Let police, not crooks, use Black Talons
With respect to the writer of the June 30 letter titled "Black Talons," here is a chance to show a sense of responsibility in writing to the Forum about gun control.
Please take the time to research a subject before writing about it. You will then avoid making factually erroneous statements.
There is no need to persuade the Winchester company to stop producing Black Talon mushrooming "steel bullets" because Winchester does not manufacture steel bullets (steel would destroy the rifling of gun barrels). This mushrooming ammunition is intended to protect innocent bystanders by having the bullets stop in the body of the perpetrator of a felony. (The police do not normally shoot people suspected of misdemeanors.)
Are there no legal restraints against the sale of such things? No. (Thank you, Constitution.)
No extra penalty for using them in commission of a crime? Now you are making sense.
Please, let us not only enforce the laws already enacted, but let us also pressure our judicial system to severely punish those felons who would use Black Talons in the commission of crimes against our society.
Albert Thomas Holt
It is certainly necessary for news media to report upon notable achievements and revelations within the physical or mathematical sciences.
Most of these achievements may appear to have no significance relative to an individual's personal belief system. The fact is that with respect to the natural sciences, all such revelations are related to various philosophical predilections. Unfortunately, evidence indicates that you will not report upon scientific achievements that impinge upon certain philosophical assumptions.
For example, in an article in the CRS Quarterly entitled "The Scientific Existence of a Higher Intelligence," it is specifically established that the most important notion required to model successfully the DNA molecule by means of information theory exists mathematically.
However, when the relevant mathematical structure is interpreted theologically, then this same structure logically models all of the statements that describe the "mind of God" as they appear in the Jewish and Christian Bibles. This solves the 2,000-year-old problem that questions the sanity of those who accept such beliefs.
Why won't the news media investigate and report upon this exceptionally significant and startling result?
Because this result also contradicts the claim, as parroted by the news media, that a personal belief system that includes the acceptance of a deity that exhibits such attributes is somehow or other irrational from the scientific viewpoint.
There are literally hundreds of other examples where the public is being denied knowledge of many such startling results for the sole purpose of upholding a false philosophical assumption.
Robert A. Herrmann
The writer is a professor of mathematics at the United States Naval Academy.
In response to several shootings by workers at local post offices, U.S. postal officials want to set up a screening process to identify potentially violent employees.
In the past several years, postal workers have been subjected to a brutal restructuring and speed-ups in working conditions.
Countless jobs have been eliminated, and work loads increased. Is it any surprise some workers are cracking under this pressure?
Blaming individual workers and not examining this larger context is an exercise in denial that will not solve the problem.
What Medicaid is
The House of Representatives has again rejected Medicaid funding for abortions performed for other than certain narrowly defined reasons. As usual, it brought a firestorm of vitriolic commentary.
I continue to be astounded by the general acceptance of this issue as a female, abortion rights, religious or racial issue. I suppose it is because proponents and opponents can easily be rallied on those bases.
In fact, these are not the issues, nor should they be the determinants. The issue is, in fact, what, if any, elective medical procedures should be covered under Medicaid.
If one is to accept the argument that on-demand abortions should be covered, should not then in-vitro fertilization be covered? How about breast implants, nose jobs, surgery to correct impotence and the like?
Medicaid was created as a safety net to assure essential medical services to those who could not otherwise afford it. Nothing more.
It was never intended to provide the same medical options as those that may be available under some privately-financed medical insurance plans or to a billionaire. It is time to recognize Medicaid for what it is and not what it is not.
Edward J. Naumann Jr.
I have a contrasting reality for Yale Kellman, author of a recent letter (June 27).
As a descendant of Africans enslaved in the United States, I rejoiced in the Supreme Court ruling extending religious freedom in the form of animal sacrifice to African-Americans in Florida.
I agree that if animals are killed for food in slaughterhouses, and if ritual kosher slaughter is permitted, and if hunting and killing animals for recreation is legal, it is unconstitutional prohibition of religion to deviate in this instance.
Essentially, I was happy that this society, through the Supreme Court, finally has a standard for tolerating African religious expression. I quickly point out that animal sacrifice is far less barbaric than the human sacrifice on which the United States is built.
Or has Kellman forgotten the crucifixion of Christ, the LTC enslavement of us Africans and the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and others who strove for more humanity?
Obviously, the African faith that the Supreme Court affirmed surpasses Kellman's understanding, so allow me to enlighten the writer.
According to articles from The Sun I've saved, (March 24, 1992; June 11, 12, 1993), "Santeria", which means "the way of the saints," is 4,000 years old -- twice as old as Christianity. A group of enslaved Nigerians brought their beliefs with them. Their descendants, Santerians, believe that the sacrifice of small animals in certain rituals keeps alive their guiding spirits, called "Orishas."
Emergency teams avert tragedy
The bombs had just stopped bursting, and the fireworks had come to an end at Luskin's in Towson on July 4. I had viewed them from my yard on Joppa Rd.
Then out of the night came a screeching of tires, the obvious sound of a vehicle hitting the median strip, and then horrendous crunching and tearing of two vehicles colliding.
Upon exiting my yard, I viewed an upside down van with people lying all about, screaming and crying. Within seconds, the people were pulled from the van and deposited on the grass.
There were two adults and three children. The injuries did not appear to be serious; one child had a bad cut, to which I applied a compress.
The mother was crying and terrified that one of her children had been seriously injured and the father, who was obviously in a state of shock, was wandering about, bleeding from a head wound that had been caused by the air bag that detonated upon impact.
The other vehicle which had stopped about 25 yards down the street was a Baltimore County police car. The driver was still inside and appeared to be injured.
It seemed he was on an emergency call when someone pulled out of the Towson Market Place, and he swerved to avoid colliding with them, and apparently lost control of his vehicle. In minutes, the area was full of policemen, firemen and ambulance medics, who did a magnificent job of handling this terrible accident.
Shortly thereafter, a MedEvac helicopter was overhead. With the bright lights and chopping noise the entire scene looked like something I had seen as young Marine in a far-off forgotten place.
The wreckage, both human and mechanical, the heat, and the crying and moaning of people brought back unpleasant memories.
However, with all the above being real, the facts were that no one was dead, or crippled for life, and I am certain this will be a Fourth of July they will always remember.
I do not believe in miracles, at least I didn't, but now I know what I saw was a miracle, as nothing else could have saved these people from certain destruction.
The men and women of Baltimore County fire and police did a fine job and are to be commended. Their promptness and quick action were in keeping with the fine job that they so often do.
I will always remember this Fourth of July as the day I became a true believer.
The writer is a retired Baltimore police sergeant.