City police lieutenant is mad at media
I am mad as hell and I can't take it any more. But sadly I must.
Racial problems reportedly occurring with the Baltimore police department are greatly exaggerated. Media obsession with treating this issue as a critical and controversial "story" is doing nothing but creating a giant divide between members of this agency.
The fact of the matter is that race is an issue in all of society.
The mission of any police department is to serve and to protect society -- in short, control crime. The Baltimore department is doing just that. There have been many successes in the past two years under Commissioner Thomas C. Frazier, including minority recruitment and increased representation within supervisory and command positions.
The assertions recently made in your paper by Michael Olesker and Peter Hermann that many of the recent command moves were racially motivated is nothing more than a cheap shot made at the expense of the police department in an attempt to create controversy and sell papers.
Was race an issue? Probably, but so what? Was anyone hurt or injured as a result of this "shake-up?" I don't think so.
The bottom line is that the taxpayers of Baltimore deserve the very best this agency can produce. Commissioner Frazier would have been remiss if he did not consider the element of race, or more appropriately the perception of racial equity, in his recent promotions and assignments.
Lt. Carmine R. Baratta Jr.
Rain confirms global warming
This rainy year is a reminder that global warming is with us.
As the atmosphere warms up, more sea water evaporates, rises to higher cooler air, and what goes up comes down again.
Why am I not surprised that in the president's recent speech outlining his priorities the environment wasn't even on the list? The national weather vane twists and turns in the political breezes.
What will the priorities be tomorrow, next week, next year?
War-time internment was discrimination
I whole-heartedly agree with Gregory Kane when he asserts what a wrong-headed, inappropriate and destructive concept "rational discrimination" is: whites taking extra precautions in the name of personal security, when they notice a black man in their vicinity.
But unlike Mr. Kane, I would argue that the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, a precaution taken by whites against certain non-whites in the name of national security, was just another version of "rational discrimination." It was equally wrong-headed, inappropriate and destructive -- just on a larger scale.
I cannot understand Mr. Kane's belief that national security interests make "rational discrimination" justified when personal security interests do not. It does seem strange that the U.S. did not place German-Americans in internment camps during World War II, even though the same national security arguments used to justify detention of Japanese-Americans could certainly have been applied to German-Americans as well.
Would Mr. Kane support the internment of African Americans if the U.S. were at war with Liberia, Zaire or Rwanda?
Julie E. Kraft
Science experiment shown in museum
A footnote to Rob Hiaasen's wonderful Dec. 11 article on the "Johns Hopkins Science Review."
A segment from the review -- in which mouse traps and sugar cubes are used to demonstrate an atomic reaction -- is shown on the TV in the 1950s living room display in the Blaustein City Life Exhibition Center at the City Life Museums.
Among the museums' visitors, the segment is as popular as the better known 1950s television highlights it is shown with, including "Romper Room," a commercial for American Beer and Alan Ameche's winning TD in the "greatest game ever played."
The writer represents the City Life Museums.
Failed thrift directors had responsibility
I was saddened by the article on James L. Fisher (Dec. 15) concerning his odyssey of torture at the hands of the Resolution Trust Corporation. Although it stressed Dr. Fisher's lack of business acumen, I was glad that it did not chastise such a fine and moral man.
The article was very eloquent in discussing Dr. Fisher's sense of honor and loyalty. I had personally seen this throughout my four years at Towson State University.
Dr. Fisher was always accessible to students and provided valuable advice, direction and friendship. He could relate with anyone and was truly concerned with our welfare.
I hope that Dr. Fisher can peacefully close this unhappy chapter in his life and go on to a more happy and prosperous one that he deserves.
Wherever he goes, Dr. Fisher should be remembered for his wonderful achievements at Towson State and the students he befriended. As an educator, he was exceptional; as a friend and confident, he was a blessing.
If I had to describe Dr. Fisher with a minimum of words, I would just say he is a good man.
Marty A. Svert
While I understand the frustration that comes with being prosecuted as a member of a board of directors of a bank or financial institution that failed even though you had no idea of what was taking place, it seems to me that there should also be a sense of responsibility.
If serving on such a board brings perks and status, then a person should either say "No" when asked to serve, or take the responsibility and consequences that such membership involves.
I have just finished reading your Dec. 15 story on James Fisher. I have no sympathy for him.
He was on the board of a financial institution, and he had a duty, an obligation, to the people who had entrusted their life savings to him. He utterly, completely and miserably failed in that obligation.
Mr. Fisher became a rubber stamp for the S&L;'s president. He failed to exercise due diligence, and he is as responsible as anyone else at that bank for its collapse.
If Mr. Fisher were truly an honorable man, he would admit his culpability, and would try to make amends. But no.
He points fingers, and says it wasn't his fault. Others are to blame. Don't blame me.
I have lost all respect for Mr. Fisher. When this matter ended, he celebrated by buying a Porsche. Those who lost the money entrusted to him probably cannot afford a Porsche.
Thanks to Mr. Fisher and all of the others who "weren't at fault," those people probably can't even afford a used Pinto.
Stephen K. Weiner
Pub Date: 12/19/96