Censors go too far in school library
I would like to express praise for the committee of the Howard County Board of Education that voted to recommend that the book "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" by C. S. Lewis remain accessible to elementary school students.
The Evening Sun recently reported that a parent claimed the book depicted "graphic violence, mysticism and gore."
I wonder if these parents have ever monitored the Saturday morning cartoons their children watch. These programs are overflowing with the above elements, yet people simply overlook them.
The critics, in their effort to condemn this book, overlooked its overall meaning. This story's theme is friendship and loyalty, not murder and witchcraft.
With the issue of censorship so prevalent, people must be careful. Controversial or taboo factors can be found in almost any book if one analyzes it too much. The decision to read anything is a personal one and should not be handled by the public. If parents wish to prevent their children from reading a certain book, that is their right; but please do it privately and don't try to deny other children the chance to broaden their minds and expand their imaginations.
The American consumer has been duped again. The big oil companies have been crying in their beer ever since unleaded gas was made mandatory. All the public hears is how much more costly it is to refine the lead out of gasoline. Yet in an article in your paper about Iraq's rationing gas because it were short on chemicals to make more, one of the chemicals mentioned was lead tetraethyl - an additive!
This means that to make unleaded gasoline, a refiner must merely leave out the lead, not refine it out! This additive probably would have added to the price of a gallon of gas. Omitting it should have lowered the price. Instead, Big Oil saw an opportunity to gouge the public by declaring that "pure" gasoline was harder to come by and charged more for unleaded regular than high-test leaded.
It is no wonder it took so long to implement the switch to a mandatory unleaded program. The American consumer would not buy the more expensive "pure" gasoline.
This is another example of industrial and bureaucratic boondogglery that has gotten the environment and the economy in the sad shape it is in today.
William E. Fromm
Bring troops home
President Bush is having increasing difficulty in explaining to the American people reasons for his war-mongering in the Persian Gulf. After all, we import very little oil from that region, and he himself has made us more dependent on foreign oil by declaring a 10-year ban on offshore oil and natural gas leasing.
As for his statement about "deterring aggression," we are now partners with the two most barbarically aggressive countries in the world - the Soviet Union and Red China. Why didn't our government "deter aggression" when Soviet tanks moved into Afghanistan or when the Chinese government mowed down the dissidents two summers ago?
Our military have the duty to protect a sovereign United States, not interfere in foreign quarrels. It appears that the main reason -- for Bush's saber-rattling is to bring us into world government via the United Nations. Bush continually talks of "the new world order" and admits he is more interested in foreign than domestic policy.
We have deliberately lost two wars fought under the auspices of the United Nations. Let us not give up our sovereignty to the anti-American U.N. Remember, no hostages were taken by Hussein until after our troops were sent over there. Bring the hostages out, and bring the boys home!
Save our own cities
I urge Baltimoreans to oppose:
1. The risk of nuclear war posed by the presence of nuclear weapons in the gulf area.
2. The use of any U.S. troops or weapons for attacks on Iraq or Kuwait.
I urge that we support the United Nations as the only valid mechanism for exerting international pressure.
The citizens of Maryland are endangered and impoverished by military spending and adventurism. It is time to mobilize to save our own cities, not to attack foreign ones.
Congratulations on Mike Lane's cartoon "For what" being included in Sunday New York Times' "Views - A portfolio from around the nation."
It's notable that a KAL cartoon also was included from the morning Sun. Two out of four from the entire country! Way to go!
E. N. de Russy
Regarding the mindless indifference with which federal officials administer the citizenship oaths to new citizens, I find it discouraging that the government is not willing to instill a sense of national pride in those who have not had the opportunity to experience it elsewhere.
The ceremony through which these people are initiated is a quick one comprised of nothing more than a cursory recital of oaths. It is unfair to embitter the nationalism of these new citizens at such an early stage.