Bed for a night isn't enough for homelessIt's positive to...

the Forum

December 29, 1993

Bed for a night isn't enough for homeless

It's positive to read an article like "When giving shelter to the homeless isn't enough," Dec. 19. Finally, people are realizing that just providing temporary homes isn't helping the long-term homeless problem.

A new direction has to be taken, and the homeless need people to get them on the right track.

The picture the article seemed to draw is that a majority of the homeless go in and out of states of it because of drug abuse.

These people would benefit more if they got specialized treatment for their addictions and gained the ability to support themselves instead of getting shelter for one night.

I parallel this with the elementary proverb, "If you give someone a fish, they can eat for a day; if you teach them how to fish, they can eat for a lifetime."

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry G. Cisneros looks as though he's taking the right step by putting more money toward transitional housing and job training programs.

In the past, the government caused the current less-caring attitude. They never concentrated on the mental aspects of homelessness, even though attempts to increase the number of shelters never can keep up with rising number of homeless.

Sofia Zuberi

Ellicott City

Another Nixon?

On this page last year I wrote that I would hold my nose, vote for Bill Clinton and take a shower afterward.

I still feel dirty. I helped to elect a president who has weaseled out on every campaign pledge save the ones to Wall Street, personally issued orders to kidnap or kill Mohammed Aidid, thus dooming thousands of innocent Somalis, bombed Baghdad in the dead of night killing Iraq's foremost female artist and other innocents, cheered on Janet Reno as she issued orders to gas Branch Davidian children in Waco, betrayed close friends like Lani Guinier, kissed corporate interests with the same passion that Reagan and Bush did, continues the unilateral, illegal and immoral blockade against Cuba while arming death squad regimes in El Salvador and Guatemala and pretends that the single-payer Canadian style health system doesn't exist.

Most recently he rebuked the surgeon general for even hinting that drugs be legalized as a way to fight violent crime.

And this is just his first year in office. Will Bill Clinton betray the women in our country and turn against their right to choose?

Let's hope we don't say of this president what I said about Richard Nixon years ago: "He'd never shoot his mother in the back for political expediency -- unless he had to."

However, if the GOP nominates Ollie North, Rush Limbaugh or the two Pats, Buchanan and Robertson, I'll still vote for Bill -- I prefer a cold to rabies.

Gerald Ben Shargel

Baltimore

Too much control

President Clinton's proposed health-care plan contradicts the democratic policies on which our country was founded.

Mr. Clinton has decided that we will replace our current, confidential and efficient system of medical records with a single credit-card-sized portfolio of personal records. This card would contain all of a patient's confidential files, and it would be carried around like a bank card or business card.

Convenient? I suppose, but what happens when the card is lost? If this is the only place where these confidential records are kept, where will the government turn for replacements?

Does this also mean that almost all doctors, nurses and medical employees will have access to personal records that are now confidential? If this is true, I find Mr. Clinton's plan quite exploitative.

I don't want the average government employee to control this aspect of my life.

Why does our government need to seize complete control of health care? There is no possible way it will prosper with the federal system as its guide.

There is not a single example of a government program that has succeeded. Look at Social Security and the Internal Revenue Service. How successful and popular have they been?

jTC Maybe it's time we wake up and take care of ourselves.

Allison Hoover

Ellicott City

Europe's ills

The grave economic recession in Europe is one of the main causes of the rebirth of ultranationalism, xenophobia and fascism among European countries.

In fact, their economic situation is getting worse day after day, and most people feel more and more hopeless toward their future.

Recently unemployment is reaching levels where small industries close, crushed by large corporations, and big factories are laying off workers in order to save money.

The cost of living is going up very quickly, and people are really discontented and angry about the constant new taxes they have to pay.

Corruption in politics is another factor of people's anger. Therefore, Europeans don't trust anyone anymore, and a feeling of discouragement is spreading all over the continent.

The biggest reaction to this situation is the growing of nationalist and xenophobic feelings toward immigrants accused of being the cause of the problems.

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