Mental BalanceAs a psychologist of some 40 years...


August 25, 1993

Mental Balance

As a psychologist of some 40 years experience, I strongly endorse Dr. Alvin S. Baraff's comments regarding the tragic death of Vincent Foster Jr. (letter, Aug. 19).

Presumably Mr. Foster's associates were to some extent aware of his dispirited state of mind but no one, I suspect, called it to his attention or strongly urged him to see a psychotherapist. In contrast, had he had even a minor cold for a similarly extended period, they would have urged and even badgered him to see a physician.

Mr. Foster's death can, to a considerable extent, be attributed to the unrealistic, absurd and destructive posture toward mental illness prevalent in our society.

This hush-hush attitude is particularly destructive to the public health as well as to persons in high places in the light of recent definitive findings of the influence of emotional conditions upon the incidence of cancer and heart disease.

Perhaps in the light of our loss of the contributions of a talented and distinguished public servant, the White House and the Congress will take the lead in ending this destructive prejudice by adding psychologists and psychiatrists to their health maintenance personnel. And using them.

Irvin Greenberg


Youthful Drinking

As the summer winds down, parents everywhere are beginning the familiar August rituals; buying school supplies, packing lunch pails, loading U-Hauls and wondering how it can be possible that our children are yet another year older.

In the flurry of preparations, we as parents need to remember to set aside time to talk with our kids about the serious issue of illegal under-age drinking, and the importance of responsible decision-making.

Here at the Winner Distributing Company, we offer parents "Family Talk About Drinking," a set of guidebooks and video available free to those who call (410) 282-1600 or 1-800-359-TALK.

Developed with authorities from the fields of alcohol research, education and family counseling, "Family Talk" provides practical guidelines for building self-esteem in youth, and helping prevent underage drinking before it starts.

When it comes to educating children about responsible decision making and respect for the law, parents are the best educators.

George J. Acton


Record Week

We'd like to say thank you to the world's greatest sports fans and volunteers.

The 1993 All-Star FanFest was a record-breaking success, and the first-ever All-Star Week was a spectacular celebration that showcased baseball and Baltimore to the world.

Major League Baseball will never forget that record-breaking week in Baltimore.

Richard E. White

New York

L The writer is president of Major League Baseball Properties.

Bad Public Grazing Proposal

On Aug. 10, you reported on Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt's proposal to raise public lands grazing fees.

Your readers should know that when you look behind the rhetoric, it turns out the proposal is a bad one which will do just the opposite of what he said it would do.

For instance, he says his 130 percent increase in fees won't drive ranchers off the land.

The fact is, it will so dramatically increase ranchers' costs of doing business that it won't be feasible to operate.

As a result ranchers will be forced to sell off their private holdings to developers who are even now drooling at the prospects.

The open space that has been maintained by ranching families for a hundred years or more will be filled with hotels, ranchettes and condos and will become elite communities with room only for the affluent and politically correct.

Does anyone think that would be an environmentally friendly change?

The proposal will not add $20 million to the U.S. Treasury.

In fact, it will take money away from the Treasury because grazing fees will be dramatically reduced when ranchers are forced out of business, and because it will increase the federal government's cost of managing the lands.

The government will have to hire more land managers to provide the stewardship currently provided by ranchers.

Mr. Babbitt says his proposal will improve the lands. But government agency reports show that western public lands are in better condition today than at any time in this century.

This, along with significant increases in wildlife numbers, can be attributed directly to the stewardship and land improvements made by ranchers.

If you price the stewards off the land, you won't have stewardship.

Mr. Babbitt also claims his proposal will eliminate a government subsidy. The fact is ranchers aren't receiving a government subsidy now and don't want one in the future. They want to pay a fair price for public lands forage based on sound economic principles.

William G. Myers III


K? The writer represents the National Cattlemen's Association.

Maryland Deserves a Fair Share of Rockfish

As a Maryland fisherman for the past 38 years, I would like to take an opportunity to expound on the reports that rockfish are making a comeback in the Chesapeake Bay.

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