Vulnerable PlantReading The Sun's account (Feb. 8) of the...


February 17, 1993

Vulnerable Plant

Reading The Sun's account (Feb. 8) of the intruder at the nuclear power plant at Three Mile Island sent chills down my spine.

According to the article, the intruder drove through an open gate, then crashed through a closed gate and was able to enter the turbine building of the facility. It took four hours for the man to be found and arrested.

How could this happen? What if the intruder had been a suicidal terrorist with a carload of explosives? What if he had enough knowledge to turn the right valves or switch the right computer controls to release radiation?

An official is quoted as saying that there was no way to prevent such occurrences. How about crash-proof barriers and guards who shoot to kill?

The thought of madmen running amok in a nuclear power plant should scare the heck out of any of us living in the Baltimore metro area, since Three Mile Island is just a breeze away.

If the companies that run these kinds of facilities can't keep out a passenger car driven by an unarmed intruder, then it is time for the government to step in and set up some basic security standards that would prevent this type of incident from happening in the future.

The next time we may not be so lucky, and our future may be measured in hours or minutes.

Herb Butler

Perry Hall

Social Security

Your editorial of Feb. 8, "Social Security and Shared Sacrifice," is but another attempt to flim-flam the public.

What is the "shared" sacrifice? Who is doing the "sharing" in your scheme? And just because you label Social Security "regressive" doesn't make it so.

Don't you know that the lower the salary while working, the higher the percentage returned when retired?

And why is Social Security continually linked to the deficit? Social Security has never added a dollar to the deficit.

We were all told in 1973 that the dramatic increases imposed for our Social Security contributions (contributions, remember, not taxes) would keep the system solvent well into the second quarter of the next century.

These "contributions" have steadily increased, and are now approaching 8 percent (after federal and state taxes). If you think this hasn't been a sacrifice, you're certainly not qualified to comment.

And my employers have "contributed" the same into my "account" -- funds which might very well have been used to increase my pay or provide some other benefit. There are some 1950 dollars in my account. Just imagine what these are worth when appropriately indexed.

Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-N.Y., commented just a week or so ago that the system is still considered viable until 2027, and that there is no need for additional tinkering.

I don't feel responsible for the fact that there is no actual trust fund -- that the politicians have diverted the money into other uses.

Your statement that the "sacrosanct, out-moded 65-year figure" for retirement is actuarially unsound, and that it should be 67, or maybe 73, depends on your point of view.

You fine folks who were probably approaching 30 when you finished graduate school (probably at your parents' expense), and whose primary function in life is to sit around and think up these politically correct little editorial pieces to shower upon us, are probably content to do so until age 67, or 73.

That's fine, but as for me, I'm tired of the rat-race. I've "contributed" to the system for more than 40 years, and now I want out. And I want out while I'm alive, not when you feel it would be actuarially correct.

I'm sure your paper thoroughly vilified Barry Goldwater in 1964 when he proposed making the Social Security system voluntary.

I supported this idea, but he lost the election and I've had to live with the results. Now, I suppose, it's your turn to live with the results.

Joseph O. Hill

Glen Burnie

Shame and Blame

Ahmed G. Awad (letter, Feb. 3) describes his sense of shame regarding your Dec. 29 editorial, "Israel's Deportees." He goes on to mention the pain felt by the large number of Baltimore Muslims over the alleged soft touch Israel receives from The Sun.

I do not recall Mr. Awad feeling shamed in print when Kuwait deported 300,000 Palestinians during the Gulf War.

Why is he so concerned that Israel has not made any evidence public regarding the current deportees' level of extremism now? Was he equally concerned when no evidence was forthcoming (or solicited) from Kuwait?

Mr. Awad attempts to compare the plight of possible terrorists with the homeless of Baltimore. However, he probably wrote his letter prior to the agreement by Israel to allow approximately 100 deportees to return.

As of Feb. 3, the deportees have rejected this overture. Do you think that even one homeless Baltimorean would reject a home if offered?

Israel deported these men because of their ties to the cause of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas).

I refer you to the Hamas Covenant which calls for the destruction of all Jews, and which blames all Jews for the French Revolution, the Communist Revolution, World War I and World War II.

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