Discouraging private ownershipIt seems we cannot pick up a...

the Forum

August 03, 1993

Discouraging private ownership

It seems we cannot pick up a paper, listen to the radio or watch TV without some genius from D.C. espousing yet another idea to help straighten out the economy. Now they want to eliminate the so called "breaks" on deducting mortgage interest payments and property taxes.

It is noted that those "subsidies" exceed what we are giving to the poor.

Don't these geniuses understand that because of the never-ending property tax I will never really own my home? Don't they understand that elimination of these "breaks" will discourage home ownership?

Don't they understand that people who own their homes tend to maintain them and keep property values up, and that this is certainly good for the economy?

All one has to do is travel the streets of Baltimore to see the effect of absentee ownership, abandoned and derelict buildings that are no more than death traps.

These abandoned buildings ultimately become the property of the state. It seems like we are heading toward a situation where the government will actually discourage, through these insane tax policies, private ownership of property. Wasn't that the case in the U.S.S.R.? How did they make out?

Socialism didn't work there, and it should not be anticipated that it will work any better here.

Robert L. DeStefano

Baltimore

Homosexual ban

The argument that was used to keep women and African-Americans out of the military is the same argument being used today to try to ban homosexuals from the military.

Homosexuals have been in the military for hundreds of years. To ban them for their sexual orientation would be a setback to our society. We must eliminate prejudice of all kinds if our society is to progress.

I feel that we would be opening up a homosexual witch-hunt that wouldn't stop with the military. It's time we started treating people of all kinds fairly, both in the military and in civilian life.

As long as men or women perform their jobs in a satisfactory manner they should be allowed to hold those jobs. What one does with one's personal life is up to the individual -- not the government.

Now that the military cannot discriminate against a person because of race, religion or gender, they have decided to discriminate against a person's sexual orientation. That's really petty. Then again, maybe our Joint Chiefs really are petty officers.

Patricia Gant

Randallstown

Smoother sailing

As an avid power-boater with 15 years' experience navigating the Chesapeake, Inner Harbor and the offshore Atlantic Ocean, it really fouls my prop to once again hear a sail-boater cry "I had the right of way".

The skipper and crew of the sailboat that was struck by a tug off Dundalk Marine Terminal July 13 stated that they watched the tug coming up the channel yet he did not take evasive action until after they noticed that no one seemed to be at the wheel of the tug.

The sailboat skipper, who claims 35 years of sailing experience, says that a clean-shaven man appeared at the helm seconds before impact.

Anyone with that much experience should know if you can determine the condition of a tugboat operator's facial hair you are too darned close.

It should also be noted that no matter which vessel has the right of way, it is the responsibility of all skippers to take actions to avoid collisions.

Since this skipper watched the tug come up the channel in his direction and did not turn until he was close enough to tell that the tug helmsman was well-groomed, he in fact sailed himself and those aboard his vessel into a potentially deadly situation.

It must be realized by all who travel the waters of Baltimore's harbor area that this is a very heavy industrial area, and one's attention to potentially dangerous situations needs to be sharper than usual. Skippers must also be courteous enough to give way to the larger vessels that can be expected in such an area.

To claim or demand having the right of way when you are in a 33-foot boat sailing an area dominated by vessels like the 105-foot tug, up to ships exceeding 900 feet in length, is not only arrogant but just plain stupid.

Wayne E. Croft

Parkton

Family preservation

Regarding the recent column by Mona Charen, "Genuine family preservation" (Other Voices, July 1), keeping families together at the expense of children is as wrong as placing children in foster care at their expense.

If we are paying attention, our form of government is teaching a wonderful lesson -- extreme positions are wrong.

Bonnie Davis

Pasadena

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