Republican bill to destroy MedicareOnce again, Robert...


Republican bill to destroy Medicare

Once again, Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. has erred in his short career as a congressman by supporting the Republican "Medicare Preservation [translation: Destruction] Act of 1995."

This is not surprising, however, as Representative Ehrlich has showed little insight into the problems of his constituents or of hTC American health-care delivery systems.

As Newt Gingrich's foot soldier, Mr. Ehrlich received nearly $50,000 in campaign contributions from doctors and insurance companies in his 1994 campaign.

But can he count the hundreds of millions to be lost to his district's health-care delivery systems because of this foolish legislation?

I've been working in various hospitals and nursing homes during the past year as a nursing assistant and as a student who is studying to become a registered nurse, and I've had the opportunity to see from close-up how stressed the current health-care system is.

Yet the Republican congressional leaders -- from Mr. Gingrich and Bill Archer on down -- have very little understanding of, or care very little about, how much damage they are inflicting.

The Medicare-Medicaid programs, as they currently exist, are major bulwarks holding the health-care network together.

Remove significant supports from these programs, as this right-wing agenda proposes, and we're very close to having people die in the streets of America.

I have watched the House carefully in the single day of hearings it allowed on Medicare, and I am shocked by the Republicans' arrogance and willful ignoring of the facts that are laid out.

They refused to listen to the testimony of senior citizens as well as to knowledgeable health-care providers who have a greater understanding of what is at stake.

Indeed, few understand fully what this bill means. This is why it was foolish for the House to enact this legislation without comprehensive hearings and a true bipartisan effort, where the best of ideas from all sides could be considered.

'Christopher C. Boardman


Rabin's legacy to the world

Tears of grief streamed down my face on the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.

My heart skipped many beats when Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated in Los Angeles.

I felt the bullet piercing my heart when Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis.

And now a man of decency, vision, wisdom and humanity who learned that war's victories and its aftermath were not guarantors of peace, of tranquillity and healing, has been assassinated by a madman in Israel.

Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, a war hero became a peace hero by offering Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, a seemingly implacable foe, his hand of compassion, of reconciliation in a sincere effort to pursue the noble path to peace.

The murderer has snuffed out the life of a good, great and heroic human being.

But no madman can snuff out the dreams, the hopes and desires of men earnestly seeking peace in the volatile Middle East wherein all men, women and children no longer fear one another and live side by side as a loyal family, setting an example to the rest of the world that bullets must yield to ballots if humanity is to survive.

eon Peace Ried


A way to give to the homeless

The Sun's editorial following Mayor Kurt Schmoke's declared crackdown on aggressive panhandling encourages readers to give to service providers rather than to panhandlers.

This would seem the right time to remind those who live and work in Baltimore of the Make A Change Fund, established by the Downtown Partnership and administered by the Baltimore Community Foundation.

Grants from the fund will support services to Baltimore's homeless population.

Timothy D. Armbruster


The writer is president of the Baltimore Community Foundation.

Are watermen that bad?

I am not surprised to learn that watermen would be involved in the senseless act of destroying the Chesapeake Bay Foundation building on Smith Island. These watermen's motto seems to be, "Ask not what we can do for the Chesapeake Bay, but what the Chesapeake Bay can do for us."

From first-hand experience, I have seen the ilk these men are made of. They are a greedy, rude, ignorant lot, who seem to think that the crabs, oysters and other popular creatures of the bay are theirs alone. They do not seem to think that common rules of the road and courtesy include them, either. Their main concern is to take, take and take some more from the bay, giving nothing back and barge anyone out of the way who has the misfortune of being in their path.

The Chesapeake Bay is one of Maryland's greatest resources -- not only for the generous bounty that comes from its waters but for the thousands of people from around the world that are drawn here annually. The bay provides income not only for the watermen, but for the businesses that benefit from the tourists ,, and sailors who come to it each year.

Watermen need to stop and think about what they have already stripped the bay of and the consequences of continued over-fishing, crabbing and oystering. These men need to think not only of today, but the future.

Martha Quinn


Nordstrom staff knows how to serve

I am so sorry reporter Jean Marbella found it necessary to take pot shots at Nordstrom's service personnel (Nov. 4, "No Saks appeal").

In this day and age of non-service, it is a pleasure to be waited on. I have always enjoyed very personable employees at Nordstrom. They remind me of the excellent personnel you meet at Field's and Neiman's in Chicago.

I have never been annoyed by or felt my Nordstrom salesperson was needy. So maybe they don't have the most exclusive designers at Nordstrom, but who cares? Nordstrom is a very nice upscale store with a pleasant sales staff.

As far as I'm concerned, some of our other department stores could take lessons in service from Nordstrom.

Barbara T. Schofield



Having in the dim past of my youth worked for two now-defunct, family-owned department stores -- Hutzler Brothers and Joel Gutman and Co. -- Jean Marbella's diatribe on Nordstrom's politeness shocked me.

The sales people in the old stores were taught "always be polite, no matter what" and "the customer is always right." Nordstrom is a return to those policies.

Arthur J. Gutman


Profits are key to sports clubs

NFL now means the National Franchise League; its motto is "Have team, will travel;" its game is "Let's make a deal" and its goal is making money for the owners.

Whatever happened to football?

Dick Ullrich


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