Bentley's agenda on immigration
Helen Bentley's opposition to a proposal that would allow people with AIDS to enter the United States (Other Voices, Feb. 12) reminds me of a saying: "There is a truth in the brutal simplicities of the merciless which the more complicated truth of the merciful is helpless to refute."
Congresswoman Bentley says she voted against the new immigration bill because it would no longer stop people with AIDS from receiving visas to enter the United States. This, she believes, could create a great strain on our nation's health system.
It is unlikely that AIDS-infected people in need of expensive medical attention will flock to the United States for free care. Federal law limits Medicaid coverage for immigrants to emergency care only for five years (though states can supplement this coverage). Such limited protection would be of little help to those dying from a slow, debilitating disease like AIDS.
But if Bentley's concern is the cost to our nation's health system, why not exclude smokers? The costs of smoking and smoking-related illness is over $60 billion a year in the United States, an intimidating number compared to the $.002 billion Maryland medical assistance spent on AIDS inpatient care last year, according to Bentley.
I do not want to suggest that Bentley's "health defense" is a smoke screen for something else; I'll let her own words do that.
Now that the legislature has been formally presented with the governor's request for adoption of the Linowes Commission's tax proposals, I'm hoping that attention finally will be given to the myth about property tax reductions.
I climb the walls every time I hear an advocate of a Linowes tax proposal (including your newspaper) give knee-jerk publicity to the anticipated property tax cuts. For example, on WJZ, Sunday, Feb. 10, [City Council President] Mary Pat Clarke gushed over a proposed "mandated 58-cent tax rate cut" for Baltimore city.
She completely failed to mention that this cut in the tax rate, which is less than 10 percent, is to be accompanied by a 150 percent increase in assessment to which it would be applied! Actually, the city rate must be cut to $2.38 per $100 if full-value assessment is adopted, and the intent is to keep real property tax the same as is presently billed.
I suggest that property owners start yelling before we're hurt!
M. O. Robinson
The murder rate is up; reading scores are down, and many groups work tirelessly to make a positive difference. With your ever-shrinking local news hole, you chose to report a private comment made by the governor to several legislators?
Tsk, tsk, tsk. Scandal over substance, profits over people. What have we become?
Anthony J. Ambridge
P The writer represents the 2nd District in the City Council.
Where are cures?
Those who do not hesitate to vivisect do not hesitate to lie about it. Elise T. Chisolm's article, "The low cost of research," clearly shows lack of respect for the public's need to know facts. Using sweeping generalizations to give credit to animal researchers, Ms. Chisolm manages to twist and distort medical history.
In contrast, animal rightists and anti-vivisectionists want the truth out, and that's an enormous advantage. It's the vivisectors who want secrecy; who hire lobbyists and public relations firms; who barricade themselves in their laboratories.
Inevitably, the tortures society permits to be inflicted upon animals fall back upon society itself. Drugs and vaccines tested on animals produce unforeseen maladies in humans. Chemicals polluting our world, all originally tested on animals, now are causing cancers and leukemia. Degenerative diseases such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes are occurring in record numbers. Billions of dollars and millions of animals are consumed by the vivisection industry each year. If animal research is so wonderful, where are all the cures?
Bush: Half right
President Bush proposed in his recent State of the Union address that terms be limited for both houses of Congress. The president also wants political action committees (PACs) discontinued because he feels that they purchase elected officials.
While Bush is wrong on limiting terms we need experienced congresspersons he's half right on his elimination of PACs. PACs are for the most part corrupting elected officials. PACs must be ++ controlled or eliminated. The problem is that Republican candidates have money and they have friends in business the press, television, industry, banks, manufacturing, defense, etc. The Democratic Party does not have that many wealthy and influential constituents.
Somehow Congress must pass a bill giving the FCC power to demand free public election service time for viable Democratic and Republican candiates who run for office. Most PAC money is used to pay the media, and this is wrong.
Herbert J. Scism
I just finished reading the Jan. 21 article, "County planning board acts to preserve symbol of Kingsville."
It seems that many of the residents of Kingsville decided they preferred the clear view of a 60-year-old farm house from Belair Road to the idea of having newer homes built in front of the old house. I understand how the residents might feel, but I think this ruling sets a dangerous precedent. Developers build houses for people who need houses. They should be treated fairly.
Somewhere along the way we lost sight of the fact that ownership of the land should enable someone to be able to build a house, or houses, within the zoning regulations of the community. New houses are not an eyesore, and I feel that the Baltimore County Planning Board is wrong in its decision.
The preservation busybodies who went around collecting letters did not own the land in question. Neither did the owner of the farmhouse. Denying the developer building sites on his own land, simply because they might block the view of the farmhouse to passing motorists, seems to me to violate the Maryland Constitution which prohibits the taking of land without just compensation.
Incidently, I live in a beautiful 80-year-old Victorian farmhouse I wouldn't trade for several new houses. However, if we sell the land around our farmhouse, we cannot expect the land to remain vacant.
J. Douglas Parran
Iraq has deployed thousands of land mines that may contain chemical arms. To reduce U.S. casualties, we should use tactical nuclear weapons that cause destruction over a limited area. A conventional type of invasion would cost the lives of too many American soldiers.
Report card time
We applaud the article, "Educators think child abuse increases at report card time and act to stop it," which appeared in the Accent Section of The Evening Sun on Feb. 5. Phyllis Brill handled a difficult topic with sensitivity. We have been pleased to note that since the article appeared, many parents and children have come forward to seek help with school-related stress.
However, some information that appeared in the article regarding the sponsorship and the goals of the Public Education Task Force to Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect, requires clarification. The Public Education Task Force was organized two years ago under the auspices of the Maryland Department of Human Resources and continues to operate under that department. The mission of the task force is to raise public awareness concerning all aspects of child maltreatment. The report card insert project, referred to in the article, is one of its many initiatives.
The task force received funding from the Children's Trust Fund to defray the cost of this particular project.
The writers are co-chairs of the Public Education Task Force to 1/2 Prevent Child Abuse and Neglect.
License to kill
Two bills that faced the legislature [this session] defy the Fifth Commandment. Both give a license to kill. The bill which made abortion legal and the bill which would exonerate battered women who kill their husbands send the message that we have a right to decide who lives or who dies.
It is shocking that human life seems to be becoming meaningless. It is surprising that we do not hear more religious leaders speaking against this sort of legislation, and those who enable the enactment of such bills.