Scrapping ThingsEditor: How many nukes does a superpower...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

March 04, 1992

Scrapping Things

Editor: How many nukes does a superpower need?

James J. Kilpatrick writes: ''An opportunity is at hand to halt thi grotesque prospect of Armageddon. Let us seize the moment. I would retain a hundred warheads just in case. The rest? Scrap them.''

And scrap the men who enriched themselves and their bureaucracy by making 30,000 warheads instead of schools, integrated housing and public transportation, scientific research and a sustainable environment.

Remsen Wood.

Riderwood.

Strong Exception

Editor: I wish to take very strong exception to your editorial of Feb. 27, "Talk or Sue."

The Maryland Disability Law Center represents its clients in a highly responsible manner. We never file litigation without first conscientiously exploring all other remedies.

Our decision to file the Great Oaks Center lawsuit, for instance, came after several months of discussions with the state attorney general's office and the governor's office. The state may have disagreed with our decision to proceed with filing the lawsuit. However, we did talk with them before we filed the suit and offered to continue discussions after the litigation was filed.

We only filed the lawsuit after it became clear that we could not protect our clients' rights in any other way.

In addition, we do follow the same protocols as other legal service groups and gave extensive written notice before taking any legal action. The chronology of the Great Oaks Center case and the relevant correspondence prove this and could have been provided to you, if you had troubled to ask. For example, we gave the state three letters of notice of our intent to sue. Yet we never received a substantive response.

MDLC is not in the fee-generating business. We are a non-profit organization whose business is to serve our clients. Our sole reason for seeking fees is to better serve our clients by encouraging the state to resolve cases before they reach court or to settle them quickly once the suit is filed.

For the record, in the last 10 years MDLC has received only $15,000 in attorneys fees from the state of Maryland. We used those fees to do advocacy work on behalf of persons with developmental disabilities in state licensed facilities.

Your editorial does a grave disservice to our work and to the clients we represent.

Elizabeth Jones.

Baltimore.

The writer is executive director of the Maryland Disability Law Center.

State Police Coneheads

Editor: Dontay Carter would have had a harder time getting past a barmaid with that phony ID than he did the MVA and the State Police.

With tax time upon us, it sure makes you feel like you're getting your money's worth, doesn't it?

Dave Reich.

Fallston.

Editor: The mind aches trying to imagine what particular set of circumstances might have been required to arouse the suspicions of the State Police officers who came in contact with Dontay Carter during his alleged crime spree.

How is it possible to be satisfied that obvious discrepancies in ethnic background, age and race, not to mention the existence of a missing persons report, can be explained by some innocent clerical error? The State Police spokespersons claim that the officers involved acted according to normal procedure; from this we may only conclude that before questioning any citizen, officers in the field must first replace their regulation headgear with an inverted cone.

Perhaps we may take some small comfort in the fact that, in an act of compassion, Mr. Carter overcame the temptation to barter for a State Police cruiser with a deed to the Brooklyn Bridge.

Richard H. Racusen.

Marriottsville.

Acne and Diet

Editor: I read with interest the Feb. 11 article, "Chocolate's bad rap: Clearing up some acne misunderstandings." Two doctors stated there was no relationship between eating chocolate and other foods and acne flare-ups. I disagree.

From my own experience as a teen-ager, and treating many acne patients for 30 years, I am convinced that many patients' acne i

affected by diet. I ask patients to avoid chocolate, nuts, peanut butter, colas and other foods as required.

Dermatologists are still debating the role of diet in acne. Studies have been poorly controlled and are not conclusive.

To make a dogmatic statement that diet has no effect on acne is, in my opinion, at best, misleading.

William Dvorine, M.D.

Pikesville.

The writer is a dermatologist.

Finding Myopia in Power's View of the Latins

Editor: Jonathan Power's, "Two Continents: One Prospered, One Didn't," is one of the most convincing demonstrations of historical ignorance that I have ever seen: four terse columns densely packed with error.

Examples abound. It was principally epidemic disease, not Spanish cruelty, that "destroyed mercilessly" the Inca and Aztec people.

In North America, if "Pilgrims," and doubtless among them a few of Mr. Power's "idealists," settled New England, indentured servants, slaves and slave holders conquered the mid-Atlantic and South.

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