Rest of U.S. shouldn't get bill for quakeWith the rest of...

the Forum

January 31, 1994

Rest of U.S. shouldn't get bill for quake

With the rest of the country, I watched with concern the aftermath of the recent California earthquake.

Unlike most, however, I do not feel pouring out money for the victims in and around Los Angeles is the best way to express my concern.

Everybody knows that the California coast is prime earthquake territory. One of the costs of living in the Golden State is suffering with the occasional earthquake.

The people of California should be the ones to pay that cost.

The state of California has an obligation to rebuild the freeways, schools and other public structures damaged or destroyed in the quake, but they should raise the money themselves.

I hope, but do not expect, that the federal government will turn down California begging for money.

You reap what you sow. If you sow your seeds in California, you should expect the ground to swallow some of them up every once in a while.

Fortunately, there are insurance companies to help equally distribute the cost of earthquakes. The purpose of insurance is for people to pool their money together to help the few who need it. If people neglect to protect themselves, then they must learn to be hurt once in a while.

Banks are also available to loan money to those who need to rebuild. Federally subsidized loans to the earthquake victims should be given sparingly, because in most cases the applicants could either get a loan from a bank or are bad credit risks. Government should not be undercutting the role of private industry.

California is an example of compassion gone bad. Hospitals are not allowed to ask a patient about their citizenship, so the taxpayers end up paying billions in free health care to illegal aliens. The taxpayers must also pay for the cost of welfare and education to the children of illegal aliens born in the United States.

In California they are fighting against themselves. They try hard to keep illegal aliens out but reward them once they safely cross the border.

While I am against giving, but not lending, money to the state of California for the earthquake, they should be compensated for suffering disproportionately due to bad federal immigration laws.

California is also a most generous state in terms of welfare benefits and is consequently a welfare magnet. The Los Angeles riots were largely the cause of the hopelessness felt by an underclass of people dependent on the "compassionate" welfare payments from the government.

California's Gov. Pete Wilson is trying to correct these problems but is unfortunately labeled as an immigrant- and welfare-basher.

Let free enterprise run its course and everything will turn out for the best.

David Shackleford

Baltimore

Tough love

The more arguments we hear urging "scholarships" -- a misnomer -- for the athletic poor, the less we understand the problem. But there is a simple solution.

Forget the misnomer and call it what it is: an athletic grant without any academic skills required. No classes, no exams, no degree.

Let sports-minded educational institutions field designated players for all sports just like the pros and forget any attempt at academic training.

Pyrrhic victories will pile up until the day we awaken to the fact that the ignorant rich are our leaders, and the gods of the arenas have triumphed over the mind of man.

It will take a couple of decades to avert that, but we can start now with pre-schoolers and a great deal of tough love.

Walter Koehler

Baltimore

Double standard?

Isn't it interesting!

While some Republicans clamored for the appointment of an independent counsel to investigate the Whitewater venture of President Clinton, a Democrat, lawyers for other Republicans asked the courts to suppress the report of the independent counsel who investigated the Iran-contra scandal, a legacy of the Reagan era.

Morton C. Paulson

Silver Spring

MADD's legislative program reasonable

In reference to an Associated Press story in The Evening Sun Jan. 31 regarding tougher drunken-driver laws, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) in Maryland would like to clarify certain statements.

The opening sentence states that "Maryland has some of the strictest drunk driving laws in the country, but Mothers Against Drunk Driving will ask the 1994 General Assembly to tighten the screws a little more."

That assertion suggests that we are seeking unreasonable or unwarranted changes in the existing laws. But MADD's legislative goals are never fully or accurately explained.

We propose three initiatives, all of which have previously been introduced and killed in committee.

They are: a "per se" intoxication standard for drivers with a blood-alcohol content of .10 percent; a ban on open containers of alcohol in a vehicle; and mandatory blood-alcohol testing in crashes that result in serious bodily injury.

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