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Military Bases

July 22, 1988

I was stunned by the stark realities of kinship displayed by two items on the editorial page, "Bases: No Longer Loaded" (editorial) and "Homeless Dilemma" (letters), fused, as they were, in adjacent columns as incongruous yet inseparable sides of the same coin (July 15).

Through the first, we ingest your pungent revelation of the Pentagon's obscene political bullying of congressmen who dare consider voting for closure of surplus military bases. Through the second we digest the bitter lament of letter writers on behalf of the poor and homeless.

Eureka! Instead of reconverting surplus military bases into gift parcels to fatten the wallets of wealthy land developers, why don't we convert them into temporary housing and job training facilities for the poor and into minimum security prisons for short-time convicts? Most bases have living quarters for men only, women only, and for married couples, as well as classroom facilities suitable for job-training programs.

The Kremlin now seems to realize that the starving masses die just as hungry whether they are killed by capitalist bullets or by communist bullets--that military solutions are obsolete. Perhaps we can apply a little glasnost and perestroika in our own country. Guns will never again be as acceptable as butter on the menu of mankind.

A. RAY LAMBSON

Oceanside

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