- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 12, 2000

Liberal Maryland is just jealous of conservative Virginia

As a member of a Maryland family dating back to before Parris N. Glendening socialism, I feel qualified to apologize to Alexandria resident Chip Drury on behalf of all Marylanders who are embarrassed by our current government. Mr. Drury's March 31 letter, "Maryland lawmakers' arguments, concerns all wet," questioned the pettiness of Maryland's denial of Fairfax County's request to extend its water-intake pipe from the edge to the center of the Potomac River.

Mr. Drury, I will assure you that environmental concerns have nothing to do with Maryland's refusal, but a form of pecuniary envy does. Maryland is a predominately liberal, Democratic, "tree hugging" state that never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity. Virginia, on the other hand, is a predominately conservative, Republican, pro-business state that never misses an opportunity, period.

For the past 20 years, Maryland and the District, which is on former Maryland soil and mirrors that state politically, have consistently lost market share to Virginia in just about everything. Even Montgomery County, which used to pride itself on its business class, was informed that upstarts in Fairfax County were leading the country in median household income because of the preference of high-tech firms and other businesses for Virginia's better roads, schools and taxes.

Thus, while capitalist Virginia is having difficulty keeping up with its dynamic growth, Maryland is forced to beg and pay off major employers, such as Marriott International Inc., to stay on its shores. The numbers for the District have been even worse, but at least the city now has a pro-business mayor.

So what does a proud state do when its philosophy of high taxation, no growth and social engineering gets rejected time and again by so many people and businesses, even from those within the state? I am afraid it gets petty. Not only does it reject building critical roads to alleviate the crisis on the Capital Beltway, but it even finds a rationale to deny children clean drinking water.

What we have here, Mr. Drury, is an example of a neighbor that does not keep its house in good order and is jealous because you folks do. Even a cup of sugar will be too much for you to ask from this government.

Meanwhile, certain Maryland public servants will sit in gridlock someday and perhaps gain some perverse satisfaction from knowing that, even though your state is booming, at least some of you Virginians are thirsty.

JAMES FARR

Chevy Chase

Linda Tripp's privacy and our census questionnaires

In an effort to get everyone to fill out a Census 2000 questionnaire, the Census Bureau wants us to believe what was written in a March 13 letter from the agency director that was included with the census questionnaire that was mailed to my house. It said:

"Your privacy is protected by law (Title 13 of the United States Code), which also requires that you answer these questions. That law ensures that your information is only used for statistical purposes and that no unauthorized person can see your form or find out what you tell us no other government agency, no court of law, NO ONE."

The Department of Justice has decided not to prosecute Defense Department spokesman Kenneth H. Bacon for authorizing the release of information from Linda R. Tripp's personnel file in the Pentagon. So who's going to prosecute a Census Bureau official who might decide to release information from someone's Census 2000 questionnaire?

WILLIAM J. SCANLON JR.

Ellicott City, Md.

Catholic college shouldn't condemn students' anti-abortion parody

Isn't it a shame that the students at Villanova University (and many other Roman Catholic schools) not only have to fight against the pro-abortion culture in our nation, but also have to fight indifference to abortion in their own Catholic university ("Campus newspapers confiscated, returned," March 24)?

Students at the Villanova, Pa., school published a parody advertisement showing a picture of an aborted baby, with the words: "First Union Bank, a proud sponsor of Planned Parenthood and choice. Turn your Catholic cash into blood money." Villanova officials confiscated the papers containing the ad. Barbara Clement, Villanova's assistant vice president for public relations, called the students' pro-life ad against First Union Bank "disgusting."

I find it disgusting that Villanova continues to provide First Union Bank services to its students, generating more money for Planned Parenthood, the largest promoter and performer of abortions in our country.

Planned Parenthood already receives more than $145 million in our tax money and is not a needy charity. Planned Parenthood is not a charity at all, but a profitable business. Its abortions are not done for free, and its profits increase every year.

For example, its 1998-1999 report shows a $125.8 million profit for that time period. Why does First Union Bank contribute to such an unworthy organization?

Why is Mrs. Clement so worried about what this ad shows? Why is she attacking the students who are attempting to show the truth of abortion and Villanova's complicity in funding it? She should be defending these students and the right to life of the innocent unborn.

ANN SCHUTT

Beltsville

The debate over Elian Gonzalez continues

Typically, Marc Levin lays claim to knowing what motivates those liberal minority members of Congress who have spoken out in favor of reuniting Cuban father Juan Miguel Gonzalez with his son, Elian. ("Democrats' love for Fidel," Op-Ed, April 7).

Members of Congress such as Rep. Jose E. Serrano, New York Democrat, and Rep. Maxine Waters, California Democrat, are attempting, Mr. Levin says, "to pit their racial and ethnic groups against the Cuban-American community." Mr. Levin claims that these leaders' failure to support the position taken by those Cuban-Americans who want to keep Elian in the United States shows their "disregard for a highly patriotic and conservative community of color."

Why does Mr. Levin insist on making a racial issue out of an already overly politicized situation? Why is it so hard for Mr. Levin and others to accept the fact that maybe these leaders like a clear majority of Americans across the political and racial spectrum support reuniting father and son simply because it's the right (and lawful) thing to do?

Those members of Congress singled out for criticism by Mr. Levin deserve credit for the pro-family stance they have taken on behalf of Mr. Gonzalez and Elian. What this sad episode has exposed for all to see is the hypocrisy of this country's conservative politicians, whose oft-stated belief in parental rights and family values apparently is a mile wide and an inch deep.

ROGER S. GLASS

Washington

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Not too far from President Clinton's new "home" in New York stands the Statue of Liberty. At the base of this great monument to freedom, graven on a tablet within the pedestal, is the famous poem by Emma Lazarus inviting "huddled masses yearning to breathe free" to find a safe home in America.

One particular line comes alive, reminding us of Elian Gonzalez's voyage: "Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

Sadly, Mr. Clinton has closed the "golden door" on Elian, who lost his mother in tempest-tost seas on Thanksgiving Day. Elian's mother yearned for her son to grow up in freedom, but freedom's flame doesn't hold a flicker to the politics of the Clinton administration.

What to do? Perhaps the answer to the Elian affair rests in Hillary Rodham Clinton's book, in which she says, "It takes a village to raise a child." Because Miami seems to understand the message of Lady Liberty a lot better than Mr. Clinton, I propose we let the village of Miami raise the child, Elian. Far better for Elian to grow up in freedom than to be returned to the tropical gulag his mother sought to flee.

BRIAN J. BERRY

Austin, Texas

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