Be patient, BillOne trillion dollars has been raised this...

the Forum

December 22, 1993

Be patient, Bill

One trillion dollars has been raised this year on Wall Street through new public offerings of stocks and bonds.

"So what?" a cynic might say. Mr. Clinton wanted to spend an extra $16 billion and was turned down by Congress last spring.

It turns out the turn down was correct. Why add $16 billion to the deficit when the private sector is raising 65 times as much in new capital for job and plant expansion?

So where are the jobs? They're coming -- investment ideas don't turn into jobs overnight. But a multitude of seedlings have been planted over the last 10 years.

Mr. Clinton can be the beneficiary if he doesn't over-regulate or over-mandate as he is threatening.

Richard L. Frank


Welfare truths

Finally you had a writer with enough intestinal fortitude to write how a vast majority of Americans feel about welfare. In his Dec. 9 article, "Push hard! You're making three copies," James Lileks was not worried about being P.C.

Bravo for sociologist Charles Murray for showing such compassion. This may be the only chance for some of these children to become healthy, happy and productive adults, rather than being kept dependent and oppressed by so called do-gooders and advocates of welfare and dependency.

M. Shaw


Help your kids avoid the holidays' perils

As parents throughout metropolitan Baltimore welcome college children home for the holiday break and others have children home from area secondary schools, it is important to discuss the problem of substance abuse with our children.

Adult holiday parties now offer celebrants an array of non-alcoholic drinks. Despite the fact that the legal drinking age in Maryland is 21, many holiday gatherings of teens and college students will feature beer and other alcoholic beverages, and probably marijuana.

Binge drinking is a regular occurrence at these parties. While non-alcoholic beverages may be available, it is more likely that the younger partygoer will consume five or more drinks in a relatively short period of time with the intention of getting drunk.

In some instances, the beer and alcohol will be supplied by parents; in others, teens will use older siblings to make the

purchase. Marijuana is even easier to get: It can usually be purchased from a classmate.

Besides the fact that underage drinking is illegal, use of alcohol and marijuana often results in sexual encounters. Forget the fact that children shouldn't be having sex at 13, 14, 15 or 16 years of age. Accept that some are dropping their inhibitions due to alcohol or drug use, and that they are doing so without the use of any protection.

Too often, the fact that they put themselves at risk for AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases is shrugged off with the attitude "It won't happen to me."

For these reasons, parents with children home for the holidays should be aware of where their children are, who they are going out with and what they plan to do.

If you have children in their early teens, it would be wise to do some vacation planning so that their free time is structured and supervised whenever possible. Let them help organize their vacation activities.

And as a parent, you need to be clear regarding your children's use of alcohol and other drugs. The Partnership for a Drug-Free America offers suggestions on how to keep your children drug-free all year:

* Take a stand. The single biggest deterrent to drug use is talking to your kids about the subject -- early, often and specifically. Don't worry if it doesn't seem to register. Weeks or months later you'll very likely hear your words coming back to you.

* Listen. Don't do all the talking. Ask questions. Find out what your

children think. If you don't listen, your kids won't talk to you, much less listen to you.

* Set rules. Kids need to know exactly what the rules are. The rules have to be clear, consistent, reasonable -- and enforced. Every kid will try to find out exactly how far he or she can go. And drugs are no place for trial and error.

* Learn the symptoms. There are 10 very obvious symptoms of drug abuse. They don't necessarily mean drugs. But the more symptoms you see, the greater the likelihood. Look carefully and often, because the symptoms develop gradually.

* Get involved. That's almost impossible unless you've built a foundation by getting involved in their school and their sports.

* Don't preach.

Use this holiday season as an opportunity to open a dialogue with your children about the use of drugs and alcohol. Make it clear just what is and is not acceptable. Your discussions now could make a real difference, giving your children a very special gift.

Linda S. Schiffer


The writer is public relations commissioner of the Partnership For A Drug-Free Maryland.

Why people kill

Let's not publicize the number of murders in Baltimore City any more. OK, radio, TV, newspapers? 335. Big as day. ''We've tied the record set in 1992.''

By publicizing the number, aren't we letting the bad guys know how close they are to breaking the record? People love to break records. You are naive if you don't think people think this way.

We all know there is a problem in the city. I'm not saying to ignore the problem. Let's just not glorify it for them with talk of tying and breaking records.

William Fritz

Bel Air


The reason why the murder rate is as high as it was last year at this time is the same reason that people commit such horrible crimes as rape, child abuse, etc.

A lot of people, especially young people, have no morals.

They don't care about what is right or wrong and, unfortunately, they have no belief in God.

As long as there is no guidance and people have no conscience, we will always have major problems.

Murphy Edward Smith


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