can't begin to meet the most basic, minimal needs of our own citizens for food, shelter, jobs, safety, and health care. The Reagan-Bush legacy has been America's continued involvement in policing the glove, maintaining so-called "world power" status at the cost of our own social and economic health.


While the governor is entitled to his opinion, I hope his endorsement stemmed from a heart-felt belief in those he believed most qualified to govern our country. Too much is at stake for this act to be petty political retribution aimed at recalcitrant Democratic colleagues, as the media suggest.

Patti Kinlock


Public Health Need

Ron Bialek's Oct. 28 article "The Public Health Crisis" in the Opinion * Commentary section focuses on a critical problem for Maryland's citizens.

We were the first state in the nation to have public health departments in each of our political subdivisions. We established a funding partnership between state and local governments which acknowledged that both levels of government were responsible for supporting the infrastructure to provide public health services.


The current round of budget cuts has eroded a commitment which has sustained basic services for decades.

Many of the improvements in morbidity and mortality rates and increased life span which we have enjoyed in recent years, can be directly attributed to public health interventions.

Although a great deal of lip service is paid to the cost-benefits of preventive programs, prevention is an abstract concept which does not attract advocates.

Users of curative services quickly recognize when their benefits are jeopardized. It is time for all of us to respond to the proposed cuts in basic public health services which put us at risk.

Ruth H. Singer



The writer is president of the alumni society, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.