Deregulating airlines proves to be failureAs a...

the Forum

November 08, 1994

Deregulating airlines proves to be failure

As a professional with over 10 years in the travel industry, it's clear to me that airline deregulation is a complete and utter failure.

Allowing the airlines to regulate themselves is like giving an alcoholic the keys to the liquor cabinet.

Nobody wants any more government bureaucracy. But it's apparent that it is necessary.

The price wars that have been erupting every couple of months are evidence the airlines are in turmoil and out of control.

Why cut prices so low that it causes the airlines to lose money? Is that good business? Is it sane?

Also, airlines change fares any time they please, for no reason at all, and travel agents receive no warning. Quoting fares over the phone has become dangerous.

A $100 ticket on Monday may suddenly become a $200 ticket on Tuesday. Try explaining that to a family of five going on a well-deserved vacation.

If a travel agent calls the airline for help, he or she is likely to get some trite and worn out statement to the effect that "no fares are guaranteed until ticketed."

If the government repealed deregulation, the airlines would be -- forced to keep their paws off our commissions and spend more time serving the public.

Barry Ford

Catonsville

Panhandlers

Am I alone in thinking we need to clear our intersections of the panhandlers? These microcosms of our new society -- a nation of victims in which everybody wants a handout -- should be rounded up for false advertising.

"Will work for food"? That's a laugh. I see the same faces begging day after day. Better yet, maybe we should assign tax collectors to the busiest intersections.

To curb this problem, motoristsneed to adhere to some early childhood advice. Our mothers warned us not to put milk out for stray cats, and the zoo keeper reminded us not to feed the animals.

I know of one panhandler in Catonsville who seems to be suffering from over-feeding.

Although I am inspired by citizens' generosity, I suggest we redirect this money to a homeless shelter instead of an individual. The money will better serve the impoverished.

Cary Broome

Catonsville

2nd Amendment

Mario M. Butter's letter "Differing interpretations of the Second Amendment" (Oct. 11) shows that he, too, has fallen victim to the National Rifle Association's Second Amendment misinformation.

The militia was always an organized, state-sponsored military force, not simply an ad hoc collection of armed citizens. It's time to replace fiction with fact.

The NRA's interpretation of the Second Amendment, that "gun ownership is a constitutional right" for every man, woman and child, has never been upheld in a court of law.

The U.S. Supreme Court settled the debate over the meaning of the Second Amendment in 1939 in United States vs. Miller. The court wrote that the "obvious purpose of the Second Amendment was to assure the continuation and render possible the effectiveness" of the state militia.

The Second Amendment has been addressed five additional times by the U.S. Supreme Court and over 30 times by lower federal and state courts. In every case, the courts have unanimously agreed that the Second Amendment only guarantees the right to bear arms in the context of service in a "well regulated militia."

Another noted expert, Erwin Griswold, former dean of Harvard Law School and former solicitor general in the Nixon administration, said it best when he wrote that ". . . to assert that the Constitution is a barrier to reasonable gun laws, in the face of the unanimous judgment of the federal courts to the contrary, exceeds the limits of principled advocacy.

"It is time for the NRA and its followers in Congress to stop trying to twist the Second Amendment from a reasoned (if antiquated) empowerment for a militia into a bulletproof personal right for anyone to wield weaponry beyond legislative control."

In the words of former Chief Justice Warren Burger, the National Rifle Association has perpetrated a "fraud on the American public."

Lois Hess

Baltimore

Marxist Aristide

It is little known in the U.S. that President Jean-Bertrand Aristide of Haiti is a Marxist and a long-time enemy of the United States. It is also little known that his first reign as president of Haiti, even though he was democratically elected, was oppressive and the furthest thing from an exercise in democracy.

The U.S. media, with their usual distorted reporting of political events, have masked the true face of Mr. Aristide. Had the media reported the news in a balanced way it would have came as no surprise when he was overthrown in a 1991 coup.

It is true that he was democratically elected, but that does not change the mettle of the man. Hitler was also democratically elected.

The 1994 invasion of Haiti ordered by President Clinton was opposed by most Americans. Nevertheless, our president went ahead under the pretense of returning democracy by returning Mr. Aristide to power.

But there never was democracy in Haiti, and putting a Marxist into power does not solve the problem.

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