Overkill?In a Sun story May 10, Principal...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Overkill?

In a Sun story May 10, Principal Barry Williams cites the response of seven officers of the Baltimore County police to a near riot of 300 students at Randallstown Senior High School as "overkill."

Instead of putting the blame on a certain element of disruptive students, Mr. Williams would rather point his finger at the Police Department.

I pity Randallstown Senior High School under his new administration.

Jerry Chosak

Baltimore

Abusive Act

The Rescissions Act of 1995, now on President Clinton's desk for signature, contains about $17 billion in proposed and needed cuts in federal government spending.

Unfortunately, the bill passed by Congress also contains an amendment having nothing to do with this spending, but with logging activities in our national forests.

The amendment would allow "salvage" logging of dead and dying timber on the premise that this logging is necessary to eliminate the threat of forest fire.

In fact, the logging activity would pose certain impacts to fish, wildlife and wilderness and ignore scientific management of forest resources.

It would also allow timber companies to potentially harvest healthy trees at below-market prices and cause the taxpayer to subsidize the logging activity by requiring the timber sales even if the government would lose money on the activity.

The amendment would suspend the environmental safeguards contained in the Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act and, surprisingly, the North American Free Trade Agreement, which seek to preserve and protect our nation's resources from abuse and exploitation.

Also unfortunately, the president is not yet authorized to use the line-item veto power approved by Congress. So to stop this poor legislation, the president must veto the Rescissions Act.

Mark W. Kulis

New Market

Schmoke's Record

The juxtaposition of two articles in The Sun May 12 on Mayor Kurt Schmoke's leadership was intriguing. A front-page headline announced that the mayor had fired the board of directors for the Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association, while a page two column by Roger Simon trumpeted Mr. Schmoke's $1 million, high-tech re-election campaign.

Gosh, I am so glad that the mayor has his priorities straight. If, as Henry Rosenberg said in the paper, he might move Crown Central Petroleum out of the city in response to Mr. Schmoke's ill-conceived BACVA board power play (following on the heels of USF&G;'s desertion of downtown, which other companies may inevitably follow), I'm sure glad to know we can count on the mayor to demonstrate the same leadership prowess in our tourism industry.

It's ironic that in all the emphasis his campaign volunteers are making on Mr. Schmoke's political record in the 6,000-plus phone calls a week, no one's talking about the vast success of the city's convention and tourism industry.

To claim victory over drug corners and school grade scores seems laughable. Yet under Wayne Chappell's leadership (as well as others), we've seen this city develop a true international profile -- one that directly translates into economic benefits for this city.

That the mayor has lost his perspective is no surprise. Sure, agency-funded golf club memberships in this day and age seem like poor judgment. Then again, poor judgment is not something that is alien to Mr. Schmoke's regime, either.

Jeopardizing Baltimore's tourism industry and its corporate community can't possibly be considered intelligent governing.

Carolyn Spencer Brown

Baltimore

Terror at Waco

The defense of the Larry Potts appointment as deputy director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in The Sun editorial of May 10 throws down the gauntlet to those who were horrified by the government's misuse of power at Waco and Ruby Ridge.

By defending the appointment The Sun makes clear its defense of what was done by the government in those two cases.

By the tone of the editorial, which is consistent with the administration's tone, the matter is that of enforcing the law and the penalty that citizens must pay for resisting enforcement.

The death of persons innocent even by the government's definition becomes a "mistake." What persons like the writer perceive is something very different: It is government gone mad.

What it did in knowingly placing the lives of women and children in harm's way to prevent what at most could be considered a potential threat, is more than horrible, it is chilling.

What I remember about Waco was not only the final act of terror upon the children in the assault, but the horror and terror they must have felt each night when they were assaulted by the glaring lights and shrieking music.

My response then was the same as it is now.

What kind of people would do such a thing?

What has happened to us that we would allow it?

Herm Schmidt

Bradshaw

See the Falcons

USF&G; should be commended for sharing its "residents" with the public.

It is a lovely experience to see the nesting falcons on the 33rd floor of the USF&G; building (via television). How generous of the company to also make printouts available so people can learn about the birds.

Thank you for caring.

Martha Bromberger

Baltimore

Vietnam War Strengthened Soviets

There is so much wrong with Eugene R. Fox's letter of May 8 that one hardly knows where to start.

Certainly his main point, described by the headline -- "Vietnam War Led to Fall of Soviet Communism" -- is incorrect. The war strengthened communism and weakened the U.S. both economically and politically. The fall of the Soviet system had nothing to do with Vietnam.

The war weakened the U.S. by wasting billions of dollars in resources. Any advantage the Soviets stood to gain by access to the tin, tungsten, rubber, oil and rice of Vietnam paled in comparison. The Soviets were not short on these resources.

Indeed, the Soviets received a far less favorable balance of trade with Soviet bloc countries than the U.S. has with its trading partners.

If the Soviets exploited countries as a "slave production empire" as Fox asserts, then how does one explain the fact that the standard of living was higher in Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Cuba than in the Soviet Union?

Unlike communism, capitalism has always extracted great profits from poor countries, which is one of the causes of the rise of communism in the first place.

Rather than strengthening the U.S. vis-a-vis the Soviets, the war had the opposite effect.

The U.S. had to extricate itself from the war because the U.S. became weakened to the point of anarchy. The Army was demoralized. Thousands of U.S. youth, including myself, were converted to the ideas of socialism and repudiated the capitalist system because of the war.

The U.S. lost friends and allies all over the world. Every napalm bomb dropped on the villages of Vietnam was a public relations bonanza for communism.

Bombing civilians, as the recent Oklahoma outrage shows, only strengthens the resolve to resist such crimes. In Vietnam, as in Cuba, nationalists were driven into the socialist bloc by U.S. opposition to agrarian reform.

Fox wrote that "communism is prefaced on world expansion and control." What is capitalism prefaced on, philanthropy? Fox answers this question himself when he asserts that businessmen have no choice but to seek profits.

And since we are looking at causes and effects, let us ask what caused the appeal of communism to millions of people around the world? In this case, the capitalist chicken came before the communist egg.

Fox's implication that anything is justified to stop communism is ethically questionable. Killing innocent people, bombing civilians, torturing prisoners, poisoning crops, lying to citizens -- none of this can be justified. The excess of capitalism is the main cause of communism.

Richard Ochs

Baltimore

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