A one-two punch from deep thinkersThat was quite a one-two...

the Forum

January 04, 1991

A one-two punch from deep thinkers

That was quite a one-two punch on Other Voices Dec. 26, which must have been the one day of the year when the truly deep thinkers emerged to fill us in. First we had Claire Katz, a philosophy lecturer at Salisbury State, who apparently was all for the principle of free speech until she got a load of 2 Live Crew's lyrics. Oops! Her brilliantly revised position is that she would be all for free speech if only she truly believed there was no form of harm involved.

Ms. Katz should next provide an analysis in which the concept of harm is broadened sufficiently to justify banning everything we find offensive. After all, isn't being outraged and offended a type of harm? What nonsense!

Your next deep thinker was lawyer John P. Hale, who wrote to the chancellor of the New York City public schools about distributing condoms to sexually active students. One idea he suggests is that there be large punch bowls full of condoms in classrooms to be freely dipped into by the students. Can there be any doubt that we are dealing here with a deep thinker of the very first rank?

Byron A. Matthews

Ellicott City

I shall ...

With the new year, I, like many others, think of resolutions to make, to break.

1. I shall write only one letter a month to the editor, instead of one a day.

2. I shall cut my intake of candy bars to one Milky Way a day ` and eliminate Baby Ruths, Peanut Chews and Mounds.

3. I shall cut my sarcasm to a minimum and increase my hugs to a maximum.

4. I shall take voice lessons to lower my voice.

5. I shall "do" windows, floors and iron.

6. I shall laugh as much, smile as much as possible ` and complain much less.

Rae Miller Heneson

Baltimore

A good start

The growth management legislation currently in draft form is a good start on protecting Maryland from uncontrolled and costly growth. It is needed to ensure quality of life, environmental health and will save Maryland money.

Maria A. Ranieri

Baltimore

Harsh reality

Reality is people destined for the streets. The government is not satisfied with the growing numbers of people who cannot make ends meet. It wants to accelerate the process of decay. It uses weapons like taxes, assessments, rulings that allow large increases for medical insurance, utilities, car insurance, etc. Average families are being squashed flat.

An example is a family with an income of $30,000. That income increases at a rate of 4 or 5 percent each year. Yet the down side is between 10 to 15 percent outgoing each year. Simply existing in the city of Baltimore is becoming impossible.

Gangsters extort money from businesses by threatening to destroy them. Governments will send you to jail or sell your homes out from under you if you can't pay the taxes they set. This is extortion.

Does the young married family have enough money to buy that new car or house, or even to rent a decent apartment? My kids will probably have to live in my home ` if the government doesn't take it away.

There are solutions. I can see some. Are the people in office so blind they can't see them?

Jon F. Sonnenleiter

Baltimore

The wealthy class

The Reagan administration's policies had a calamitous impact on most Americans. Although the "military-industrial complex" banqueted, progressive taxation was assailed and all but abolished. The full range of "safety net" programs came under the knife. The lowest one-fifth of U.S. families on the income ladder saw their income drop 9 percent, while the top one-fifth gained 19 percent.

The share of total net assets held by the "super-rich" rose from 15 percent in 1976 to more than 35 percent in 1983.

Confused and still conceiving of themselves as "middle class," the "upper poor" can't seen to figure out why it now takes two incomes to live less well than their parents lived on one income. Consequently, they continue to elect (and enthusiastically support, according to the polls) presidents and Congress members who advocate supply-side, "trickle-down" economics and a sharp reversal of the economic policies which resulted in a distribution of income moving ever so slightly in the direction of proportionate equality between the 1940s and 1970s. The people rail against the raising of taxes and against government waste. Unfortunately, that is not enough to really reverse the disproportionate flow of wealth to the ruling class!

I. H. Desser

Baltimore

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