Kudos for Donaho
Hurray for John Donaho. He has saved Maryland Blue Cross and Blue Shield from its own mismanagement. And saved all Marylanders from the costly necessity of bailing out the tottering health insurer (remember Old Court Savings and Loan?).
The insurance commissioner serves at the governor's pleasure, or in this case displeasure. So William Donald Schaefer exercised Donaho's two-year-old resignation letter, solicited of all appointees to remind them of who's the boss. Donaho deserved better.
A recent Sun article characterizing the first months in office of Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., may have left the reader with an incomplete understanding of his work on behalf of a Westinghouse defense system, specifically his key role and his favorable results.
Mr. Bartlett initiated an appeal to the Defense Department of a decision to terminate an important defense program which was based, we believe, on faulty test results.
It was Mr. Bartlett's technical knowledge and persistence which brought about the Defense Department's agreement to re-evaluate the entire program and hopefully protect an unnecessarily threatened work force.
Throughout the process, Mr. Bartlett worked closely with other Maryland delegation members and, in some cases, deferred to more experienced members on questions of political procedure.
Overall, however, it was Mr. Bartlett who rightfully should be given the bulk of the credit for this success.
As any member of Congress would know, a member's first term is largely a learning process, filled with unexpected hurdles and difficult problems.
However, despite the constant new faces in our delegation, we believe that our team has continued the Maryland tradition of strongly representing what is best for Maryland and America.
Helen D. Bentley
Wayne T. Gilchrest
The writers are Republican members of the House of Representatives from Maryland.
Joel Matz's April 10 letter was wrought with misstatements of law, weak analogy and illogical argument.
Mr. Matz makes the argument that the right to purchase a handgun is protected by the Second Amendment. He is wrong.
The Second Amendment has never even been made applicable to the states, much less been held to preclude states from regulating gun sales.
I am sick of gun owners raising the Second Amendment as an argument. No intelligent student of our Constitution would give any weight to this.
Mr. Matz's contention that First Amendment rights are violated by The Sun is also nonsense.
The First Amendment restricts what the government can do. It does not restrict The Sun in any fashion whatsoever.
The Sun has a perfect right to decide what it will not advertise, and any attempt to regulate the paper's decision regarding advertising would be a flagrant violation of the First Amendment . . .
Equally ludicrous was Mr. Matz's comparing The Sun to a dictator. When a dictator censors a view, the dictator reaps a benefit with no cost whatsoever. When The Sun censors an advertisement, it loses money.
Dennis G. Olver
I am writing in reference to the April 8 Sun article about homosexual veterans.
This article was very true to the military's real colors, as I, too, was discharged honorably in October 1985 for admiting my lesbianism. At the time of my "confession," I was based in West Germany under the command of U.S. Forces, Europe. Their policy for discharging homosexuals was that anyone undergoing discharge proceedings was to be out of that country within 72 hours.
I was not sent out of the country for eight months. During those eight months, I was told my statement admitting my lesbianism had been lost. Did I want to change my mind? Stay in maybe?
I went before the soldier of the month board and won on a battalion level. I was assigned, as a private first class, to train a second lieutenant on all the duties required for her to perform as a platoon leader.
So, yes, the military does use homosexuals either to their advantage or disadvantage. As long as there is enough maturity within the ranks, open gays and lesbians can live and work side by side with heterosexuals. We've done it for years -- military and civilian.
All we are asking for is the same civil rights given any other human living in the United States.
Irene M. Guerin Haines
Making the Grade
Reading William S. Liebman's April 13 letter concerning school values made me realize that there are a lot of misinformed people out there.
The writer has the impression that four more school days are going to make the children of Baltimore County more educated.
Maybe this notion is the reason why America's students are not doing as well as other students. This says that the problem is with the students, that they should be in school longer, therefore learning more.
As a high school student who has gone through the Howard County school system since kindergarten, I believe that the problem is that we are not being taught.
By that I mean you adults put so much emphasis on success and high test scores that when we enter the classroom, we are trained to do well. We are taught how to pass the next standardized test.
Ask any student, even in middle school, and they will tell you that they don't study to learn, they study to get an A. How much can we learn if we are under so much pressure to get a decent grade?
There should be more emphasis on developing students' personalities and their own talents, while at the same time introducing them to math, science, history, etc., in a way that builds up and encourages the student.
We place so much value in this country on high test scores and perfect grade point averages, it's no wonder those who don't want to deal with the pressure drop out.
As for vacation days, it is ridiculous that Baltimore County thought any good would come out of extra school days. Those students will more than likely be sitting in a hot classroom watching "The Little Mermaid," being baby-sat by county teachers.
We need a break because we work hard to live up to the standards placed upon us. The way to produce more intelligent students is to let teachers teach, not show us how to pass a test. America will end up with less-stressed students who will actually remember what they were taught.