Good Town to VisitWe are nearing the end of a two-month...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

July 26, 1993

Good Town to Visit

We are nearing the end of a two-month stay in Baltimore, and wanted to thank the good people of the city for the delightful time we had.

You have such a beautiful city, with marvelous neighborhoods in which to walk, spectacular museums, delightful ethnic restaurants and, of course, the justifiably renowned harbor complex.

But some of the most memorable occasions were the contacts with "real" people at the Lexington Market, at our 32d Street farmers' market, at the wonderful Italian grocery on Paca Street, to name just a few favorites.

Sure, we heard the police sirens and read the papers, so that we know all too well that bad things happen. But everyone we met was unfailingly courteous and helpful.

Since that is not always the impression that one gets through the media, we wanted to share our very positive experiences with your readers. We are already planning our next trip. Thanks again.

Philip and Mary Boucher

Huntsville, Ala.

Party to Immorality

On July 6, your lead editorial lamented the House decision to continue banning the use of federal dollars for Medicaid abortions.

You say that we are perpetrating a double standard by "telling women they can have an abortion only if they are not poor enough to require taxpayer assistance." I believe that The Sun is mistaken in its support of federal funding for Medicaid abortions.

To explain my opposition to federal funding, and yet avoid the emotional issues involved in the abortion debate, let me use the following comparison.

Let's assume, for a moment, that the Maryland legislature decided to eliminate laws against prostitution. To many of our citizens, this would be a deeply troubling decision, a moral offense, yet the proponents of such a move could make logical arguments about "you can't legislate morality"; "it's a victimless crime," etc.

And though such a decision would stir up powerful opposition, it's just possible that it might stand. After all, it happened in Nevada.

Let's now take this one step further and assume that the state then decided to operate its own houses of prostitution.

Proponents could point out that this action would deny ownership of these businesses to society's more unsavory elements (the Mob), the state could ensure that the prostitutes were healthy, special rates (or "love stamps") might be made available to economically disadvantaged customers, and last (but not least), it would be an excellent money-raising enterprise as well as being the means of providing tourist attractions unmatched on the East Coast.

Abortion (despite the moral questions associated with it) has already been legalized by the high court of our land, and that unhappy court decision (with its still to be defined limits) has evidently been accepted (if not approved) by a majority of our citizens.

But going from legalization to federal funding of abortion would be almost like a leap from legalized prostitution to state operated bordellos -- the first is a moral offense, the second an abomination. It would make every federal taxpayer a party to immorality, and I don't believe that most American citizens could stomach it.

Edwin S. Jordan

Ellicott City

Break Up Nigeria

Thank you for your statements of empathy regarding Nigeria's most recent election and the determination of General Babangida to hold on to power by any means necessary.

However, given the widespread belief in the efficacy of democracy both to eradicate dictators and to promote human rights, we should be well-advised to re-examine our views of countries south of the Sahara.

A more promising approach is that we are looking at problems of geopolitical structures originated by colonial powers. The present Nigeria is a country that should not be.

For goodness sake and for the sake of a united West Africa, it is time to dismantle the colonially structured boundaries and replace them with better and more stable geopolitical structures.

I suggest that the present northern Nigeria be merged with the Republic of Niger. They can be called the new Nigerians.

The present western Nigeria can be merged with the Republic of Benin. The present eastern Nigeria can merge with the Republic of Cameroon or, if the people in eastern Nigeria have learned to forgive themselves of cross-tribal atrocities during the civil war, they can stand together again.

There is a traditional-cultural validity to this arrangement. The new order would also help to minimize the evil effects of Anglophone and Francophone mentalities.

Stagnation would be replaced by stronger needs for growth and development. Healthy competition would thrive.

When Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka asked in The Evening Sun (Aug. 27, 1992): "Why does the world ignore 'ethnic cleansing' in Africa?" he might have been getting us ready for the impending trouble that would follow the election of any southerner to the presidency of Nigeria.

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