Give the tigers some space
In his Nov. 29 commentary ("Saving the tiger by letting him die with dignity"), Indian economist Bharat Jhunjhunwala writes, "Let us love the tiger by helping him realize his highest potential and administering euthanasia."
This kind of twisted thinking is at least as diseased as the notion that all of creation was put here for man's use.
It is not the tiger (and his entire habitat) that needs euthanasia, but rather arrogant, self-important ideologies, be they "Western" "Eastern."
The plants and animals do not need our "assistance" to reach their highest potential. They need only space to live.
Private school aid hurts public schools
Before serious consideration can be given to providing materials and/or services to private/parochial schools there are some concerns that must be addressed:
1. The claim is made that the funding being sought will be used to cover such items as textbooks, supplies, computers and transportation, among other things. There are many children currently in public schools who, because of a lack of funds, do not have access to these learning tools. Why should more be taken from those who do not have these essentials to fund a competitive private education system?
2. Public education in America was instituted to serve all children in an inclusive system. Private education, by its very nature, is exclusionary, i.e., it may choose whom it will serve. This gives an opportunity to take only the "best" students and leave the remainder to public education. Because of this, private schools appear more effective and use this perception to gain public support. This exacerbates a system of haves and have nots.
3. Private schools already receive benefits from state and local municipalities for which they pay no property tax or other taxes.
Private/parochial education has every right to exist and should be encouraged to do so, but those who elect this alternative to public education should be willing to pay for it.
There is no question that some of the public education system is in a crisis; it is part of a larger system that is in crisis and needs to be fixed. But let us not euthanize public education by draining off funds that are already far too limited so that the "haves" have more of what the "have-nots" do not and, hence, create another divisive element in our society.
!Clyde R. Shallenberger
London investors built Jamestown
Frank D. Roylance, in an excellent Nov. 27 article on Chesapeake history, was pondering why people remember the Pilgrims of Massachusetts and not the heroic band that settled Jamestown, Va.
Jamestown came about as a result of speculators investing in the Virginia Company of London, while the Pilgrims personified religious freedom later established as one of the founding principles of the United States. The same is true about why we mythologized Pocahontas. A frieze in the dome of the Capitol in Washington, D.C., portrays her converting to Christianity. This act is another beau ideal for a country intent on helping save the souls of the indigenous.
I come not to fault our story tellers, but to explain them.
Casper Taylor's views challenged
I had to laugh as I read Maryland House Speaker Casper Taylor's Nov. 27 commentary concerning the impact that the CSX/Conrail merger may have on Maryland.
Mr. Taylor misses two key points. Whether he likes it or not, Baltimore has become, at best, a second-fiddle port as far as container traffic is concerned. CSX and Conrail both view Baltimore container traffic as lower-margin business because it is. The reality is that it does not pay for the two companies to compete for the container business, there simply isn't enough of The second and more disturbing point that Mr. Taylor sidesteps deals with his concern that " a competitive railroad industry in our state is also important in the quest to attract job-producing, tax-paying industries to Maryland."
The last I checked, the mutual fund industry was not a real big user of freight railroads and they seem to be the only businesses incorporating in Maryland. What has made the state very unattractive to business is the incredibly high taxes on individuals.
A friend and I recently incorporated and moved a business to Florida; we simply are allowed more working capital down there. I might add that the entire Jacksonville-Palm-Beach corridor is served by one railroad, the Florida East Coast, and I have yet to hear anyone say, "Oh, no, we can't incorporate there, there's only one railroad."
I think Mr. Taylor needs a reality check.
EPA controls win support
Recently the Environmental Protection Agency proposed tighter federal air-pollution standards. I support the proposal. And judging by the views of the opposition, described in Timothy B. Wheeler's Nov. 27 front-page article, it is hard to think otherwise.
Robert T. Drew, director of health and environmental science for the American Petroleum Institute, is quoted as saying, "It's kind of like when you get two or three yards from the [end zone] and they move the goal line."
No, it is not at all like that.
A football game is a game. It is not a matter of life and death (for most people), and it would be made more difficult for the sake of increased enjoyment. Stricter air-pollution standards aren't meant to prolong a game. They would prolong human life itself.
According to the opposing industries, "a more stringent limit would not offer much more protection than the current standard." Shouldn't we support any change that might mean xTC the difference between being hospitalized for asthma or just getting sick? Or between being able to go outdoors or having to stay inside?
China tries to blackmail Disney
President Clinton could learn something from Mickey Mouse. In an outrageous attempt to impose censorship on a domestic U.S. corporation, China threatened to restrict the Disney Co.'s business opportunities in China if Disney produced a film about the Dalai Lama. Apparently China wants to revise history by suppressing knowledge of its rape and subjugation of Tibet.
With monumental hypocrisy Chinese dictators are simultaneously railing against the West's concern for human rights as intolerable meddling while attempting to control what Americans see at their local movies. To its credit Disney stood up to this naked blackmail. More companies and countries need to resist commercial blackmail from a regime that has murdered both people and the truth -- in China and in Tibet.
Roger C. Kostmayer
Pub Date: 12/09/96