Princess Diana exemplified compassion
As a family glued to the television and Internet the last few days regarding the death of Princess Diana, it dawned on me just what this means in the big picture.
The loss of such a humane, compassionate, genuine human being has touched every heart in every nation. Why? Because underneath the big scheme of it all, we yearn for compassion and kindness as a nation.
The sadness experienced by everyone of every culture, race, religion and creed proves that we want such icons in our world. We want to tie our heartstrings to people who are not afraid to show their love and compassion for the human race.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if every country was able to boast such a person? Better than that, hundreds or thousands of such people, who used their fame and fortune to "do good" for others in this human race?
Unfortunately, most nations cannot pinpoint a political figure who can give so freely and conditionally of themselves.
Maybe we should view the grieving of Princess Diana as a good sign, a sign that we, as human beings, are full of good and grace and we want to see the same in others.
State employees deserve better pay
Thanks to William E. Kirwan, president of the University of Maryland, College Park, for drawing attention to the fact that state employees and University of Maryland staff deserve a pay raise (letter, Aug. 26).
He said it well, but I want to add that his comments should be considered along with the fact (reported in The Sun June 23 by Thomas W. Waldron) that the pensions for Maryland state employees are "among the worst in the U.S."
That article stated that officials are seeking a remedy, but that will not begin to make up for the losses that have been going on for years. Let's be fair. State employees can't strike for higher wages. They must take what they are given or quit.
Phillip David Wilson
Replacing projects costs public too much
An article in the Aug. 24 Maryland section, "Rowhouses spring up in place of projects," was an affront to the intellect and an outrage to every tax-paying citizen of the United States.
If simple arithmetic serves me, $105 million divided by 228 equals something in excess of $460,000. Townhouses costing this much are being offered at $60,000, at below market-rate interest loans? Out in the affluent areas of our state a $460,000 property is called an "estate home."
I can only assume that the taxpayer is footing the bill for this boondoggle.
These costs apparently do not take into consideration the sums that have already been expended to try the court case whose verdict gave rise to the expensive demolition of the old high-rises, carried out amid much showy fanfare, and the displacement and relocation of the tenants to already over-stressed, fragile fringe neighborhoods of the city and its surrounding counties.
Rather than being praised, perhaps the cast of characters in this municipal melodrama, running the alphabetical gamut from the ACLU to U.S. government, should be criminally prosecuted for theft of taxpayers' dollars.
David H. Madden
Carson's philosophy should be taught
Once in a while, the news media spotlight something that is positive and uplifting. The Sun's contribution for the year was the Aug. 24 publication of Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon Ben Carson's personal philosophy.
It should be discussed in every public school classroom. But, no. That might make somebody feel bad. We can't compromise political correctness in order to teach something worthwhile.
Dr. Ben Carson is a great American and a role model for all Americans, regardless of race. The NAACP should quit whining and embrace his philosphy.
Harry R. Shriver
Pikesville Gregory Kane, to borrow a phrase, has his head screwed on right, as evidenced by his clearly stated, thought-provoking comments Aug. 23, "From fans to fanatics: Love of sports goes too far."
Such a multitude of individuals couldn't all be overtaken by sheer stupidity. Maybe it's a heavy case of a modern disease: pro-sportsitis, brought on by an overdose of exaggerated hype.
It's a far cry from times past when sports were real and enjoyable and those running the show had scruples, a time when there were than just a handful we could point out as idols to our kids.
There is no need to pursue any sophisticated cure for pro-sportsitis. A proven, dependable remedy has been around for awhile. It's called common sense.
G. L. Rehak
We must think clearly about marijuana
Expression of opinion is one thing, outright promulgation of half-truths and lies is another. The Aug. 27 letter from R. Ben Dawson demands a rebuttal, point by point.
Marijuana a gateway drug? A recent study gave the honor to cigarettes. Our country's drug laws unfortunately encourage marijuana to be a gateway drug, since users must buy via an underground market, where they will be necessarily exposed to hard drugs.
Marijuana contains dozens of unknown substance? Gee, what's your point? So does the apple I'm eating.
It's highly addictive? The two major scales of addiction currently in use by researchers place marijuana squarely at the low end of the addiction continuum, below caffeine.
Stays in the body for weeks? Dr. Dawson forgot to add that it's the inactive metabolites, with no pharmacological effect, that remain.
Generally an unsafe drug? Where's your data? Every presidential commission convened to study marijuana in the past 100 years has recommended decriminalization after an exhaustive study of the literature.
Marijuana causes lack-of-motivation syndrome? Disproved.
A bad drug for high schoolers? Of course it is; few marijuana advocates would deny it. Drug use by school-age children speaks volumes about our country's failed attempts at drug education, but is totally beside the point in a discussion of decriminalization.
I would hope Dr. Dawson recommends treatment to his patients according to research-based effectiveness. Too bad he doesn't afford us, the readers of his letter, the same truthfulness. His half-truths are designed to incite emotional responses and muddy the waters. We need clear thinking and facts when exploring alternatives to our failed drug laws.
Terry Dalton Hadley
Pub Date: 9/03/97