Americans are losing their moral fiber
On Nov. 19, a 16-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency, Harold J. Nicholson, was charged with espionage. The station chief was selling top secrets to Russia for money.
Several days later I read that former police officers Gary Bundy and step-son Ian Bundy had been charged with conspiracy in covering up an arson for profit scheme. For what? $5,000.
I am greatly concerned with ethics in our country today. Why is it that it seems like every time I open up the newspaper, I am seeing people doing everything for money and not for the good of the country, themselves or for the good of other people.
All we seem to look at today is the bottom line: how much money is it going to make?
We, as Americans, must take a look at our diminishing moral fiber.
Right turn on red law puts drivers in reverse
Gene Deyette wrote on Dec. 16 about the safety problem involved in making right turns on red lights and a personal decision not to do so anymore. I'd like to add another problem that may be increasing due to the right turn on red law -- running red lights.
It stands to reason, if red doesn't really mean stop any more then amber doesn't really mean slow down. When the lawmakers decided to save 30 seconds by allowing right turns on red, they forgot about the human mind. Many of us, on routine routes, drive on automatic pilot while listening to radios or talking on cellular phones or solving our problems.
Several months ago, I was driving home late at night after a meeting. I stopped at a red light. There was no traffic at all, and my mind was still on the meeting. I started forward and barely into the intersection I stopped dead and then quickly reversed. I couldn't believe what I almost did, make a turn on red to the left.
I knew exactly what had happened. On automatic pilot, my mind observed: red light, no traffic, OK to go. As reality clicked it registered that I was going in the wrong direction. I wonder how many readers have experienced similar situations because of the erosion of the basic principle that only green means go.
In my opinion this right turn on red law should be repealed. The new idea to ticket red light runners via camera shots will not touch the basic problem, that red as well as green now means go.
Why advertise the next census?
A Dec. 17 news item said the Census Bureau is going to spend $100 million of our money to advertise the census in 2000.
The article went on to state that in 1990 the bureau used public service advertising and counted about 98 percent of the population. In my mind, 98 percent is a pretty good return for free advertising.
The bureau will never get 100 percent of the population counted, so let's stay with the free public advertising and use the money saved for a sensible purchase.
Bernard L. Wehage
Park School program trains new teachers
As a teacher-educator and as a grandparent of a Park School student, I am prompted to comment on your Dec. 8 article regarding the Park School teacher-training program.
I can only hope that these novice teachers are aware that their teaching experience is taking place in a setting not easily replicated in the public sector.
The Park School's philosophy and methodologies, along with an atmosphere of caring and true respect for children, expose these trainees to what education is supposed to be.
Perhaps the internship experience will enable these trainees to become advocates of the Park School's tenets wherever their teaching careers take them, thereby providing a meaningful education for many more children.
Lucille R. Nass
We're protecting, not harassing city horses
Since Scott Bullock (Perspective, Dec. 15) does not care to know anything about the history of cruelty to city arabbers' horses in the last three years and since there was no search for information which would disturb his predetermined conclusions, he knows very little of the principle of justice about which he writes.
His charge of "constant harassment" of the arabbers connotes an unjustified activity with malicious purposes.
Our concern for the welfare of the horses is totally justified, and we have neither violated any laws nor have we created any of the recent tragedies.
On the contrary, it was the arabbers who allowed five horses to freeze and starve in a stable in East Baltimore, resulting in the deaths of two of them. The dedicated actions of one of our associates is the only reason any of those horses are still alive.
It was the arabbers who allowed two of their stables to fall into such disrepair (including horses continuously standing in water) that they were shut down by city inspectors. One of those stables is permanently closed.
It was an arabber who ran a pony at high speed through rush hour traffic in the central business district, forcing it to crash.
Due to exhaustion and a broken leg, the pony was euthanized after lying in the street for five or six hours.
It is the arabbers who have consistently failed to provide adequate hoof care, sometimes for as long as 12 to 18 months, when the regulation requires every six to eight weeks.
It was the arabbers who illegally moved horses when concerns were raised about the waterfall rushing through their stable roof.
It was an arabber who failed to prevent another horse from bolting through rush hour traffic in the central business district in May of 1996.
It was an arabber who was caught riding a horse with leg injuries so severe it had to be euthanized that same day.
It was the arabbers who were caught driving two carts in the summer heat (over the legal temperature limit).
It was the arabbers who failed to provide medical care for VTC seriously injured mule for almost two months; the mule died of "unknown" causes.
We have been waiting for "reasonable regulation of the horses and stables" for over 18 months. We would applaud it.
If raising concerns over these problems constitutes harassment, then I guess we're guilty. But the last time I looked, this was known as responsible community activism.
Mark E. Rifkin
The writer is a member of the Maryland Horse Protection Coalition.
Pub Date: 12/24/96