Property limits hark back to fascist era
A 20th century politician, speaking of the rights and responsibilities of property owners, once remarked that the idea of private property represents "the right of the individual to manage and to speculate . . . as he pleased, without regard for the general interests. . . . [This is an] irresponsible view of property. All property is common property."
Sounds like a modern American environmentalist speaking, doesn't it? But it was Ernest Huber, official Nazi party spokesman, who said that in 1933.
Let's stop pretending that environmentalism doesn't grow from the same roots as fascism.
"Once the whole nation has . . . succeeded in grasping the fact that these measures call for a sacrifice on the part of each individual, then they will lead to something far greater . . . the conviction that the 'community of the nation' is . . . vital and living." Substitute "community of the Earth" for "community of the nation" and Hitler's words turn Green.
Maybe that doesn't bother anybody.
The Property Rights Bill is coming up in the House of Delegates in mid-March.
The bill doesn't make the state compensate you when it passes anti-voter, pro-environment laws that sacrifice the money and time you've put into your property.
It just allows the attorney general to "make a note of" the drop in your property values. Fair and just compensation is still in the future.
House Bill 675 prohibits the pretrial release of a person who is charged with another crime of violence while on parole, probation or mandatory release for a crime of violence.
What is significant about this bill is that it protects the rights of potential victims, the innocent citizens going about their everyday business. This bill is about stopping proven criminals from committing repeat violent crimes while awaiting trial.
The choice is clear. The House Judiciary Committee must act in a responsible manner.
Shawnee E. Twardzik
The majority of Americans support President Clinton's efforts to reduce the deficit and implement real change. There is little tolerance outside the Washington Beltway for a business-as-usual gridlock and pork-barrel Congress.
The chances for real economic progress and fundamental change in government, however, depend on two pieces of legislation that should be at the top of the president's list.
Tough campaign finance reform will make it more difficult for elected officials to be bought -- or rented -- by political action committees, lobbyists or others whose interests are often narrow and selfish.
Candidate Clinton promised to support tough reforms, and the American electorate voted for them. It's now up to us to demand that Congress promptly pass an even stronger bill than the one vetoed by President Bush last term.
Secondly, the line-item veto, available to most governors, would allow the president to delete outrageous and expensive boondoggles from critically important legislation.
It also gives legislators political cover because they can show their constituents that they fought hard for some local pet project, like moving the Pentagon to West Virginia, without its costing the rest of us billions of dollars.
And if a president misuses the line-item veto, Congress can always override him.
Without these reforms there is little hope of long-term improvement.
Roger C. Kostmayer
So far I have supported most of President Clinton's decisions since he took office. But his plan to lift the ban preventing foreigners with the AIDS virus from entering the U.S. goes too far.
The idea of our already HIV- and AIDS-laden country welcoming an influx of infected immigrants is ludicrous.
With one out of 200 Americans infected with the AIDS virus, this country has a large enough burden without taking on extra weight.
These are not people with the flu or measles. They have a deadly virus that is extremely expensive at that. The estimated cost of treatment for a single AIDS patient from diagnosis to death is $100,000.
Who is going to foot that health care bill? You and I.
On top of the cost of treating these people would be the cost of their welfare. We are living in a country with an already recklessly abused and exploited welfare system. More unemployed people collecting welfare is not what this country needs to get back on track socially or economically.
In every respect I think this is a bad idea. Give us your tired and your poor -- not your sick. . .
Nicole Le Doux
The Rev. Jesse Jackson recently called for lifting the ban on the people of Haiti and allowing them to come into the country, including those with the HIV virus.
What would happen to them it this were done?
Does Mr. Jackson and those who support his idea have jobs, housing, clothing, money, etc. for these people? Are medical facilities to be provided for the HIV-infected people, and who will pay for them?
What about others aliens, like the Mexicans and South Americans who want to come in also?
Certainly we all sympathize with the plight of the Haitians and other poor and oppressed people. Recently it was reported there are 26.5 million people on food stamps now. More people are losing their jobs. Business and factories are cutting their work forces. Taxes are being raised to pay for many of the programs that are in trouble.
What is needed is a plan for solving our present problems before we create more.
It is all well and good to say we should help those in need. But it should also be said how we will do it. You can only blow so much air in a balloon before it bursts.
We should get our own house in order before we invite guests in.
Philip E. Cvach
Recently you devoted space to our legislators' efforts to purify the Great Seal of Maryland, either by expunging or by reinterpreting the words of the ribbon on the seal's reverse.
With so much Latin on both sides of the seal, I wondered at the bit of offending Italian. When I considered what seems to me to be the clear intent of the motto, as opposed to its literal translation, it occurred to me that it might have been derived from the writings of Niccolo Machiavelli.
That intent, I believe, has been expressed best in 20th Century American English by Theodore Roosevelt: "Speak softly and carry a big stick."