No More Bombs
Editor: As a citizen of this country I am very troubled by ou government's insistence on continuing to develop new generations of deadly and destructive weapons. These weapons not create national security. Rather, they create economic stress, social privation and a sense of danger. The eventual economic, ecological, medical and moral consequences of the nuclear bomb testing conducted by our government over the past 45 years is unknown. We must stop exploding these bombs. It is dangerous, expensive and wrong.
D. Kathy Milholland.
Editor: I believe Gov. William Donald Schaefer has taken strong leadership position by making tough decisions to deal with the state's $432 million revenue shortfall. And if that means ultimately laying off state employees until the state can afford them again, then we must face that harsh reality.
I do not believe that Governor Schaefer, or any governor, would seek to lay off people if there were any alternative. Mr. Schaefer never in his career in public service has had to order layoffs. I am sure that he does not relish the possibility.
As a taxpayer and a person who knows many state employees, I believe that the governor will make only those cuts he must make to ensure that the state of Maryland is in sound fiscal condition.
Now is not a time for discord among our citizens. Rather, it is a time when we must all band together, tighten our belts and prepare for the tough times ahead.
I wish the governor every success with his battle to keep the state on course. It is in the best interest of every citizen that he is successful in this endeavor.
D. Jean Adams.
Editor: When one considers the present situation in th Middle East, certain conclusions are inescapable.
Our country has painted itself into a sticky corner. We have to remove this thug, Saddam Hussein, and his military potential from the area totally, because of the military and political threat and the continuing need for oil.
On the other hand, it is just as urgent to develop a credible energy program to reduce greatly our need for fossil fuels over the long-term. Such a program was in full swing when President Carter was in office and was dismantled by President Reagan.
Until we develop successful and continuing sources of non-polluting energy and increase our energy efficiency by 100-to-300 percent, we shall be hostage to every tin-horn tyrant and terrorist who pops up in the Middle East.
Recently, a ten-part program, ''Race To Save the Planet,'' appeared on public television.
One of the segments showed an automobile developed by Volvo that gets 90 miles per gallon under average road conditions. This is a regular-sized car with all conveniences and safety features.
A bill sponsored by Sen. Richard Bryan, D, Nev., to require auto gasoline mileage of 40 miles per gallon by the year 2001 was killed by the auto industry and the opposition of the Bush administration.
If Volvo can produce such a car, surely the automobile industry in our country can do the same.
In Western Europe and Japan, mass transportation is the rule, not the exception. It works. It is cheaper. It is faster. It is far less polluting. It does not require the removal of more and more good farmland for expanded highway systems at $3 million or more per mile. It is not subject to rush-hour highway traffic jams.
Why not in the United States? The reason is the auto industry and big oil. If the people in this country are ever going to be able to look down the road toward a progressive, debt-free, relatively peaceful existence where they can hope to live a decent life, they had better insist on a full-speed-ahead energy program that does not concentrate on foreign oil imports and total fossil fuel energy services.
Ernest M. Stolberg.
Soldiers' Pangs of Conscience
Editor: Rarely an issue of your paper is distributed these day without an emotionally driven account of some career soldier who has had sudden pangs of conscience and refuses to be sent to the Persian Gulf area. The article usually includes a detailed description of the turmoil the soldier and family are going through and a family photograph designed to touch the heart of the reader.
No doubt there are some soldiers who genuinely do object to war on moral grounds; these people should not be asked to fight if it conflicts with their conscience. However, since our military is a volunteer one, why did these persons choose a military career in the first place? While recruitment advertisements tend to glamorize life in the military, they never suggest that it is an environment free of danger and may not require the soldier some day to fight for his country. Indeed any thinking person must immediately recognize that such a profession carries a very real risk of danger, injury and possibly even death.