Powerful ArticleEric Siegel's Dec. 20 article, "Unfazed by...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

January 05, 1993

Powerful Article

Eric Siegel's Dec. 20 article, "Unfazed by foes, state is gearing up for keno," powerfully describes how owners of pubs, taverns, restaurants and bowling alleys are acquiescing to intimidation tactics used by lottery officials to carry keno gambling in fear of losing their lottery franchises.

Next year, when the governor discovers a new budget shortfall, what creative new strategy will he initiate to take keno's place?

I say it's time for business owners and the citizens of Maryland to unite. Send a message loud and clear to the governor and GTECH to take the keno game and "stuff it."

It's time for the governor to use his leadership skills and find a more equitable long-term solution to the state's fiscal crisis.

The amount of money the state hopes to net in projected keno sales will never balance out the hardship and despair our more needy and vulnerable citizens will experience in supporting this game.

Paula Baziz

Pikesville

Jimmy Carter Weak on Realism

Former President Jimmy Carter's Dec. 25 commentary regarding aid to Somalia and other African countries is strong on humanitarianism, but weak on realism.

He claims that $25 billion a year to meet the basic needs of children everywhere by the year 2000 ($200 billion total) is not a great deal of money, since "it's actually less than Americans will spend on beer this year." What a poor analogy!

He further states that "the U.S. can afford to invest in people here and abroad" but does not say where the money will come from.

The United States has the food and the expertise to deliver and distribute aid and should lead in humanitarian efforts. However, funding should come from other countries.

Since Somalia and many African countries are predominantly Muslim countries, it would be reasonable to expect the oil-rich Muslim countries (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Libya and Iran) to do their fair share.

Considering the fact that these countries spend more than $25 billion a year on weapons of destruction, they should use their resources to aid their Muslim brothers who are presently starving to death.

Bernard Siegel

Baltimore

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Former President Carter reminds us why his administration was so unsuccessful.

His concern for African children is undoubtedly heartfelt. But nowhere does he mention African governments that systematically loot their own treasuries, practice internal genocide and actively block the provision of humanitarian aid.

In Somalia Mr. Carter sees mainly reasons for rich Western nations to feel guilty. But there is little we can do to help, unless we take into account African governments that promote the misery of their own people.

One would think that Iran had taught Mr. Carter that good, non-coercive intentions are not enough to defeat human depravity, even among the poor.

Hal Riedl

Baltimore

Dundalk's Spirit

Michael Hill's sensitive and well-researched account of 10 dispossessed men living in the woods of Dundalk represents real quality journalism.

But we who live in Dundalk wince whenever the local media take their gratuitous cuts at the community that Tom Toporovich, former secretary of the Baltimore County Council, has referred to as "One of Baltimore County's best-kept secrets."

I'm sure Mr. Hill and The Sun had no intention of inflicting pain on the citizens of Dundalk. It's just that over the years the various media have found Dundalk a popular target for dumping on.

Although more than 20,000 high-paying jobs have left Sparrows Point and many thousands more from Western Electric, Dundalk residents have simply tightened their belts and replaced their high-paying jobs with two lower-paying ones.

Neighborhood pride is high and crime figures are low. Consumer credit is excellent and savings are among the highest in Baltimore County.

Considering the fact that greater Dundalk has a population of more than 70,000, 10 men living in a section of sewage pipe is hardly a representative sampling of local living conditions. Yet people living out of the area are likely to make some association.

There is currently operating in Dundalk an organization of volunteers working to enhance the public image and raise the level of community excellence. Articles like Mr. Hill's can nullify the results of hundreds of hours of hard work by these community volunteers.

When next you get around to doing a story on Dundalk, there's a much more exciting and meaningful one waiting to be told. It's about men and women who have survived the wrenching experience of watching their responsible, high-paying jobs vanish down the drain.

Under the surface there's much pain and suffering. But there's also an underlying spirit of confidence, courage and determination that pervades this community.

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