In Sheriff's Case, Truth's Secondary
How could it be? On the very same day, June 8, when The Sun for Carroll County printed a story about the lawsuit against the sheriff of Carroll County, it listed attorney Judith Gaeta, who is from an Annapolis law firm, as representing the sheriff and his main deputies. For all of this to happen so quickly, there must have been a nervous county government impulsively calling into play its legal machinery.
But where in the picture is the 126-page complaint filed against the department by officer Lucita Matthews? . . . Is anyone listening to what Deputy Matthews is trying to tell us? Are we too involved in putting her in her place that we don't have time to reflect on the issues?
Now, in rapid fire, the county government, which is not even listed in the complaint, brings in LGIT (Local Government Insurance Trust), which pushes the button for the Baltimore-based Shapiro law firm to send in Annapolis attorney Gaeta to win -- not seek the truth, but win. . . . With the many laws against intimidation and harassment because of gender and race, why does the county immediately set up barricades to prevent Lucita Matthews from receiving a fair chance at justice?
Following the alleged campaign . . . to put this black, female deputy in her place, down comes the hammer of county government with LGIT and all its power. Is this what we want from our government? Have we lost all sense of fairness? If the lawyers and the courts are thinking that it's a game to be won or lost, where is our referee to ensure fair play?
A. Ray Drolsum
Search and Seizure
Residents of the 6th Congressional District of Maryland have cause to be alarmed at the recent vote cast by Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett in favor of House Bill 666.
This bill drastically narrows the so-called "exclusionary rule," which protects Americans from evidence produced through illegal searches and seizures by law enforcement officers. . . .
In taking the oath of office, Mr. Bartlett swore to support the Constitution. By voting in favor of House Bill 666, Mr. Bartlett clearly violated that solemn oath and does not deserve the honor of serving the people whom he has betrayed. . . .
Donald L. Kirkpatrick
El Paso, Texas
We hear so much nowadays concerning budget cuts to our public school systems, hollers and screams regarding better education for our students and handing over chalk and blackboards to private enterprises that, at times, some little glimmering "gem" goes unnoticed.
I recently had the privilege and pleasure of observing for a day Joyce Bell's classes at Arbutus Middle School. I was pleasantly surprised. Here you have a public school with genuine concern and dedication, which was evident in the students who attend that school. . . . My hats off to Principal Linda Wilson and Phil Taylor and Marge Scholl, assistant principals, for promoting an atmosphere where students can succeed. And students, I applaud each of you for becoming a role model for other middle school students to follow.
Mistakes About Pride Day
There have been some brutal misconceptions about the June 10 event that was held at the Independent Underground.
First, this was a "Pride Awareness Day." Yes, the word "pride" has been associated with homosexual functions that go on every year. The Independent Underground does not judge a person's lifestyle or what they believe. I feel being human is something to have pride in.
Second, this "Pride Awareness '95" was to bring together the young, old, poor, middle class, and, yes, even the rich. For once in Westminster's history, there was an event with human beings helping other human beings without concern of where somebody came from or where they may be going to to.
It's time to open our eyes to the whole big picture of what this event is about -- AIDS. I have talked to teen-agers about this disease, and I am amazed at the responses I get. "I can't get AIDS because I'm not gay, I'm straight."
That misconception is responsible for AIDS being the No. 1 killer of our youth today. I feel that If we teach our children, we will give them a tomorrow.
This was an event to celebrate life and not to flaunt a certain lifestyle. It was an event to help make people aware, on how to protect themselves and how to help themselves understand what HIV and AIDS are.
It was a wake-up call. Were you there? . . . When future generations turn to you and ask "What did you do to help the AIDS crisis?" what will your answer be?
HIV and AIDS are serious issues.
I personally heard one girl proclaim that she is heterosexual and a teen-ager so she could not contract HIV. That scares me.
Anyone can contract AIDS.
When I heard of the Independent Underground's AIDS Awareness and Pride Celebration, I was glad to see someone working for the truth.
Life should be celebrated and enjoyed. I went there for life, and was thrilled to hear the truth. People of any sexual preference are still people. Who we are -- human beings -- is more important than what we are.
I welcome people of all walks of life to share in the celebration of life. Live and let live is how I live.
Can you imagine all people living in harmony? Maybe then we can end the AIDS crisis.
Sacrifices? Yes, but for Everybody
An article in the Hanover Evening Sun on May 15 by U.S. Rep. Bill Goodling of the 19th Congressional District in Pennsylvania has been on my mind and I feel I must respond. In his piece, Mr. Goodling was lamenting that there was a need to preserve the American dream for our children, and because it was the 50th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, he used the analogy that in order to defeat the enemy, nearly every American made sacrifices.
It has been determined by Mr. Goodling and the Republicans that in order to preserve this American dream for our children, the budget must be balanced, thus the need again for sacrifice. Of course, this is a commendable theme, one that apparently was out of favor during the '80s, but Mr. Goodling didn't mention that.
Today, there is in place an effective propaganda machine that uses every mode of communication available to express and deliver a Republican theme and Mr. Goodling is a part of that machine. Mr. Goodling and the Republicans would have us believe that all of our fiscal problems were brought about by people over 65, unmarried mothers, students making loans for college, blacks and women who want equal pay, children who need government supported breakfast, public broadcasting, national art endowments, people in Americorps who want to work for a college education, people who like clean air, children in Head Start, wetlands, people with families who use welfare when there are plenty of jobs at $5.50 per hour with no health benefits, and of course, big government.
After listening to this propaganda, I wonder just what kind of American dream Mr. Goodling wants to preserve for my children.
As a young boy in Manchester, I can well remember the sacrifices we made during the war. Everyone did without. Tires were rationed as well as gasoline and sugar and this put a burden on everyone. I can remember being sent to buy toothpaste and having to trade the empty tube in order to get a new one. We, as school children, brought pennies to school to buy savings stamps and as a "town kid," we always knew when one of the two stores in town got in a rare supply of candy. It never was Milky Way or Clark bar, usually bittersweet Hershey's, but we still ran there as fast as we could. To this day, I cannot stand bittersweet chocolate.
The point of real sacrifice is that everyone was touched, not just the poor or uneducated or even just the rich. We all gave something and that is what Mr. Goodling should be suggesting, not just pushing propaganda.
As a retired government worker, I would be willing to sacrifice again by having my cost-of-living increases frozen -- for the "duration," which was the term used during the war. There are many retirees willing to do the same, especially if they know everyone will sacrifice. This should be coupled with an across-the-board freeze for all government agencies in all three branches, including pay raises for Congress. Social Security, Medicare and other government entitlements would be frozen and instead of a ridiculous tax cut for people with incomes up to $200,000, a tax increase for the top 5 percent. To make sure that everyone is included, a 5 cent-per-gallon tax increase should be made and an immediate cap on spending should be set on campaign funds for the coming election.
When it is understood that everyone is sharing the burden, balancing the budget and reducing the debt would be easier and find wide support. It would not require cutting programs or eliminating departments just for phony ideological reasons. All programs in our government are important. Over time, they require adjusting or even a change in commission, but none of this should be done until the real fiscal problems are addressed. When the deficit and the debt, with its terrible interest burden, is wiped out, then these programs should be reviewed, along with a huge tax cut.
We are the richest nation in the world. We spend billions each year on dog food. There should be no reason why we all, people on fixed income as well as the very rich, should not be willing to sacrifice together.