War in the gulf?
I wonder whether the hundreds of thousands of soldiers in Saudi Arabia still feel that President Bush desires a "kinder and gentler nation." The magnitude of the buildup in the Persian Gulf does not auger well for a peaceful settlement of the Saddam situation. Will Kuwait become another Vietnam?
Secretary of State Baker has revealed the brutal cynicism of American foreign policy in his statement that the gulf crisis is about American jobs. Not "naked aggression" or to ensure a new order in the gulf, but about jobs.
What this will do to the morale of the troops in Saudi Arabia is problematical. What is more likely is that if Americans start to return in body bags, the wives and mothers of those who died for just jobs will start a storm of protest that will ensure that Bush is a one-term president.
Howard H. Green
Not in school
Schools do not need to pass out condoms to prevent the transmission of disease or pregnancy when teen-agers engaging in sexual intercourse can obtain condoms from any drug store.
Abstinence and religious objections are not going to prevent teen-agers from engaging in sexual intercourse. Peer pressure alone is enough to challenge many teen-agers to have sex. Teen-agers will have sex, and condoms should be used. However, America's schools are not the place to promote this problem.
Kudos, not criticism, for Shock Trauma
The controversy over the Shock Trauma Unit at the University of Maryland and its concerning its relationship to the university is not new. It has been present ever since the idea was conceived. Yet the unit has endured despite this controversy because of the kind of people who make up such a unit. Personnel who gravitate to it are hard-working, dedicated professionals who are willing to give more than 100 percent when a life is at stake.
It is not that this does not go on in other parts of the hospital, or in other hospitals in the state. It is not that these people should be given any special consideration. However, in conditions which render citizens in the worst condition that trauma can bring about, is it wrong not to expect rapid transport and up-front care by a super team effort to bring back a life so close to death? There is not one of us who does not have personal, anecdotal experiences about young people who have been through the Shock Trauma Unit, and who have survived because of this professional relationship.
It is excellent care, and it stands out because it attracts the so-called maverick professionals who act in the war zone of life to provide us with a dimension of care unobtainable without a certain degree of autonomy.
This should not be interpreted as the Shock Trauma Unit's being unaccountable but should, rather, be a recognition of its raison d'etre. I hope the turf wars will not be allowed to interfere with a creation that has found a true purpose. It has stood the test of time and needs to be more respected.
Raymond D. Bahr
The writer is medical director at the Paul Dudley White Coronary Care System, Saint Agnes Hospital.
Regarding your Nov. 13 article about the percentages of people in Maryland who give money and time to charities, I couldn't shake the feeling that maybe if people gave more of their time, they wouldn't have to give as much of their money.
Everyone has experienced the spiels, strategically targeted for dinner time, from various charities pleading for donations. For whatever reason, perhaps your dinner is getting cold, or it is the fifth time in five days they've called or perhaps you sympathize with the cause, you pledge your donation of whatever amount and hang up the phone.
I do not think that giving money is wrong. I do wonder, however, how many of us would consider volunteering at a hospital for cocaine babies or a shelter for the homeless. Is American society so materialistic that we believe all our problems can be solved with money? Or is it just that our schedules are too full and our time too precious?
Maybe this is something we should ponder as we click on the tube to watch "I Love Lucy" reruns or highlights of Sunday night's football game.
No peace on earth
A heart cannot hold joy while hands are causing suffering and death to innocent, defenseless creatures. So, true Christmas spirit is lost on hunters.
Happiness is found in giving help where needed, not by inflicting unnecessary pain. The money wasted on bloodthirsty sport would feed every hungry person in the country for Christmas.
There is no justification for such merciless action. The truth is that hunters enjoy the mass killing of helpless animals. If the odds were even, there would be no hunters.
Peace on earth? Ask the hunted animals.