Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 10, 2002

Rising number of uninsured hurts homeland

Our "homeland security" is worsening on a new front ("Number of uninsured in U.S. rose to 41.2 million last year, " Sept. 30).

That growing number of the uninsured reflects only those who were uninsured for the entire year 2001; millions of others went without coverage for part of the year. And with the loss of jobs in our current economic crisis, millions are but one step from joining these ranks.

Being uninsured is hazardous to your health. Every year, literally tens of thousands of Americans die, and many more are disabled, in direct association to a lack of health care, although our health care spending as a nation is extraordinarily large.

The United States continues to be among the few industrialized countries that do not guarantee their citizens basic health care.

What we're missing is the political will to save many more lives each year than are lost to terrorism, and to prevent countless cases of disease and disability.

Dr. William Sciarillo

Lutherville

Md. lottery should help communities

I agree that the interruption of a television show can be annoying. But Lisa Simeone fails to address the really obscene aspect of the lottery -- the way it functions as a tax on the poor ("Lottery's obscene intrusion," Opinion

Commentary, Sept. 29).

Every week I visit a local sandwich shop in Woodlawn near my workplace for lunch. And I am amazed at the amount of money people of modest means spend on the lottery and saddened by the futility of these false hopes.

The proceeds of the lottery should benefit those who pay for it -- the poor.

Why not send the hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue the lottery generates to the zip codes where these people live -- to improve their schools, help provide substance abuse rehabilitation or train people for the workplace?

Let's attack the lottery system to help eliminate our ignorance and want, not simply to clear the television screen.

Spiro Antoniades

Baltimore

We need the ICC, not another study

I was really floored about Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend's proposal to "restart an environmental study" for the Intercounty Connector ("Townsend offers proposal for D.C.-area transportation," Oct. 3).

I sit in traffic from Columbia to Silver Spring. I go 17 miles and the average time it takes me to go that distance is one hour. This is unacceptable.

Most of our traffic problems are caused by all the commercial and residential development going on.

Such developments seem to be built without regard to how many new cars they will put on the road.

How is it that trees are torn down for commercial and residential development and nobody seems to be unhappy, but when we want a new road to compensate for this new development, we can't have it happen?

Elizabeth Camesi

Columbia

Sniper makes some think of gun control

As I read the horrifying reports about the Montgomery County sniper and his random, innocent victims, I am compelled to wonder how this series of incidents might affect Rep. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s stance on gun control.

With people such as this sniper armed under current laws, can we afford any weakening of our gun control statutes?

I think not.

Richard E. Hegner

Columbia

A weakened Iraq poses little threat

President Bush's planned war with Iraq gets more surreal by the day.

I read in Sunday's Sun that Iraq's military is greatly depleted since the last war ("Iraqi forces down, not out," Oct. 6). How can an Iraq that cannot defend itself against an invasion be a threat to the strongest military power in the world?

Mr. Bush has failed to convince the German, French, Russian and Chinese governments of the need to attack Iraq.

He has not convinced most of Iraq's neighbors, and he has certainly not convinced me.

Bob Schurter

Columbia

An attack on Iraq is not the solution

Let me see if I understand the matter correctly.

The CIA cannot keep track of terrorists overseas and the FBI cannot keep track of them in the United States, so the president wants to bomb whatever countries he thinks the bad guys might be in, even though we still haven't caught the bad guy he wanted dead or alive in Afghanistan.

Perhaps a Plan B might be better.

George Brown

Baltimore

Protect the assets of senior citizens

The Sun's article "Making the money last is a prime concern for retirees" (Sept. 29) was right on the money.

With interest rates very low and the recent beatings that CDs, money markets and the stock market have taken, the independence of seniors is threatening to become a thing of the past.

And Wall Street is clamoring for another cut in the interest rates, which would do nothing for the economy (the last several cuts haven't worked) but put more pressure on seniors.

It's time for the government to step in and establish a minimum rate of interest of 6 percent to 8 percent for seniors.

Jerome Steinberg

Owings Mills

Razing apartments hurts historic district

I am outraged at the news in the article "Archdiocese buys building to expand Basilica grounds" (Oct. 5).

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