U.S. fear of communism clouds policiesThank you...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

U.S. fear of communism clouds policies

Thank you for having the courage to report on the atrocities committed by the Honduran government and of U.S. complicity in the matter.

Although nothing you have reported on was new information, sometimes it takes a conservative, main-stream newspaper such yours to point out things progressive newspapers have been printing for years but been unable to influence the many extremists who design and implement foreign policy.

America's fanatic fear of communism has long clouded our judgment and moral balance in the world arena.

To prevent the spread of communism we give credence and responsibility to people that the world should view only as war criminals and their minions, namely the Somozas, Pino

chet, McNamara and now Negroponte.

If our government truly wants to influence other people in how they choose the government they want, it should present a worthwhile alternative.

If we don't want main-stream Cubans to support their Communist regime, we should show them what we have to offer instead.

The embargo is a ridiculous approach that only shows that we don't know how to compete with them with ideas and economic philosophies.

If we don't like an entire country like Nicaragua voicing its support for the Sandinista government of the past we should not have created Elliot Abrams' and Oliver North's terrorist army, the Contras.

Our foreign policy history is full of making the wrong choices in how it opposes communism. To us, absolutely anything is better.

We consider a brutal police state as preferable as long as it is not Marxist.

Death squads, torture, electoral intimidation, violations of civil liberties, etc., are the means used to prevent the country from going in a direction that we feel would employ such tactics.

Why don't we try to compete with opposing political and economic views? We not only seemingly cannot compete but we are stacking the deck and changing the rules as we go along.

Our hypocritical policy in Latin America, as presented by The Sun, is obvious to everyone but ourselves.

Myles B. Hoenig

Baltimore

Baseball madness

It is now apparent that baseball is out of control, and the people running it are oblivious as the insanity continues.

The greed permeating the strike negotiations was enough to turn the stomach of the most die-hard fan.

After a strike that accomplished nothing except ruining the '94 season, the players came limping back (helped by the National Labor Relations Board), and then the Orioles have the gall to raise ticket prices so the fans can help subsidize the strike.

An arbitrator awards a career .500 pitcher with a $4.5 million contract. Unbelievable! Where do they find these guys?

Part-time players making $1 million-plus have become commonplace, while rising ticket prices price the traditional family out of the ballpark. Owners and players both seem intent on milking the cash cow until it is bone dry. The grand old game is becoming a monument to greed.

Now we have Darryl Strawberry given another chance to come back after a tax evasion conviction and numerous drug/alcohol violations.

He and Steve Howe are shining examples of baseball's tough sanctions on drug/alcohol abuse. What a message it sends!

I find it strange that Pete Rose was thrown out of the game and denied his rightful place in the Hall of Fame because of gambling while drug addicts and tax evaders are welcomed with open arms.

Enough is enough! This is one fan who has spent his last dollar in support of Major League Baseball.

Instead, I will venture to Bowie, Frederick or Hagerstown to watch the game in its uncontaminated form.

Does anyone in baseball have a clue? Does anyone care?

Robert W. Gast Sr.

Baltimore

Let them know

Today I witnessed an event that gives me some small hope that we may yet survive.

As I rode the Metro back from Johns Hopkins, the seats began filling up at each stop. A woman in her 50s sat down on the aisle seat next to me, and two boys of about 14 years of age took separate seats across the aisle from us. Between them was a woman in her early 30s.

The boys began speaking to each other over her head. Their comments ranged from foolish to vulgar.

She turned to the boy behind her and suggested that he show a bit more respect. He launched into a verbal assault toward her.

She turned away from him and the rest of the passengers looked toward him in a disapproving manner. He and his friend settled down.

The young woman left the train. Several stops later, the two boys got off too.

The woman next to me said, "I think he had a gun in that bag by his feet. There definitely was something heavy in there." We HTC spoke for a while about children trying to use guns to make them feel like men and then got off at our separate stops, wishing each other well.

Will boys stop carrying the guns that they do in the false belief that carrying a gun makes them men?

Probably not any time soon. But if there are more groups of people who in a quiet, non-confrontational way let these boys know that what they are doing is not acceptable, perhaps both sanity and humanity can be preserved.

Richard Krebs

Westminster

A modest proposal for drivers

I'm glad someone is doing something about the sky-rocketing health care costs. At first I thought Congress' plan to cancel the ++ 55 mph speed limit was not very wise, but after some thought, I see the wisdom of it.

Because of the improved safety in our cars, with a legal speed limit of 55 (usually enforced at 65), people survive automobile and motorcycle accidents and live to use their Medicare benefits.

By allowing higher speed limits, we can re-establish the Darwinian role automobiles had on our society in earlier years.

More young people will kill themselves (before they have a chance to reproduce, and pass on their bad driving traits). More middle-aged and elderly adults will die, reducing Social Security and Medicare costs.

At higher speeds, fewer people who now survive serious injuries requiring long and expensive care will make it to the trauma center, reducing crowding in the publicly subsidized trauma centers.

The logic of a higher speed limit is obvious. Most accidents will occur in densely populated areas, reducing urban crowding.

The overcrowded East and West Coasts will be thinned, as will certain segments of the population. Yuppie lawyers, junk bond salesmen and others who like to use their car phones while driving, will suffer a higher percentage of deaths. Near accidents they cause now will be real accidents at higher speed, helping thin the herd.

For those who drive defensively and wisely, the end of the "double nickel" should pose no problem. Ten miles per hour faster when conditions allow is not dangerous if you drive well.

For those who tailgate, drive in the fog and rain with no headlights, or weave in and out of traffic, here's your opportunity. Put the pedal to the metal, and let 'er rip.

Oh, and don't worry about that seat belt. You don't really need it. Enjoy.

Lawrence Foster

Linthicum

Save foreign aid

Congress is proposing cuts in Medicare, welfare and education. But perhaps the most serious funding they aim to drastically slash is foreign aid, which now is actually less than 1 percent of the total budget.

Earlier this year The Sun published a column by Carl Rowan, "What We Buy With Foreign Aid," but it's again time to remind the American people that it is in their best interest to continue, even increase, aid to developing countries.

A national survey by the University of Maryland found that 80 percent of the people (across party lines) agreed that the United States should be willing to share at least a small portion of its wealth with those in the world most in need.

Why? Because it works to promote democracy. (Since 1980, foreign assistance has helped three dozen nations make the transition to democratic government.)

Because it results in research findings that help globally, such as the oral rehydration solution that saves millions of children's lives. Because it helps protect the environment.

Because it reduces immigration, by keeping people happy to stay in their own countries. Because it increases markets for the U.S. and employs thousands of Americans. (In the past 10 years, exports to developing countries have more than doubled.)

Because it reduces poverty and thus reduces the risk of $H humanitarian crisis. Because we as a leading world power must care about others.

Josephine Sack

Timonium

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