Do Our Best
In response to your Feb. 16 editorial, "Disgruntled about Mail? Chill Out!" -- I recently visited a new post office in Savannah, Ga. The large facility boasted a museum-type lobby and in large letters prominently displayed high on the wall was written what you described as the public's incorrect assumption -- the famous slogan about snow, rain and gloom of night.
Therein lies the problem. You have stated that the Postal Service has distanced itself from this motto, but as my recent trip to Savannah revealed, they have indeed continued to embrace the motto, thus creating the illusion that it must be so.
Your strong words, "Yet people relish sarcastically citing it when mail service is slowed," rankles one who just saw it carved on a new post office wall.
Perhaps the motto could be replaced with what most of us already know. "We will do our best."
Lois P. Nicholson
Picking a Board
Several alternatives to the present method of choosing Baltimore County School Board members have been presented in the General Assembly.
Republican Del. John Bishop's bill to codify the present method of choosing the school board was given the best chance of passing. However, this bill has come under criticism by various Baltimore County Democrats.
At present, 13 county school boards in Maryland are appointed by the governor. Ten county school boards are elected.
In Baltimore City, the mayor appoints the school board and the president of the school board. In Baltimore County, the school board nominating convention gives its selection for board members to the governor, but he is not bound to appoint the selection.
The clamor to produce another method of selecting Baltimore County's school board has been brought on by the appointment of the controversial superintendent, Stuart Berger. "Fire Berger" signs can be seen around Baltimore County, but the simple fact is that nobody can fire the superintendent.
Each board picks a superintendent for a four-year term. Under state law, the state superintendent may remove a county superintendent for immorality, misconduct, insubordination, incompetence or willful neglect of duty.
The whole process of picking the school board superintendent, and the whole school system, is subject to state law, state school board procedures and the governor's choices.
That's why I have been working with Del. Joseph Bartenfelder to delete Baltimore County from state law and provide home rule for the Baltimore County school system.
If there is very little movement on this issue in this General Assembly, perhaps under the next administration a solution similar to Delegate Bartenfelder's bill will be adopted.
A change is needed. The change would have to change the whole system to provide an effective and excellent school system administration in Baltimore County.
Michael J. Davis
Racist, anti-Semitic and anti-Catholic slurs from associates of Louis Farrakhan are only to be expected.
By giving Farrakhan a pat on the back, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People sends a clear message: Bigotry is acceptable as long as it is not directed at blacks.
With its hypocritical endorsement of Farrakhan, this organization forfeits any claim it once had on America's conscience.
I call on local chapters of the NAACP to replace their morally bankrupt leadership or to disassociate themselves from their national organization.
Howard J. Brickman
Bad BWI Plan
Can one gild a lily? Of course not. But according to Edward Gunts' piece in The Sun Feb. 6, that is just what the Maryland Aviation Administration is planning to do.
In a lurid attempt to improve the stunning and splendid main concourse of the Baltimore-Washington International Airport, the MAA intends to create a mall of small shops, greenery and carpets; and who knows, perhaps a Ferris wheel for the kiddies.
The great architectural impact of uncluttered space, introduced to the world by the soaring Gothic cathedrals of centuries past, will vanish.
Mr. Gunts' piece, entitled "Terminal Excess," should sound an alarm to everyone (architects in particular) who might be moved to petition a request to review the MAA's plan for BWI, in order to preserve its original concept.
Oliver North's Candidacy
A distressingly negative article by TRB, alias Michael Kinsley, about Oliver North's candidacy for senator from Virginia (Feb. 3) was followed the next day by a derogatory and misleading pTC political cartoon depicting North wearing a jail number.
This is irresponsible and inaccurate yellow journalism at its worst. It deserves a strong condemnation and revelation of facts.
Yes, Oliver North was convicted on three counts, two of attempting to hide sensitive and secret facts about the Iran-contra affair from Congress and one of accepting a gift to protect his family's lives because his own government would not.
North, on appeal, was completely vindicated when all charges were dropped.
OK, Oliver North lied to Congress. Think about congressmen and higher government officials who lie to their constituents all the time to get elected or re-elected, then renege, usually immediately, on most of the promises they made.
Compared to some of the morally and intellectually bankrupt senators and representatives now in Congress, Oliver North would be a fresh, clean breeze if elected.
We must remember that whatever North did was executed under the laws governing covert activities; therefore, misinformation to Congress was legal for the primary reason certain members of Congress had already leaked sensitive information, resulting in the deaths of American agents in the field, while the congressmen were trying to demonstrate their own importance.
One congressman actually stated that if he learned of any covert operation with which he did not agree, he would leak the information himself . . .
Yes, Oliver North, while engaged in covert operations (which was his job and, incidentally, covert activities are underway as this letter is being written), received serious threats on his life.
They came from Kadafi and Libyan agents for the role North played in the bombing of critical military targets in that country in retaliation for the role Libya played in the kidnapping and deaths of American tourists.
North, like any family man under similar circumstances, accepted a gift to pay for a security system around his home which Congress would not provide.
Most Americans believe that North performed the tasks he did on orders from a number of superiors that began at the top.
As a young, battle-hardened, intelligent Marine officer, he helped create a successful method to accomplish what he was commanded to do.
To refresh the reader's memory, the sale of arms to Iran happened because Iraq, then at war with Iran, was a Russian-favored nation. Iraq was winning because of Russian aid.
If Iraq had won, Russia would have controlled the Middle East. Iran had once been a friend of ours, and we hoped someday would become an ally again.
The transfer of arms to the contras in Nicaragua in this complicated scheme resulted in a cease-fire with the Communist Sandinistas.
At least we have peace of sorts there now. During this entire episode, the president kept encouraging help for the contras.
Oliver North has said himself, "I am not a perfect human being." North, his entire life, has exhibited the courage to be a person who believes in specific values, who acts upon them, then accepts any consequences.
Winning the Silver Star, the Bronze Star with V for Valor, and two Purple Hearts in battle certainly is evidence of his resolve as a true and dedicated American prepared to pay the supreme sacrifice for his country and an eloquent testimony to his uncompromising patriotism.
There are millions of people, including untold hundreds of thousands of ex-servicemen, who will always believe Oliver North is nothing more than a slightly flawed American hero. As a military officer he served in a military capacity. He did what he was ordered to do.
Donald T. Fritz