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Israel's SurvivalIt is deeply disturbing to all...

Israel's Survival

It is deeply disturbing to all civilized people, especially Jews, that the most civilized and the only democratic nation in the Middle East has been driven by recent escalation of terror attacks from extreme fundamentalist Hamas and Islamic Jihad to resort to expulsion for two years of those committed feverishly to destroy Israel and to kill Jews.

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Nevertheless, it is important to understand that the anguishing expulsion was a response, not an initiative, by the nation which venerates life, human rights and peace, and even rejects the death penalty (except for a convicted mass murderer like Adolph Eichmann).

Unlike most Palestinians, Hamas and Islamic Jihad are interested not in the national aspirations of the Palestinian people but in the physical destruction of Israel, down to the "last Jew" -- not rhetoric but reality.

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They are not innocent victims of harsh punishment but murderers of Israeli policemen, soldiers and civilians, and terrifiers of children at play. (One of them broke into a children's party wielding a sword with which he killed two and slashed 20.)

They are enemies also of secular Arabs and Arab states which do not expel them, but execute them, as recently in Egypt, whose government imposed the death penalty on anyone belonging to a terrorist organization.

They are the same street gangsters who, in Allah's name, go around killing women suspected of prostitution or anyone who is drunk.

The media seemed quite uninterested in Egypt's quick, final disposal of its enemies. Executions are a one-shot news story that is soon forgotten, while the hardship of expelled terrorists is a continuing story that tugs at heartstrings.

It is not easy to be the only democracy in the Middle East striving simultaneously to pursue justice and to survive. It seeks only the peace it has been denied for 45 years by its neighbors, some of who still fantasize that it can, must and will be annihilated.

Jack L. Levin

Baltimore

Rosewood

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I am writing in response to the news article Jan. 15 concerning the situation of Rosewood.

I do not see the so-called "rivalry" between Sen. Janice Piccinini and Sen. Paula Hollinger as an issue here. Senator Piccinini is the state senator representing District 10. The senator has been working diligently with the state officials and the community of Owings Mills to find an equitable solution to the problems at Rosewood.

The real issue here is a betrayal of public trust by state officials. We, as a community, have not been given the facts about the "new" people at Rosewood in order to take the necessary precautions to protect ourselves and our children.

Potentially dangerous people have been housed at Rosewood for more than 18 months without the knowledge of the surrounding community and without adequate security.

Dr. Lois Meszaros has reported that she had given an option paper to the health and mental hygiene secretary, Nelson Sabatini, but would not reveal its contents. If there are options we deserve to know what they are. Spending taxpayers' money to make Rosewood a makeshift prison is not the answer.

As far as Mr. Sabatini's remarks about our being "a bunch of hysterics," nothing could be farther from the truth. The state is in the wrong here, and we are angry, frustrated and outraged at their behavior.

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Mr. Sabatini is right about one thing -- the rights of these offenders need to be protected, but so do our rights as a community and the rights of the 300 "permanent" residents of Rosewood.

Vicki L. Almond

Owings Mills

No Reason For Iron Leg Traps

It is hard to believe that the iron leg trap is still in use in Maryland.

This is a cruel, painful method of trapping animals and unquestionably causes much suffering and anguish to the animal victim.

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In "Fur trappers now find themselves caught between falling prices and a rising outcry" (The Sun, Jan. 13), reporter Scott Shane quoted trapper Lester Hackler as saying, "It is not always so easy. Some of 'em look up at you with these big eyes, and it makes you feel a little bad."

He was referring to clubbing the animal in the morning after it had sat overnight on the same frozen spot, unable to move with its leg caught in the sharp jaws of the iron leg trap. Some animals have been known to chew off a paw to free themselves.

How can anyone with any regard for the freedom and beauty of America's wildlife mutely accept such a cruel, despicable trapping method? Why hasn't legislation been passed to ban this ugly, appalling, inhumane contraption of misery and pain?

Annie Stein

Baltimore

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May I ask what possessed you to give front page coverage to Scott Shane's article covering the "pioneer" fur trapper Lester Hackler's experiences as a trapper? I have news for Mr. Hackler -- pioneer days are over, and we no longer need fur to keep us warm.

The article was tasteless and cruel. How can Mr. Hackler in good conscience kill these animals for so little money except to inflate his male ego?

My bumper sticker says it all -- "Real men don't need to hunt."

Philippa Whittington

Boring

The Laws of Politics and Science Collide

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I am an anti-environmentalist who firmly believes that the clean air laws are based on butchered science cooked in fear and seasoned with the love of Mother Earth.

The proposed power plant in Western Maryland is an example. The need for jobs in Western Maryland is so great, the construction of the plant was pushed forward by breaking Maryland's own environmental laws and licensing procedures.

The idea of a mine-mouth power plant to revitalize the coal mining region in our state is admirable. This would also apply to the coal mining regions in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky. The idea is not new. It is far cheaper and cleaner to transport electricity than it is to transport coal.

The error was in selecting the wrong kind of plant and in not thinking big enough. The statement that a co-generation plant is more efficient than the utility plant simply is not true.

The Carnot principle, on which the utility plant is based, states that the maximum thermal efficiency of a thermal cycle is based on the starting and stopping temperatures only. Heat losses in the cycle simply mean that the theoretical efficiency can never be reached in practice.

In a co-generator producing electricity and steam, the energy loop is not even closed. The heat losses are so great that the thermal efficiency is equal to the old stoker boilers of the early 1920s. If this were not so, a co-generator in Western Maryland would reduce the cost of electricity, not increase it by 10-20 percent.

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What I suggest is the construction of a power plant similar to Brandon Shores. Environmental laws and licensing procedures need not be waived.

The output from the plant would be strictly for sale to the Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland (PJM) power pool which includes 11 utilities in four states and the District of Columbia.

The interchange of power between these utilities is a daily occurance over high voltage transmission lines. The output from the plant need only to be tied to this high voltage grid.

The construction of this plant should be followed by the construction of a pumped-water storage facility. The level of the artificial lake would rise at night with the use of cheap power, and would fall in the daytime as the cheap power is used for peaking purposes.

The combination of the plant and the pumped-water storage facility would not only supply cheap electricity but would also serve as a recreational area for camping, boating and fishing that could attract thousands of tourists and vacationers.

Laws based on politics can never replace the laws of science. When they do, Maryland has learned, there is a price to pay.

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Martin Sanders

Baltimore

Joint Chiefs

It's about time that the Department of Defense gave a briefing to the Joint Chiefs of Staff on what homosexuality is and is not. Perhaps then they would base their decisions on fact and not on their own bigotry. President Clinton is to be applauded for his humanity.

Barbara Bradley

Baltimore


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