War's outcome is no cause for celebrationI am not...

the Forum

April 03, 1991

War's outcome is no cause for celebration

I am not celebrating the U.S. military victory over Iraq. I cannot celebrate the successful war for oil in the Middle East. On the contrary, this so-called victory is a disaster for the environment.

It would have been better if the oil embargo had been allowed to last long enough to decrease the oil glut and force a change in our energy policies. But no, the military-industrial complex had to generate war fever in order to get a new lease on life and make big profits while protecting oil interests.

The use of war rather than an oil embargo to stop Iraq's occupation of Kuwait will make it harder to force the development of energy alternatives. It means that the carbon dioxide pollution of the earth will get a boost, including the atmospheric warming which may cause droughts, floods and famine. It means that oil spills and smog will continue to befoul our earth, water, air and lungs. It means that energy conservation and renewable energy resources will be kept to a ** minimum.

The administration's new energy policy announced last month does not begin to address the serious environmental problems faced by our country and the world. Our political leaders should initiate a policy to reduce fossil fuel emissions. And until a safe depository for radioactive waste is found, nuclear power should also be curtailed. Instead, a policy to require energy efficiency and solar power needs to be implemented.

The U.S. action in the Persian Gulf was a crime against our environment. Instead of celebrating, I mourn for our country, the biosphere and the world.

Richard Ochs


Dubious right

I am writing in regard to the Supreme Court ruling favoring a woman's right to work in a potentially hazardous environment for fetal life. It is my belief that never should someone's desire to work infringe upon another's right to be abused.

The basic misconception that backers of this sex discriminatiosuit have is that it is not, according to my belief and many others, sex discrimination at all. Rather, it is fetal abuse, however foolishly unrecognized that may be.

No person, regardless of state of development ` whether infant, adolescent, young adult, adult or elderly (dare I say fetus?) ` should be burdened with abuse or death because of another's desire for employment.

The leftists and Supreme Court justices who favored this decision have laid the building blocks for the inevitable destruction of the family unit of this country at the source.

Not unrelated is the fact that men have also shown sperm deformation from such exposure. This also needs to be addressed. It is, however, perhaps an unfortunate fact that women bear children; men do not.

Robert Collins


Try again

A salamander is a small lizard-like amphibian. A 1,000-legged insect is usually called a millipede. What was described in your March 26 editorial sounded like a millimander. It is another fine example of the careful research that goes into these editorials, usually attacking gun owners and/or hunters.

In the future, try using a dictionary.

Lawrence D. Lease

Brooklyn Park

Stumping for trees

I would like to thank those members of the Maryland Senate who recognized the vast importance of trees by voting for and passing the Forest Conservation Act. This legislation will put a stop to the needless destruction of forests at the mercy of the bulldozer and ensure the replanting of many of the trees that are cleared for development.

Last year the bill was mysteriously delayed and killed in the House of Delegates. I sincerely hope that this mistake will not be allowed to repeat itself.

Ken Morneault


A success story

A little-noticed but sensational event took place on March 27 in Baltimore's downtown courtroom of Judge Robert Hammerman. It pointed once more to the enormous talent of the students in our often-deprecated zoned public schools. It put a hundred explanation points behind the statement, "What a difference a top quality teacher can make!"

At the city finals of the state mock trial competition, the two best trial teams among all senior high schools in Baltimore faced each other. When Judge Hammerman asked which schools they represented, both teams answered, "Lake Clifton/Eastern." The school's tenth graders had beaten City College, and the 12th grade team had defeated Archbishop Curley High in the semifinal. Never before had one school placed both teams in the final round.

The creative and driving force behind this phenomenon is Donald J. Koch, a teacher who felt it important for his high school students to learn to express themselves on their feet and learn about the law. He enlisted the support of the prestigious Whiteford, Taylor, Preston law firm under Chris Lambert's and Warren Weaver's leadership, and the stage was set.

The mock trial team from Lake Clifton/Eastern has produced city, regional and state champions before and now dual finalists with the encouragement of a sensitive and far-sighted principal, tTC Oscar Jobe, within the structure of our much-maligned city school system. There is nothing wrong with our Baltimore city public schools that could not be corrected by recruiting and encouraging the development and initiative of quality teachers like Don Koch and his two teacher associates, William Schulteis and Dan Pierce.

R. O. Bonnell Jr.

The writer is president of Educational Opportunity Program of 1/2 Baltimore (EOP).

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