Too Many People Spoiling The Land
Peter Jay is discouraged by the rising tide of growth in Maryland (Perspective, Oct. 3). Mr. Jay rather depressingly recounts all the common economic and social factors effecting the current destruction of (our shared) Harford County. I would suggest that the disintegration of rural America is hardly inevitable. The solution to the problem of housing sprawl is really quite simple: Stabilize, then reduce, the human population.
Can this be accomplished? Of course, with proper incentives. Governments must end all rewards for human reproduction. No tax deductions for children. One-time lump-sum payments to irreversibly sterilized couples (give them, in cash, the amount it would cost to educate one child in public school -- currently about $75,000). The state could limit free education to one child -- all "excess" children must be privately educated. Birth control and abortions should be free, available locally, and officially encouraged.
Besides ending incentives for having children, the federal government should immediately end all immigration, and laws could easily be formulated which would encourage emigration (a lump-sum payment to all who leave and relinquish American citizenship).
At current growth rates, all of Harford County will look like Towson-Timonium-Cockeysville by 2015. Bel Air, once aptly named, approaches gridlock all day, every day.
Peter Jay and I remember a rural Harford County with many more cows than people (a proper ratio). The gut-wrenching, eye-searing journey from Forest Hill (another questionable name) south to the bay is a clear harbinger of the life our kids will be condemned to unless we take immediate action to stabilize and ultimately to decrease, the human population of this incredibly beautiful land.
Kirk S. Nevin
Recently, I watched a TV news program regarding Somalia, in particular an interview with a wounded Ranger.
The Ranger sergeant was ramrod straight, started each sentence with "Sir," giving answers in a clipped, military manner, not unlike making a report after a mission or patrol. The newscaster was using the same type of questions asked of combat men in some of America's undeclared wars of recent years. He was attempting to get the Ranger to discuss his views on Aidid, Clinton, politics, if we should pull out, the U.N., Aspin, etc.
The Ranger repeated his unit was the best, and those other Rangers surrounding him in the battles were outstanding. The sergeant said the Rangers never lost control of the situation, and their only concern was the accomplishment of the assigned mission. His only regret was that he was not with his Ranger unit, which is still in combat. There were no tears for the wounds that he had received, just that he wanted to return to duty. Asked if he was sorry he was sent to Somalia, he looked at the newscaster with a blank stare. His reply was that when the old man says go, we saddle up and go, even to hell, with a bag of grenades on our backs.
It did my old heart good to hear a combat man speak as the Ranger. I've become used to hearing boo-hooing and political discussion by these men, often Friday night heroes, who played
Boy Scout as reserve members. . . .
James L. Mullaney
President Clinton's new "crime bill" proposes one policy that may actually be of some use. That is, the ROTC-type of police training to produce trained reinforcements for the law enforcement community.
Nevertheless, the recent inhuman debacles inflicted in Waco by both the FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms should put all citizens on guard lest the Clinton administration resort to a "police state" super-agency. . . . Just such a proposal has been quietly made by the FBI, but withheld pending a better political climate lest the general public should realize the . . . dictatorial consequences of such an act. The balance of the bill proposes more draconian gun prohibitions, controls and waiting periods on top of those we already have in effect.
Only three types of people support this latter gun control approach.
L First, those who are eternally naive, nervous or frightened.
Second, those who have unknowingly accepted the pervasive misinformation spewed out by the media and the politicians demanding more gun laws.
Lastly, but the most sinister, are those clever folk who fully understand the deceitful faults and failure of gun control but are pursuing a dictatorial agenda that they hope to obscure from the people with the sensational emphasis on violence and lawlessness, thereby providing a seemingly neat excuse to hide behind while working for yet more failed gun control proposals and a loss of freedom.
The truth about our unacceptably high rate of violent crime is seldom, if ever, allowed to be heard in the debate. First and foremost is the unarguable fact of life that there are strict and specific laws in place to cover every aspect of violent crime, such as the illegal acquisition, illegal possession, concealed carry and use of deadly weapons in the commission of a felony. Also interstate commerce in firearms was brought under federal control. These laws could and should have been effective, but were drastically diluted by the ridiculous juvenile criminal justice system, and then virtually given the "kiss of death" by the continuously decaying overall criminal justice system.
. . . Control the pervasive, but blatantly illegal, black market in weapons and drugs. . . . If this is not the goal of the president's crime bill, what pray tell is?
Donald K. Tag
Havre de Grace
Doctors make too much money? What about a health insurance industry executive making $127,000,000 last year? Couldn't he get by on $27,000,000 and throw $100,000,000 back into the pot to help out the un- and under-insured?
Everyone has a right to health care . . . and to gas and electricity and water. How is it we need public service commissions to regulate these industries but not health insurance? Surely if they can be publicly traded, return profits to their owners and still come under public scrutiny, could the same not apply to health insurance?
Why not redirect unspent (except for megaprofits) insurance revenue or allow each policy holder to have a portion of his or her premium allocated to a "supplemental fund" which could cover them in periods of unemployment? After all, how many employed and unemployed persons never use their insurance at all?
I'm all for free enterprise and the American Way, but it seems to me that insurers are profiting big time at the expense of everyone else. Now the Clintons want to give them even more. If anyone thinks the mergers taking place in health care are from altruistic feelings that the Clintons would like us to believe and not from bottom-line motivations, they are sadly mistaken.
Victor S. Glorioso