Israel will not die for the world's...


Israel will not die for the world's good word

George F. Will's column ("Arafat's politics of violence," March 27), should be required reading for key officials of every nation represented in the United Nations.

Perhaps then a vote on Israel deciding to build apartments in a bare stretch of its own land, among its own people in East Jerusalem, would not go overwhelmingly against Israel.

Golda Meir's words that concluded Mr. Will's column are worth repeating once again: "Jews are used to collective eulogies, but Israel will not die so that the world will speak well of it."

Perhaps the world should at least think twice before believing a liar's promises.

Howard K. Ottenstein


Media badgered Loyola students

It is difficult to hear of the death of another young person. It is also difficult to hear about television's unethical treatment of the situation when we are continually taught to respect the dignity and integrity of each person at Loyola College.

As rumors were spread by the news coverage about the "mandatory vaccinations" and the "meningitis epidemic," many students became frantic. The administration struggled to allay the fears caused by this faulty and selective information.

But the cameras were still shoved in the faces of innocent students, in the face of the compassionate administration and in the face of a candlelight vigil service that needed nothing more than friendship and prayers.

Because of the constant badgering and coverage, the administration was forced to deal with triple the amount of work and the Health Center was inundated with phone calls. This was completely unnecessary.

I think the college officials have handled this unfortunate situation in the best possible manner and I would like to commend and thank them for their hard work and their commitment to the well-being of the student body.

As for the news coverage, it seems to be a poor reflection of our culture. Much time will be wasted in trying to restore the faith and hope that students and parents once held in Loyola College.

Dennis McCunney


The writer is a Loyola College student, class of '98.

Tax the drugs that raise health care costs

Michael Olesker (column, March 23) was right on the mark pointing out the striking similarity between the tobacco industry and other drug cartels, and the importance of big tobacco's political contributions in buying protection.

(Of course, tobacco kills over ten times the number of Americans killed by all illegal drugs put together).

In this context, it seems odd that the story of the Liggett tobacco company settlement has been covered largely as financial news, with most of the speculation being what this will mean for Philip Morris' stock value.

Mr. Olesker's article should help investors recognize that it is not appropriate to share in profits generated by promoting addiction to a deadly drug. (Would these investors buy "Cali Cartel" if it were legal?)

By definition, anything that improves this industry's stock value translates into a public health calamity.

Perhaps the Liggett settlement will help Maryland legislators see more clearly the need to increase tobacco taxes to deal with the alarmingly rapid rise of tobacco addiction among young people in our state.

Joseph Adams, M.D.


The writer is president of Smoke Free Maryland.

Cruelty to snakes is rabbits' life-saver

I've filed the March 27 news story, "Man who decapitated his pet pythons pleads guilty to animal cruelty," in my "Am I Missing Something Here?" file.

The story says he raised them "on a steady diet of rodents and rabbits."

Without making any judgment about whether a snake's life is more valuable than the life of a mouse, rat or rabbit, why it is cruelty, punishable by a jail term, to behead a snake quickly but okay to routinely allow a snake to crush small mammals to death?

If he had beheaded a rabbit before feeding it to a snake, could he have been charged with two counts of animal cruelty, one for the assault on the rabbit and another for annoying the snake that prefers to kill its own food?

Curt Dobbs


Special interest money denies rule 'by people'

What would Abe say? He would say "Reverse the 1976 Supreme Court decision claiming that campign spending is a protected form of freedom of speech, before special interest money destroys government of the people, by the people, for the people."

He might add that at least half the billion dollars reportedly spent to influence the 1996 election should have been turned over to the Bureau of the Public Debt to reduce the $5.3 trillion national debt on which we continue to pay interest.

Carl Cannon's March 16 article, endlessly long and repetitive, omitted information about how the GOP raised 60 percent more than the Democratic Party, and did not mention the court's decision, which is generally credited with the excessive growth of campaign expenditures.

Ellen B. Shoffner


Let Pratt get on with its planning

As a member of the Friends of the Enoch Pratt Free Library and as a past president of its board, I was appalled by the misstatements and misconceptions published in The Sun on March 2.

The Pratt staff has always kept us informed as plans are formulated and developed. So what's the problem?

We have seen a tremendous change for the better since Carla Hayden arrived as director. We need to praise her and her staff, not find fault and nitpick.

The Pratt board of trustees is a group of business people who give of themselves to run it for the people of Baltimore.

They, too, deserve praise. Let them do their job.

Mary Constantine


Low-tech solution to traffic problems

I was pleasantly surprised to read in the March 20 Maryland section that our state had such an elegant high-tech system available to keep traffic moving in the face of slowdowns caused by accidents and adverse weather. However, there is one very effective, very low-cost traffic-moving system which was not mentioned and, in my own experience, is seldom employed.

When there is an accident in the city or in the counties, police cars usually appear and take care of any immediate emergency problems. Then the police usually stand around staring at the damaged vehicles.

Years ago, such excess police would have been actively directing slowed traffic around the accident tie-ups, speeding up traffic flow and speeding up rubber-neckers on the opposite lanes. This doesn't seem to happen much any more. I wonder why.

Sidney Rankin


Pub Date: 4/02/97

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