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Mail Call

March 02, 1999

Editor's note - Please be as brief as possible when calling Mail Call, The Daily Mail's reader call-in line.

Mail Call is not staffed on weekends or holidays so it is best to call Mail Call weekdays at 301-791-6236.

Readers are welcome to leave their recorded message on any topic they choose, but some calls are screened out.

Here are some of the calls we have received lately:




"Somebody tell me how it's legal for a company to force its employees to do a direct contribution to the United Way? I don't understand how they can make somebody do that. In order to work for them, you have to give to the United Way through your paycheck - in other words - you pay before you get your check. If you don't, you don't get the job. Now other charities are starting to suffer because of it. It's been going on for years. I'm just curious how it can be legal. And the labor department says there's nothing they can do."

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"Say, if Gov. Glendening wants to raise the cigarette taxes, I'll just take my business to another state, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia. I don't have a problem with that."




"Yeah, how come everybody wants to tax smokers and put more tax on cigarettes? What about the alcoholics and alcohol that people die by every year? Or the pharmaceutical drugs or over the counter drugs or what about drugs? Let's make drugs legal, so we can tax them, too. Why must we always pick on one segment of people? This is getting a little ridiculous. I thought the constitution protected people's rights in one way or another."




"The governor wants to put a one dollar tax on every pack of cigarettes. What's he going to do with that money? He's not going to help people stop smoking. He's not going to help with medical expenses of people with emphysema. He's going to spend that money on pet projects. He wants people to quit smoking, but he's already banking on that money. The governor can't have it both ways. We don't need a cigarette tax, and we don't need one to pay for the governor's pet projects."




"To everyone at the Board of Education: while you are sitting in your nice warm offices, are you thinking about the children at Bester Elementary utterly freezing going through the breezeway that was supposed to be finished in October? Please get it fixed now."




"Jealous, jealous. This is for the individual who talks about sports figures' big money and no high school diploma. Maybe if he had grown up in Brownsville where Mike Tyson grew up, you do not become a Princeton graduate, let alone a high school graduate. Mike Tyson found a way out and became the youngest ever heavyweight champion of the world. He didn't need a diploma for that."




"I have a suggestion for getting rid of the crows out at City Park. Get a couple of fire trucks, go out there with water pressure and knock them out of the trees. This is easier than shooting them or killing them, and it'll run them off. Thank you and have a good day."




"Did you know that Planned Parenthood is taking credit for a decrease in surgical abortions in the United States? That's a particularly odd claim when you consider that the number of abortions performed at Planned Parenthood clinics has actually gone up. Your tax money continues to subsidize the nation's single largest abortion provider. If we want to reduce the number of abortions in America, shut down Planned Parenthood. Why not write your Congressman and demand that Planned Parenthood receive zero dollars in 1999."




"I work at a local retailer and shoplifting is a problem and is disgusting enough. But what is more disgusting was Saturday when the man came in with his son and, together, they stole two things. How nice to bring up your child to steal alongside you. I guess it's his apprenticeship. Shame on you."




"I see that most of the County Commissioners are against an 8 percent pay raise for county employees. I'm not a county employee, but I'm just wondering how they feel about a pay raise for themselves? And if they go on record concerning that. It seems like everybody else thinks it's OK to get a pay raise, but when it comes to somebody else they don't want them to have it."




"Regarding the 8 percent pay raise for county employees. It's the most ridiculous percentage rate I've ever heard of. It is way too much."




"I was watching Channel 11 where they bring in antiques and get them appraised. Why can't somebody in Hagerstown get them to come to Hagerstown Community College and do the same thing? People could come and get their antiques appraised."




"Good morning Mail Call. To the voters of Washington County: Let's let the new County Commissioners do their job. If the voters think they can do a better job, why didn't they run for office in '98? Instead of nitpicking everything they say and do, you could have run, but you all just talked about things you don't understand. Thank you, a Democrat voter."




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