Junk CallsIn response to Rosalie Wilson's letter...


Junk Calls

In response to Rosalie Wilson's letter (July 10), there is an answer to "junk calls."

Florida has installed a system wherein one mails in one's name and phone number and $5 for each phone number and you are protected from any type of telephone solicitation for the next 12 months. It is money well spent.

Why can't Maryland take steps to protect its citizens so that they can finish their evening meals in peace?

W. James Price


Be Careful with Medication

So often we hear about the importance of using medication properly. We hear about drug interactions, and side effects.

A recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association states that 3 percent to 11 percent of all hospital admissions are due to adverse drug reactions. That means that for thousands and thousands of people, the medications they take to make them better actually land them in a hospital bed.

It's hard enough to protect against those problems even wheyou know what you are taking.

As a pharmacist, I'm concerned that many drug companies are expanding their well-known product lines to sell different medications.

For example, Chlor-Trimeton is a very well known antihistamine. Now the manufacturer is selling a different version of Chlor-Trimeton that contains pseudoephedrine.

This is an entirely different drug. It's not anything like an antihistamine. Instead of causing drowsiness like antihistamines, it's an "upper" like caffeine. It doesn't reduce the reaction to hay fever and in people with high blood pressure, glaucoma or

diabetes it can cause a whole new set of problems.

There are many other examples too.

Maalox caplets contain calcium carbonate like Tums -- not aluminum and magnesium hydroxide like the other Maalox products. Soon there'll be five different drugs all called Maalox and each can have their own unique response in the body.

Remember when Bayer meant aspirin? Now there are five types of Bayer with either acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

This can make a huge difference to someone with kidney problems, or to a child.

There's also a Dramamine made out of meclizine which is different from the Dramamine that's been on the market for decades.

The government doesn't regulate this. There are no rules preventing drug companies from using one brand name to market different medications.

This means you have to be careful. Be sure to ask your pharmacist for advice on nonprescription medications.

John J. Ayd


It's No Luxury


I wonder how long it will take the Clinton administration to realize that the luxury tax on cars is and always will be a total failure. I guess politicians can't admit when they're wrong.

Case in point: A few auto dealerships for which my agency handles advertising sell these luxury automobiles. Over the past 15 months, sales are so far off from the good years that layoffs have been as common as customer sales were years ago.

Advertising spending has been reduced to a trickle and has turned my agency's commissions into pocket change. I no longer spend like I did, and every retail company that I dealt with in the past is hurting.

There have been layoffs at the retail companies, which means that those employees will soon be spending less. The laid-off retail employees no longer patronize the stores as they did in the past. Eventually, everybody in one way or another is indirectly affected by the luxury tax on automobiles.

Any mathematician can see that if fewer dollars are spent, then lower taxes will be collected by our fearless leaders in Washington.

Each and every layoff at a car dealership most certainly means less money will be put back into the economy. Every new unemployment recipient will only create a greater tax burden on the taxpayers.

A proposal for jump-starting the economy: Eliminate the luxury tax on automobiles. This allows for sales to regenerate, profits to soar, rehiring of the unemployed, retail spending to increase, increase in collection of taxes (the good kind) on purchases of retail goods and services and, best of all, increased advertising budgets.

All of the above mentioned effects sound too good to be true; but they, in fact, happened just five years ago.

Never in all my life have I seen such stubbornness on behalf of

the government to admit that it was wrong to impose the luxury tax on automobiles.

I guess the tax would not have passed through Congress if the tax were labeled the "Let's try to put the luxury auto dealerships out of business" tax.

Mark H. Seymour



Our national objectives and responsibilities in the Balkans are clear and uncomplicated. Short-term, they are to prevent the massacre of Sarajevo and other safe zones which would inevitably flood Europe with refugees.

If successful, this would prevent the Serbs from imposing a military solution and force a negotiated settlement. It would also discourage any expansion of the conflict.

Our longer-range objectives are to show, belatedly, that a coalition of nations and international organizations can maintain some world order. Part of this lesson should be prosecution of war crimes.

Only after the questions of objectives and responsibilities have been addressed should tactics be considered. What do we tell the Serbs? What military force is necessary? When do we get out?

The Bosnian Serbs are a ragtag, undisciplined, militarily unsophisticated militia of about 40,000. They should be told to cease shelling and attacks and allow safe access to all U.N.-designated sanctuaries. Serbia and Croatia should be told to cease all military support of their allies within Bosnia.

Violation of these orders by the international community will result in air attacks and ground retaliation from the U.N. and NATO forces. An international peace-keeping force, including U.S. units, would maintain the negotiated settlement and prevent the expansion of hostilities (as it does in Korea) for as long as necessary.

To be the leader of the world requires the U.S. to do something more than just have the power. We must lead morally, economically, politically and, when necessary, militarily.

Roger C. Kostmayer


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