1999 is not the end to the...


1999 is not the end to the millennium

I keep seeing references to 1999 as the last year of this century. One such was in the lead editorial in The Sun Jan. 1. But the last year of this century is 2000, not 1999.

We start counting with one, not zero. Thus, the last year of the first decade is 10, not 9.

Similarly, the last year of the first century is 100, not 99. The first year of the second century is 101 and its last year is 200. The last year of the 10th century, or equivalently the first millennium, is 1000, not 999. The first year of the 11th century, or of the second millennium, is 1001.

Continuing, we see that the last year of the 20th century, or of the second millennium, is 2000, not 1999. At the end of the latter year, we have only covered 99 years.

George H. Winslow

Ellicott City

Not one died for Clinton's lies

Lying under oath? Perjury? I think the legal framing of Bill Clinton's lies is irrelevant. When a president speaks to the Americans he serves, he stands in a docket loftier than any court of law. What he tells us should be the truth, no matter whether his hand rests on a Bible, the Constitution or a TV podium.

And if he lies, what then?

First, we ask why. To maintain national security? To stay in power? To skirt constitutional requirements? To advance personal ideology? We know most of our presidents have lied for those reasons and others. Then, we ask the consequences.

Ronald Reagan lied to us and Congress, and thousands died in Central America as a consequence. For years, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon lied to us and the consequence was 50,000 Americans and millions of Vietnamese killed.

Who died for Mr. Clinton's lies? Nobody. Perhaps, someday, his marriage. Yet the Republican leadership has effectively terminated the top-level functions of all three branches of our government and spends millions of our tax dollars each day, atop the $60 million already spent by Kenneth Starr to rub the president's nose in his sin.

The voters will remember this travesty.

Al McKegg

West Friendship

Lies, spin and rationalization

When President Clinton made his famous finger-pointing statement, he could have responded in one of three ways: "No comment," admit to the affair, or deny the affair. He decided to deny the affair and his lie was directed at the American people. This act made it the business of every citizen of our country. This alone is cause for dismissal from office.

I read, hear and see his supporters (mostly liberal Democrats) say his actions are unacceptable, inexcusable, dishonorable, untruthful, outrageous, disgusting, etc. Without hesitation, they rationalize the above descriptions. The American people should listen carefully and analyze these spin masters.

How do you accept the unacceptable? How do you excuse the inexcusable? How do you honor a man who is dishonorable?

When his supporters say we must move on to more important issues such as education, where was the president the last six years. Where was the governor of Maryland and the mayor of Baltimore? Statistics show that in Baltimore, 67 percent of students don't graduate, 82 percent failed the national math exam, 64 percent read below grade level and our country ranks last in education among industrial nations. For a long time, lies, spin and rationalization have been the procedure of the Clinton administration.

David A. Dilegge

Ellicott City

The definition of a hypocrite

I don't like a hypocrite, and I don't like Gov. Parris N. Glendening. In a letter by Mr. Glendening in The Sun on Jan. 2, titled, "Governor's New Year's resolution for a better society," the governor says he had the honor of standing with President Clinton when he announced programs for the benefit of the homeless.

This is the same President Clinton who the governor criticized during his re-election campaign for his disgusting sexual misdeeds, and who the governor shunned when he appeared at a Montgomery County school, saying he could not explain or justify the president's behavior to his own son.

In the same letter, the governor wrote, "We must respect and rebuke those who seek to divide us by race." This is the same governor who ran scurrilous, untrue television ads castigating his opponent Ellen Sauerbrey as a racist.

Random House defines a hypocrite as "a person who pretends to have morals or principles, etc., he does not actually possess."

That is, unfortunately, our governor.

Donald B. W. Messenger


Liberals are truly the racists

A Jan. 2 front-page article ("Mass. dispute raises race") concerning affirmative action in Massachusetts underlines the liberal view of minorities -- that they can't compete on even ground with the majority.

It's liberal racism, period.

Step away from the emotional knee-jerk reaction and take a logical look at how liberal and conservative thought relates to racial issues.

Proof of motives are in actions, not words or rhetoric. Conservative policies are based on equality of opportunity for all.

Conservatives' basic tenet is that the minority, any minority, is equally talented, motivated and capable as the majority. Without government interference, the smartest and most energetic of all groups will rise to the top of their field.

While liberals are great with rhetoric, the premise of most liberal policies are based on the premise that majority is so superior, the only way for minorities to succeed is with intervention of the majority-run government. This liberal nonsense becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you tell a group of people often enough and loud enough that they cannot do something without assistance, they will believe it.

To liberals, to be a certain race or gender requires that you align with the liberal agenda or you're an "Uncle Tom." It is very sad that Clarence Thomas and Colin Powell, two men who both rose to the very highest level in their chosen career, are shunned by their own race because they dared to achieve.

Conservatives, not liberals, have supported policies toward building a color-blind and gender-blind society.

Chris Brun

Ellicott City

Paying tribute to a loving father

Jan. 31 will mark 14 years since my father passed. Isadore Herman Maseritz ("Izzy" or "Maz" to his friends) died in 1985 at 86.

We had a graveside ceremony and dad was not eulogized. However, these 14 years have given me time to reflect on his life and his legacy to me.

Dad was an orthopedic surgeon who practiced in Baltimore for more than 35 years. He was a talented man who pioneered certain advancements in orthopedic medicine.

He was an artist, painting portraits, first in charcoal and later in pastel. I was fortunate to preserve dad's pastel painting of my grandfather, Louis Maseritz, a gentle and quiet man whose qualities are reflected in the portrait.

My mother was hospitalized for a year in the mid-1940s and my father, in his loneliness, began to build an O-gauge model railroad using blocks of wood to create buildings and miniature bricks to build a train station.

Upon completion, the model was displayed at the Peale Museum in Baltimore and a pictorial panorama of the railroad was featured in the window of the Enoch Pratt Library. I have begun a search for his artistic creation that was his gift to me. We lost trace of the railroad in 1950 when he donated it to the Boy Scouts.

I often think about dad these days: his absolute devotion to mom, his love and generosity, his humor, his tolerance. He was a good man.

Guy B. Maseritz


Shop-worn excuses for school failures

Mike Bowler's comments concerning reconstitution are interesting (Dec. 30).

He writes that having the state take over some failing schools would be a "fascinating experiment. Could the state do any better than the city?"

We'll probably never find out. Sooner or later, by process of elimination, parents -- not money, teachers, curricula or gimmicks -- will be found as the main cause for a lack of learning.

Of course, Mr. Bowler has to return to the shop-worn excuses which he and others have spouted for decades, such as teachers are not property trained. Given a reasonable amount of support, teachers are not the problem.

He also states that "teachers often are assigned on the basis of convenience or the need to cover classrooms; many are not prepared to teach effectively."

That is the exception, not the rule. And the phrase "are assigned" never names names; it is just the system that is at fault.

R. D. Bush


To letter writers Readers are encouraged to write to Letters to the Editor, The Sun, 5570 Sterrett Place, Suite 300, Columbia 21044, or fax letters to us at 410-715-2816. Please include your telephone number, which we won't publish, so we can verify all letters.

Pub Date: 1/10/99

Copyright © 2020, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad