Columbia System Not A Democracy
You have called for my resignation, as if somehow this will create a democracy out of the Long Reach Community Association.
Even a cursory review of the covenants reveals this is not a democracy. For one thing, only one person in the household can vote. My resignation will not change the covenants. Further, it would be irresponsible for me to resign in view of the support I have in Long Reach. I could not hold myself up for election only to disappoint those who supported me by resignation.
I won the election in Long Reach on April 24 according to the rules in place and validated by the Election Committee prior to the election. Roy Lyons was present and never objected to any of the rules until he lost. Now he is getting another election. Mr. Lyons should be a very happy man. . . .
Is this democracy? No, it's a form of semi-controlled anarchy. The rules were changed after the fact and now there will be another election. . . . Did Columbia Council Chairman John Hansen stand up for democracy in his protest resignation over the Long Reach election? I don't think so. Mr. Hansen has never voiced concern about the very undemocratic representation on the Columbia Council where approximately 13,052 people in Long Reach have one vote on the council and 1,941 people in Town Center have one vote. If the system was democratic, Long Reach, the largest village in Columbia, would have 6 votes on the Columbia Council and Town Center would have one. You would think, if Mr. Hansen were so concerned, he would stay to solve these problems.
Mr. Hansen was forced to resign because of his failure to work toward consensus on the council. If he had not resigned, he would have been "dumped" as chairperson. John knew this and found a more politically palatable excuse, a protest resignation over the undemocratic election in Long Reach.
I support democracy both at the village level and at the city level. Unlike John, I realize we do not have democracy now. Unlike John, I intend to work for the change to democracy. Unlike John, I'm not a "quitter." So, don't expect my resignation any time soon.
Many comments on the Clinton administration's health plans suffer from semantic confusion. People speak of the cost of health insurance as if it were the same as the cost of health care. There is a difference.
In 1936, I had a friend in law school who was delighted with the passage of the Social Security Act. "Do you realize what this means for lawyers?" he asked. "Millions of people will be filing claims against the government, and they'll all have to find a lawyer!"
It didn't work out that way. I wouldn't claim that Social Security procedures were made simple, or that no one ever needed to get a lawyer, but the overwhelming majority of people who have filed claims hadno difficulty in doing so, and the administrative costs of old-age, survivors and disability insurance have been very small: nine-tenths of 1 percent of the benefits.
The cost of health care includes the cost of administering the program, of collecting and disbursing the money. The money, though, does not necessarily have to pass through insurance agencies, and I think it is a mistake to assume that it will. As much of it as possible should go for care, as little as possible for administration and the public should be told where it is going -- often, and without having to ask.
Quayle Was Wrong
To say that Dan Quayle was even slightly vindicated with his attacks on Murphy Brown is wrong. While I agree with the conclusions of Glenn McNatt's column ("The Way We Never Were," May 15), to legitimize the Quayle definition of "family values" disregards too many fundamental issues. . . .
The argument spills over into the abortion debate. The Dan Quayles of this world say they are "pro-life" without giving much thought about quality of life. Yet they fight against alternatives to abortion, such as birth control and sex education.
Anyone who disagrees with them is labeled "pro-abortion," which is Dan Quayle all over again. Pro-abortion implies women are getting pregnant just to have abortions, presumably to make a political statement. Nothing is further from the truth.
The Dan Quayles are quick to accuse single parents, gays, pregnant women and anyone else caught in a tough situation of immorality, blaming the victim each time. I'm sick of it.
Return To Sender
Every month I receive three letters from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maryland addressed to an R. E. Brophy. The name and address are correct; the problem is that this person moved away more than five years ago.
The Postal Service is supposed to forward mail for one year. After that, the correspondence should be returned to sender marked, "Forwarding Order Expired."
This may sound insignificant, but I can't help but wonder how many thousands of letters are handled the same way.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maryland is constantly talking about raising its charges to meet overhead. I suggest that if it updated its computers half the battle would be won.
Removing people from higher positions within the company and replacing them with new people is not going to accomplish anything if the new people merely follow suit in running the company.
The writer is a letter carrier for the U.S. Postal Service.