Millions of innocents slaughtered
The Nov. 6 column by Prof. Armand M. Kuris on the subject of vivisection vs. anti-vivisection, shows only his lack of respect and compassion for animals and is exceeded only by his abysmal ignorance of the subject.
Studies demonstrate beyond a doubt that 68 percent of human animal deaths are due to poor diet, which clearly shows that medical experiments on non-human animals do very little good for humans. Only about 6 percent of animal experimentation is for legitimate medical purposes; the rest is for the cruel and useless testing of cosmetics, household compounds, etc.
Moreover, all of this laboratory animal experimentation is done in a vacuum by various firms, hospitals, universities, that don't make the results public (which means, of course, that the same experiments are repeated again and again, resulting in the purposeless and outrageous slaughter or maiming of millions of additional laboratory animals).
There are, of course, many other cogent reasons to avoid, or at least limit sharply, non-human animal experimentation. However, suffice it to say that Professor Kuris and his ilk are the people who "feed on ignorance and fear," and that it is they who live in a "fantasy" world of greed and ignorance and unnecessary cruelty perpetrated on innocent creatures, not the animal-rights activists whom he attempts to hold up to scorn and ridicule.
I. H. Desser
The Nov. 7 article, "Animal rights, human needs," gives the distinct impression that mere scientific curiosity justifies the abuse of millions of animals each year. It is clear that cruelty exists in laboratories; why do researchers claim immunity from animal cruelty laws?
Animal rights activists are correct that conclusions based on animal research cannot be applied to humans. For example, Thalidomide, a drug tested on animals and approved for use, caused many babies to be born badly deformed.
It is a disgrace that compassionate, caring people must spend their time trying to prevent the abuse of animals.
Land of homeless?
America is plunging headlong into the worst depression and most horrendous tragedy that will ever afflict humankind. If governments don't legislate a moratorium on house payments for us folks who are out of work, America will become the land of the homeless.
Cornelius U. Morgan
More honest reporting would result if journalists and editors would learn some simple arithmetic and would apply this capability to their reporting.
On Nov. 20 an article headlined "Military plans big buyouts to trim forces" notes that an annuity of $8,190 for 30 years is to be offered to a person now making $21,840 with service of 15 years. The article further states that this is a total of $245,700, which is not really true. In no way is the annuity offered worth this much, nor is this the cost to the government.
Money has a time value, and the last payment of $8,190 to be paid 30 years from now is worth only a fraction of $8,190. At today's long-term government bond rate of 7.9 percent, the actual value of the $8,190 annuity is about $93,431, far less than $245,700. Since very safe annuities bearing somewhat higher rates are available, the real value is actually less.
Similar erroneous logic is used to describe the annuity paid to lottery winners, perpetuating similar lies. I think we should expect reporters who are trusted to observe, interpret and report to understand the simple concept of the time value of money and to report such data without erroneous and misleading interpretations. If they cannot solve the simple mathematical expressions required to determine the real value of annuities, they should at least invest in a cheap calculator or learn to use a spreadsheet on their computer to determine the real value and avoid perpetuating erroneous data.
I was appalled by your editorial, "Ban guns in the city" (Oct. 21).
Would you make criminals out of the tens of thousands of honest, law-abiding gun owners in Baltimore city? If you do, would Baltimore and Maryland have enough money to build all the prisons it would take to hold them?
If the Baltimore City Council buys this nonsense, they are more ludicrous the I thought.
Protecting oneself, loved ones and property is not only a right; it is a duty
In the future, I suggest you crusade to overhaul the criminal justice system in Baltimore and Maryland.
Pictures and words
There have been excellent news stories, summaries and analyses of the cuts in state and local funding. But it took one great picture, and a beautifully focused story on two people, to bring home the impact. I refer to the story in The Evening Sun of Nov. 14 by Linell Smith and the photograph by Barbara Haddock.
For readers who may have missed this, the picture showed a concerned and caring father and his 5-year-old daughter happily exploring the world of books in the Clifton Library Center on Wolfe Street ` soon to be closed. This is the classic picture worth a thousand words. And in fewer than a thousand words Linell Smith spelled out the meaning of the closing not only to the father and the daughter but to other regular users of the branch.
"The City that Reads"? Not if they close down 28 percent of the Enoch Pratt branch libraries.