Mish-MashEditor: Using a mass murder case as a...


August 10, 1991


Editor: Using a mass murder case as a springboard, columnist Cal Thomas (Aug. 2) jumps to the conclusion that the death penalty is justified. Insane crimes, he would have us believe, are not committed by insane people, but by evil people who, as his sources say, have a ''spiritual void.''

Thomas rambles on about good and evil, concluding that ''man is basically not good'' and therefore ''needs to be controlled and conformed.'' This pseudo-scientific philosophical and theological mish-mash, by some arcane logic, leads Thomas to support the death penalty and even, in a Texas case he cites, murder.

This flight into mysticism in the face of outrageous crimes avoids confronting the reality that there are flaws in our human societies. To kill the killer avoids dealing with these flows.

! Bill Moulden. Berkeley Springs, W. Va.

Harness that Act

Editor: If we somehow could harness all of the energy created by the verbiage that has been spent for such a near-meaningless task as naming the new stadium, perhaps this winter would be more bearable for the homeless or impoverished who live near to our state's latest underwhelming priority.

& Lawrence Forsythe. Baltimore.

Thomas' Rights

Editor: In the on-going discussion over the nomination of Judge Clarence Thomas, one very disturbing fact becomes more and more evident. Whether disapproval is being voiced by the NAACP or an abortion-rights group, those persons want Judge Thomas to declare his position now.

That is, regardless of what in conscience and right judgment he may think about a particular case, he would be obligated to make decisions favorable to those who now oppose him. How about those memories of slave days, when blacks were told what they were to do, and without any recourse to those who owned them?

Are we turning back the clock? Just as the nay-sayers have a right to speak, so is it a right for Judge Thomas to think and speak as he sees fit.

Do the members of NAACP and the pro-choice groups think they own Judge Thomas, even now? Slavery, for a vote?

+Rev. Earle A. Newman, S.S.J. Baltimore.

Mansion Priorities

Editor: After reading the recent articles dealing with the expenditures, public and otherwise, for the Governor's Mansion, was gratified to know the old Maryland slogan, ''Land of Pleasant Living,'' is alive and well.

Pride in one's home is a natural thing. Spending to improve and maintain it a logical extension. However, for a man who pretends to be so astute politically, our governor fails to recognize that appearances can be everything, especially when hard times permeate the land and Maryland suffers accordingly.

The source of the funds is an academic issue, because the damage is done. What should be learned from this episode is that priorities are set not by the average person, but by those in power.

ourtney Nobbs. Baltimore.

Gender Issue

Editor: Sometime about 11 years ago, I was the commissioner for the Greater Loch Raven Recreation Council 9-10 Girls' Softball League in Baltimore County. At that time, a couple from outside our usual participation area registered their son. I refused to accept his application because this was a girls' league. I was overruled by the powers-that-be in Baltimore County and resigned rather than be a part of something I felt was not only morally and ethically wrong but also not psychologically optimum for the boy.

I was especially concerned for the exact reasons that the Parkville, Catonsville and Lutherville-Timonium teams protested. At the age of 9, a boy is no better or worse in his ability and strength than the girls, but we must all be aware that notable differences occur, especially ones of size and strength, in puberty. There was no way I could foresee any advantages for either the girls or the boy in the future if I as a commissioner condoned this change.

I am sure that there was no racial intent in the withdrawal of those teams. (My league was largely white, as was the boy.) This is quite simply a gender issue; let us not mix the two. And at some point and place, please let us let girls have their space and boys have theirs. If the boys have no alternative activity, let them organize themselves into one; Recreation and Parks is always open to supporting new programs. But let them not sit out and say since no one has provided us with one, we will infringe on another one meant for a different population.

$ Mary E. Becker. Baltimore.

Softball Issues

Editor: In the current girls softball tournament controversy, Coach Tanya Evans attempts to parlay a gender issue into one of racism. She conveniently overlooks the fact that the forfeiting teams have played Turners Station many times, in past all-girl tournaments with no problems, no forfeits.

She (and Baltimore County officials) are negligent in addressing the safety considerations inherent in a situation where a 15-year-old male (born after Aug. 1) could compete with females as young as 12.

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