Why Tipton flying club should remainOn Oct. 15, I read the...


October 29, 1995

Why Tipton flying club should remain

On Oct. 15, I read the letter by Robert Thulman about Tipton Airport. This letter typifies the problems that the Fort Meade Flying Activity (FMFA) has been having getting support from some non-member pilots.

Their attitude is, "They get something we don't, it's not fair." This is an attitude born of ignorance of the military in general, and non-appropriated fund activities in specific. I would assume that Mr. Thulman and his ilk are not familiar with the term "non-appropriated fund activity," and why they exist.

The military has decided that for morale reasons (among many others) they would provide for certain activities that allow servicemen to participate for a lower cost that what they would find in a "for-profit" organization. Some of these activities make money regularly (e.g. flying activity, golf course), though not necessarily by design.

With even a little bit of research into the subject, one would find that the Tipton Army Airfield was in use by the military, and that the FMFA not only was a small part of the operations there, but for the most part (if not completely) paid its own way. The activity has also paid for many improvements to the field.

Expending just a little more research time, one would realize that there are two main reasons that members of the FMFA are able to fly as inexpensively as they have, and neither has to do with taxpayers. The main reason is quantity. There are several hundred members of the two flying activities at Tipton, thus making for economy of scale. The second reason is that the flying activities are not trying to eke out every cent of profit the market will bear.

There are many pilots flying with the FMFA that otherwise would not be able to fly. Many cadets from the Naval Academy have gotten their first taste of flight at Tipton. If you don't understand why the military has a morale and welfare office, or why the FMFA has been so successful, do a little research and find out for yourself.

Stewart Baker


Useless genes with no bears to slay

Referring to Pam Yeckling's letter, "Male genes are the root of violence (Oct. 12), and Gregory Kane's column linking genetics and violence (Sept. 30).

I believe that males have developed a violent behavior gene. For thousands of years, it became the duty of the strongest in the group to engage in contests with wild animals in order to obtain food. The role of hunter finally narrowed to the male, as did the role of warrior.

With the advent of urban industrialization, the functioning of the violent behavior gene has been suppressed. Bringing home a paycheck just isn't the same as killing the bear and returning triumphantly.

The earliest industrialized community peoples have developed sports teams to vicariously "kill the bear" for them. We also pay males to fight for us, another stomp on our violent behavior gene. Not all nations industrialized at the same time. Therefore, males from the later developing environments have not had the time to have had the aggressive gene suppressed. They are probably progressing at the same rate that the earlier beginners did. It just takes time.

Nature has a way of balancing situations.

Charles Johnston


Why people are lottery addicts

Robin Miller was right on the money in his very well-written and thought out article ("The lottery mentality," Opinion * Commentary, Oct. 17).

The reasons people become addicted to lottery playing (job insecurity, layoffs and broken promises by politicians) have affected many American families.

I would assume Mr. Miller works as a taxi driver to supplement his writer's income. If it's convenient, would he mind coming to my house and taxi me bi-weekly to the local Power Ball ticket vendor? Might as well go for the Big One!

Miriam T. Glister

Severna Park

Gaming industry jobs not worth the gamble

Why are we still talking about casino gambling in Maryland? Before I left for a trip the first of October, I saw that a poll of the citizens was clearly against any kind of casino gambling, so why don't we move on to problems which already exist? (We certainly don't need to create any new ones.)

The editorial cartoonist who pictures the politicians as hypocritically mouthing disclaimers while salivating in the backrooms has it right but one wonders just what they could be so eager for -- unless it is the chance to profit personally. Why else has the gambling industry focused so much time and attention on swaying the governor and the legislators and not the voters? Instead of spending more money on studies, why don't we listen to the voters and spend that money on finding solutions for some of the real problems in this state?

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