GenocideEditor: The proposal by Prime Minister John Major...


April 15, 1991


Editor: The proposal by Prime Minister John Major of the United Kingdom for the United Nations to establish a safe haven for the Kurds in Iraq's part of Kurdistan shows great courage and is in line with the lessons learned from World War II.

England cannot be accused of turning its back on genocide, as it and the rest of Europe did 50 years ago.

The United States should support Mr. Major's idea either through the U.N., if possible, or independent of that body if necessary. This effort will require the same courage and strength of purpose used to free Kuwait.

Since there is no reason to doubt that Saddam Hussein and his party will continue to vent their fury on the homeless and hapless Kurds, action is required.

The cause Mr. Major has identified, to save a people from genocide, is just. We must seize the opportunity while we have the power in place to make the will of the civilized world felt in this matter.

Justice and mercy call on the American people, armed forces, Congress and the president to do their duty as in Kuwait.

Patrick J. Kelly Jr.


Welfare Scene

Editor: This is concerning Patricia Krentz's letter March 26 advocating that welfare and food stamp payments be cut because they are used to purchase ''goodies'' and to drive ''late-model cars.''

I wish Ms. Krentz could have visited the waiting room of the Dundalk Social Services office the day several families were there to get emergency payments because of imminent eviction. One man was forced to explain that he was homeless and had not eaten for three days. Goodies? Hardly.

I, myself, was there because the fearless defenders of taxpayers' money had denied my own food stamp claim. I was there to file an appeal. Six weeks earlier, the unemployment office had cut off my benefits.

I was not entitled to any welfare at all because of having been denied unemployment and this ''penalty'' extends to welfare as well. I was supposed to live on absolutely nothing for eight weeks.

Am I one of these unemployment ''cheaters''? No, I've just been exonerated of that charge. With Legal Aid's help, I've just won my unemployment appeal hearing and so my benefits will be restored (though there is still my food stamp appeal hearing to come).

Though still unemployed, I count myself among the fortunate.

People do not go through the tangled process of applying for social benefits because they are bums who just want a handout. This is one of the most persistent and pernicious myths in our society.

Visit a Social Services office or, better yet, a homeless shelter to see for yourself.

Nina Boal.


Weapons Paranoia

Editor: I read with great amusement and bemusement the April 6 letter from W. J. Calvert concerning assault-weapon ownership. His attitude is typical of the paranoia that can get a stranglehold on common sense.

Actually, your accompanying political cartoon hit the mark ever so accurately, in my view. If violent attitudes and violent weapons of massive destructive power are the answers to the problems of the most violent nation on earth, then perhaps we should forego all rules which might infringe on Second Amendment rights, and allow private individuals to "keep and bear" Patriot missiles (so we can shoot down noisy planes?); heavy machine guns and 20-millimeter or even 40-mm. cannon for home protection; and, of course, TOW missiles for plinking and target shooting. The absurdity of this ought to be readily apparent.

Donald L. Bowden Jr.

Shrewsbury, Pa.


Editor: Because of indiscretion, improper reports and judgmental police officers, a suspect can be beaten up in more ways than physically.

Being beaten up emotionally, having your life altered due to the outcome of biased police reports, can be as abusive as a physical confrontation. And the average citizen has no recourse to this type of behavior on the officers' part.

You may not agree with a report filed by an officer, but you cannot change it. This sets up an us (citizens) against them (police) mindset and this makes it very hard for the Joe Fridays out there who "only want the facts, just the facts" and really are trying to protect us and do their jobs. They are the heroes. They are the ones who try to prove that the law is not above the law.

Nancy Meyers.


The Stadium's First Hurrahs

Editor: ''Memorial Stadium's Last Hurrah'' (editorial, April 8) begins with the statement ''For 37 years Baltimore's most dramatic sports moments have happened at Memorial Stadium.''

Ah, how soon we forget! Some of the most memorable times of my youth were watching the Orioles play there in 1944, following the July 4, 1944 fire that leveled Oriole Park. The Orioles won the pennant (International League) in 1944. That was 47 years ago.

Venable Park -- sometimes called Memorial Park -- was constructed on the site in 1922. That was 69 years ago.

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