City drivers should pay higher rates
Your Dec. 18 editorial, "Insurance options," opposing geographical auto insurance rates, rings hollow. You argue: "No one would defend a practice of, let us say, charging Baltimore residents two or three times as much for their auto license plates as other residents pay. Why should mandatory insurance rates be any different?"
Yet, in the same issue of your newspaper, you publish statistics which indicate that the incidence of insurance claims in Baltimore city is over three times that of other areas of the state. Surely there is a rational basis for charging more to insure those people who are much more likely to incur insurance claims.
Your argument about the fee for license plates is silly. Using the ++ same argument, teen-agers could complain that their rates should not be any higher than other drivers'. And what of drivers who are convicted of numerous traffic violations? Using your logic, why should they have to pay more for state-mandated auto insurance? The absurdity of your position should be clear.
Timothy E. Meredith
On the ash heap
When the U.S. gets done liberating Kuwait, there will be
nothing but piles of rubble to return to the surviving Kuwaiti people.
How typical of The Evening Sun (Dec. 28) to support the National Aquarium and the opening of the new Marine Mammal Prison! While aquarium staff claim "educational" purposes for its use of marine animals, The Evening Sun editorial staff eats it up hook, line and sinker.
Despite the acknowledgment that the aquarium forces dolphins to "do flips in the air and walk on [their] tail[s]," The Sun passes this off as only an apparently minor "element of commercialism," despite the fact that the conditions at the aquarium have led to the injury or death of at least 14 marine mammals over the last nine years, and at least 350 fish in 1981 alone.
As for "its cultural value [to] children," the aquarium and the prison reinforce the existing cultural value of patriarchal PTC
dominance and the resulting attitude that animals belong in a cage/tank to help us protect and respect the environment.
How ironic! In their supposedly great desire to promote that respect, aquarium officials confiscate an essential part of that environment ` the animals ` put them in the equivalent of a bathtub, and say, "Here's your environment; respect it!"
Mark E. Rifkin
The writer is coordinator of the Maryland Forum for Animals.
Ellen Hawks' annual "Letter to pet owners," especially new ones (both owners and puppies or kittens) is sincere, sensitive and altogether true. When giving a child a pet, you are giving it unselfish love and devotion, uncomplicated by rivalry. The pet only wants to please and be loved in return. A child can learn
that gentility is rewarded, that responsibility is a maturing process, not a burden.
Once a year is not enough for this message to reach the public. I hope that breeders, veterinarians and pet shops will make copies of it and give them to their customers and patients.
ylvia B. Mandy
People and oil
Will it ever be the "right" time to bring up the Palestinian-Israeli conflict? Should we risk shattering George Bush's international coalition? Former enemies are now partners in this conflict, but as soon as the ordeal in Iraq subsides, one way or the other, this temporary alliance will crumble. And Israel, to the sacrifice of the other gulf nations, will remain dependent on American taxpayer.
How do you keep the alliance together, where Arabs and Americans could coexist cordially? The answer seems simple enough to recognize, but it may be too difficult for the United States to acknowledge. Apparently the current administration feels Palestinians are worth less than oil. Or are we blinded by those who insist that Arabs are our worst enemies?
Perhaps we should pick our friends in the region more wisely. Most conflicts that develop in the gulf region are because of Israel's refusal to negotiate with the Palestinians. Deep-rooted claims to land and deep resentment of American involvement already have led to too many dead Americans. The United States should wake up. Israel should remember how it felt to be oppressed. To the Palestinians, the wind of change is in the air. I believe it is time we re-examine our relationship with Israel before any more American blood is shed for it.
Neil B. Moores
Gulf goals unclear
If the United States goes to war in the Persian Gulf, "how much blood will be in the gasoline?" Daniel Ellsberg (of Pentagon Papers fame) has asked. That cogent question raises other questions the public should be demanding that President Bush answer.
We hear threats of using massive air strikes to drive Iraqi troops from Kuwait. In addition to Iraqi troops, Kuwaitis and other