Louis L. Goldstein took on war criminals while serving in...

Letters to the Editor

July 16, 1998

Louis L. Goldstein took on war criminals while serving in 0) Army

Like most Marylanders, I am saddened by the sudden death of Louis L. Goldstein. Unlike them, however, I had occasion to conduct what was probably one of the last in-depth interviews with him in his Annapolis office on May 15. The subject was his service as a U.S. Marine in World War II, which consisted mainly of prosecuting Japanese war criminals in the Philippines.

I found him to be a very modest and extremely gracious man, who embarrassed me by repeatedly calling me "sir." I wanted to say, "Mr. Comptroller, I, as a younger man, should be calling you "sir," but I did not, much to my regret now.

On the other hand, I rest content that he is now in heaven with his beloved late wife, Hazel, and possibly is debating politics and finance with his colleague and my late friend, Hyman A. Pressman.

Blaine Taylor

Towson As a delegate to the National Education Association convention, I read with interest Linda Chavez's column ("An NEA-AFT merger no balm for poor schools," July 8).

The primary goal of most teachers is to provide a high-quality education for our students. As was the case with many other delegates who voted against the merger, it was not the concept of unity that I opposed. Rather, my opposition was to several aspects of the document, "Principles of Unity."

Once the areas that delegates consider to be problems are redressed, a merger will occur, and teachers will be united in one national organization.

Robin A. Bruck

Towson

Nuclear power not the best energy option for the future

Recent letters to The Sun have suggested that nuclear power replace fossil fuel power because the latter causes air pollution and climate change. A letter in March advocated a license extension of the Calvert Cliffs nuclear power plant beyond its 40-year design. These are bad ideas.

Aside from the constant threat of a catastrophic nuclear meltdown from an aging nuclear plant, which could make a large region permanently uninhabitable, there are other unsolved problems. After spending billions of dollars on research, the Department of Energy has not found a safe, permanent repository for highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel.

Ventings of radioactive gases, both accidental and planned, from nuclear plants constantly increase carcinogens in our environment.

Solar power is competitive in Maryland for half the year. Other clean power sources include methane fuel from landfills and from composted agricultural produce.

Even if we cut our energy use in half, the benefits could be lost if our population doubles. Reducing population growth is an essential goal of rational environmental planning.

Richard Ochs

Baltimore

The writer is director of the Maryland Safe Energy Coalition.

Competition, profit-making works best in health care

Robert Reno's tirade against the evil "mercenary, profit-driven behemoths" of the health-care industry is nothing but the old bait-and-switch routine of closet collectivists ("No Viagra rule is for your own good," July 9).

His shameless attempt to smear America's health care industry by suggesting that life-and-death decisions are made by fat-cat capitalists is an insult to the millions who have suffered and died for the ideal of one socialized nation or another.

I don't want what Canada has, or Cuba or any collectivist country, and I certainly don't want what Mr. Reno is peddling.

What we desperately need is greater, not less, competition and profit-making. I'm not interested in sacrificing others for my welfare, and I don't want collectivists like Mr. Reno sacrificing me to others.

Freedom and capitalism may be messy and unfair at times, but they are far preferable to what Mr. Reno is suggesting.

Manfred Smith

Columbia

We should re-enact battles of Americans on same side

If Civil War re-enactors are so intent on reminding Americans of the carnage wrought by father against son and brother against brother, why don't they hold re-enactments of war events that brought Americans together to fight a common enemy?

The subject matter for such events is endless: Chateau-Thierry in World War I, D-Day in Europe, Okinawa, defeat of the British ending the Revolutionary War or any of the other decisive battles in our history that saw Americans fighting together.

James Pearl

Catonsville

Eve Kristine Belfoure's letter ("Gettysburg re-enactments show bitter thirst for war," July 10) oozes with a complete lack of understanding and tolerance for historical re-enactments.

jTC Civil War re-enactments occur each year at various sites throughout the United States and should be considered theater on a grand scale. Period.

Obviously, this is a hobby for some, but for others it is an obsession. Re-enactors are no different from anyone else except that their sense of Civil War history is incredibly keen.

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