- The Washington Times - Friday, June 20, 2003

The necessary resignation of Montgomery County Police Chief Charles A. Moose contains lessons for police officials across the nation (“Moose opts for personal gain over public service,” Metropolitan life, yesterday). A book (or other media) opportunity realized as a direct result of one’s official position of public trust creates an obvious conflict of interest.

The impression has been created that self-interest gain takes precedence over selfless service for the greater public good. Chief Moose should have anticipated what the resultant clamor would be. No police chief who is constantly in the political spotlight due to the very nature of that leadership position can effectively function in such a climate. Perceptions and impressions are of the utmost importance in any such public service leadership position.

Such deals among top officials will do nothing to improve the morale and the public’s perception of those police officers who still care enough to serve and protect.

JOE HAMMELL

Waynesboro, Pa.

Adrienne T. Washington’s column condemning Police Chief Charles A. Moose’s book deal is totally unacceptable to any level-headed person who lives in Montgomery County (“Moose opts for personal gain over public service,” yesterday).

I, as Ms. Washington put it, would “bet the rent” that virtually anyone in our county would trade a $161,000-a-year civil servant job to make more than $1 million in royalties from a book that the community not only wants, but might need, to heal the wounds from last year’s sniper attacks.

The chief did his job at the time, and very well, as everyone agrees. That County Executive Douglas Duncan tried to make the chief’s book and his job both exist is only a testament to Mr. Duncan’s loyalty and his ethical nature.

I have serious problems with Ms. Washington’s snide tone toward the chief and his wife, whom she insists upon calling “Mrs.” I expect more out of The Washington Times, and am appalled by the manner in which the chief, a hero, and his wife were depicted.

TOM DEVOR

Former candidate for state Senate

Maryland District 16

Bethesda

The path less traveled

I am writing in response to Suzanne Fields’ Op-Ed column (“The joys of full-time motherhood,” Thursday). My wife left her career to raise our children. She was a “victim” of the feminist dogma that the only real choice was a career, which made her feel guilty for choosing motherhood and working at home.

Choosing to complete a pregnancy and to raise your own children is a much harder road to travel.

I think my wife will have more to show for her efforts. A real “super woman.”

JIM THOMPSON

Charlotte, N.C.

This letter is in response to Suzanne Fields’ column trumpeting the small decrease in the percentage of working mothers (“The joys of full-time motherhood,” Thursday). Few working mothers are “Dowdies,” or hysterical ultra-feminist shills who idolize the National Organization for Women and NARAL Pro-Choice America.

I know the anti-working-mother shills don’t like to hear this, but we working mothers do love, care for, protect, defend and nurture our children. We do care about their well-being. We don’t just hand them over to strangers during the day. And, however numbers may fluctuate, working mothers are here to stay. No amount of whining, harping or cheering over the next latest study that shows pro or con will change that.

KATHRYN CALIANDO

Bowie

Clubbing seals

Sending money to a U.S. humane society is not a logical way to end the Canadian seal slaughter (“Clubbing of seals lands Canadians back in hot water,” Page 1, Wednesday). Yet, readers might ask what it will take to end the carnage, which is more widespread now than ever before.

Most North Americans abhor the hunt, which is the biggest commercial slaughter of free-living animals in the world: 84,565 Canadian seal skins were exported in 2002, not to mention the countless seals that die in illegal hunts. Families with their babies are chased and terrified, clubbed and shot, skinned sometimes while they still live. It is an extraordinarily violent practice. There is no defense for it, but there is an explanation.

Federal law permits the hunt, and eight federal politicians win precious seats in the small region where it occurs. Rather than try to find real solutions to the economic woes of that part of Atlantic Canada, they give them the seals, as though seals were merely renewable resources and as though sacrificing them will cure the problem.

But the politicians cannot wash their hands of the economic problem any more than they can wash them of the blood. Until the federal government stops looking for scapegoats for problems of its own creation, Canadian tax dollars will continue to facilitate widespread suffering, and blood will continue to flood Canadian ice floes, spring after spring, until the seals go the way of the cod before them.

PRISCILLA FERAL

President

Friends of Animals

Darien, Conn.

Playing with toy guns

I found the article, “Annapolis lawmaker puts toy guns in cross hairs” (Page 1, Wednesday), to be extremely entertaining. Alderwoman Cynthia A. Carter, a Democrat, wants to enact a law to ban most toy guns in Annapolis and fine the parents whose children are caught playing with the toys outdoors. This is just plain silly and foolish, about as silly and foolish as her 2000 toy gun buy-back program that yielded a whopping 12 toy guns. (It was doomed to fail — toy-gun hoodlums don’t want to risk being identified and labeled for life. Also, toy-gun-toting punks typically have their tricycle licenses under suspension or revoked and can’t get to the buy-back locations.)

The article states that she speculates that her greatest obstacle will be fathers who encourage their sons to play with guns and take them to target practice. I think that her greatest obstacle will be the common sense and intelligence of her community, both of which are being insulted by her proposal.

I thought that my state had all the kooks.

BRAD HAYASHI

Visalia, Calif.

The proposed law to ban toy guns demonstrates the greatest menace to American society — lawmakers such as Alderwoman Cynthia A. Carter. Instead of a ban on toy guns and fines for parents who let their children play outside with toy guns, let’s ban stupid politicians and fine those lawmakers who propose stupid laws just before they are kicked out of office on their keisters.

Instead of blaming the criminals for their criminal behavior, we blame toy guns or childhood games of cops and robbers. When I was a boy, I loved the game of cowboys and Indians, and since my family is part American Indian, the Indians usually won — big time. It’s time for the Indians, in this case, the would-be prosecuted parents, to stand up.

If the people of Annapolis have half a brain and one eye open, they will get rid of this politician.

JESS LEEPER

Gilliam, Mo.

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