Editor: I am incredulous at the Bush administration's lack of understanding, even in the face of the graphic demonstration which Saddam Hussein has provided us, that energy conservation is a desperate necessity.
I take it as a slap in the face to those, like me, who believe we are fighting a just war against a murderous tyrant.
Where do murderous tyrants in the Middle East come from? We create them through the economic and political power of oil. Saddam has money to outfit huge armies because we'll give him lots of money for his oil. He has chemical, biological and nuclear capabilities because the Germans and French, like us, were eager to reduce their oil-generated trade deficits by selling weapons and exotic technologies to the highest bidder. He has huge stockpiles of Soviet armaments because of oil. He has terrorist cohorts because we dare not a offend Arab supporters of terrorism who also happen to control our oil supply. He has a reason to invade Kuwait because the oil underneath the real estate in question is so valuable.
And he has support from the poverty-stricken masses throughout the Arab world because of their disgust with the opulent lifestyle we provide the oil sheiks.
And then there are the issues that are even larger than our problems with Mr. Hussein:
What about the damage to the global environment caused by our enormous rate of combustion of fossil fuels, which at the least will cost us huge amounts to repair in the future?
Then add the fact that the world has only a few more decades of oil reserves left, at our present rate of consumption, before we simply run out of it. Shall we wait until that happens before preparing for the eventuality?
Petroleum is addictive, and our society is seriously addicted. This addiction creates and exacerbates situations which are detrimental to our well-being. There is no substitute for energy conservation.
We need it, we need it badly, and we need it now.
Editor: I have one question for those people who are screaming for peace now. Can you say that in your heart you can believe that you would ever feel safe going to bed at night without wondering who would be bombed next? If a power-crazed Saddam Hussein thought the whole world was afraid of him, who or where would be next? Don't be so sure it would never be the United States.
I hate this war with every fiber of my being, but feel it is a necessary evil. While everyone else was working hard for peace, Hussein was digging in deeper and deeper. It happened with Hitler.
I thank God every night there have always been brave men and women willing to fight for my Freedom and your right to demonstrate. How long do you think you would last in any other country. I always heard empty kettles make the most noise. How true!
Editor: A recent Sunday Sun article by Peter Stone states that the U.S. Treasury Department plans to give banks broad new powers including interstate banking and entry into the securities and insurance businesses.
These proposals are alarming. It makes one wonder about the integrity or sanity of those who propose them.
Why create new "mixed breeds" of banks, assuming they are the answer? This could easily lead to more looting.
We had banking safeguards but they were not adequately implemented. When auditors reported impending trouble, the reports were shelved.
We will long be paying billions for past dereliction of duty. We must not repeat this by creating a new can of worms in banking.
&Martin; Lindsay Cardwell Sr.
Editor: You recently reported on a physicist who was impressed by "the great equipment we developed that the Japanese had nothing to do with." (Weapon Wizardry," Jan.24). For the billions of dollars this country has invested in military R&D;, we should expect accuracy in weapons systems, not be astonished by it. Japanese technologies are designed for a different kind of war -- an economic one. And they're winning it.
Edward P. Duggan.
Editor: Abortion advocates have been telling the public that parental notification would cause "self-induced abortion, illegal abortions, suicide (and other) tragic scenarios."
A parental consent (not notification) law took effect in Minnesota in 1980. The results by 1984 had been a 20.9 percent drop in teenage pregnancies and a 32.2 percent drop in the number of abortions. The tragic scenarios just have not happened.
Obviously children are encouraged to be more responsible when they are held accountable for their actions. Unrestricted abortion is not an act of "unselfish love" as proponents claim it to be.
Shortness of Sight
Editor: While Barry Rascovar is recognized as an expert on the Annapolis political scene, his opinions on how to cut the budget is at best short-sighted ("Saving $185 Million," Feb. 10).
Of the initial 12 projects recommended for cutbacks, nine represent higher education. Quite a contradiction from the strong language generated in the past on the Opinion * Commentary page stating that higher education should receive additional funding to strengthen academic programs and take a larger role in economic development.
Let me set the record straight on Mr. Rascovar's comment, "let's wait till after the recession to build President H. Mebane Turner another academic monument." Since the University of Baltimore became a public institution in 1975, one building has been erected on campus -- the Law Center. One new building in 15 years can hardly qualify an institution's president as a builder of monuments.
The School of Business building has been placed in the governor's capital budget for several important reasons: The Robert G. Merrick School of Business has made excellent progress in recent years including the attainment of national accreditation by the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business.
The Greater Baltimore Committee, state legislature, University of Maryland System Board of Regents and The Sun are all on record supporting the need for sophisticated business education the fields of management information systems, accounting and international business.
The campus is woefully short of classroom space for its academic programs. Classes are scheduled from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. and no space is available for additional offerings at 5:30 p.m. Space is currently being rented in other area buildings.
Enrollments at the University of Baltimore are up 15 percent, more than 700 students, over the last three years, thus exacerbating the space problem for students and faculty.
While most of the state is caught up in the economic downturn, the University of Maryland System remains healthy. Enrollments are up, as are SAT scores, and each campus and center continues to pursue excellence within its prescribed mission.
The system is also taking its fair share of the cuts due to a reduction in state funds. The budget for fiscal year 1992, beginning next July 1, will be at least $60 million less than it was on July 1 of 1990.
All of us understand that higher education cannot be excluded from the budget ax. If the projects outlined by Mr. Rascovar are delayed, we will accept the decision of the General Assembly and move on.
What is disturbing is Mr. Rascovar's inconsistency in pointing out the deficiencies of public higher education on the one hand and then brazenly dismissing needed physical improvements on the other. These remarks would be easily dismissed were it not for the newspaper's unique power of persuasion.
The writer is a vice president at the University of Baltimore.