Impeachment drive a GOP grab for power...


Impeachment drive a GOP grab for power voters wouldn't 0) give

In no way do I condone the alleged misconduct of President Clinton, which is a private affair that should be handled by the Clintons themselves.

However, I feel compelled to comment on the elaborate show that unfolded in Washington. This play was written by GOP politicians with only one motivation -- power, the power Republicans could not get from the voters.

Under the cover of patriotic zeal, they ranted and raved about protecting the Constitution and the judicial system. Our Constitution is the strongest in the world. Our judicial system is healthy. Neither needs saving.

Someone in our history once said that "patriotism was the last refuge of the scoundrel." The Republicans are once again

proving this lesson.

The American people are much smarter than politicians in Washington believe them to be. The polls now give the president his highest ratings of any time in his administration. And why? Because he is a consensus builder. He and his advisors consistently try to do the job the American people sent them to Washington to do. And he and his staff appear to be the only

ones working at their jobs.

Larry Dickens

Perry Hall

House Judiciary Committee free to deal with clerkships

The NAACP's allegations that the U.S. Supreme Court is practicing employment discrimination for not hiring more male and female law clerks of color is misplaced.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, prohibits employment discrimination in both the private and public sectors, including the executive and legislative branches of the federal government. However, in the past 34 years, Congress has not made the Civil Rights Act applicable to the federal judiciary.

No wonder the chief justice will not discuss the hiring of law clerks with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Now that the House Judiciary Committee is finished with its old business, maybe it could start on this new business.

Kevin Antoine


The writer is former chief legal analyst for the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts' employee relations office.

Schoettler's review of Frick pointed out his terrible acts

Carl Schoettler's article "Art & Soul" (Dec. 9), in which he reviewed "Henry Clay Frick: an intimate portrait," properly pointed out the "two faces" of Frick. I liked Mr. Schoettler's description of biographer, great-granddaughter Martha Frick Symington Sanger as the "ideal biographer." She is ideal because she sees her relative, I believe, through rose-colored glasses.

As Mr. Schoettler pointed out, Frick was directly responsible for decimating the early steelworkers union. He brutally crushed strikes of steelworkers as well as miners, leading to wide-scale suffering and even deaths of workers and their family members. Aside from the devastation to Johnstown, for which Mr. Schoettler correctly noted Frick may have had culpability, he almost emptied out the town of Homestead after the 1892 strike.

Frick's heirs, unlike the heirs of these hard workers, still benefit from the wealth he gained from the exploitation of those who suffered because of his brutality. How refreshing it would be to learn that an heir of the miners or steelworkers had the resources to put together a $50 opulent and attractive book, suitable for the coffee table and impressing the easily impressed.

Lindsay Schlottman Waite


Jewish elders should resist Christmas-like Hanukkah

Unfortunately, even Shimon Apisdorf, a writer trying to clarify the meaning of Hanukkah, gives his children gifts on Hanukkah. "You don't stand a chance next to Beanie Babies or Tickle Me Elmo," he concedes ("Hanukkah, clarified," Dec. 13). Since when are parents victims of their children's wants?

Giving Hanukkah gifts attempts to equate the holiday with Christmas, and in so doing, sends several messages. First, it implies that it is less important, otherwise one would wonder why Christians don't eat latkes and light candles. Second, it suggests that the focus of both holidays is a materialistic one. Finally, it ironically alters the meaning of Hanukkah, a holiday commemorating refusal to assimilate.

If Jewish parents worry that their children will envy non-Jews, they should tell them that Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ, something Jews don't celebrate. Most important is for children to have a strong sense of identity.

Francine Wein


Educate more pet owners about 'God's creatures'

It is with great sadness that I've read the recent articles of one of society's many preventable tragedies -- unwanted pets and strays, most recently "All God's creatures" (Dec 21).

Although I am well aware of the sad plight of these animals, it is still sickening to be reminded that of the 12,000 live animals received by the city's shelter last year, only 937 were adopted or rescued by animal groups.

People must be educated on the importance of spaying and neutering. I would urge pet owners to explore their options when cost is a factor. They can check local shelters, humane societies and other lower cost facilities. It is possible to spay or neuter a pet for $20 to $30. The more fortunate among us should consider making a charitable contribution to a "no-kill" shelter.

When are we as a society going to realize that the cost of educating pet owners and providing low-cost spay and neuter programs would greatly decrease the need and expense of killing so many of God's creatures?

M. van der Veken


Letter from suburbia insults city residents

Will Anita Heygster please explain why Baltimore is not Pasadena ("Baltimore must try New York approach to control crime," Dec. 19)? Why does she think that because she lives on the other side of a geographic line that she can insult those whose sense of loyalty and perseverance makes them stay?

Also, what does she mean by "low level riot" and "culture of crime"? I doubt there is evidence to show that crime levels in Hamilton or Ashburton differ in more than a degree from levels in Pasadena. When I hear of suburbanites being surprised by crime in their neighborhoods, I say, "You can run, but you can't hide."

Lastly, where does a suburbanite get off criticizing the will of the city residents?

Reading that letter, I felt like a World War II grunt back from Guadalcanal being told by a draft dodger that he did more than soldiers to contain Axis aggression.

Paul O'Brien


We need more than strikes to halt clear, present danger

If what the president says is true about Iraq -- that it presents a "clear and present danger" -- the United States must consider more then "strong and sustained" surgical strikes.

If attacking Iraq is as important as the president wants us to believe, we need a military objective that is more than "containment," but leads to the destruction of Saddam Hussein's military and his leadership control, which can only be done through the deployment of ground forces.

Those of us who remember Lyndon B. Johnson's war in Vietnam remember most that America originally believed that the North could be brought down through "strong and sustained" bombing.

Howard B. Hoffman


Pulling a sleigh is better use for 'Silly Useless Vehicles'

This has just been sent to Santa:

When you have finished your job locally, please take all the SUV's with you to the North Pole. These vehicles can augment your overworked reindeer, maybe replace them.

It is a shame to watch these ever-growing "Silly Useless Vehicles" -- oops, I mean sports utility vehicles -- clogging our roads, usually driven by someone sitting up in the air. They could be put to much better use in deserts, swamps, outbacks, unpaved country, mountain roads and at both poles.

Any consideration you might give this request will make it not only a "Merry Christmas," but also a very "Happy New Year" for the thousands of normal vehicle car drivers who would be able to relax just a little while driving local roads.

Robert F. Kennedy


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