Standing by husband shows first lady's character,...


Standing by husband shows first lady's character, forgiveness

Hillary Clinton can remain at the side of her husband because she knows something about forgiving ("Lesson from Hillary Clinton is not what girls need," Jan. 15, letters).

Some of us think that the first lady has demonstrated phenomenal resilience and independence. Only those who have undergone a similar experience can appreciate the courage it takes to stand by one whom the world thinks should be abandoned.

Her chosen path is not as pathetic and humiliating as it may appear because it is a path chosen for her by her Creator. And her example does not undermine women's rise to equality, control and respect, but personifies and exemplifies it.

Her so-called loss of integrity and escaped principles is a loss, perceived mainly by those whose feministic cravings for self-worth overshadow the God-given character that the first lady continues to demonstrate.

Grafton K. Gray, Baltimore

Cynthia Helmey believes that Hillary Clinton's standing by her man represents an antiquated female role ("Lesson from Hillary Clinton is not what girls need."

Perhaps Ms. Helmey can't see beyond her disdain for the President. Mrs. Clinton's strength and independence could be the reasons she is able to stay.

Was Eleanor Roosevelt a weakling because she didn't run out the front door the minute she heard of Lucy Mercer? She went on to become the "ambassador to the world."

Annie Wagner, Lutherville

Regarding Cynthia Helmey's letter, I don't think she needs to worry about the message Hillary Clinton is sending to the women of this country.

Most of us are well aware that Mrs. Clinton is standing by her man because of self-interest. Intelligent woman that she is, she knows all the excuses for his behavior are a sham. She has to be as embarrassed as the rest of us that her husband is so selfish and weak that he dishonors his office.

This "resilient, independent woman" still knows what is best for her.

Let's wait and see what she does with her life when this part is behind her.

Anna May Nemec, Baltimore

Does Justice Rehnquist have second thoughts?

It is reasonable to suspect that Supreme Court Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, bad back and all, would prefer to be elsewhere ("Trial is back-breaking for Rehnquist," Jan. 15).

Curiosity compels me to wonder whether Justice Rehnquist is having second thoughts about the Supreme Court's unanimous decision rejecting the request to delay the Paula Jones case until President Clinton leaves office.

George W. Collins, Baltimore

Refreshing to read story on taking chilly plunge

I would like to commend The Sun for its article "Bathers bear cold at charity event" (Jan. 17) on the Special Olympics fund raiser. It was so nice to read a positive news story in this day and age of scandal, violence and selfishness.

As a longtime admirer of the Maryland State Police and Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, my hat is off to them for this event.

One can understand why Ms. Townsend was at the plunge. She is interested in law and order, and her aunt is involved with the Special Olympics, but she was a real trouper for going in. Bravo!

Patricia Murray, Street

Senator didn't pull rank on freshman colleague

The article "Mikulski bumps Senate freshman to obtain seat next to Sarbanes" (Jan. 20) discussed my desk assignment in the U.S. Senate chamber. The article suggested, erroneously and hurtfully, that I used my "rank" and "privileges" to purposely deny my newly elected colleague from Indiana, Evan Bayh, the desk once used by his esteemed father, former Sen. Birch Bayh.

Nothing could be further from the truth, and I would like to set the record straight. When I was offered the location, I was not informed of the historic connection between the desk and Senator Bayh. Seat locations are reassigned every two years based on seniority. As a third-term senator, I followed Senate tradition by moving closer to the well and closer to the center aisle.

According to Senate procedures, a distinction exists between desks and their locations. I am assured that when Sen. Bayh's permanent location is chosen, his father's desk will rightfully be moved there.

On a day filled with the history and public importance of the State of the Union address, I spoke to your reporter about the central issues of keeping Social Security solvent, increasing after-school care and educational opportunity and keeping our economy growing. I also announced a major long-term care initiative that will affect the approximately 200,000 Marylanders who are federal employees.

None of that was reported. I find it disturbing that where someone sits was treated as more newsworthy than where we stand on critical issues that will affect every family in Maryland.

U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, Washington

I was surprised to read in The Sun a story stating that Sen. Barbara Mikulski "unceremoniously dumped" me from the U.S. Senate desk once used by my father. I was surprised because that is not at all my understanding of the events.

Senator Mikulski followed the long-established custom in choosing her new place on the Senate floor -- the same practice used by my father years ago. She has at all times been courteous and kind toward me.

I am pleased to report that I will once again have use of my father's desk once it is relocated to my permanent location on the Senate floor in the next few weeks. I look forward to serving from it, with my friend Senator Mikulski, for many years.

U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh, Washington

Preservation a greater gift than unyielding highway

The outcome of the bog turtles vs. bypass controversy could make Hampstead an example for the country, in one of two ways. Hampstead could be viewed as an intelligent, open-minded community that allowed adjustments to a bypass to allow one more creature to live. Or, it could be viewed as a community that allowed a concrete slab to pave over one species' best hopes for survival.

Is the destruction of a species really justified for the greater convenience of a few thousand drivers a day (16,000 motorists, compared with the estimated 10,000 turtles that make up an entire species)?

I feel that officials are closed-minded to the fact that preserving nature is a far greater gift to give a community, the world and our children than a piece of concrete that will be more of an eyesore than a convenience.

Steven J. Crowther, Westminster

Our freedom of choice includes mass transit option

Why are conservatives never in favor of conserving anything? I speak of the harangue against "smart growth" by Bill Thompson in his Opinion Commentary article ("Nothing 'reasonable' about 'smart growth,' " Jan. 15).

It is dismaying that Mr. Thompson casts the debate on runaway suburban sprawl as a conservative-liberal, Democrat-Republican issue. I certainly don't consider stupid growth as purely the fault of Republican conservatives.

Democratic Rep. Robert Byrd of West Virginia and Republican Rep. Bud Shuster of Pennsylvania both see the chief end of man as the paving of West Virginia.

Mr. Thompson is opposed to "the federal bureaucracy's reach into local communities by using federal subsidies to influence previously local decisions in matters such as land use and transportation planning." However, he touts "the federal government's traditional role of financing highway construction." Sounds like he's arguing with himself.

Mr. Thompson should take heart that "forcing Americans out of their private automobiles and onto mass transit systems" might be thwarted by the Procrustean bed of single-use zoning ordinances.

Conservatives want Americans to be free to make choices and keep more of their paychecks. Why does that not include my preference for mass transit?

Paul R. Schlitz Jr., Baltimore

To our readers

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Pub Date: 1/22/99

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