Save the PlanetI first became aware of...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Save the Planet

I first became aware of Greenpeace when I saw a photograph in a national magazine of a Greenpeace volunteer sheltering a Harp seal club with her body.

She and hundreds of others had come to stop the slaughter with no weapons other than raw courage. Above her stood a man with a club, who, if her skin had been worth anything on the open market, would have just as soon clubbed the volunteer to death as the cub she was protecting.

I first became a member of Greenpeace when France blew up the first Rainbow Warrior and murdered the photojournalist on board. It was my measly $12 per month gift -- and a million more like it from around the world -- that floated the Rainbow Warrior II.

I know whereof I speak, therefore, when I say that Philip Terzian's Opinion * Commentary piece, "Extortion Doesn't Pay, For Once," (July 17) was an outrage.

Without Greenpeace, there would be no harp seals, no international whaling ban, no drift-net ban, no dolphin-safe tuna. Without Greenpeace, there would be toxic effluents still being dumped into Chesapeake Bay.

Mr. Terzian may wish to live in a world where nuclear testing is still permitted, but I do not.

Greenpeace does not gum up the works for the hell of it or for the fun of it. They do it to save the planet. And I say, God speed.

Lynda Case Lambert

Baltimore

Maverick

I would very much like to express my appreciation of the work of Kal in The Sun.

Kal can say more in one political cartoon than most op-ed writers can say in a year of mindless, gutless, babbling columns of printed words.

To me, Kal's work outclasses all editorial writers I've come across in 25 years of reading newspapers, magazines and books. His political cartoon work is in itself worth the price of your newspaper.

Kal's work without question speaks the truth, something that's been slowly decaying if not dying in America's newspapers.

Kal's work is a lone voice in a sea of twisted thoughts based on greed and arrogance by the newspaper community that has lost so much credibility that the concept of "watchdog" of government and corporate scandal should be changed to "lapdog."

The truth in Kal's work far exceeds the mindless, gutless babble of the other writers by far. Kal is a maverick of honesty among the folly of the herd.

Don Holmes Jr.

Baltimore

Poor Taste

Stephen Hunter's review of Lana Turner's life was a disgrace to The Sun.

Apparently lacking any historical perspective, he demeans her no less than 11 times, insulting her looks, her manners, her repute among her peers, her sexuality, her talent, etc. Over and over again, he shows his own crass insensitivity.

For example, in the matter of talent: What sensible person would judge a teen-ager who became the sex symbol of a generation by the same criteria that a serious actress is judged? You displayed incredibly poor taste in publishing this venomous display.

Kate Green

Baltimore

Judging Justice Thomas

I have noticed that many liberals and your newspaper seem to decry Justice Clarence Thomas as a traitor to all blacks by what some liberals consider a hypocritical decision against affirmative action (i.e. Clarence Lusane's July 13 Opinion * Commentary article, "Clarence Thomas as 'Judge Dread' ").

I feel that Justice Thomas is not only a good role model for young blacks, but also for all young Americans.

Justice Thomas is where he is today not because of affirmative action and government handouts, but because of his hard work, devotion, faith in God, and vision of success which he did not let go of.

Justice Thomas represents two things: an ideal citizen and a superb Supreme Court associate justice.

Justice Thomas worked for what he achieved and believes in the core values and principles on which this nation was founded as echoed in the immortal words of Jefferson, Adams, Washington, Lincoln, and other prominent Americans as well as in the lives

of ordinary citizens.

As a justice, his job is not to appeal to the black liberal bloc but to interpret the Constitution of the United States in letter and in spirit. Justice Thomas believes in the slogan which adorns the Supreme Court's facade, "Equal justice under law."

He believes that America is a land of opportunity, not based on quota systems and ratios but on the idea that you are the one with the power to better yourself.

He grasps what many Americans forget: that jobs are not rights but things to be earned by hard work, determination and qualifications. Both he and I believe in an American society in which the content of your character is examined, not your skin color, race, sex or creed (which affirmative action does).

Both he and I know the negative impact of telling a group of people that they don't have to work so hard for what they get in life, that government will take care of it.

Kenneth A. Shepherd

Severn

Mega-Vitamin Peddlers Ignore Science

I am writing to applaud Colleen Pierre's nutrition column of June 5, and respond to Dr. Frank Criado's letter of July 9.

The first approach of Interior Design Nutritionals hucksters soliciting in my office is to suggest that I should be making $5,000 a month by pushing their vitamins on my patients.

I am especially sick of IDN-pushing doctors, because I guarantee my patients bias-free medical information. To make this believable, I promised not to promote specific products to them.

All physicians should uphold this standard. All doctors selling vitamins have a profit motive. Let the buyer beware, I tell patients purchasing expensive supplements that claim to give energy and slow aging . . .

That traditional medicine has made such mistakes and has not been willing to listen to complementary approaches has allowed the vitamin and herb business ($900 million a year in Utah alone) to lead people down the garden path, picking their pockets all the while.

Dr. Criado's testimonial was honest, but he has forgotten that physicians have a moral obligation to offer only therapies that are safe and efficacious.

That means therapies that have been proven by or are concurrently being tested in, prospective, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled studies of adequate statistical strength.

I am unimpressed by "top-notch" researchers who don't use this standard. The hypothesis that "you need my vitamins" should make biological sense on a molecular level. It is very hard to become vitamin-deficient in this country unless you only eat corn or only drink alcohol.

I have challenged IDN-pushers to present strong efficacy data to me and they cannot. No wonder nothing has changed. As a medical student 10 years ago, I was excited to learn about USA Vitamins' age-retarding anti-oxidants, promoted by Nobel laureates, as well as by sports figures Joe Montana and Chris Evert.

Medline data searches found only decades-old animal data from obscure European journals. Nothing explained why we needed more glutathione or how a charged molecule could cross cell membranes. Or why the bioflavanoids that I, too, could mash from an orange peel, were so vital.

USA went belly up, just another pyramid scheme, discredited in Science magazine. Chelation, and crystalline are just the '90s buzzwords, phyto-nutrients just means plant nutrients.

The vitamin people have had a hundred years to test their wares in replicable, strong studies. I suggest Dr. Criado donate his IDN profits to fund one. There are no data that vitamins in a pill are better than the plants they come from.

So eat your fruits and vegetables, exercise daily and, most importantly, stop smoking. There are good data to support those recommendations, and no way to put them in a pill.

Theodore Carl Houk, M.D.

Baltimore

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