Hard work was evident during papal visit
Oct. 8 was a day for Marylanders to be proud. It was a day of near perfection. In my 38 years as a member of this community, I can think of no other time when so many of our people came together for a common cause.
The success of the event was not born of luck or even divine intervention. Its success was due to good planning and the hard work of tens of thousands of people and organizations.
This massive undertaking required the cooperative efforts of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Catholic Relief Services, a multitude of federal, state and city agencies, local businesses, hundreds of parishes as well as individuals of all denominations.
My challenge to this community and all of its leaders is for us not to move on too quickly. We need to take time to reflect on the valuable lessons we have learned from this event and act upon them. Let the new levels of cooperation and goodwill generated by the pope's visit provide the framework for a greater tomorrow.
Pope John Paul II delivered an important message to each of us when he said, "Every generation of Americans needs to know that freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought.'
Stuart D. Entwistle
A brief note commending the city of Baltimore for its highly organized, spiritually uplifting papal extravaganza. I was one of the very few, but very lucky, Virginians who got to attend John Paul II's Mass at Camden Yards.
From the wonderful hand-slapping music of the Urban Mass Choir prior to the Mass to the orderly departure of the spirit-filled crowd, the day was a complete success. To Cardinal William H. Keeler, the many organizers and volunteers and, most especially, the people of Baltimore, heartfelt thanks from a grateful member of the flock.
Julie Galloway Yanchulis
March is bigger than Farrakhan
In his Oct. 8 column, Barry Rascovar took aim at Mayor Kurt Schmoke's planned participation in the Million Man March. I am outraged by the suggestion that Mayor Schmoke is "sending the wrong message" by endorsing the Million Man March.
From my perspective, the Million Man March is aimed at celebrating the successes of African American men and liberating more African American men from what keeps us away from our roles as leaders in our families, communities and the world at large.
Everyone should want African American men to excel. Just as many African American men wish well for all communities. Such excellence is beneficial for the good of our entire society.
-! I understand that some people
in the Baltimore community have problems with Louis Farrakhan. I see Mr. Farrakhan as a positive African American man. Additionally, the Million Man March is much larger than any individual.
Kane should read before he writes
Gregory Kane should have read his own newspaper before he complained about the "stones left unturned" at the conference I organized on the scientific, social and political issues raised by research on genetics and criminal behavior (Sept. 30).
Mr. Kane implied that the conference focused on criminal behavior by blacks and ignored the long history of repressive white violence against blacks. In fact, as Douglas Birch reported (Sept. 23), "[Conference participants] will debate whether even raising the issue of a potential link between genetics and criminal behavior betrays a bias based on class and race."
Had Mr. Kane talked to the participants, he would have learned they universally rejected the "invidious notion that blacks, in particular, are prone to violent crime." One of the major themes was the danger of focusing too narrowly on crime by members of minority groups and ignoring the often more destructive behavior of dominant groups.
The conference examined genetic research that looks exclusively for individual differences in behavioral predisposition. Almost all this research has focused exclusively on white populations. This provides no assurance that the research will not be perceived as supporting racial stereotypes and used to justify repressive policies. That was one of the central themes of the conference.
While it is important to be reminded of the atrocities committed against African Americans, it was offensive of Mr. Kane to offer such a litany in implicit reproach of a conference passionately concerned about the history of racism and its implications for human genetic research.
The writer is a research scholar at the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy at the University of Maryland College Park.
Sentence too light for so large an offense
I was outraged to read that Judge Clifton J. Gordy Jr. sentenced Phillip Henry Moore, who pleaded guilty to stealing $552,816 from the Medical and Chirurgical Faculty of Maryland, to five years probation and ordered him to pay back the money.
The former official of the Maryland State Medical Society transferred this money into his own personal account. The state's attorney's office recommended that he receive a seven-year prison sentence. I would think that the Judicial Disabilities Commission might want to investigate this matter. Is this a judicial system that we can be proud of?
Hiring legislative flack is bad public relations
Every time a serious citizen such as myself defends politicians as a class from cynical comments, some office-holder makes a move that proves me wrong.
Baltimore Del. Howard P. Rawlings and House Speaker Casper R. Taylor Jr. have created a public relations position because, says the former, "People just don't know how hard legislators work."
I had somehow assumed they work at least as hard as the rest of us. Mr. Taylor adds, "If we have a problem . . . and we need damage control, it would be good to have a public information person around to help us think through what we're going to do about it."
I had somehow assumed legislators could just tell me the truth through reporters who cover the House of Delegates.
What citizens need in the House is a speaker and one legislator who will say, "We haven't needed a PR specialist before, so let's continue to save the tax money without adding to our staff."
S. A. Miller
Chamber panel blinded by gamblers
Your Oct. 11 editorial, "Beware 'the sirens of easy money,' " is right on. It is disappointing that J. Henry Butta's Chamber of Commerce panel has been so blinded by the slicker lobbyists' promise of fiscal utopia that it fails to see the multitude of problems that casino gambling would bring -- financially and socially.
The chamber should take a close look at what happened in Louisiana and review the studies by Florida and New York. No casino gambling in Maryland. It is not the easy solution that its propagandists would have you believe.
Clyde R. Shallenberger