Editor: Lauren Siegel's letter of June 13 comparing the plight of the poor and homeless to the Holocaust is absolutely absurd.
What is troubling is the proliferation and activism of people like Ms. Siegel. A movement is afoot that releases members of society from their own responsibilities and places the blame on the government, business and productive members of society who must have caused other citizens to become poor and homeless.
I have serious concerns about people in our society who continually desire government to solve the nation's problems. It appears Ms. Siegel would rather see working people like you and me continue to subsidize, through tax dollars, a growing number of citizens who are failing to capitalize on the opportunities available to them. I think the ideals of socialism and communism have been found resoundingly unsound.
This country is the greatest country in the world founded on the principles of democracy and capitalism. Individual citizens are generous and compassionate toward their needy neighbors. To suggest otherwise and request further government intervention to solve society's problems is dangerous.
Without sounding insensitive, I believe the homeless problem has been overstated. Society will have its share of derelicts. What's more troubling though is the homeless mother with children.
But let's go back to the responsibility issue. Where are the fathers? Why so many children? Why are many unmarried? Where is parental and extended family support network? Where has individualism and initiative that made this country great gone?
Well, it's still here for the overwhelming majority of our citizens. Government should refrain from burdening these productive and responsible citizens with excessive taxation to solve Ms. Siegel's Holocaust.
When the government starts killing our innocent citizens, I'll be the first to stand up and fight. But, until then, I'll continue to fight against people who wish to impose a type of socialism on all of us.
As far as the desecration of the Holocaust Memorial is concerned, I agree with Ms. Siegel in part: the Jewish Community should not have to put up a fence. The derelicts should be kept away from the memorial, period.
David Ewell. Hampstead.
Editor: Luther Young's June 17 article and accompanying map by Elizabeth Landt describing the July 11 solar eclipse were both excellent.
For Baltimore, the eclipse begins at 2:57 p.m., reaches its maximum at 3:34 p.m., and concludes at 4:09 p.m.
Weather permitting, I will have a telescope set up at the foot of Broadway, in the square at Fell's Point, for the public to view the event.
The solar projection system I use is safe and allows at least a dozen people to simultaneously see the sun's image. This system also allows photographing the event without the need for special lenses or filters. As active as the sun has recently been, we may also see some sunspots dotting its disc.
While our 7-percenter will be a pale shade of the 100 percent total eclipse in Hawaii and Mexico, it should nevertheless be an interesting event to witness.
Some notes of caution, however. Do not look directly at the sun. Use a shade No. 14 welder's lens (not a No. 13 or 12, etc.), or project the sun's image through a pinhole punched in thin cardboard onto a piece of white paper.
Also, wear a hat and other protective clothing to ward off the direct rays of the summer sun.
erman M. Heyn. Baltimore.
No Nutrition Police
Editor: I am writing in response to ''Wanted: Someone with sizzle to sell nutrition'' (June 12). Clearly, Carol Tucker Foreman has taken leave of her senses by suggesting the government get involved in our personal food choices! Our government already imposes enough restrictions on the public, and I do not think the ''nutrition police'' would be tolerated for long.
Ms. Foreman suggests ''taxing . . . heavily the foods that are bad for health'' and selling high-fat products in ''certain kinds of stores.''
Ms. Foreman also suggests the president ''regale the media with talk about nutrition.'' Wouldn't we all like to see the president continue his day job instead of becoming a nutrition messenger?
Similarly, Mona Doyle's idea requiring unhealthy eaters to pay more for their food would accomplish nothing and is simply ludicrous.
These women are obviously committed to their cause, but I feel they come dangerously close to the issue of personal freedom with the above ideas.
Who are we to make choices for others? Our society's responsibility lies in providing education and information, not in deciding what is right or wrong for another.
Try as we might, we cannot force an adult to eat his or her vegetables.
Melanie A. Cook. Baltimore.
Editor: For more than 60 years it has been against the laws of the United States to import goods manufactured by prison labor. President Bush recently said that "it is not moral" to remove the Most Favored Nation status from China.