An increase is an increase is an increase
Baltimore County citizens spoke quite clearly when electing County Executive Roger Hayden last fall. What we said was: "No new taxes." What he must have meant (apparently he is not alone among politicians) was something more like: No new taxes unless they're disguised as something else.
I was most disappointed to learn that Mr. Hayden is proposing to raise the cable TV franchise tax (paid by Comcast to the county) from 3 percent to 5 percent, a 60 percent increase. But will he be blamed? Probably not, because when Comcast passes on this increase of about $10 a year to its subscribers, we'll all most likely blame Comcast. And this time, it's not their fault.
This is more than a $1 million tax increase to be paid by the citizens (including senior citizens) of Baltimore County who subscribe to cable TV.
Mr. Hayden, a tax increase by another name still doesn't smell very sweet.
I heard a riddle a few nights ago and feel it should be passed on:
"Why do bad people get elected to office?"
"Because good people don't vote." Let's save our way of life and use our God-given right to vote.
Samuel S. Mensch
The media's sweetheart, the Brady bill, is a cruel hoax, a joke of the most disgusting type and a farce that should be unbelievable. Those who are supposed to be most affected by this type of legislation (the blood-shedding drug scum) have got to be laughing all the way to their next violent act. Laughing, that is, if they are intelligent enough to even know what "Brady" is about or if they even care!
The pseudo crime-fighters who can't tell the difference between anti-gun and anti-crime laws will continue to keep us awash in our own blood. Those beaming liberal fools who still think that the fantasy of the 1960s was a cure for anything remain mindless to the realities of the 1990s. In the '60s, they glorified mind-bending chemicals, lawlessness, laziness, anarchy and illegitimacy. Now we are paying the terrible toll.
Who will be blamed when "waiting periods," "background checks" and sundry bans of various weapons have no effect on the ongoing violence and bloodshed? It is quite easy to lay blame on weapons' crossing state lines (which is already illegal) and the NRA (which is several million persons), along with anyone who objects to being denied his right to own a firearm via the Bill of Rights. It doesn't seem to matter that none of the anti-gun laws proliferating in America have really served to do anything more than exacerbate an out-of-control situation.
Ronald L. Dowling
In the highly charged abortion debate, many on both sides assume extreme positions, refusing to consider what the other side is saying. Allow me to put both arguments into perspective.
The pro-life argument says that life begins at conception. The genetic blueprint for an adult human being is established when the egg and sperm unite; to destroy the fetus, or preborn human, is to end a life. The religious argument adds that when the egg and sperm unite, a soul is created and that only God, who has preordained this life, should determine when it will die.
The pro-choice argument says life begins at birth and that the woman bearing the fetus should have the choice whether or not to bear the child. It assumes that life may exist within the womb, but that a human being does not, and therefore to terminate the fetus should be the woman's prerogative. The religious argument says: Compassion dictates that if a child would be a hardship, intrusion or threatens the mother's life, then it is expendable.
The pro-life argument focuses on the life of the preborn human, while the pro-choice argument focuses on "rights" of the woman, with little room for compromise. This has placed the nation's political bodies in very difficult positions and in Maryland, at least, probably will put the decision up to the voters next election.
The voters must first determine when life begins, at conception or at birth, then wrestle with the moral ramifications of whether personal rights are more important than the right to live. For the yet-undecided, this may be the most important, and should be the most difficult, decision of your life.
Richard M. Dykeman
One of the finest articles I have ever read was the one by a 13-year-old girl, Christine Whelan, in Other Voices May 13.
This young lady pleaded with Terry Farrell, a model who was on a new "ad" made for Virginia Slims, to stop because it encourages kids to smoke.
She further states that the "ad" encourages women to smoke by implying that women will be more successful and beautiful if they smoke. She hates to see her generation dead or dying of lung cancer in the next 40 years.
What is unusual is that this young lady could compose such an article with perfect spelling, composition and punctuation. I would like to know what school she attends and feel sure the other students are getting the finest education.