New Attack on Clarence Thomas
Will the left ever cease its slanderous attacks on Justice Clarence Thomas? Three years ago, every liberal activist group in America had a chance to take down Justice Thomas (and his conservative views) by proving that he sexually harassed Anita Hill. The American people heard both the accused testify. They viewed documents and heard testimony on behalf of both persons.
Accordingly, the American people reached a verdict: an overwhelming majority believed Justice Thomas.
This result was not surprising for several reasons. First, Anita Hill could not produce a single female co-worker or acquaintance of Justice Thomas to testify that he had engaged in the behavior she ascribed to him.
In fact, Justice Thomas' female co-workers and acquaintances all testified quite adamantly that Justice Thomas did not sexually harass Anita Hill, themselves, or any female that worked at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Thus, Justice Thomas did not fit the profile of a typical sexual harasser, as he did not exhibit a pattern of lewd behavior toward other women.
Moreover, Anita Hill brought forth no eyewitnesses and only one person to whom she allegedly relayed her story -- Judge Susan Hoerchner, a renowned liberal activist.
Judge Hoerchner's testimony was, to say the least, flimsy, as she told investigators that Anita Hill had told her that in the spring of 1981 her boss was sexually harassing her, whereas Anita Hill did not begin working with Justice Thomas until the fall of 1981.
Finally, Justice Thomas' alleged behaviors apparently didn't bother Professor Hill to any great extent, as she willingly followed Justice Thomas to another job.
Now we are told, however, by two feminist writers that Clarence Thomas "perjured himself" and that he should be "impeached" (news article, Nov. 3). Where exactly were these mystery "witnesses" that would have corroborated Professor Hill's story when the Thomas-Hill hearings were taking place?
One of these "witnesses" mentioned in the book -- Angela Wright -- was not asked to testify by Democratic senators because she had publicly stated before Professor Hill's allegations were made that she was "going to get Clarence Thomas back" for firing her from the EEOC for incompetence.
If the other "witnesses" alluded to in the book had any relevant, credible testimony to offer, they had every opportunity to appear before Congress and to be cross-examined. Alternatively, they could have called the New York Times or other news organizations, which would have reflexively made their stories front-page news.
How brave of these "witnesses" to come forward, three years after the fact, to offer unchallenged speculation.
In sum, Professor Hill has offered nothing but her (unconvincing) word that she was sexually harassed.
It is thus surprising that the authors of the book concluded that a "preponderance of the evidence" (a legal term) established that Professor Hill was telling the truth. That is, having experience in the legal field myself, I can hardly believe that any attorney
would take a sexual harassment case where the alleged victim could produce no eyewitnesses, no corroborating witnesses, no other victims of the alleged harasser and willingly followed her alleged sexual harasser to another job.
David W. Fischer
Recent events have brought media charges of discrimination against females and blacks by Baltimore County Circuit Court judges.
The judges have been characterized as a closed network of "good ole boys" -- all male, all white, all approximately the same age and all with the same schooling and background. The judges are accused of perpetuating themselves and their "kind" to the exclusion of the female and black population of Baltimore County.
These accusations are without basis. The judges themselves have nothing whatsoever to do with who gets appointed.
Any attorney who wishes to become a Circuit Court or District Court judge in Baltimore County must first submit an application to the Baltimore County Judicial Selection Committee.
This committee has black and female members and is composed of an equal number of laymen and attorneys, plus a chairman who is a layman.
After reviewing the qualifications of and interviewing each candidate, the committee submits a list of nominees to the governor, who appoints the judge from a pool of candidates.
The facts show that for the last two vacancies on the Circuit Court bench, 33 percent and 29 percent of the pool of nominees from the committee were black or female. The governor did not appoint a black or female judge.
As to District Court vacancies, the percentage of black or female nominees in the pool for the last four appointments were 40 percent, 22 percent, 43 percent and 33 percent. Half of the last four appointments by the governor have been black or female.
These facts amply demonstrate that females and blacks are receiving their fair share of nominations for judgeships in Baltimore County. Any fault in the judicial selection system cannot be blamed on Baltimore County judges.
Harris James George
In 1542, King Henry VIII of England punished his 17-year-old wife's adultery by having her head cut off.
In 1994, Kenneth Peacock punished his wife's adultery by shooting her in the head.
It would not appear that civilization has made much progress in 450 years.
Recent revelations by The Sun (Oct. 27) about School Superintendent Walter Amprey's financial relationship with Education Alternatives Inc. (EAI) raise serious questions about his ethical conduct and objectivity in being able to honestly evaluate such an important experiment as privatization of several Baltimore City schools.
Dr. Amprey and his three family members employed by the Baltimore school system collectively have significant earnings, pTC nearly $250,000 per year.
If he personally believes in the EAI educational concept, he certainly could afford a personal expenditure of $5,900 for travel to assist EAI.
Obviously, that is nonsense. Dr. Amprey is not interested in EAI as a cause. He is interested for his own financial incentive. Which is to the detriment of every public school teacher, student and parent in Baltimore City.
The Sun should be complimented for bringing these issues to the public's attention.
Simultaneous with Dr. Amprey's affair with EAI, the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute alumni members formed a task force in 1992 to study alternative school-based management practices that would establish a school-based approach to delivering a quality education program.
The task force met with Dr. Amprey personally on two occasions to implement a management of Poly based on teacher, parent, community, business, elected officials, student and alumni participation in managing a not-for-profit corporation for administering Poly.
(Poly has an 18,000-member alumni that has supplemented Baltimore City funding for over 10 years. Nearly $300,000 in cash and approximately $1 million in equipment has been contributed by nearly 1,000 Poly graduates since 1990.)
At each meeting, Dr. Amprey placed difficult pre-conditions on this noble offer.
Each time the pre-conditions were generally satisfied.
Yet, nothing has happened. Based on The Sun's investigations it would appear that a not-for-profit program would be totally contrary to Dr. Amprey's self-promoting agenda to massage EAI academic testing and attendance statistics and to defer consideration of the Poly task force initiative to prevent it from being a viable other educational alternative.
Dr. Amprey's actions cannot be condoned ethically or professionally. Instead of Mayor Kurt Schmoke granting Dr. Amprey another raise maybe we should let EAI pay his family's full salaries.
After all, just who does Dr. Amprey serve?
J. Gary Lee
The writer is a member of the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute class of 1958.
After a full year of abuse in the press for the sorry state of our national parks, the House of Representatives rejected a proposal to allow the National Park Service to revise its fee structure so that the parks would be better maintained.
House Bill 4533, the National Park Service Entrepreneurial Management Reform Act of 1994, would have allowed the National Park Service to charge outside groups wishing to use park facilities for private functions such as weddings the same rate as charged by private halls in the same market.
The money raised would then have been used for park upkeep.
Yes, the bill would have also allowed the parks to raise entrance fees, but would have earmarked those modest increases for the maintenance of the parks.
This approach would work much as overhead costs for maintaining a movie theater are built into ticket prices.
Is it any surprise then to read that descendants of Ulysses S. Grant are contemplating removing the remains of our 18th president from the National Park Service's tomb in New York City?
Of course not. The park service, given its limited budget but continually increasing duties, is unable to keep up with the backlog of repairs and maintenance.
The park service's budget is so inadequate that many park rangers are forced to live in substandard, poorly maintained housing while pork barrel projects of no historical significance, like "Steamtown U.S.A.," continue to receive congressional support.
Amazingly, at the same time that House Bill 4533 was rejected, Congress passed House Bill 5044, the American Heritage Partnership Program, a bill which would funnel part of the National Park Service's already small budget away to support corporate-developed historical sites.
Such a program will not help the National Park Service address the upkeep problems which have caused so much concern in Congress.
I sincerely hope that in the next session Representatives Benjamin Cardin and Roscoe Bartlett, along with the other members who voted against House Bill 4533, will take a second look at supporting the needs of the National Park Service.
If Congress doesn't support the National Park Service in its mission, citizens should not be surprised to find our national heritage reduced to soundbites on the stage of some corporate-funded historical amusement park.