More people could mean more terrorism
With half the world's population living on less than $2 per day, it's hard to quarrel with John McKenzie's conclusion that such overwhelming poverty cannot help but generate mass discontent, which may become a breeding ground for terrorism ("Fight terrorism by aiding poor," April 14).
Clearly such desperate need cannot be contained indefinitely, and requires a massive corrective effort by the economically advanced nations.
Mr. McKenzie offers several concrete suggestions as to how such aid should be targeted, but nowhere does he mention the problem of the earth's exploding population.
Even the most conservative predictions suggest the world's population of 6 billion will expand by another 2 billion to 3 billion people over the next 50 years, with virtually all the growth coming in the world's poorest nations.
Without a concerted effort to curb population growth, all measures being considered to alleviate poverty will be overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of new poverty sure to be generated by such growth.
It's time for responsible leaders of the world to stop paying lip service to the population problem and give it the priority it deserves.
Hunting won't reduce our deer population
Nearly everyone agrees there are too many deer in Maryland. It's a complex issue without an easy answer. But the General Assembly, by passing a bill that establishes a deer hunting season of at least 21 days, will create an even worse deer problem - because more hunting leads to more deer ("Assembly nears OK on deer hunting plan," April 5).
Recent studies in Florida and elsewhere have shown that hunted deer herds tend to become more fertile and produce more multiple births than unhunted herds. It's simply the deer's biological response to a sudden and significant change in the size of the population - such as the 70,000 to 80,000 deaths in Maryland during every fall hunting season.
Since the beginning of regulated hunting in the 20th century, the number of deer in the United States has steadily risen. Experts estimate there are more deer now than ever.
The conclusion is inescapable: Deer heavily hunted become more numerous.
Creating a blueprint for region's future
Vision 2030, a cooperative effort of citizens, community advocates, businesses and government officials, aims to create a blueprint for the area's future ("Meetings set on regional development," April 5).
This effort and the public meetings scheduled to take place over the next two months provide a unique opportunity for citizens to take active roles on future growth, land use and transportation decisions that affect public health, safety and security.
The Vision 2030 process acknowledges that these are regional issues. And only through strong, regional initiatives such as Vision 2030 can they be properly addressed.
The writer is a policy associate for the Maryland Public Interest Research Group.
More money isn't what schools need
There is no logic behind the assumption that an infusion of state money will cure the woes of the public school system ("Education aid flies on political wings," editorial, April 9).
If educational achievement were only a matter of money allocated per pupil, then children in the District of Columbia would be better educated than children in Japan. They are not even close.
To improve achievement, parents must be held accountable for their children. Teachers unions must stop fighting against every proposal put before them.
Our state representatives must stop making backroom deals that allocate large sums of money to wealthy school districts to buy votes from those areas on other matters.
And we must teach our children that education is important, and without a good one they can expect a difficult road to fulfilling their dreams.
Sharon should know he needs U.S. aid
Recent letters have criticized the Bush administration for attempting to bully Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon into withdrawing troops from the West Bank and praised Mr. Sharon for not yielding to U.S. pressure ("Israel has right to defy demands of arrogant U.S." April 16).
Certainly Mr. Sharon, as the leader of a sovereign nation, has the right to ignore this country's wishes, and his duty is to his own citizens.
However, he should also realize that in the entire world the United States is the only true ally Israel has, and that without continued, staunch U.S. support, the survival of Israel would be at even greater risk than it is now.
Sharon is a man of many pieces
President Bush recently called Israel's hawkish prime minister, Ariel Sharon, a "man of peace" ("Bush defends Israeli troop occupation," April 19).
I think our great leader, bewildered by the results of Secretary of State Colin Powell's Mideast diplomatic efforts, meant to say that Mr. Sharon is a "man of piece."