Michael Lutzky's forceful photos
Your excellent articles on Flag House Courts deserve the editorial page attention you gave them.
But so do the photographs by Michael Lutzky. His portraits of life in the public housing project were poignant, artistic and technically superb. They did not merely accompany the articles; they provided dimension and force.
Mt. Airy A look at President Clinton's inauguration provides a corrective to David R. Raupp's opposition to prayers at high school graduation exercises ("Pat Robertson's prayers don't play Farmer City," May 13).
Raupp argues for a strict separation of church and state in order "to preserve our tradition of liberty." Yet Bill Clinton was very much in keeping with our tradition when he took the oath of office with his hand on the Bible.
Every president except Thomas Jefferson has done this.
The Bible happens to be the religion of Billy Graham, the clergyman who offered a prayer at Clinton's inauguration. Such prayers have been offered in state and federal legislative bodies since our nation was founded.
Our tradition of liberty has always co-existed with official acts recognizing the pre-eminent position of Christianity in our land.
Mr. Robertson needn't worry about opponents who want "to keep God away from America's graduations." Since God is omnipresent, he is present at every graduation ceremony with or without the accompaniment of prayer.
The issue is whether God will be officially honored at such events.
If our president and other elected officials may offer thanks to God, how can we deny public school students the right to do the same?
Indeed, how dare we?
Steven C. Wright
Recently, The Evening Sun has chronicled the negative exploits, in retrospect, of Ronald Walter Price, a Northeast High School teacher in relationship to his sexual child abuse with a 16-year-old student.
Further, Mr. price was involved with two other women who had graduated from Northeast High School.
This event has certainly sent negative vibes to parents, administrators and citizens. Were this dilemma not enough, we now have a second alleged teacher-pupil affair at the same school, Northeast High School, located in Pasadena, Anne Arundel County.
Certainly, parents, students and the PTA must be devastated by the sequence of these negative events.
As a teacher of 30 years whose career began in Anne Arundel County in 1963, I have the highest respect for the entire system.
However, parents and PTAs must call for an independent and fair evaluation in relationship to these events. The Anne Arundel school board is beholden to parents and taxpayers.
However, I feel I speak for many when I say the majority of my
fellow teachers do not engage in such negative behavior.
I have found through the years that most teachers take the responsibility between pupil and teacher as a sacred trust.
I hope taxpayers and parents do not perceive that numerous teachers in various counties are engaged in such negative behavior.
Every organization or group has its bad apples. However, as in any case, we should not judge an entire group by the reprehensible behavior projected by a few.
ohn A. Micklos
The recent outrage by militant feminists and others regarding Judge Thomas Bollinger is unjustified.
The bar association recommends and the governor selects only well-qualified men and women for the judiciary.
The taxpayers pay judges to make very difficult decisions on a daily basis. Judges are required, by oath, to do what they think is legally and morally correct.
Whether a judicial decision is "politically correct" or culturally fashionable should not be relevant.
While the remarks reportedly made by Judge Bollinger were perhaps intemperate, they were far less so than the reaction to them in certain circles.
Judge Bollinger's prior excellent work on the bench and in the service of his country in the gulf war have withstood the test of time.
Baltimore County is fortunate to have him on its Circuit Court.
J. Edward Martin
Cut waste before raising taxes
President Clinton, in the tradition of the old medical quacks with their potents for cure, is traveling about the country to sell his economic program with the smoke and mirror catch words of "investment," for new taxes on all citizens, and "lowering of the budget deficit" for an increase of $1 trillion in national debt during his four-year term.
He conveniently ignores the existing massive multi-billion dollar annual waste in our federal government which if only partially eliminated would more than pay for any beneficial new programs and still actively eliminate the debt over a reasonably short period.
Congress and the president won't even consider proposed H.R. 1392, entitled the Spending Priorities Reform Act, sponsored by Reps. Harris Fowell (R-Ill.) and Tim Penny (D-Minn.) which contains a mechanism for elimination of 747 questionable pork-barrel projects costing $1.963 billion.
Martin L. Gross in his book, "Government Racket: Washington Waste from A to Z," enumerates 265 pages of waste totaling many billions of tax dollars. Just a few items:
About the time of World War I, we decided we would need helium for blimps in our defense effort. This program has continued, despite the absence of need for it since that time, and we have stored enough helium for our anticipated needs until 2100.
This program alone has us in debt to the tune of $1.2 billion, and the interest alone is costing us $100 million annually.
At the turn of the century, the Agriculture Dept. had 3,000 employees to service 6 million farmers.
Today it has 60,000 "workers" for approximately one million full-time farmers and another million part-time ones.
There is still on the books a law dating back to the 1800s which mandates that the Interior Department sell its land for $2.50 an acre. This was to encourage the development of the West.
This same department is purchasing land today at an average $50,000 an acre. Yet mining companies are legally stealing this land at 19th Century prices and extracting an estimated $3 billion worth of minerals annually without paying royalties.
One Canadian company is presently claiming title to land at these prices which is estimated to contain at least $10 billion in gold.
To add insult to injury, when the resultant wastes of their mining activity cost millions to reclaim the land, our government (you and me) must pay that cost. Etc., etc.
Let's get our government house in order before we allow them to burden us with more taxes. Don't let the politicians hoodwink us again. No new taxes up front.