Taxing the giversThe government is considering removing...

THE FORUM

September 17, 1990

Taxing the givers

The government is considering removing the "tax-deductible" status for donations to non-profit organizations. Alternative Directions Inc. is a non-profit organization. It depends solely on contributions to provide emergency services to men and women leaving prison.

The financial cost and the emotional stress of returning to society are overwhelming. Many people who leave jail don't have homes to return to. With $25 and the clothes on their backs, they must find a place to stay, get the electricity turned on and go on job interviews. Our organization relies heavily on the generosity of its donors to provide funds to help people in this predicament.

The president and Congress, in addition to the state, city and county governments, should seriously consider the ramifications of this act before it becomes law. Perhaps if our tax dollars were spent in ways that are more worthwhile to the people of our country, dependence on private funds would not be so vital.

Mary Joel Davis

Baltimore

The writer is executive director of Alternative Directions Inc.

Selective coverage

I have been curious about the editorial policy of The Evening Sun and The Sun. The 45th anniversary of the Allied victory over Japan earlier this month passed without mention in either newspaper. The only mention of the 45th anniversary of the Allied victory in Europe last May was from your foreign offices (largely Eastern Europe). Yet, you seldom let a year pass without editorial comment, pictures and news items on anniversaries of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, "Crystal Night" and other ramifications of the Holocaust.

You covered in great detail the negotiations surrounding payment of reparations to Japanese-Americans interned during World War II, seemingly forgetting that this was precipitated by the dastardly and cowardly sneak bombing of Pearl Harbor. References to the atrocities committed against American and Allied civilians and military prisoners of war by the Japanese in Malaya and the Philippines (including the infamous Bataan "Death March") have been scarce. Also forgotten is the unwarranted attack on the American ship, the USS Panay by the Imperial Japanese military forces.

Why do you consistently editorialize and select as "newsworthy" only those events which tend to depict the United States of America as the "bad guy"?

William K. Harbold

Westminster

Truth at the pump

Saddam Hussein has been called a thief and a thug. What price have you paid for gasoline lately?

Leon Peace Ried

Baltimore

Stop distorting the debate over aboration

While I was pleased at your attempt to be the much-needed voice of reason following the divisive primary just concluded ("Clear Choices," Sept. 12), I can't help but question The Evening Sun's sincerity. The conduct of The Evening Sun during the election was disgraceful -- regardless of your political views.

I agree that we citizens and legislators need to engage in the "civil debate" and reach the "reasonable compromises" that will lead to a bill which represents the often-conflicted views of the people of Maryland on the complex issue of abortion. Not the views of the National Organization for Women or of Planned Parenthood or Operation Rescue or the Catholic bishops, but the people of Maryland. In this primary we were treated to militants backed by non-Marylanders who were more concerned with launching their careers by shoving their agenda down our throats than with asking us what we think.

The Evening Sun is largely to blame for your highly selective and repetitive coverage of this issue. If we are to conduct such debate, we must have access to fair and extensive information presented in an atmosphere conducive to compromise. But how are we to get adequate information if the only daily newspaper we have to turn to selects convenient facts to advance its agenda and assaults us with one-sided logic until we avoid the polls altogether?

A few suggestions: 1. Keep the editorials on the editorial page; reporting with extensive editorial comment is deceitful. 2. Don't withhold information about the inevitability of a referendum until after the election. 3. Explore more issues in depth, with greater balance. Example: Provide more information about fetal development and tell us about the importance of birth control to the advances women have made in society. 4. Don't imply that those of us who favor any restrictions, such as second and third trimester abortions and sex-selection abortions, are extremists. You insult the majority of us who recognize this as a complex issue of conflicting interests that requires compromise.

The Evening Sun did much to misrepresent the abortion issue and obscure the myriad other concerns we Marylanders have about the future of our state. I hope that, in the future, you live up to the responsibilities that accompany your First Amendment rights.

Amy M. Korzick

Timonium

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