Immigration's heavy burden on U.S. future No matter how...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

July 24, 2000

Immigration's heavy burden on U.S. future

No matter how many mass-transit systems or highways the government builds, there is no way to keep up with the exploding population growth. The U.S. Census Bureau now projects that the nation's population will double within the next 50 to 75 years to some 525 million -- try to imagine twice as many cars on the Baltimore Beltway.

Most of this population growth (90 percent) is from mass immigration. The Census Bureau says that this massive influx of immigrants is causing most of the sprawl, congestion and overpopulation that we now see in every part of our country.

Immigration costs U.S. taxpayers $70 billion a year.

Until the U.S. regains control of its border with Mexico and high levels of mass immigration to historical levels (i.e., 250,000 per year or less), the United States cannot build enough roads or mass-transit systems to handle its exploding population.

It will be impossible to improve the condition of the nation's underclass, clean up the air and the water, improve the schools, build adequate road systems or improve racial unity.

Michael Holden, Chestertown

Automation nation fosters rage, violence

I am very worked up over the effect that automated answering systems ("Please press 1") have on me and, presumably, on our society. It is one of the daily stresses that create violence in our midst.

This morning it took me over one hour to get basic information from the Motor Vehicle and Social Security administrations.

Simple things, like how to change my name on my driver's license and Social Security card since getting married. How to find out where the nearest office is for me to go into. Simple things that weren't on their long list of automated, recorded options to choose from -- once I finally got through the busy signal and holding period.

What if I weren't a homemaker with a flexible schedule? What if I were trying to get this information during a 10-minute break at my job? What if I were less patient or had poor coping skills?

Recently, I was helping my mother make her doctor appointments. By the time she got done pressing numbers to get to the appointment desk, she was so confused that when they asked her to leave a message so they could call back and make an appointment, she just hung up!

This is unfair, unreasonable. It's pushing people to the brink. This is supposed to be efficient?

Road-rage begins before getting in the car. Angry, hostile feelings are affecting both our individual hearts and the very heart of our communities.

Rita Singer Janoff, Glyndon

Bodick family, child deserve life together

The story about the Bodick family's adoption breaks my heart ("Court battle to adopt 2-year-old," July 13).

By ordering a 2-year-old child be removed from the only home she has ever known and sent to where her half-siblings are being adopted, the Baltimore Juvenile Court judge is causing great trauma to this child and her foster family.

Apparently, the Bodicks kept their emotional guard up until they were told last fall that they would be allowed to adopt their foster child, then fully bonded with her -- only to now have to give her up after all.

The adoptive system in this country is almost always in favor of biological ties rather than the best interest of a child, which is why we went to we went to foreign countries to adopt three of our four children.

Anyone knows that a small child needs a loving, stable and consistent family and home, and to uproot a child after two years in such an environment is not right, no matter how bright their future with another family.

Hopefully, this foster family can appeal and win the right to continue parenting and loving this child.

Pam Lawhon, Bel Air

How a true Baltimorean may choke to death

The fine article on John Goodspeed ("The writer who gave us `Arnjoos,'" July 17) jarred memories of growing up in Baltimore and hearing my parents and other relatives ramble on and on in Baltimorese.

For years I thought that "Bendix" was a Catholic church on Edmondson Avenue, "pockybooks" were something you put "pockies" in, and that "Hollintown" was where Dutch people lived.

Perhaps the two most distinguishing characteristics of this charming dialect are the extremely nasal O sound and the glottal L sound, where the letter L is thrown so far in back of the throat that it becomes completely lost -- as in "two dollars."

In fact, I have come to the conclusion that you can get a true Baltimorean to choke himself to death by simply having him repeat "Loyola College" 25 times in rapid succession.

But my favorite Baltimorese word, one that Mr. Goodspeed has yet to catalogue, is "oniest," as in "He's the oniest guy I know who talks like that."

Arthur Laupus, Columbia

World Changers working to rebuild county homes

This week 350 teenagers will converge on Baltimore County from as far away as Mississippi for a week of hard work on low-income houses in the East Towson and Loch Raven communities.

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