Sanctions on Iraq seen in perspectiveI was highly incensed...

SATURDAY MAIL BOX

November 29, 1997

Sanctions on Iraq seen in perspective

I was highly incensed by George Capaccio's Perspective section article, Nov. 23, blaming U.S. sanctions for the suffering of the Iraqi people.

The blame rests solely on the shoulders of Saddam Hussein, who callously disregards his own citizens' well-being by spending fortunes on Scud missiles, germ warfare, etc., plus lining his own pockets with money that belongs to his public.

Place the blame where it rightly belongs.

, Betty J. Eisenberg Baltimore

Thank you for the article by George Capaccio, ''Sanctions harm ordinary Iraqis."

We should consider our nation's war policy in the Middle East, to limit the evil of it.

We must remove from ourselves the need to oppress, to get even, to "teach them a lesson." Vengeance is not the best policy.

Frank Kasper

Baltimore

Ban bicycle riders from our roadways

Now that bicycle season soon will be over, it is time for the state legislature to pass a law to ban bicycles from all highways and roads. I think I speak for about 75 percent of all motorists, including dump truck, tractor-trailer and bus drivers.

As I approach a cyclist and blow my horn, I expect the cyclist to give up the right of way and immediately pull over and stop so I can pass, make right turns onto roads or into parking spaces without decreasing my speed below the posted speed limits.

I don't have five to 10 seconds to allow the cyclist to get safely through an intersection, past the parking spaces, jersey walls at construction sites, or bus stops. It doesn't matter whether the cyclist is doing 10 miles per hour or 25, he should pull over and stop at the sound of my horn.

If bicycles were banned from the roads, then the cyclists would not be breaking laws, such as running red lights and stop signs, riding against traffic and riding at night without lights. There would be less litter along the roadside -- no candy wrappers, banana peels and other trash from the cyclists.

People in motor vehicles wouldn't be tempted to throw soda cups, cans and other objects at the cyclists. Noise would be reduced as well, since passengers and cyclists wouldn't have to yell obscenities at each other. The air would be cleaner without the pepper spray that is squirted at the cyclists by the passengers of motor vehicles.

How do I know all this? I am an avid, law-abiding cyclist who logs up to 2,500 miles a year, mostly commuting to and from work. This is the impression I get from most motorists.

Bud Lippert

Essex

Column sensitive to gays' humanity

Michael Olesker's Nov. 2 column, "Court ruling affirms gays' common humanity," was heart-warming, sensitive and fair. My husband was also deeply moved by it.

I am tired of government-sanctioned discrimination in the military or elsewhere.

The church has also treated gay men and lesbians as less than human. Both the church and the state put them in the position of having to lie and pretend to be what they're not.

It isn't right, and makes me embarrassed to be an American, never mind an Episcopal priest. I do, however, make it very clear that I will not tolerate discrimination of any kind.

The Sun should be very proud to have Mr. Olesker on its staff. Would that there were many more like him, writing and educating our adults and children.

`Rev. Jane W. Van Zandt

Baltimore

Restaurants need better acoustics

On a recent visit to my audiologist, I picked up a copy of his "Hearing HealthCare News," a quarterly newsletter, and read something I must have known for years:

"After price and service, the third most common complaint about restaurants is the amount of noise -- and that comes from people with normal hearing."

The author's advice: Choose restaurants carefully. He reports that difficulty hearing in noisy restaurants may be the most common complaint of his patients.

Restaurants owners should start giving consideration to noise abatement, not only for the hearing impaired but for all their customers.

Leonard S. Jacobson

Baltimore

Too few stories about good doctors

A Nov. 13 article, ''HMO members twice as likely to die of heart attacks," described research presented to the American Heart Association. It was disappointing to find this important article buried on page 18A.

Had the story been that the patients of local cardiologists/cardiac surgeons are twice as likely to die of heart attacks, it would likely have been front-page news.

Most patients receive competent, compassionate care by dedicated physicians. Examples of unsatisfactory patient outcomes are often well publicized. Where are the reports depicting the consistently good clinical work and effort put forth by so many practicing physicians?

The bent of coverage regarding patient care by physicians is negative, eroding patient confidence in their doctors. Physicians are the true patient advocates in the health care debate, yet stones are frequently cast in our direction.

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