Lead, not Deal
I have to assume that Messrs. Germond and Witcover are not bridge players. They say (May 27): "But Clinton is by no means dealing from strength." One does not deal from strength.
In an honest game, one does not know what is being dealt -- strength or weakness.
One may, however, lead from strength, which is what we wish Clinton would do.
Carol Chesney Meyers
Your negative editorial observations (June 11) on Gov. Parris N. Glendening's nomination for secretary of higher education is a masterpiece of false inference.
You accused the governor of political insensitivity for this nomination to those legislators who hold a grudge against Patricia S. Florestano for her work on behalf of her former University of Maryland boss, John Toll.
When a person works for the chief executive, I always thought he or she was supposed to be loyal and carry out directions or resign.
If Dr. Florestano had not carried out her professional responsibility to Dr. Toll, she would have been disloyal and not trustworthy, and this would have warranted your negative editorial.
Anyone involved with public policy and the legislative process can never please all of the disparate factions. Dr. Florestano did her job as set forth by her boss, Dr. Toll.
I believe her experience with Maryland's higher education coordination problems and her understanding of the opportunities to advance higher education to promote the University of Maryland System members' goal for academic and research excellence in cooperation with the state's great private higher education colleges and universities and the community college system are a major plus for her appointment.
Your plea for an "outsider" to fill the position is nonsense. On what factual basis do you conclude that no professionals associated with Maryland's higher education community would know how to address the academic balances within the state's higher education system?
It would take two years before someone from outside Maryland gained the knowledge and understanding of the different missions to suggest policy change and work effectively with the governor and the General Assembly.
Maryland's higher education system can improve its efficiency by increased cooperation and quicker resolution of challenging conflicts through leadership.
The governor correctly sensed an opportunity to lower the bureaucratic rhetoric while maintaining the integrity of MHEC's mission, which is to ensure an academic balance and to challenge academic redundancy throughout Maryland's higher education institutions.
Dr. Florestano knows the academic mission and goals of the diverse institutions comprising Maryland's higher education community. With her personal integrity and professionalism to her mission, she can become an excellent secretary.
Edwin S. Crawford
The writer is a member of the University of Maryland Board of Regents.
Can't All Be Wrong
As a Baltimore County teacher, I feel compelled to respond to the June 15 article by Mary Maushard, "School chief tires of Balto. Co. battles."
Supportive (as always), she called the programs of Stuart Berger "innovative." My Random House dictionary defines innovative as, "something new or different introduced."
When Dr. Berger started our breakfast program we were the only system in Maryland that wasn't serving breakfast. Pretty innovative, right?
All-day kindergarten was what was going on in Baltimore City when I was in kindergarten in 1958. Innovative?
Magnet schools? How long have they existed in Prince Georges County? As for site-based decision making, we were at that cutting edge in the 1800s.
The only thing new Dr. Berger brought to Baltimore County is "fright-based decision making," a school system based on administrators playing follow-the-leader (no matter how misguided) to keep their jobs. Perhaps when he leaves we'll go back to caring about children.
The only truth in the article came from Dr. Berger himself, when he talked about the difference between Wichita and Baltimore County. In Wichita, he had supporters and detractors. He admitted that in Baltimore County he has only detractors. Are we all wrong?
When we complain, we let you know. It's only fair to also comment on what we appreciate and find useful.
Investigative reporting, such as your recent "Battalion 316" series (June 11-18); information gathering on vital issues such as the Educational Alternatives Inc. contracts; the Intrepid Commuter column has focused attention on traffic issues and trouble spots, often resulting in solutions. Everyone spends a lot of time in vehicles. We always scan this column.
Also continuing coverage by Bruce Reid of the Aberdeen Proving Ground cleanup proposals. We wonder if this coverage has provided the necessary influence to buy time in which the Army was forced to look more seriously at alternative disposal methods, one of which appears more acceptable than incineration.
If so, the highly populated Harford County area, and the entire state, have benefited.
Tom Horton's column satisfies both environmental and literary needs. We always read Tim Wheeler's work as well.
Recently you have carried an article front page, lower right, which carries onto the back page of the front section. Articles in this spot get attention, with easy flip-over, are read to the end.
Many have urged The Sun to have an environmental section. We would like such a section.
We lament the loss of newspapers and newspaper readers across the country. We subscribe to, read and appreciate The Sun.
M. Daniel Lane
Patricia S. Lane
Proud of ACLU
I am a card-carrying member of the American Civil Liberties Union, and I take great pride in my affiliation with that organization.
I was appalled at Rabbi Manuel M. Poliakoff's intemperate and inaccurate description of the ACLU as "the most dangerous and pernicious group" in America (letter, June 13). The glorious and courageous role of the ACLU is the defense of the Constitution, particularly the Bill of Rights.
Rabbi Poliakoff's opinion convinces me that he would cast his vote against the Bill of Rights if it were brought up for a vote tomorrow.
William H. Engelman
I feel your editorial of June 12 ("Accessories to Murder") was too harsh on the Central Intelligence Agency, the Reagan administration and our government in general.
The death squads and human rights violations in Honduras and other Latin American countries have more to do with their culture and way of life than anything the U.S. does or does not do.
Our government did not invade those lands and foster criminal governments on what had heretofore been an earthly paradise. And, for that matter, neither did the Soviets.
Violence, revolutions and criminal behavior were prevalent long before the U.S. or the Soviets came upon the scene. Our government erred in trying to sift out the good guys from the bad guys, when in fact, both sides were bad guys.
A common occurrence in Latin America is that the government or revolutionists would occupy an area and the people would cooperate with them because they had no other choice.
Then the other side would take over and shoot all the people for cooperating with the first side. Atrocities occur in Latin America throughout the political spectrum.
From time to time, constitutional conventions met in various Latin American countries and wrote constitutions that were even better than our own.
But they never worked out because the people would not abide by them. Why gear up for an election next year when you can have a revolution right now?
Having said that, your point is well taken that too often the U.S. rushed in and offered military assistance to tyrants and despots.
It probably will never happen, but I certainly wish that our country would stop selling arms. But there is another area in which the U.S. can and should provide help.
We should offer them birth control and family planing assistance. Latin America is notorious for its overpopulation, with thousands of abandoned children running wild in the streets. Overcrowding is out of control.
Many Latin Americans solve their problems by immigrating to the U.S. (both legally and illegally), but we, too, are getting overcrowded, and this cannot go on forever.
If a birth control clinic is set up in a Third World country, it is generally ignored by the local population. But if a general health clinic is installed which includes birth control the people will go there for all their health needs and will also seek birth control assistance.
This then is an area in which the U.S. can provide foreign aid that will benefit us and them at the same time. It might also help them with some of their political problems.
People generally treat other people better when there are not too many around; and every single person automatically becomes more valuable.
This is why the U.S. did not have an unemployment problem during World War II. And Stalin, faced with heavy war losses, ordered his Soviet generals to be more considerate with their troops and not to expose them to unnecessary dangers.
Ozone Park, N.Y.