Why Tipton flying club should remain
On Oct. 15, I read the letter by Robert Thulman about Tipton Airport. This letter typifies the problems that the Fort Meade Flying Activity (FMFA) has been having getting support from some non-member pilots.
Their attitude is, "They get something we don't, it's not fair." This is an attitude born of ignorance of the military in general, and non-appropriated fund activities in specific. I would assume that Mr. Thulman and his ilk are not familiar with the term "non-appropriated fund activity," and why they exist.
The military has decided that for morale reasons (among many others) they would provide for certain activities that allow servicemen to participate for a lower cost that what they would find in a "for-profit" organization. Some of these activities make money regularly (e.g. flying activity, golf course), though not necessarily by design.
With even a little bit of research into the subject, one would find that the Tipton Army Airfield was in use by the military, and that the FMFA not only was a small part of the operations there, but for the most part (if not completely) paid its own way. The activity has also paid for many improvements to the field.
Expending just a little more research time, one would realize that there are two main reasons that members of the FMFA are able to fly as inexpensively as they have, and neither has to do with taxpayers. The main reason is quantity. There are several hundred members of the two flying activities at Tipton, thus making for economy of scale. The second reason is that the flying activities are not trying to eke out every cent of profit the market will bear.
There are many pilots flying with the FMFA that otherwise would not be able to fly. Many cadets from the Naval Academy have gotten their first taste of flight at Tipton. If you don't understand why the military has a morale and welfare office, or why the FMFA has been so successful, do a little research and find out for yourself.
Useless genes with no bears to slay
Referring to Pam Yeckling's letter, "Male genes are the root of violence (Oct. 12), and Gregory Kane's column linking genetics and violence (Sept. 30).
I believe that males have developed a violent behavior gene. For thousands of years, it became the duty of the strongest in the group to engage in contests with wild animals in order to obtain food. The role of hunter finally narrowed to the male, as did the role of warrior.
With the advent of urban industrialization, the functioning of the violent behavior gene has been suppressed. Bringing home a paycheck just isn't the same as killing the bear and returning triumphantly.
The earliest industrialized community peoples have developed sports teams to vicariously "kill the bear" for them. We also pay males to fight for us, another stomp on our violent behavior gene. Not all nations industrialized at the same time. Therefore, males from the later developing environments have not had the time to have had the aggressive gene suppressed. They are probably progressing at the same rate that the earlier beginners did. It just takes time.
Nature has a way of balancing situations.
Why people are lottery addicts
Robin Miller was right on the money in his very well-written and thought out article ("The lottery mentality," Opinion * Commentary, Oct. 17).
The reasons people become addicted to lottery playing (job insecurity, layoffs and broken promises by politicians) have affected many American families.
I would assume Mr. Miller works as a taxi driver to supplement his writer's income. If it's convenient, would he mind coming to my house and taxi me bi-weekly to the local Power Ball ticket vendor? Might as well go for the Big One!
Miriam T. Glister
Gaming industry jobs not worth the gamble
Why are we still talking about casino gambling in Maryland? Before I left for a trip the first of October, I saw that a poll of the citizens was clearly against any kind of casino gambling, so why don't we move on to problems which already exist? (We certainly don't need to create any new ones.)
The editorial cartoonist who pictures the politicians as hypocritically mouthing disclaimers while salivating in the backrooms has it right but one wonders just what they could be so eager for -- unless it is the chance to profit personally. Why else has the gambling industry focused so much time and attention on swaying the governor and the legislators and not the voters? Instead of spending more money on studies, why don't we listen to the voters and spend that money on finding solutions for some of the real problems in this state?
While in Minnesota, I spent a few hours at the Mystic Lake Casino, "one of the country's newest, largest and most spectacular gaming facilities with 135,000 square feet devoted to blackjack, slots and high stakes bingo." As for the creation of jobs, we saw people running around making change, others cleaning restroom facilities or using little carpet sweepers to keep the area clean and a few serving at the eating kiosk or restaurant. The blackjack dealers have to pay $200 for the training to get a job and the first time they are late or call in that their child is sick, they are dismissed.
Are we really going to convince young people to stay in school so they can get such a minimum wage job? Even assuming there were a few managers and accountants around somewhere, how many jobs are we talking about? The only real jobs created are during the construction phase and any construction project would do as well and not bring all the headaches and heartaches afterward.
The governor is pleased to see his rating improve. I suspect that it will go down again if he ignores the wishes of the people. I sincerely hope he will listen to the voters.
Alice H. Kushner
End NFL's 'oppression' or cheer team we have
It appears that some damaging and mistaken notions have been propagated by Jack Kent Cooke, assisted by Paul Tagliabue, concerning Baltimore's football fans and television market.
In all simplicity, Mr. Cooke's attempts to impose his Redskins on this area year after year amount to nothing less than oppression.
This abhorrent scheme -- to force the "Deadskins" upon this population, this great city of Baltimore, a major league city in its own right with one of the proudest of NFL heritages (Johnny U., the "greatest game ever played," etc.) -- is very rudely inappropriate and is very much not appreciated.
Furthermore, with the new CFL team's beginning as "CFL Colts," and the fans once again shouting C-O-L-T-S, along with Baltimore's and Maryland's noble efforts in the horrendous NFL expansion farce, we have recently experienced a minor Colts/NFL revival which has left this area's affliction with the Redskins more grievous than ever.
We in the Baltimore area are sorely in need of a good, solid and professional public relations campaign directed toward the NFL owners, the Fox network and, yea, the entire country.
Richard F. Bahr Jr.
The Sun ran an article on the Baltimore Stallions' impressive victory at Memorial Stadium. The article, on the front page of the Sports section, was curiously only one column wide. The Stallions' article was squeezed next to the five columns, with color photograph, on the National League's Atlanta Braves.
Come on, folks, you need to pay more attention to Baltimore teams. The Baltimore Stallions-Saskatchewan Roughriders football game was as exciting a game as has ever been played in any league. It was significant, too, in that the Stallions clinched the Southern Division and became the first U.S. team identified to go to the playoffs.
This season I have attended all the Stallions home games. Strangely, every so often, the Baltimore fans erupt with cheers for the NFL's Indianapolis team. An unofficial cheerleader, "Big Wheel," alternates in leading cheers for our Stallions with cheers for the Colts. So, I guess you, too, can be forgiven for being a little confused as to your coverage and support for the Baltimore football team.