Come to MexicoI just read an unfair...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Come to Mexico

I just read an unfair article about Mexico by Ginger Thompson (March 21), and I was disappointed, not as much for what she says but for what she does not say.

If I were an entrepreneur from the United States reading the article, I would think that coming to Mexico for business would be the last thing I would do, and that is not so.

Even though it is true that several plants have shut down, it is also true that many, many more are operating successfully here.

One clear example is our plant. We ship all over the world -- and I am certain that we would not have reached the enviable position we have in the market without our plant in Mexico.

As a Mexican, if not by birth but by heart, I do not care for those entrepreneurs who come here just to obtain easy money. I care for those who, with a sense of their important role in the society, come to Mexico to be successful and share their success with the people who work for them.

Juana Ma. R. de Orozco

Juarez, Mexico

Bollinger Rules

This to to thank Roger Simon for his April 26 column pointing out Judge Thomas Bollinger's recent additions to the list of rules that every women must carry around with her at all times to avoid being held responsible for rape.

They are: 1(never drink;2) never go to a male's home; and 3) never act friendly with a male unless you are willing to have sex with him.

These are added to the ones we already knew about; never go out alone; never go out at night; never wear "provocative" clothing; always wear under wear; never go to a bar; never flirt; never sleep with your window open at night.

And the judge has given men some helpful pointers, too: It's not rape if she's drunk, and it's not rape if she's in your bed.

Barbara H. Vann

Baltimore

Alternative Healing

Holly Selby's May 10 article, "Doctor urges study of alternative healing," is commendable for the coverage it gives to the excellent and timely work being done by Dr. Joseph Jacobs and the National Institutes of Health in the newly established Office of Alternative Medicine.

However, she seems to have missed the significance of what is happening at our own doorstep here in Baltimore.

Two years ago, the University of Maryland Medical School took up the challenge and recognized non-traditional healing practices as legitimate topics for study. Here in Baltimore, we have the first university medical center in the country to initiate a project aiming to research complementary medical practices through clinical use, clinical and basic science research and education.

We received a $1 million grant from a private benefactor that was matched by $1 million from the university medical school to investigate "less well accepted and explored forms of healing and treatment."

We are now using techniques such as acupuncture, homeopathy and biofeedback side by side with conventional forms of medicine in the university's Maryland Pain Center.

We also have in progress two clinical trials in acupuncture. Protocols for other studies are being developed. We are putting on such conferences on research and application of acupuncture, which was held earlier this month in conjunction with the American Academy of Medical Acupuncturists.

We aim to begin to establish the efficacy and scientific foundation of various complementary forms of healing. It is hoped this can lead to a more integrated approach to health care that will be to the greater benefit of our patients.

Brian M. Berman, M.D.

Baltimore

The writer is director of Laing/University of Maryland project for the integration of orthodox and complementary medicine.

Rough Justice

I was surprised by The Sun's denouncement (editorial, May 4) of Judge Raymond E. Beck Sr.'s sentencing of Pamela Snowhite Davis following her conviction for possession of marijuana.

The implication was that Judge Beck used his power and authority to unfairly sentence Ms. Davis because of her political opinion favoring the legalization of marijuana, an opinion with which Judge Beck apparently disagrees.

However, in another recent editorial The Sun recommends the consideration of politicians for appointment to the United States Supreme Court.

Since such consideration would seem to disregard a requirement for training and experience in constitutional law or judging, what purpose would such a justice serve other than to advance political agendas?

The Sun specifically mentions Senators Joseph Biden and Paul Sarbanes as examples of politicians worthy of consideration.

I'm sure The Sun could support opinions rendered from the Supreme Court bench by either of these gentlemen.

But what if the next appointee was Senator Jesse Helms?

We live in a constitutional democracy where laws are made by elected legislators. Although it doesn't always work perfectly, perhaps a system in which a judge interprets laws based on the intent of the legislative bodies that wrote them, rather than on the judge's personal political or moral persuasion, is not such a bad idea after all.

William A. Eades

Timonium

Positive Slant

I commend The Sun and writer John Rivera for the April 16 article concerning young people, "We are not animals."

Surely there is a need for more positive articles and viewpoints in all news media, not only in reference to young people but particularly concerning cities, especially Baltimore.

Too often we read, hear and watch items emphasizing negative views of our city.

A case in point is the recent story about a large group of young people who "invaded" Harborplace, causing much anxiety on the part of store managers and others -- especially residents of the surrounding suburbs, who view Baltimore doubtfully at best.

It was necessary to read the entire story to find out that the group did no harm.

It would be helpful to find more articles about the good or positive aspects of Baltimore.

Dorothea T. Apgar

Baltimore

Campaign Reform

The Sun's regular bashing of public financing of elections ("Campaign Reform That Isn't," May 5) is contrary to the paper's consistent support for other reforms to reduce special interest influence in government.

Advocating disclosure measures while opposing public financing is like advocating drug testing but opposing treatment. Public financing of elections promotes political competition, provides incentives for candidates to seek small individual contributions, and, if substantial, frees candidates from dependence on special interest campaign money.

The presidential public financing system and similar systems in several states (Florida, New Jersey, Wisconsin, and the 1994 gubernatorial election in Maryland) provide candidates with an alternative to financing their campaigns with large contributions from wealthy individuals or interest groups.

This allows candidates who have broad public support, but who are not personally wealthy or financed by political action committees and others with deep pockets, to run financially competitive campaigns for office.

Regardless of whether special interests find ways to funnel large sums of money into campaigns, public financing allows candidates to run for office without relying on such contributions.

The American people paid $300 billion for the savings and loan scandal.

If even a small portion of that disgrace was the result of political influence bought through campaign contributions (remember the Keating Five), that cost is far greater than the cost of complete public financing of congressional campaigns (perhaps $1 billion each election).

Partial public financing, a step in the right direction and now under consideration by Congress, can be paid for by raising the checkoff to $5 on the income tax form and by eliminating the business tax deduction for lobbying expenses.

The public gets the government it pays for. Good government isn't free, but it's much cheaper than government paid for by special interests.

Phil Andrews

Annapolis

The writer is executive director, Common Cause of Maryland.

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