Increasing numbers of women in college should be celebrated
I was appalled to read "Number of men in college declines," (Nov. 15) and discover the excessive energy our college administrators are expending to examine the "declining percentage of male students in higher education."
Nowhere does the article state whether or not the actual numbers of men are declining -- only that female graduates now exceeds male graduates.
Is there something wrong with that? Or do we still live in a backward society where men must maintain power by being the most educated, the most visible and the ones who make the most money?
Is it possible that this increase in the number of women in college means that we just might have to start paying women equal salaries for equal work?
We should be celebrating the increasing number of college graduates, of both sexes -- and congratulating women who overcome gender barriers and social expectations to achieve a college education.
Whatever becomes of the students expelled?
The Sun's article "School crime wanes in city," (Nov. 12) said, "Zero tolerance policy yields declines of as much as 70 percent [in school crime]." It noted that high schools have effectively reduced disruptive behavior -- using suspensions, transfers and expulsion.
The school system deserves recognition for achieving one of its goals, making the schools safer. Yet shouldn't we also look at the transfer, suspension and expulsion rates and obtain information on what is happening to the students who were found to be troublemakers?
Are they receiving an education that enables them to be productive, or are they out on the street?
If they are on the street, is the system creating safer schools at the price of the future of our most troubled students?
Might The Sun follow up with a second article that tells readers what is happening to these students?
Morton J. Baum
Nominee would compromise collective bargaining board
Legislation passed last session by the Maryland General Assembly established a five-member labor relations board to monitor collective bargaining.. At least one of the governor's appointments creates a perception of favoritism and puts the board's integrity in question.
When the man appointed board chairman, James A. Shearer, is collecting a monthly retirement check from AFSCME, one of the existing bargaining agents, with whom should we expect his loyalties to lie?
With the board charged with such important responsibilities as investigating unfair labor practices, monitoring contract negotiations and overseeing union representation elections, its decision-making process must be above reproach.
As a correctional employee and union president, I urge the Maryland Senate to consider the best interests of state workers -- and not rubberstamp this shameful appointment.
Ruth Ann Ogle
The writer is president of the Maryland Classified Employees Association, a rival to AFSCME to represent Maryland's public employees.
Software regulation would crush innovation
An article about the Microsoft antitrust suit quoted unnamed government officials saying they might "have to include clear guidelines on what Microsoft products and services it could build into Windows." ("Prosecutors aim to break Microsoft monopoly," Nov. 10).
This would be the worst possible outcome of the lawsuit.
Equal treatment under the law would mandate that the government define all operating systems, not just Microsoft Windows. But if the government decides what can and cannot go into an operating system, it will crush innovation.
A few years ago, when the lawsuit began, a computer might not have needed a web browser.
Today, when most vendors release software fixes through their web sites, omitting the web browser would be like selling a new car without a spare tire.
Sharing the burdens of world leadership . . .
Bravo to The Sun for its editorial "Changing world needs unchanging U.S. role," (Nov. 10) and for its call for payment of our dues to the United Nations, which are in arrears.
The editorial supports President Clinton's Nov. 8 appeal at Georgetown University that "we meet our obligations to, and through, the United Nations so that we can share the burden of leadership . . ."
Palmer H. Futcher
. . . or are we becoming cop, snooper to the world?
In his Veterans Day address at Arlington National Cemetery, President Clinton hectored us to "remain engaged globally," ("President emphasizes global role for U. S.," Nov. 12). At the same time, the CIA has launched its biggest recruitment drive since the Cold War's end ("CIA recruiting new generation of spies at College Park," Nov. 12).
It looks like America is embarking on a push to be the world cop and snooper. And this country's over-the-top military coupled with over-the-top intelligence creates an awesome power potential.
However, recent opinion polls suggest U.S. citizens are not all that gung ho. The average American wants the country less involved in foreign affairs, not more.
Gov. Bush's record shows he's certainly no dummy
Jacob Weisberg's column "Presidency is not for dummies," (Opinion Commentary, Nov. 14) was a pathetic attempt to discredit Texas Gov. George W. Bush.
The scores on the Scholastic Aptitude Tests that he "wasn't too eager to have published" are in fact pretty decent. They put him in the top 25 percent of college-bound students and they are hardly an indication of being a dummy.
As for his C-average at Yale University, given the enrollment standards of Ivy League universities, any degree from Yale is a noteworthy achievement.
I hope this is the best argument against Mr. Bush's candidacy. If so, we can rest easy knowing that at least one candidate is qualified and able to do the job.
Nonpartisan city elections would generate more interest
Now that the city's election is over, and it's quite obvious that Baltimore will not elect Republicans under any circumstances, it may be a good idea for it to do what other cities in a similar situation do: Hold non-partisan election for city offices.
In such elections, candidates from all parties usually compete in an open primary -- and if no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the votes, the top vote-getters face-off in the general election. This approach has worked well in other cities, such as Atlanta, Boston and San Francisco.
Candidates retain party labels but usually end up facing someone from their own party in the general election, which makes for a tougher race and more voter interest. Under such a format, Martin O'Malley might have won, but probably not with more than 90 percent of the vote.
Having a stronger opponent would make candidates address issues better and would increase voter turnout.