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AIDS beats cancer to research fundsI am...


AIDS beats cancer to research funds

I am writing in response to the article regarding the American Cancer Society decision to sell its name to two companies in exchange for at least $4 million in sales royalties (Aug. 17, "Cancer Society endorses products").

I find it interesting that a useful organization, which seeks to find a cure for a disease that potentially strikes all people, regardless of sex, age, or race, must peddle its name in order to raise enough funds to continue funding research.

While many developments in cancer research have revealed ways to reduce the potential of getting the terrible disease, there is currently no sure-fire way to prevent it.

AIDS does have a clear and simple prevention procedure for the huge majority of cases (abstinence). Yet it gets much more federal money per person than does cancer, making AIDS the most privileged disease in history.

When will the American people, and their government, stop the charade of heavily funding drug abuse and irresponsible sexual behavior at the expense of a more haunting disease that can strike anyone regardless of life choices?

Common sense dictates that funding priorities must be directed to help the most people, not the most politically powerful.

I'll continue to gladly purchase Florida orange juice. It certainly tastes better than the recent federal budget.

Joel P. Landskroener


Loch Raven center serves veterans

It is indeed unfortunate and somewhat distressing to read the recent letter by D. Waszelewski, which makes the assertion that the newly opened "Loch Raven VA Center makes no sense." That view is ill-informed.

The letter states that the downtown VA Medical Center was constructed so that either Loch Raven or Fort Howard could be closed.

The letter fails to explain that even prior to the move out of the old Loch Raven Hospital and into the new facility downtown, discussions were held as to how to convert the then existing structure into a much needed nursing home.

The old hospital was finally demolished and a new, state-of-the-art extended-care facility (nursing home and gero-psychiatric center) constructed, when it was determined that to retrofit the old structure would cost more than tearing it down and starting anew.

It is very sad that having once promised these veterans that we as a society would care for their medical needs in exchange for their service to country, some folks feel it necessary to renege on that promise in order to save the taxpayer a few dollars.

As a nurse who has had the opportunity first-hand to see the difference this new facility has made to both the veterans it serves as well as their families who love them, I am proud that we have kept this promise.

Mike Holy


U.S. safe haven for rich fugitives

The Aug. 4 article, "Quiet relief over a fugitive's freedom," not only noted that Haiti's most-wanted man is in the U.S., but that he has also just been released from an American prison and allowed to live and work here indefinitely. The article further stated that his political organization is accused of hundreds of atrocities against people in Haiti.

My question is how do people like this get a visa to come to the United States in the first place? I am a U.S. citizen who has been living in Ecuador (South America) and have heard Miami referred to there as "home of Latin America's trash." This is because there have been so many corrupt politicians who have escaped justice in their own countries by fleeing to Miami.

In the case of Ecuador, law breakers with connections and money are notified in advance of their imminent arrest, which gives them plenty of time to escape in their private airplanes to other countries. This is an obvious problem, but an equally distressing question is why are these criminals permitted entry into other countries?

Ecuador's former vice president, accused of misappropriating funds, lives comfortably in Costa Rica, where the justice system has refused to extradite him. A relative of the ex-president, accused of stealing money from the government, was last said to be living in Miami, well away from the masses who do not have the influence to avoid justice for lesser crimes.

We have strict laws concerning legal immigration and are increasing security around the U.S. to reduce illegal immigration. These steps may be needed, but I would rather have hard-working, legal and illegal immigrants in this country than Latin America's upper-class fugitives, who buy and sell justice as if they are above the law.

S. Lee Nevins


Where was Kemp when duty called?

One just has to wonder what exactly was the shoulder injury that caused the Army physicians to excuse Republican vice presidential nominee Jack Kemp from active military duty at the time of the Berlin crisis of 1961.

Inasmuch as the injury had occurred only a month before entry on active duty, Mr. Kemp could have been easily rehabilitated or the injury could have been truly incapacitating.

Perhaps the nominee will release a medical history that will shed light on his exemption at a time of very serious national danger.

The voting public would also like to know why Jack Kemp elected to join the Army Reserve and when, or even what qualifications he had, for the Army's transportation unit.

The Army Reserve unit that I commanded at that time, the 92nd Field Hospital, was also precipitously called to active duty and suffered from having several physicians welsh or otherwise evade reporting, as their obligation or responsibility required.

Nonetheless, our unit was brought up to full strength by reservists from other units, and served for nearly one year at Fort Gordon, Ga.

This was truly a time of nuclear crisis, with real threat of all-out war by the Russians. Several hundred thousand Army reservists were ordered to active duty in a time of apparent peace, the first such mobilization and one that caught many professionals, both in health care and professional football, by surprise.

That mobilization of soldiers who had been sworn into military service differed markedly from a draft call of civilians.

The military forces, whether Reserve or National Guard, should expect to be called upon to serve, and evasion of duty is more serious than evasion of a draft call.

The nation should expect Jack Kemp to explain more fully the reasons for his failure to respond to the Berlin call-up.

John B. De Hoff


Sun can't have it both ways about gambling

Make up your minds about gambling already. I opened the Aug. 17 paper to a Sun editorial titled "Cigar in Maryland" that argues for state aid for the Maryland horse racing industry (read: gambling). The editorial immediately beneath it, "What makes us gamble," asks us to "step back and consider where this country is headed with gambling and whether that's really the direction we want to go." How can you favor one form of gambling in one editorial and immediately oppose or question it in the next?

While all forms of gambling can be justified as sport or entertainment, they are inherently destructive to the basic principles of human achievement. People expect something for nothing. The people who can least afford to gamble do it the most.

It may be too late to eliminate the forms of gambling that already exist in Maryland. But the last thing we should do is throw more money at it simply to keep up with the Joneses. For years, I lived in one of the two states with enough integrity to ban all forms of gambling, including lotteries. If only this state would choose so wisely.

Chuck Knowles


Pub Date: 8/28/96

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