McKeldin's unheralded contribution
Congratulations to your staff writer, Jacques Kelly, for his historical account (The Sun, July 4) of the fire at Oriole Park 40 years ago, except for the item concerning the late Theodore R. McKeldin.
I served as his personal secretary for 37 years. He was an outgoing person and one easy to be approached. Therefore, many persons -- young and old -- could ask for his autograph, which he gladly gave on anything appropriate that was presented to him for that purpose.
He would carry pictures of himself, which made it easy for him to respond to these requests when children would approach him with nothing for him to sign.
In addition, there was no reference in the article that as mayor, he offered the use of what later became Memorial Stadium to the team, even though in doing so he received considerable criticism from the nearby community.
There was concern about traffic and noise if the stadium were to be used as a ballpark. Despite the unpopularity at the time of the decision, the stadium was used for almost 40 years by the minor league team and the Orioles of today with much success.
Were this the first time your paper has written unkindly of the former Baltimore Mayor and Maryland Governor McKeldin, I would not be writing to you, but on other occasions he has been overlooked in past Baltimore and Maryland articles or referred to unkindly.
He died 20 years ago this coming August 10. May he rest in peace!
Mildred K. Momberger
Rights of gays are private, not flaunted
We are tearing ourselves apart. We are no longer content with being Americans. We now have to be Euro-Americans or Afro-Americans or Italian-Americans.
I mean no disrespect to any of these groups. But, having pride in your ethnic background shouldn't supplant our pride in being Americans.
On June 30, the editors of The Evening Sun lambasted the organizers of the Catonsville Fourth of July parade because they told a group of homosexuals that they couldn't march under a separate banner from the veterans marching in the parade.
The veterans were not carrying a banner that read "Heterosexual Veterans." No, they were proud to be simply "Veterans." If this is not good enough for the homosexual community, tough!
As for the world accepting homosexuality as a normal lifestyle or as a basis for giving minority status, my world is only as large as myself and my friends, and we reject homosexuality as being an aberration in nature.
If people keep their sexual activities to themselves we keep our comments and opinions in a like manner.
But, when they adopt an in-your-face attitude we will make our opinions known, and we will avoid contact with them or any group, organization or business that is openly homosexual or supportive of homosexuality.
Homosexuality does exist, but regardless of any group's rhetoric, we do not have to accept the practice, we do not have to get used to it, we do not have to associate with anyone, organization or business involved or supportive of homosexuality, and we will continue to oppose any legislation to protect homosexuality or its practitioners.
I find The Evening Sun's view on this matter to be bigoted. Because myself and my friends do not accept homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle, we are considered to be less than those "enlightened" members of our society that do.
My opinions are my own and I come by them honestly. I can speak them as I please because of the Americans who have risked and sacrificed their lives to protect that right, and I thank them whatever their ethnic background, religion, creed or sexual persuasion.
Lawrence D. Lease
You published an article by Richard H. Kohn condemning the military for not showing proper respect for the president (Other Voices, July 7). He stated, "The chief of staff felt obliged to demand that people in his service show the president proper respect."
In the first place you cannot demand that the military personnel show respect to the president. Respect for a leader is a virtue that is freely given by the led because the leader deserves to be respected.
President Clinton, our commander in chief in name only, is not even a follower, let alone a leader. He is simply a cowardly draft dodger, according to every member of the military to whom I have talked.
In the second place Mr. Kohn is hardly the right person to give us of the military a lecture on respect, when throughout his article he addresses the former chief of staff as Mr. Powell or simply Colin Powell instead of the proper General Powell.
I must assume that this failure of Mr. Kohn to address a real leader properly is not because of any racist views but simply zTC because he is ignorant of the meaning of the word "respect."
J. Edward Johnston Jr.
Access to care
The so-called debate over whether abortion services ought to be included in health care proposals entirely misses the point.
While I respect the positions articulated by the U.S. Catholic bishops, by pro-life and pro-choice advocates and others, litmus-test politics will not suffice to make the tough choices required if access to adequate health care is to become equitable for all.
The health care debate (at least as it has played out in the media) is simplistic and misleading.
Curiously -- and despite rhetoric to the contrary -- the real issue is not the universality of access to health care.
Our present health care system already ensures that since, legally, no one may be denied medical attention in an emergency room because they cannot afford it.
The real issue is the equitable access to non-emergency health care; to the wellness programs, pre-and post-natal care, annual checkups, emotional and psychological counseling, etc., which many of us take for granted and which some of us cannot afford.
The two questions before us are:
(1) To what extent is equitable access to non-emergency health care "an inalienable right"?
(2) To what extent should responsible medicine include non-medical (economic, social, religious) factors when determining a course of treatment?
A great deal more is at stake than is revealed by the pyrotechnic rhetoric of the abortion debate. Torpedoing a health care proposal solely on the basis of its position on abortion is not merely unwise -- it is wholeheartedly foolish.
Certainly our elected public officials, religious or not, recognize these facts. The question is: Will they have the courage to act on them responsibly -- and will we have the courage to support them if they do?
J. Christopher Peiper
Price of power
Journalism is meant to be service-oriented -- its function the objective dissemination of news to the public.
But it is apparent that fundamental and troubling changes have come about in America's liberal mass media.
Much of the major media seem to have simultaneously upgraded their own job description sheets, sloughing off much of the tedious balancing functions and moving center-stage to take their place alongside the news-makers.
They learned they can shape issues themselves with self-generating analyses and critiques, which then trigger controversy and thus news.
They broke the shackles of traditional journalism that restricted them to the editorial page to support their personal choice of politics, politicians and ideologies. They now freely expound on and promote entire political agendas, subtly slanting their coverage wherever it suits them.
Any breach of ethics in shading, spotlighting or deleting news items or personalities to enhance a favored agenda would probably be vigorously denied.
Having stepped out on the thin ice of do-it-yourself news-making, the major media today find themselves in an unenviable position.
During the Clinton campaign, they decided, almost in unison, to support the Democratic candidate. They poured oil on any troubled waters churned up by Bill Clinton's financial irregularities, fuzzy military records, philandering propensities and other character flaws. They unmistakably gave this man their imprimatur.
This indissoluble linkage of Mr. Clinton with the liberal media, without whom he could not have won the presidency, stamps him as a media by-product.
Sadly, the media, too, are now on record as having compromised their integrity and judgment by giving this seriously flawed man their "seal of approval" and for supporting his shaky administration thus far. The price of power is sometimes bitter.
Wow! Good old liberal Baltimore Sun. You find space to print an Associated Press article targeting three Rush Limbaugh inaccuracies.
Nothing left to do now but issue a special edition listing the times he's right. Right?
Martin H. Haas