Because of an editing error, a letter in the Jan. 23 Forum...

the Forum

January 23, 1991

Because of an editing error, a letter in the Jan. 23 Forum from Katharine W. Rylaarsdam misquoted the philosopher Spinoza. The quotation, which was accurately contained in Ms. Rylaarsdam's letter, should have read: "Peace is not an absence war; it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice."

% We regret the error.

Control abuse by making politicians pay

The only way greedy politicians and government officials are going to be stopped from using government funds for their own gain is to insure that each one has to make restitution for all money used erroneously. Adele Wilzack, the state health secretary; James E. Narron, head of Maryland State Games, and John Staubitz, "trusted aid" to Ms. Wilzack, were reported to have misused more than $400,000 in health department drug-abuse prevention grants. If the audit proves this to be true, they should be made to return the money.

State workers, who serve the state honestly, are being laid off due to lack of funds while these people appear to be using tax money for their own purposes. Four hundred thousand dollars would have provided funding for at least 10 soon-to-be-unemployed state workers.


Mandatory payback may deter others from being tempted to use tax funds fraudulently as well as making tax dollars available for legitimate use.

Eleanor Gebler


The desert storm

The Pentagon's Operation Desert Storm evokes memories of America's "dirty war" in Vietnam. In Vietnam, the U.S. fought the most unpopular war ever waged by this nation, a disaster never completely backed by the home front. Desert Storm is a rehash (( of Vietnam.

But now that we are at war, this is no time for protests. Now is the time for complete home support. Let's show a united front and a nation determined on victory and quick return of our young men and women to the normal life from which they were snatched. Our support will go a long way toward giving them the strength to do their job and return alive and well to their families.

Henry H. Cohen


Thank heavens war is no longer regarded as noble. Only the morally blind would encourage war as a method of enforcing foreign policy. Most who are encouraging the war effort in Kuwait agree: This is not something we want to do; this is something that has to be done.

Benjamin A. Harris


They say we have to do this thing because of what Saddam is and what he has done and would do. I say that's crazy. Are my actions to be determined by Saddam's values? Never! There could be no worse abdication of power.

War will not create peace. Only peace will create peace. "Peace," said Spinoza, "is not an absence of war; it is a virus, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice." It begins in the individual, and it calls for a commitment that has to be renewed as often as it fails. That's hard. And it's necessary.

Work for peace abroad. Work to bring the troops home safe.

`Katharine W. Rylaarsdam


Mike Lane's cartoon of Jan. 17 is an affront to the intelligence of your readers and Americans in general. The cartoon shows three jets flying in the night with the skull of death on one plane. The planes can only be interpreted as being American, because no other planes were in the air the night of Jan. 16.

To have Mike Lane show American airplanes attempting to kill or chase away the Lady of Peace is a disgrace. The cartoon makes no reference to the fact that since Aug. 2, Saddam Hussein and his henchmen have raped, pillaged and looted Kuwait and that the actions of the United Nations are a response to Hussein's actions.

You show lack of taste and respect for our national goals in the Middle East by publishing such an insulting cartoon.

Joseph Y. Brattan III


How eager would President Bush be to continue the Persian Gulf war if Kuwait's chief export was broccoli?

Gerald Ben Shargel


Unfree dolphins

Amen to the views expressed by Mark E. Rifkin about the marine mammal prison at the National Aquarium. Forcing dolphins to do flips in the air and walk on their tail is not "educational," nor does it provide cultural value to children.

Taking these magnificent creatures from their natural environment, depriving them of moving freely among their own species and subjecting them to humankind's dominance is nothing less than cruel and inhumane. They are used to open water and an endless sky overhead ` not a tank and noisy spectators gawking at them.

It's sad enough that people are deliberately polluting our waterways and thereby annihilating many species of marine life. It's even sadder when people capture creatures and put them on display in the name of "education" and "cultural value." The real reasons are "commercialism" and "money."

Margaret Brown


Facts and guns

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