Editor: The United States is giving $1 billion to the Soviet Union for food while we have over three million homeless in America.
If the Soviets were fully cooperating with us in the Persian Gulf, then I could understand our wanting to help them to some degree. However, Russia still has Soviet advisers in Iraq. This means that if the U.S. goes to war with Iraq, then the Soviets will be advising Iraqi soldiers on how to use Russian missiles against our American soldiers and allies in Saudi Arabia.
Has our U.S. foreign policy gone crazy?
I can't believe anyone with a grain of common sense and sincere loyalty to our country could give their stamp of approval to the Bush administration's new foreign policy, a policy that looks more like a ''suicide mission'' instead of an ''Operation Desert Shield.''
Editor: John Dorsey's article lamenting the closing of another commercial art gallery on Charles Street -- Dalsheimer -- was sad news shared by anyone involved or concerned with the area art scene. Baltimore's galleries collectively express the richness of a varied cultural community, and there is a net loss when any single gallery closes for whatever reason.
However, the reporting of this event, questioning the ''viability'' of Baltimore's commercial art galleries, was not appropriate or accurate. The premise that commercial galleries in this city are struggling, shoe-string operations, under-supported by the art museums and the public (as if they each had some moral obligation to do so!), couldn't be further from the truth in our experience.
While some years are definitely better than others, Bendann Art Galleries has had the good fortune to survive Civil Wars and world wars, recessions and depressions, inaugurations and assassinations, fires, floods and family feuds for 131 years by means of prudent ownership and management, exceptional employees and steady support by a loyal Baltimore constituency of private collectors and local companies for four generations.
Additionally, a week does not go by that we do not receive a phone call from someone referred to us by the Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland Historical Society, Peale or Walters -- I call that museum support! Besides, we have never felt that the museums are obligated to us, but rather we are obligated to them, and we try to support them as much as possible.
Baltimore's commercial art galleries represent a proud past, a distinctive present and a bright future. Let's balance obituaries with success stories!
The writer is proprietor of Bendann Art Galleries.
Editor: What a shame to witness a fine Baltimore institution like USF&G undergoing financial stress and retrenchment due to questionable management policies.
USF&G was formed in the late 1800s and was built into a financially strong and stable company and had an excellent reputation in the insurance industry.
It took more than four decades to build this institution, and less than one decade to transform it to its present state.
Since many businesses in Baltimore have relied upon the financial strength and reputation of USF&G, it is to be hoped that the company's present difficulties will not harm them.
I want to congratulate those members of the board who took the bull by the horns and had the intestinal fortitude to do what was necessary to salvage this great company.
Israel and Others
Editor: How dare your letter writer Ruth Nolte compare Israel to Syria, China and the U.S.S.R. with regard to human rights?
Though Israeli Palestinians have declared as their life's goal the destruction of their host country, though the Palestinians are avowed Jew-haters and have attempted countless suicide missions to kill as many Israelis as possible, Israeli doctors still treat Arabs in Jewish hospitals, the Israeli government still tries to communicate with its enemies in a civilized and restrained fashion when possible and, unbelievably, still takes into account world opinion.
When faced with a suicidal enemy, one's options are often limited. Unfortunately, errors in judgment may occasionally occur.
But to equate Israel with countries which have proved their total apathy toward world opinion and have no moral conscience is deplorable.
Editor: Your Dec. 18 front-page portrayal of a pregnant Haitian woman lying dead in the street was execrable, exceedingly tasteless, gauche and abominable and with no redemptive value. It, too, bespeaks, in this instance, monumental insensitivity to fundamental human values and decency.
Samuel L. Banks.
Editor: Regarding the photo of a slain Haitian woman, what an undignified and shocking picture you chose for display on the front page of Dec. 18. If the picture was printed for shock value, then consider me shocked, dismayed, appalled, flabbergasted, etc.