Police should fight crime, not speeders
More police would help considerably regarding crime and its management, but it must be backed up with stiffer penalties.
Recently, while traveling across England (where speed limits allowed were generally 10 to 20 mph higher than in Maryland, for example), I saw no accidents and only one police car writing tickets.
In the United Kingdom, they rely mostly on cameras placed over the highway to catch speeders, and people are informed that they are there. When I think of how many police are wasted chasing speeders exceeding unrealistically low speed limits -- as opposed to the rate and extent of crime, a far more serious issue -- it doesn't make any sense except as a revenue generating activity for local and state government.
I'm tired of the propaganda blaming guns for the crime level. (We all know that liberals in particular want guns banned and the people of America disarmed.)
It is time for government on all levels to get serious about crime and make it a priority. Stop making excuses for anti-social behavior. In a country as wealthy and sophisticated as America, don't tell me it can't be done.
Oh, and by the way, I think our police force should be trained very well for their own protection as well as that of others and adequately compensated for the dangers faced.
Lucille C. Kerns
The way innocent people are being shot down in the streets of our cities, one might wonder if Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan's proposed tax on ammunition should be included under amusement taxes. The madness of allowing assault guns and bullets that make even bigger holes to be easily obtained is the public's fault.
We the citizens must make a protest louder than the National Rifle Association's threat that legislators who are anti-gun advocates will be defeated at the polls. There are more of us frustrated with the killings than there are of pro-gun special interests.
Instead of just feeling helpless, each of us must sit down today and write to our lawmakers that we demand immediate measures to curb the violence.
They must be reminded that each of us has a weapon that's even more powerful than guns. We can use our right to vote to get what should be taken for granted, to pursue our lives on the nation's streets in safety.
Stanley M. Oring
In an article on the current rash of bank robberies, the Baltimore Business Journal showed a very clear video picture of a bank robber in action.
If our major local TV stations showed these photos every Friday night on their 6 p.m. news spots, along with giving a modest reward from the banks for a successful arrest and conviction, not only would the stations' ratings increase but we might virtually eliminate bank robberies in Baltimore.
Vincent P. Quayle
It is most disconcerting that none of your investigative reporting has focused on one of the major causes of pollution in Baltimore and the surrounding metropolitan area -- the black and gray clouds of smoke coming from large trucks and vans on our streets and highways.
It would take a simple observation on any of our larger thoroughfares to prove this. Then one could estimate the amount of contamination of the environment produced per year by these agents of pollution.
Trucks and vans are more to blame than automobiles (with their catalytic converters and with the requirement of state examinations). My suggestion would be a concerted attack on this source rather than the single automobile commuter.
Banking on stocks
A lot of people have savings in bonds or blue chip stocks while holding their breath that 1987 doesn't happen again. Certificates of deposit just don't pay enough.
Our own Sen. Paul Sarbanes and his colleague, Sen. Donald Riegel of Michigan, both of the Senate Finance Committee, have put together a bill now moving through Congress that could precipitate the financial holocaust we fear.
They and their brethren want the say in who sits on the 10-member Federal Open Market Committee.
Politicians wanting to take over the role of bankers should be enough to raise fears of long-term interest rates rising to 12 percent and the Dow-Jones index sinking to 1500.
Richard Z. Frank
The shrill, populist arguments against the North American Free Trade Agreement are reminiscent of the isolationism that has periodically infected the United States throughout its history.
After World War I, the Congress voted down participation in the League of Nations. That decision and the subsequent passage of the Smoot-Hawley tariff of 1930 raised psychological barriers to the rest of the world and precipitated economic and political chaos.
In today's environment, NAFTA's defeat will probably scuttle the sensitive General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade negotiations scheduled for completion in December.
The message to our trading partners, in fact to the rest of the world, will be that the United States is abandoning its role as the major force for peace and prosperity. Protectionism and closed world markets are sure to follow.
Why can't the Perot "Know-Nothings" understand this?
M. Sigmund Shapiro
Zealotry has been the bane of mankind from time immemorial. If it be from "the right" or "the left," conservative or liberal, religionist or atheist, this fanatical devotion is forever at work in our society.
In their efforts to "bulldoze" the opposition, these irrational partisans use all means at their command. It is useless to appeal to logic or reason when faced with their "our way or no way" stance.
Whenever freedom of thought and speech is challenged it is these monomaniacs who are at the forefront of the attack.
In their ardor for "the right" as they see it, these yahoos bring their rage to bear on our educational and political institutions. It is strange that those who are so zealous for the public morality are so often disdainful of honest truth.
In "The Republic" Plato wrote: "Those who love the truth in each thing are to be called lovers of wisdom and not lovers of opinion."
J. Bernard Hihn
In the 'Land of Variances'
We have had another landmark decision handed down from the Board of Appeals in Baltimore County. In the heart of Perry Hall on Belair Road next to a beautiful church we are now going to have a carwash. (News article, Nov. 5.)
What in God's name do the citizens of Baltimore County have to do to make you people in Towson open your eyes? Orville Jones did not have this as a matter of right with the zoning. He needed a special exception. Save us time and money by making all Baltimore County the "Land of Special Exceptions and Variances."
As a taxpayer in Baltimore County, I want my taxes cut in half. We can facilitate this by closing the Zoning Enforcement Department. Unless a citizen is willing to put his name and, in some cases, his life on the line, no one seems to see zoning violations in this county.
Then let us cut the Citizens' Planning Board. All that electricity used for heat and air conditioning plus the paper pushed around over there would certainly save money if eliminated. Remember, they do not have any power, just make "suggestions." I have been to meetings where someone has said they will just go to their councilman. So much for the planning board's "suggestions."
Then onto the Office of Planning and Zoning. Millions must be spent to operate this department. It isn't that these people do not want to do a good job; it is a simple fact of life that lawyers, money and business run this county. Talk to a project manager of a development about the Master Plan or what the planning staff has recommended and you will be told these are only guidelines or "suggestions."
Then there is the zoning commissioner. If a community is lucky enough to win a favorable decision, we will be right back fighting again in the Board of Appeals. These people serving on the board have never seen a project, at least in Perry Hall, they didn't like.
At a Community Conservation Group meeting (what are we conserving?), I was told by a lawyer for developers that business should be allowed to do what it wants and we should be quiet. Do not fear, Mr. Lawyer, even speaking out for your community doesn't mean a thing.
So cut my taxes and let the developers and their lawyers continue to do as they please in Baltimore County. At least I would have some more money in my pocket to be able to leave this wonderful "Land of Special Exceptions and Variances."
Dorothy S. McMann