Doomsday ViewOh yes, and how will we...


Doomsday View

Oh yes, and how will we pay for it without a tax increase?

Harry R. Shriver


Jazz City

Escorted by Ted Hawkes, a former Baltimorean and a jazz drummer who now lives in Paris, I toured the jazz clubs on the Parisian Left Bank for six nights at the end of September.

While there, I met trumpeter Ted Curson in the Caves nightclub. He had recently performed at the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival at Rash Field.

He thought the event was great, especially since it was in Baltimore, a city not known well by jazz artists.

While we talked about the concerts, jazz music, the performing talents and the Inner Harbor, the French musicians listened attentively.

They later queried me about Baltimore and jazz music here. Because I spoke with glowing pride about Baltimore, the Frenchmen found it unbelievable that I felt the status of jazz music and musicians was low.

I sure hope that it improves, soon, so that my musical pride can match that of the city.

Reppard Stone


Tax Damage

In a letter Oct. 16, Michael Kernan stated that the price of civilization is higher taxes, and we should all be willing to pay our higher share.

I disagree.

History has shown that all great civilizations eventually fall, and even dating back to the Roman Empire, the beginning of the fall can be traced, in part, to the point where the tax rate becomes confiscatory.

Mr. Kernan writes almost wistfully about Finland's 75 percent tax rate. Our own tax rate is nearly that high.

Considering both federal and state income taxes along with sales taxes, property taxes for homeowners, Social Security taxes, energy taxes and the higher prices we pay for all consumer goods as the corporations that produce them pass along their taxes to the consumer, our own tax rate is approximately 60 percent.

I believe this is more than enough. If Mr. Kernan wants to pay 75 percent of his earnings in taxes, let him feel free to contribute additional money to whichever federal, state or local government he believes would spend it most wisely.

Iver Mindel


4 Perspective

Bouquets and kudos in reference to the Perspective section (Sunday, Oct. 16). Almost every subject covered was excellent and informative. My friends and I offer you and your staff a four star rating.

May you continue to publish interesting information on current events. In order to save space, my friends decided not to sign

their names.

Joseph Lerner


In the Middle

You published an article (Oct. 6) on U.S. Healthcare dealing with its leading role in controlling costs. One statement described the effort to hold down physician's fee as "squeezing the middleman."

However, the principal relationship in the health care arena is between a patient and his or her doctor.

HMOs and insurance companies are the middlemen. These days the patients go first to these corporations, which use them to pay for sundries such as those humorous TV ads and, of course, the chief executive's salary. If you wish to identify an area of misspent health care dollars, look here.

Your doctor neither advertises on TV nor brags about multimillion dollar paydays, but U.S. Healthcare's chief executive and founder can and does.

"Squeezing the middleman" is emblematic of the unfortunate trend away from medical decisions being made by the patient and the doctor based on health needs toward decisions being made by corporate functionaries whose primary concern is the bottom line.

We will all grow to lament this trend as its implications become clear.

Stuart Roth, M.D.


The Polish Uprising in Warsaw

Your Oct. 7 editorial, "When Warsaw Dies Again," is high on rhetoric but thin on historical substance. Taking a high moral ground and accusing the Soviets of betraying the Polish Resistance fighting in Warsaw is inconsistent with historical evidence.

Angered by the Yalta agreement that shifted Poland's boundaries westward, the internally divided Polish government-in-exile took a radical anti-Soviet position and refused any bona fide negotiations with Stalin, even though the boundary changes resulted in a net economic gain for Poland.

While the backward semi-feudal agriculture prevailed on the territories seceded to the U.S.S.R., the newly gained area was highly industrialized.

As a result, Poland's post-war industrial infrastructure actually increased by some 50 percent as compared to the pre-war level.

However, the agrarian interests, dominating the Polish government-in-exile, never accepted the loss of their feudal privileges and were determined to fight for them "to the last Pole."

The nationalists, led by General Sosnkowski, the commander-in-chief of the Polish forces, hoped to restore Poland's pre-war boundaries, even if that meant fighting against both the Germans and the approaching Red Army. The plans for the uprising were a key element of that strategy.

The irrationality of that position can be evidenced by the following facts.

* Western Allies clearly informed the Polish government-in-exile that they did not intend, under any circumstances, to support the planned uprising in Warsaw. That information was never passed to the resistance commanders in Warsaw who, to the very end, planned the uprising on the assumption that Western aid would come.

* Western allies lacked the technical capability of carrying air raids over Poland. Consequently, after the uprising broke out, they refused to send anything but purely symbolic supply

missions to Warsaw. The losses were heavy and most of the supplies were intercepted by Germans.

General Sosnkowski, frustrated by the lack cooperation from the Allies, ordered the Polish parachute brigade to take a kamikaze mission to Warsaw. Fortunately, his orders were ignored.

* The Soviet government offered military assistance to the uprising in exchange for certain political concessions, including the resignation of some of the hard-line anti-Soviet cabinet members in the Polish government-in-exile. These resignations were also demanded by the British government. The Polish government refused the offer.

* As the Red Army vanguards reached Warsaw suburbs, they were running out of fuel and supplies and faced a powerful counter-offensive by the German forces. Most sources agree that the Soviets were not capable of aiding the combatants at least within the first few weeks of the uprising.

While Polish intelligence adequately informed London about the combat capability of the Red Army, that information was never transmitted back to the resistance command in Warsaw.

Consequently, the order to start the uprising relied almost exclusively on information submitted by the commanders of combat units, who lacked skills in intelligence gathering.

These facts suggest that the responsibility for the uprising's defeat, and heavy collateral damage resulting from it, falls primarily on the Polish government-in-exile.

It is utterly naive to expect that the Soviets would aid an effort ostensibly directed against their own interests without attaching political price tag. Would the Kennedy administration help Fidel Castro?

However, Polish nationalists, blinded by staunch anti-Sovietism, refuse to acknowledge their own political myopia, and blame the Allies for their own mistakes.

S. Wojciech Sokolowski


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