Georgia C.S.A. Wasn't Georgia U.S.S.R.
Editor: It is amazing that in three short paragraphs, J. S. Ardinger stated so many historical errors in his letter, ''North and South,'' Aug. 30.
The analogy of the seceding republics of the Soviet Union to the South of 1861 fails to recognize the different methods by which each became part of its respective union. The Southern states which seceded had voluntarily and democratically joined the Union. The people in each state had voted to become citizens of the United States.
The republics of the Soviet Union, on the other hand, were forcefully brought into the Soviet sphere, regardless of the wishes of the people.
Ardinger would have us believe that the situation the South faced in 1981 is similar to that faced by Soviet republics in 1991. I think that the people of Estonia and Latvia and all the other republics, under the harsh domination of Moscow for decades, would disagree.
The letter further asserts that the South was fighting against a strong federal government, but the South had no trouble accepting a strong federal government when the Fugitive Slave Act required that government to assist slave owners recover their runaway slaves. Southerners also fully supported that strong federal government when it declared, in the Dred Scott decision, that a slave was nothing more than property. The South only complained when the federal government did not act to further Southern aims.
If the Soviet republics should lose their fight for independence, the writer hopes that they will be treated better than the conquered South. Southerners suffered both during and after the Civil War. The South, however, never had to live through Stalin's forced collectivization, state supported famine, mass executions and other forms of oppression. The South's ordeal was a walk in the park compared to Soviet rule.
If Ardinger wants to justify the secession of Southern states, I would suggest finding some more relevant parallels.
John I. Cole
5/8 Editor: I was surprised your ''Howard County Eye-Opener'' editorial (Sept. 12) did not include Baltimore City as a remedy for Howard's and the other suburban counties' housing problems.
It is madness to commit massive ($100,000 per unit) housing subsidies to violate virgin land as long as our older communities continue to decline. The solution to the counties' housing shortages is to make Baltimore City a desirable place to live.
The Murphy Homes high-rises and surrounding neighborhood should be converted to a Yuppie paradise (with appropriate ''family'' housing provided elsewhere for the current residents).
Mass transit can carry the new residents to their jobs in Columbia, Hunt Valley and Owings Mills. The youth, enthusiasm and money generated by the newcomers will continue the rejuvenation of downtown Baltimore, including the reopening of the Fishmarket and Power Plant. The Murphy Homes, long a symbol of how not to house low-income families, can become a new symbol for the restoration and renewal of West Baltimore.
The same type of investment could take place in dozens of other underused communities in Baltimore where ample housing, commercial strips, churches, fire houses and pubs are all yearning for new clients.
I recently heard Eileen Rehrmann, Harford County's new executive, say that each new three-bedroom house generates $900 in real estate taxes but costs the county $2,200 in services. Does it not make more sense to encourage our young people to buy homes 10 minutes down the road, where they can get more house for the dollar and where the services are already in place?
Vincent P. Quayle.
BTC The writer, a long-time affordable housing advocate, heads the St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center.
No Control There
Editor: The senseless killing of Charles E. "Eddie" Scheuerman and wounding of Michael Berman is the classic example of the non-enforceable, recently passed gun control law.
The waiting period to obtain a firearm was in effect in 1968 when I purchased a gun from a local Baltimore sporting good store. I have since sold my gun, following all legal requirements in doing so.
It is quite obvious to me that the law-enforcement branch of our local government is at a loss to perform its duties in an intelligent manner when officers have to stand around waiting for a search warrant to gain entrance to an establishment, knowing that establishment was involved a crime. Their standing around gave those responsible for the holdup, and shootings, time to dispose of 35 out of 43 firearms.
John F. Thomas.
Waiting Too Long
Editor: The complaints of taxicab companies that customers call for more than one cab at the same time deserve a rebuttal from those of us who don't do that.
When a customer telephones for a taxicab, the dispatcher calls over the two-way radio for an available cab. If no cab is available, the dispatcher puts the request aside, intending to make a second call in a few minutes.