Dole didn't do the same as Clinton
Has Theo Lippman (March 1, "What makes a hero?") finally lost it totally in trying to equate the military records of Bob Dole and Bill Clinton? Will his next column deal with similarities in marriages between Ozzie and Harriet and Lisa Marie Presley and Michael Jackson? Give us a break.
The writer is chairman of the Baltimore City Republican Central Committee.
Theo Lippman Jr.'s flight of fancy (March 1, "What makes a hero?") in trying to establish moral equivalence between Bill Clinton's draft dodging and Bob Dole's Purple Heart, makes me wonder where (if ever) he studied logic.
In Mr. Lippman's own words, Mr. Dole "was called up." He went. He was sent into combat. He didn't want to go, but again he went and was grievously wounded. Mr. Clinton, too, received his induction notice. But through a combination of guile and intense political pressure he managed to escape service -- after he already had been drafted.
Where is the parallel? That neither really wanted to go to the front lines? Who in his right mind ever does, especially among those who have been there?
John G. Miller
The writer is a retired colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps.
The March 1 op-ed column by Theo Lippman Jr., "What makes a hero?," is demeaning and a direct insult to all veterans of the armed services who wear the Purple Heart medal. Many will look at this newspaper column as a political slur. I challenge Mr. Lippman, relating to his calling Bob Dole a draft-dodger.
Hopefully, The Sun will apologize to those who served their country. Such an article is only trash to me and my wartime comrades. It is certainly downgrading to all our American combat forces.
Warren G. Sody
Adversarial stance harms county colleges
In The Sun's Feb 11 article on Daniel J. LaVista, Baltimore County community colleges' new chancellor, Ronald G. Abe, the system board chairman, assumes that the anxiety people feel for their jobs will pass. I'd like to offer another perspective. That assumption seems unlikely as long as:
There remains an adversarial climate of labor vs. management between administrators and faculty;
There remains an insular attitude by administrators to keep faculty and their problems at bay while surrounding themselves with like-minded administrative assistants;
There remains a disproportionate number of administrators with bloated salaries in the system (Witness the "streamlining" of the community college system by bringing in yet another administrator with his coterie, in addition to the existing three college presidents and their six-figure salaries and all of their administrative assistants);
There remains ignorance and/or denial by administrators that faculty morale is low or, worse yet, there is no interest or desire on the part of the administration to address that problem, how it happened and how it might be corrected;
There remains a lack of respect for the faculty's critical thinking and communication skills when administrators continue to use techno-babble.
Is a faculty member lulled into a euphoric state when told he/she is being "displaced" and not "let go?" The title of Judy Sheindlin's new book, "Don't Pee on My Leg and Tell Me It's Raining," comes to mind.
Betty L. Schien
Police discard old routines
Michael Olesker's Feb. 13 column -- "Yet another car break-in, but why call the cops?" -- was interesting for what he said. But more could have been said.
For the last three decades there has been a steady diminution of enforcement of the laws, not only by the "cops" but by others in the criminal justice system, including the city's state's attorney's office. For example, the latter recently decided not to prosecute for a felony possession of under 30 bags of crack. The pushers can count.
Recently, the police have begun to stop tagging trucks in restricted residential zones. The job is assigned to the meter maids (when they have time and on the day shift only). Calls to 911 will frequently be designated "in-service complaints," meaning "maybe, if I have time, I'll get around to it," which is almost never.
Then you have the universal police complaint that it takes half of an officer's shift time to make an arrest. It would be appropriate for Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr. to assign one of his staff or perhaps a commission to study the arrest and booking procedures to determine where time is unnecessarily taken up and devise new procedures to eliminate the bottlenecks.
The legislature has the sole responsibility for law-making. The police have the responsibility for law enforcement. The only higher authority is the court which can decide on the appropriateness or constitutionality of the laws.
If the police are to decide which laws to enforce and which to ignore, then why have a legislature?
Perhaps now is the time for the General Assembly and the City Council, too, to begin asserting their authority. They are the ones who represent us first and foremost.
Richard L. Lelonek
No easy short-cuts in treating mentally ill
I am writing in response to the Feb. 4 Perspective column, "Psychiatry suffers under managed care," by Steven Sharfstein. I want to thank you for publishing such a well-informed commentary on the plight of those suffering from mental illness.
I am a rehabilitation counselor at a Baltimore City psycho-social program. I have been working with a number of our associates on the importance of advocacy.
Your article helps us by educating the public about the complexity of treatment for those with severe and persistent mental illness.
To date, managed care organizations have been unable or unwilling to meet the long-term needs of the mentally ill.
Their cost-containment medical model assumes that you treat the problem and it is cured. The "recovery" of those suffering from mental illness is often regressive. Normal life changes, such as a death in the family, can undermine the progress of a mentally ill person who has been "well" for years.
This coupled with their vulnerability to forensic involvement, homelessness, and substance abuse makes it very difficult for this population to flourish as many of them certainly can.
Associates I work with on a daily basis want to be productive. Those who have made it to our program are interested in taking control of their illness and moving on in spite of it.
They need support to reach their goals. Taxpayers should view these people as an investment in the future of our society, just as they would view the cost of a child's education as an investment.
After all, who would dare put a price on a human life?
Israel has given much and gotten no peace
The March 5 editorial, "Campaign of terror against peace," would only be true if Israel had a "partner" in peace on which it could rely.
Surely everyone must realize by now that Israel is bargaining on a one-way street.
Israel has given much and promised more for peace and has yet to receive anything in return.
If Yasser Arafat is indeed the duly elected president of the PLO, he has not shown any willingness to control his people .
Norman R. Friedman
Pub Date: 3/11/96