Unsafe PlanetI am writing concerning the war in...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

June 01, 1994

Unsafe Planet

I am writing concerning the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. What most people simply can't comprehend is the question, "Why is this even permitted?"

The New World Order has for its forum and court the United Nations. What is the purpose, then, for a Security Council comprised, with veto power, of a few high-powered industrialized countries?

There can never be a true world democracy, and therefore true democratic solutions to world problems, as long as this arm of the U.N. exists.

This veto power has functioned as a colossal impasse time and again. Meanwhile, people starve, freeze and are slaughtered as a result of political inertia.

I recently served a tour flying humanitarian relief supplies into Sarajevo and surrounding villages. Nothing more destructive to the effort was encountered than our own allied forces being held back from incisive strikes that would have saved lives and allowed our airlift to get through.

If the U.N. would speed up its evolution to meet the world as it actually is, there is no telling how safe of a place we could make this planet.

Ronald J. Smith

Baltimore

The Right to Rate

In a letter May 21, Samuel L. Banks wonders what the constitutional basis is for the American Bar Association passing on Alex Williams' qualifications to be a federal judge.

There is, to be sure, no explicit constitutional mandate. But we all have the right of free assembly and the right to associate with like-minded people as we wish.

We have the right to consult with each other and come to joint conclusions about topics of current interest. And we have the right of free speech, the right to publish those conclusions once we have made them.

For our pluralistic, democratic society to work, we have an bTC implied duty to make our knowledge and opinions about current political processes known to the decision-makers and to the public.

We also have the right and duty to comment on what others say when we believe we can contribute usefully to the discussion.

The process is highly political, and the ABA is not a gate-keeper, though it might like to be. Judges have been appointed after the ABA judged them only qualified, or even not qualified.

Because the ABA is an association of people trained in the law, its opinions about a candidate's qualification to be a federal judge will be given more weight than my opinions, even after allowing for the difference in numbers between us.

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee will still probably outweigh it.

Furthermore, in a society in which the ABA had no right to express its opinion about the qualifications of judicial candidates, Mr. Banks would have no right to object if it did, and I would have no right to comment on his objection.

Somehow, for all its faults, I prefer the way we do it now. I believe Churchill put it correctly: "Democracy is the worst form of government there is, except for all the others."

Irving L. Chidsey

Havre de Grace

Pure Tongue

You frequently get letters from language purists who delight in detecting some picayune mistake in the columns of The Sun.

I wonder if these folks will honestly admit, for example, that they know how to properly split an infinitive?

Moreover, they wouldn't be caught dead using a cliche. And to begin a sentence with a conjunction? Heaven forbid!

Further, to never use a preposition to end a sentence is a rule they can obviously live without.

Harry M. Brundick

Reisterstown

Urban Bliss

From your May 19 article about the Baltimore County budget it's clear we in the county need to attract lots of new residents other counties must be getting -- the imaginary kind who pay lots of taxes but demand no services.

That will solve the problem you describe: "With population growth down . . . the county doesn't expect the new revenues that faster-growing counties use to pay for salary increases, schools and roads."

Instead, unfortunately, the new residents we keep getting are real people, who perversely expect their taxes to be spent on schools and roads and on new employees to serve the additional people.

That must happen a lot of places, since studies show the cost per resident of local government in bigger cities (and growth is making the county more and more like a big city) and in more densely populated counties is a good deal higher than in smaller cities or less crowded counties.

But even if we can find an unlimited supply of the imaginary kind of new residents, how will we solve our budget problems after we finish turning our woods, pastures and farm lands into housing tracts, shopping centers and highways, our highways into bumper-to-bumper parking lots, our streams into sewers for lawn and golf course pesticides and fertilizers and our air into lung-searing ozone?

Cliff Terry

Woodlawn

Animal Feelings

Tom Dougherty's claim (letter, May 26) that anti-hunting demonstrations are never peaceful is totally wrong.

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