Human FeelingsAfter watching and hearing House Speaker...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

April 14, 1995

Human Feelings

After watching and hearing House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) brag about his party's "Contract with America," it seems that congressional elimination of social programs will soon replace baseball as our national pastime.

This being the case, I am reminded of a passage from George F. Will's 1990 book, "Men at Work," in which he states: "Umpires should be natural Republicans -- dead to human feelings."

Mel Tansill

Catonsville

Fuel Alternatives

The Clinton administration's commitment to cutting carbon emissions is not enough. That we continue to worry about reducing emissions from the burning of fossil fuels is an indictment of our country's scientific and intellectual capability.

Safe and clean alternative energy sources must be developed, publicized and deployed to consumer and commercial markets.

Our use of fossil fuels for energy is the primary source of carbon emissions. It is amazing that our 90-year-old auto industry has produced no reasonably priced breakthroughs, advancements and alternatives to the internal combustion automobile engine available to the average consumer.

Our knowledge and skills to re-engineer and rapidly advance an entire industry are clearly apparent when you look at the computing power an average consumer can purchase in a local electronics store.

Scientific capability is really not the issue. The obstacles to develop and deploy safer, cleaner and more efficient energy sources are engineered by companies and organizations that sell fossil fuels.

All major oil companies fall within the prestigious Fortune 100, among the 100 largest companies in the world.

Businesses are built to fulfill a demand or need that ultimately results in profits for the business owner. The truly successful know how to create a demand for a product or service, and oil companies are experts in this.

The richest organizations in the world sell oil and clearly object to any innovation capable of diminishing the need for it. Many people believe that oil companies overtly disrupt the introduction of innovations that threaten the demand for oil.

Even for the oil companies, the long-term consequences to the environment and human health from the burning of fossil fuels far outweigh the short-term impact on business.

Efforts to reduce carbon emissions are easy. If the Clinton administration is serious, it will shift its focus from reducing carbon emissions to eliminating them by aggressively driving our scientific and business communities to develop safe, clean and innovative alternative sources of energy.

Raymond W. Lucas

Columbia

Disingenuous

The Sun's April 5 editorial "Resistance to Tax Cuts" indicates either a deep misunderstanding of Reagan omics or a stubborn unwillingness to accept its positive results.

The 1981 tax law, whose full effect was not felt until it reduced tax rates in 1983, spurred a long economic expansion which continued throughout President Reagan's second term.

In fact, the expansion did not end until George Bush, no apostle of Reaganomics, began to waver on his "no new taxes" pledge.

It is irresponsible of The Sun to denigrate a program which brought the country much prosperity.

Although the deficit rose during the 1980s, this was not as a result of declining tax revenues.

Congress reneged on the spending side, failing to legislate the promised cuts. Accelerating defense expenditures placed additional pressure on the deficit but did result in winning the Cold War.

To attempt to lead your reader to the conclusion that Reaganomics is at fault is disingenuous at best.

Edward W. Brown Jr.

Baltimore

Helmet Laws

In your April 7 article ''Law would require bicycle helmets,'' it is stated that in 1994 ''15 Marylanders, including five children,'' died of head injuries related to bicycle riding. This must mean that 10 adults died.

Then why, when twice as many adults die as children, are adults not going to be required by this law to wear helmets?

It just may be that many of our legislators agree that this would be too intrusive or that it is an attempt to legislate common sense. If this is the case, I would appreciate these same legislators working to repeal the motorcycle helmet law for the same reasons. If a Styrofoam bicycle helmet is too much trouble, then a heavier and more cumbersome motorcycle helmet should meet the same criteria.

To allow adult bicycle riders and mo-ped operators to use our roads without helmets is nothing more than discrimination against adult motorcycle operators. Motorcycle operators pay considerably more toward the maintenance of our roads through gas taxes, registration fees, licensing and insurance costs than mo-ped or bicycle riders. Yet we are the only ones being burdened with a mandatory helmet law.

It appears that many, if not all, of the arguments used to force helmets on motorcyclists are being used to try to force another segment of Maryland's population to relinquish their freedom of choice.

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