Editor: Tim Baker's observation that the Traditional Acupuncture Institute (TAI) is shaping the future of health care cuts to the essence of TAI's unique standing among the leaders in medical institutions.
TAI is not only unique in its pioneering of acupuncture, but it also stands apart from other acupuncture training programs as well.
When the Chinese Communists came to power this century, they abandoned the ancient poetic grace of traditional acupuncture and created a scientific model of acupuncture that would be more palatable to Western physicians.
In doing so they lost the soul of acupuncture, its unique view of the human body and how we interact with nature.
Many programs, such as the UCLA program for physicians, teach a type of acupuncture that has been shaped to align with allopathic diagnostic, essentially replacing surgery or medications, but not shifting the fundamental relationship between physician, patient and illness.
While there is nothing wrong with the UCLA training program, it would be a grave misrepresentation to identify modern acupuncture or "physician acupuncture" as the same as the revolutionary distinctions and treatment which make up Traditional Acupuncture.
The writer is a senior at the Traditional Acupuncture Institute.
Editor: After reading your Dec. 17 editorial, "Fanning the Flames in Croatia," I came to the conclusion that you would rather support a communist state than democratically elected independent republics trying to escape the bonds of repression. Just like the U.S.S.R.
If the United States and France had wanted to prevent a civil war, all they had to do was to recognize Croatia and Slovenia, and the powerful Serbian dominated army would not have attacked them!
That's all it would have taken. Now there is no Yugoslovia.
Editor: In the Opinion * Commentary page Dec. 20, Carolyn Colvin, secretary of the Department of Human Services, describes the department's plan for restructuring the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program.
I wish her success, but based on past efforts to overhaul this type of assistance, the goal may prove to be more illusory than real.
Ms. Colvin's announcement comes against a dreary backdrop of a reduction in AFDC grants that were already totally inadequate. Aside from the those families living in federally subsidized housing, rental costs are so high that even with food stamps the majority of the recipients often have to live on a starvation diet by the end of the month.
Money for clothing and other necessities becomes an impossible dream. Unless families have basic necessities, it is unlikely they will be particularly receptive to the plan as outlined.
Even under better conditions, it would seem that considerable counseling would be in order. Certainly not every six months when reviews of eligibility are due.
Taking into account that vacancies are frozen because of budgetary restrictions and that workers are over-burdened with emergencies and growing caseloads, is staff available to take on intensive involvement with clients?
Certainly the goal is a laudable one, but proper tools need to be available to attain its achievement.
Time for Forgiveness
Editor: Fifty years after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, many people still have a great hatred for the Japanese.
George Bush, in his speech at the Pearl Harbor anniversary commemoration, called upon the nation "to undo the animosity some Americans feel toward Japan." After reading your article, "A Nation Remembers, and Is Asked to Forgive," I agree that it is time to move past these negative feelings.
We should accept Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa's statement of "deep remorse" for the attack and his apology to "the peoples of the United States, the Pacific and Asia" for the "unbearable damage and sorrow" that Japan has inflicted. Similarly, we must put aside any guilt associated with bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
These images will only divide and separate our two nations. In recent times, Japan has become a world economic power and a major supplier of goods and investment in the United States.
If the United States is to establish a permanent economic recovery, Japan must open its markets to American-made goods.
Before this kind of open relationship between our countries can begin, the hatred stemming form World War II must end.
Editor: Approval by the Chesapeake Bay Critical Area Commission of the administration's plan for North Point State Park could mean yet another nail in the coffin of Chesapeake Bay.
All the major features of the administration's plan were endorsed by the commission, including boat slips, docking facilities, amphitheater, food concession, group picnic areas, and park maintenance/service facilities, all located within the critical area and close to the waterfront buffer.
Especially disturbing is the commission's approval of boat slips and docking facilities, despite vigorous public protest and extensive expert testimony on the unsuitability of the selected site. These facilities not only penetrate the buffer, but require dredging in the bay itself, an intrusion that seems unjustified by the stated purpose.
It is dismaying to learn that the commission lacked the backbone to stand up to the administration, even on this fundamental issue directly effecting the bay, but instead essentially rubber-stamped the administration plan.
Sadly, the lopsided 16-1 vote approving the plan probably indicates how far we are from a state government which shows by meaningful actions, as well as words, that a healthy Chesapeake Bay is an important priority for the future of this state and this region.
The fate of Chesapeake Bay is being determined by thousands of small but important decisions throughout the watershed, and will not be reversed as long as we continue on the present path of business as usual.
R. O. Schurmann.
The writer is president of the Chesapeake Audubon Society.
Editor: I take strong exception to columnist Ben Wattenberg, when he writes: "Jobs are mostly churning, not evaporating."
I believe the consensus is that jobs now being eliminated by IBM, GM and others are gone forever.