But seriously, folks, massage bust was a...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

But seriously, folks, massage bust was a farce

No wonder morale in the police department is suffering. Imagine the cold sweats, the sleepless nights, the palpitating hearts. No, it's not another proud appearance before national TV cameras about lie detector tests given to rape victims, but the latest Keystone Kaper as officers soul search the very meaning of life itself. The brave few blue coil with anxiety, knowing in their hearts what they must do, that they must be willing to sacrifice, that, "Yes, OK, chief, I'll do it! I volunteer to be masturbated by a massage parlor girl."

Let's see, by The Sun's report, in order to consummate seven arrests, the investigation cost $4,260 and 90 man -- make that, real man -- hours. At $100 a massage, that's 42.6 massages. If those 42.6 massages took 90 hours, that's more than two hours per massage.

And in case you're starting your holiday gift-shopping early, for the police department how about dictionaries with the word "priority" underlined?

Preston A. Pairo III

Ellicott City

Columbia Council voted for darkness

At the Oct. 12 meeting of the Columbia Council, it decided not to contribute $3,000 to help fund a study on the practicality of incorporation. The vote was 7-2.

How unfortunate for all of us. Most of the council members stated that their own village boards voted against incorporation, therefore they intended to vote against funding any study. It is incredible that seemingly smart people can choose to remain truly ignorant when they need not be.

The money requested by the Columbia Municipal League, Inc. was to fund a study only. This has nothing to do with incorporation. This has everything to do with getting answers to frequently asked questions from a source that is as honest and trustworthy as the Boy/Girl Scouts.

I would like to remind our council members that, in actuality, these 10 people only represent 1,916 votes. Six out of 10 villages had to add in commercial votes to make the elections legal. This added 438 more votes. This is 2,370 votes out of the 82,000 people that live here. Is this really a representative form of government?

The crowning irony here is that the study will go forward anyway. In an enlightened community, there ought to be a beacon of light in the darkness to lead us. The leaders of our "government" obviously prefer to remain in the dark.

Neil Noble

Columbia

The writer is treasurer and a director of the Columbia Municipal League, Inc.

Tipton flyers should remain

On Oct. 15, I read the letter by Robert Thulman about Tipton Airport. This letter typifies the problems that the Fort Meade Flying Activity (FMFA) has been having getting support from some non-member pilots.

Their attitude is, "They get something we don't, it's not fair." This is an attitude born of ignorance of the military in general, and non-appropriated fund activities in specific. I would assume that Mr. Thulman and his ilk are not familiar with the term "non-appropriated fund activity," and why they exist.

The military has decided that for morale reasons (among many others) they would provide for certain activities that allow servicemen to participate for a lower cost that what they would find in a "for-profit" organization.

Mr. Thulman makes a snide dig at what he cannot participate in, and at the same time shows his lack of knowledge about the FMFA by saying that the members use Tipton "at the expense of the taxpayers." With even a little bit of research into the subject, one would find that the Tipton Army Airfield was in use by the military, and that the FMFA not only was a small part of the operations there, but for the most part (if not completely) paid its own way. The activity has also paid for many improvements to the field.

There are many pilots flying with the FMFA that otherwise would not be able to fly. Many cadets from the Naval Academy have gotten their first taste of flight at Tipton. If you don't understand why the military has a morale and welfare office, or why the FMFA has been so successful, do a little research and find out for yourself.

Stewart Baker

Severn

In defense of views despised

On Oct. 1, you printed a letter by Lucinda S. Putterbaugh regarding recent "demonstrations" by the Ku Klux Klan. While I can sympathize with her outrage, I cannot condone her proposed solution.

Ms. Putterbaugh conjectures that some politician may be responsible for allowing members of this "negative organization" enter her community for the purpose of exercising their First Amendment rights, and that the good people of Howard County must seek legislators who will deny such inalienable rights for the common good, or "we can take care of this situation by the next election." She then goes on to recite that same right of free speech, and in the same breath denies it to whomever "is standing on the street corner." She has, in effect, abridged the freedom to speak and assemble, and impeded the privilege to travel wherever one may choose.

This, for all of us, is the most difficult aspect of freedom. It is the hardest pill to swallow. Freedom means allowing people to say things you don't like, and defending their right to say them.

It would be unfortunate for anyone to believe that racism and hatred do not exist simply because they are forced underground. Complacency breeds genocide. Instead of lamenting the fact that our progeny have been exposed to a street corner of malcontents and hatemongers, we should be grateful that our cities and villages have never seen mortar fire by governments gone mad.

Edward L. Patrick

Columbia

Some undiscussed issues of the Million Man March

There are some issues regarding the Million Man March which have gone, for the most part, undiscussed:

* Why, when Minister Louis Farrakhan is finally getting a lot of mainline press and media coverage, does he continue to make anti-Semitic remarks? The answer is quite clear; as a racist and separatist, the most effective means to harm integration is to attack the one group who has, almost universally, supported economically, politically and with their lives, civil rights. As a civil rights leader of persons with disabilities, I would give anything for that kind of support.

* Remember Johnnie Cochran's charge to the jury at the Simpson trial? "If you can't trust the messenger, you can't trust the message." So how does he explain his support of the march?

* What a sight seeing Benjamin Chavis leading a prayer of guidance for men on how to treat women. His atonement cost the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People a half-million dollars.

* It seems confusing to talk about self-sufficiency and then to attack Newt Gettingrich and Dole for program cutting.

So what are some possible lessons from this march?

* That there are a significant number of men in the black community who understand their responsibility as men and have the courage to come forward.

* Liberals can learn from this demonstration. Instead of an entitlement approach to ending poverty, maybe real economic justice and empowerment programs will have a more long-term effect.

* Maybe the Republicans were on the right track when they talked about the failure of most liberal programs. However, are they willing to help realign the economic power, 90 percent of which is controlled by 10 percent of the population? Will they help control the growth of monopolies under the merger epidemic? Or will they continue to sacrifice the majority of the people of this country on the altar of uncontrolled capitalism?

Robert S. Ardinger

Columbia

Though one wants to be on the side of the thousands of black men who brought their dreams and aspirations to the Million Man March in Washington, one still has some basic questions that remain unanswered by the results of the march.

If the purpose of the march is to engage in atonement, why do these black men think it is necessary to make a public spectacle of it? Most people, if they wish to atone for some wrongdoing, do it both by going personally to the person whom they have wronged to apologize, and also by turning inward to engage in fundamental self-correction.

In this regard, acts of atonement are like bathroom functions: one knows they are necessary, but one also hopes the people have enough good taste to do it privately, and not wanting to be publicly congratulated on it.

John Powers

Ellicott City

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