Save the EarthTom Horton (Sept. 10) issued another...


September 24, 1994

Save the Earth

Tom Horton (Sept. 10) issued another challenge to the people of Maryland to take a look at the Earth, the only home we will ever have, and really see what is happening.

The basic message was that if we keep destroying life on the land and in the sea, and using up the natural resources, human life on Earth will cease.

The end will come not by fire or ice or flood or war. Human life will not be destroyed by a Jupiter-like asteroid attack.

The form of life that walks on two legs will be the sole cause whichever way it goes. One of the commandments in the Hopi Indian faith is: "Thou shall take care of the Earth, and the life on Earth.'' Why did this never become part of the faith of other societies?

There are stories that bioluminescent bodies lived in the waters of the Chesapeake years ago. The bay has gone a long way downhill to the point where some species have vanished in our own time, and fishing certain other species is banned.

Fishing in coastal waters is in trouble. Who or what is responsible? We read that Russia cannot feed all its population, so people on land contaminated by the nuclear explosions are eating contaminated food in order to survive.

What happens if the oil fields in Saudi Arabia go pfitz tomorrow, and only salt water or air comes out? It takes 100 million years to create, and 100 years to burn up (in round numbers).

What happens if we continue to contaminate the oceans with toxic trash (as evidenced by what is washing up on the beaches), or contaminate our water tables and aquifers.

It is time for our legislators to act, and not just enjoy reading Tom Horton.

James M. Holway

Ellicott City

Occupied Lebanon

Doug Struck's article on Aug. 28, ''Beirut Sets About Rebuilding the Good Life,'' promoted the false image that Lebanon under the present conditions of occupation is secure and tranquil, when in fact the roster of general turbulence such as bombings, abductions, assassinations, detentions, extortion, vigilante ''justice'' by religious fanatics -- not to mention robberies, armed assaults and Syrian heavy-handedness -- continues to lengthen.

The extending of the travel ban on Americans to visit Lebanon by the State Department on Aug. 26 testifies to the fact that all is not well in the country.

Lebanon, unfortunately, remains under Syrian occupation a safe haven for Hezbollah and scores of other radical groups that have the freedom of operation and movement and are active, armed, hostile and a source of continued instability.

All the talk about the reconstruction of occupied Beirut and the recovery of Lebanon's economy is so far just that: talk.

The Syrian-installed Hariri government has only succeeded in raising taxes on an already impoverished Lebanese population.

It has confiscated large tracts of prime real estate in downtown Beirut for an alleged reconstruction scheme that will ruin the city's archaeological sites while enriching a handful of tycoons.

Without stability, without a sovereign state and without security and a government that can insure it, no real reconstruction can ever be implemented.

Daniel Nassif


The writer is Washington representative of the Council of Lebanese American Organizations.

'Battered' Fraud

As a longtime city dweller, I have become familiar with many of the stories used by panhandlers to solicit money.

Last year's ploy was, ''My family has to get to Washington for a funeral and our car broke down. Can you help with some money for the MARC train?''

The scam on the street this season, however, is so disturbing that I feel I have to share this experience.

Last week, downtown, a woman abruptly appeared out of nowhere and asked me for bus money to get to the House of Ruth, a shelter for battered women.

She looked awful -- black eye, torn clothes -- and she seemed desperate. I gave her the money and wished that I could have done more.

The woman then went into a 7-Eleven store.

A few days later, at an uptown spot far removed from the first location, I saw someone approached by another woman with a black eye and torn blouse, also asking for transportation money to get to the House of Ruth.

Shortly afterward, I saw this woman inside another convenience store, wiping blue-green make-up off her ''black eye,'' and happily buying candy and other items for herself and her child. There had been no emergency.

Some terrible line has been crossed here. By faking emergencies of such seriousness and resonance, these women are eroding people's inclination to help a stranger in need.

A day is coming when all legitimate pleas for help will be ignored.

Paula B. Hatcher



I am writing this letter in support of Thomas Hensley's proactive stance on the newly written anti-smoking law, which was discussed in a Sept. 10 article in The Sun.

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