Adoption policyThe House of Representatives adopted a...


April 10, 1995

Adoption policy

The House of Representatives adopted a welfare reform bill that prohibits states from delaying or denying adoption or foster-care placement because of race or ethnicity. If this bill becomes law, many black, Hispanic and mixed-race children will find good homes. Public opinion polls show that 70 percent of blacks and whites are in favor of transracial adoption.

Racial politics should not keep needy boys and girls from securing the parental love and guidance they deserve. Congress has the chance to create a colorblind society in the United States.

Joseph Lerner


Posterity's judgment

While reflecting on the current tax-cut debate, I came across the following sentence from the March 31 National Catholic Reporter:

"When all the political talk is over, posterity will judge us by what we did for the weakest among us."

In the face of our neglected schools, and with one out of five of the nation's children wearing the face of poverty, tax cuts now for the wealthy and the middle class will be remembered only with disgust.

Our grandchildren, moreover, will look with disbelief on the size of our prison system, and they will shake their heads in wonder that we did not help the weak in our midst to create jobs before desperation took them to jail.

The homeless, the working poor, the hurt millions without health care already stand in judgment of our national leadership for spending $300 billion yearly on guns and planes rather than for jobs and truly beneficial domestic production.

The "weak" know they can be strong. The poor despise welfare. They know in both brain and heart that the surest strength of our nation is for all citizens, poor and rich alike, to be healthy, educated, employed and justly compensated.

No tax cut now, thank you. Rather, the affluent and the strong among us need to tax our wallets, brains and hearts more to help our countrymen in need.

Frederick C. Ruof


A5 The writer is chaplain of A Chapel for Baltimore.

APG danger

I want to thank The Evening Sun and staff writer Bruce Reid for keeping the public informed about the potential hazards at Aberdeen Proving Grounds. I have been following his reports for some time.

Though I don't live in Harford County, I feel that it is important for all of us in the Baltimore area to be aware of the dangers that can occur as the Army tries to clean up the Nike site and considers how to destroy or neutralize the mustard gas that has been buried there for nearly 50 years.

Certainly, the reality of hazardous materials buried in the ground near streams and wells and the possibility of chemical bombs exploding near large populations is not a popular subject with home and business owners in the Aberdeen area, but I am grateful that The Evening Sun is monitoring the situation and keeping us informed. Thanks for good reporting.

Phyllis S. Yingling


Two-tier citizenry

By failing to extend equal protection to all Maryland workers, the General Assembly and the governor have created a new kind second-class citizenry composed of the bartenders, waitresses, musicians and delivery people, who must choose between giving up their jobs or breathing in second-hand smoke.

The connection of smoking with imbibing alcoholic beverages astonishes me.

Is there some puritanical mind-set at work which figures that since all patrons of taverns are doomed to burn in hell eventually, they might as well get used to the smoke?

Why should I be made to inhale carcinogens just because I enjoy a draft of Guinness or love to listen to live music in intimate surroundings?

I know a lot of people who refuse to go to pubs because of the smoke, and I believe that a smoke-free bar would gain more attendance than it would lose.

After all, unless you run a funeral home, it does not make good business sense to hasten the demise of your customers.

Unlike other artifacts from the past, the economy of the pubs, taverns and restaurants in Maryland will not turn to ashes upon exposure to fresh air.

Jane Ball Shipley


Roots of dependency

I would like to think that legislators in their wisdom designed social programs such as welfare and affirmative action as temporary, compassionate measures to give needy people the opportunity to become self-reliant.

Now, with the subject of reform causing such heated debate, I think we ought to base our judgments on facts, not emotions.

Our country's investment in welfare programs has soared from $50 billion in the 1960s to $302 billion in the 1990s.

That's a total investment of some $5 trillion, or greater than the entire national debt.

Has it been worth it? The reality is that it has been a dismal failure: We have more poverty and more crime as we continue to invent more social programs. When will it end, and what has it taught us?

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