Not My View
The July 6 editorial page included a very interesting political cartoon by KAL that perfectly illustrates the double standard that the liberals in this country practice on a daily basis.
In the cartoon, irate rioters in support of the flag burning amendment, school prayer amendment and the balanced budget amendment assail the Constitution.
Obviously, the artist who drew the cartoon believes that these amendments assault the freedoms guaranteed to him in the Constitution. I would like to ask where is the cartoon that points out the assaults on the Second, Fourth, Sixth, Eighth and 10th amendments that have been going on for years?
Why is it that the left wants to preserve the freedoms that they enjoy (flag burning, spending us into debt for socially destructive welfare and outlawing voluntary prayer in the public schools), while depriving me of freedoms I hold very dear (being able to defend my home and family, being safe from the excesses of Waco/Ruby Ridge-style law enforcement and living in a sovereign state)?
A wise man once said the Constitution is a meal in which you
have to eat everything, not a smorgasbord that you can pick and choose from.
If the left wants their freedoms unregulated, then they need to stop applying their double standard by trying to rob me of mine.
Maybe "Mr. [Robert] Ehrlich is wrong, wrong, wrong!"
But if so, the July 8 Gallimaufry item concerning the Maryland congressman is equally errant.
This time not only the topics but also logic and perspective were jumbled. Two things are wrong with the piece: It's needlessly picky. It's short-sighted.
The article takes Representative Ehrlich to task for attributing a safety rule requiring 5-gallon buckets to leak to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Actually, it was a notice of proposed rule-making by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Finally, the CPSC and industry negotiated a voluntary label to warn that toddlers can drown in a bucket of water. Oh, and industry agreed to a $500,000 education campaign.
Such carelessness! Maybe Mr. Ehrlich was most to blame for taking his information from the public media. Certainly I got the same OSHA story from there.
So, at least give back the slack you take. The bucket rule was still a government action and it was just as silly whether from OSHA or CPSC. It's hard to get excited about the difference. And it still took half a million dollars of private hush money to get it called off.
And that gets at the second problem. The big picture -- it's big government at work again.
I applaud Representative Ehrlich's efforts to get it under control. Even if he might misstate a detail sometimes -- because he repeats what he heard on the news. He's got the principle of the thing down pat. That's why we sent him to Congress.
!Wyett H. Colclasure II
The Sun editorial on July 17, detailing the firing of W. Marshall Rickert, chief of the Motor Vehicle Administration, upset me.
Under Mr. Rickert's leadership, the MVA made vast improvements in services. I for one personally praised him for these betterments.
Your editorial stated Mr. Rickert was fired because the governor wants more minorities to fill such posts. Firing any individual who performs satisfactorily with the intent of replacing that person with a minority is wrong.
It is discrimination pure and simple. To fire Mr. Rickert with his exemplary record for improvements and innovation to the MVA is outrageous.
Marylanders can vote on how they feel about this irresponsible action in the next gubernatorial election.
James D. Brown
Ocean City Woes
I read with amusement your recent article on violence in Ocean City (July 1).
Clearly The Sun did not grasp the significance of the June 24 incident, when Sha-Shee, a Washington-based group, arrived in town. I guess you had to be there to experience the trepidation that night.
The spokesperson for the group attempted to make this a racial issue. It isn't. It was simply a rowdy group of individuals who
were ill-mannered, discourteous and obnoxious.
Their rude and lewd behavior at one of Ocean City's premier family hotels continued well into the early morning hours. It turned what had been a very pleasant experience into a nightmare for many of the hotel's guests.
I found it particularly distressing that the firemen's and Veterans of Foreign Wars conventions were mentioned in the same article, suggesting similar behavior.
The Firemen's Association has held its annual convention in Ocean City for as long as I can remember. In all those years, I cannot recall such a furor as that caused by the Washington-based group.
Sure, the firemen's parade is a minor inconvenience to traffic. But the firemen themselves have always been polite, courteous and cordial guests, respectful of the rights of others.
The article points out that Ocean City has experienced rough seas this summer due to some early season violence and suggests that, because no arrests were made, this was a minor incident.
The night of June 24, however, was a tidal wave -- one that very well could sink this ocean resort. One has to wonder why no arrests were made when the hotel complained of public nudity, urination, drugs and prostitution.
As it struggles to recover from a sluggish economy, Maryland can ill afford to lose the revenue generated from its only ocean pearl. This incident should stand as warning of trouble on the horizon.
I hope state and local officials sense the changing tide at Ocean City and are better prepared next time to weather the storm.
If not, this could signal the beginning of the end to what was once a safe, family resort.
Investing in Jews' Downtown Roots
In reading Scott Ponemone's "A Search for Jewish Culture" (Perspective, July 9), I was struck not only by its pervasive sense of depressive nostalgia, but also by its superficiality and the considerable gaps in its powers of observation and analysis.
In noting that the Jewish population in Baltimore City is considerably less prominent and noticeable that it was 50 or 60 years ago, Mr. Ponemone shows only his belated awareness of a fact of urban life which was largely complete before 1965.
However unfortunate, this outward migration has affected many groups besides the Jews, and of course this development, while damaging Baltimore culturally, has enormously enriched the life of Baltimore County and other suburban areas.
Moreover, Mr. Ponemone has missed the most important sign of Jewish resurgence within the city -- the Jewish Historical Society of Maryland, which has restored both synagogues he mentions on Lloyd Street, the historic center of the Jewish community.
Between the synagogues is a modern museum which preserves and presents Maryland's Jewish history in exciting and thoroughly professional ways to an audience of both Jews and non-Jews, including many school children.
The society, support for whose work is very strong throughout the region's Jewish community, represents a significant investment in our downtown roots, and is the largest institution of its type in the country.
Support is so strong that visitation is increasing rapidly, and a capital campaign undertaken to double the size of the museum is proceeding very well.
Mr. Ponemone's rhetorical device of a supposed traveler seeking Baltimore's Jewish heritage impels me to reflect on the weakness of The Sun's museum listings, which rarely includes the Jewish Historical Society.
It is unfortunate that this primary source of information for those wishing to explore the city is so woefully inadequate.
Certainly, the widespread decline of American urban life is something we can all mourn, but the Jewish Historical Society of Maryland has helped reverse that trend in its own neighborhood and brought to it a palpable measure of renaissance and revival.
The writer is executive director of the Jewish Historical Society of Maryland.