Editor: Let's stop bickering about the name of the new ball park. "Camden Yards" sounds like a place for livestock. What's wrong with the name "The Birds' Nest"? Everyone will flock there.
Donald A. Fales Sr.
Editor: It has not been made clear just what recently released hostage Edward Tracy was doing in Lebanon at the time of his abduction. He has only been described as a "wanderer" and an "adventurer." Great. Because of his and his fellow hostages' "adventures," this country has been forced to sit down at the bargaining table once again with the likes of Syria and Iran. In order to obtain the release of our "adventurers," we and other Western nations are now faced with the prospect of releasing renowned terrorists, like the Hamadi brothers, legally tried and held.
It is being widely suggested that the U.S. must now exert its influence over the government of Israel, urging it to free the hundreds of Arabs "hostages" it holds, in exchange for ours. I have even heard it suggested by Peggy Say, sister of hostage Terry Anderson, that Israel should release these criminals without demanding in exchange the release of its own seven POWs, held somewhere in Lebanon. This should be done, she claims, as a show of Israel's good faith in the prospects of peace in the Middle East, and the "new world order" we have heard so much about.
Give me a break. The government of Israel does not hold Arab "hostages," innocent people plucked off the streets of Beirut. Israel holds Arab criminals, guilty of crimes ranging from murder to illegal infiltration of its borders. To suggest that Israel simply hand over hundreds of them without regard for its own seven missing is lunacy.
The supply of potential Western hostages in Lebanon is seemingly endless, thanks to the hundreds of Westerners who continually ignore their government's warning against "adventuring" to dangerous places.
All travel, especially to the Middle East, carries with it a certain risk, usually not enough to stop one from going. But to travel to a place like Lebanon is just crazy. To expect your government to then make the kind of concessions we're now talking about is even crazier.
Just for the record, I do have sympathy for the hostages and their families and I am in favor of this exchange. I just wish they hadn't gotten us into this in the first place.
Editor: Via an interesting series of reverse turns and backing-in, liberal expounders of truth Roger Simon and Ellen Goodman both seem to be crying crocodile tears in your Aug. 16 edition.
Mr. Simon properly calls into play the warped values of a societ which appears so hypocritically shocked by poor Paul [a/k/a Pee Wee Herman] Reuben's lonely acts, then goes and pays hard earned cash to watch Madonna perform in public. What Mr. Simon forgets is that the various pro and con reactions to Mr. Reuben's act, as well as the gratuitous presence of too many police, is reflective of a society morally polarized.
Rightly or wrongly, back when American children learned and studied, acts by both Mr. Reubens and Madonna were vigorously suppressed. While such things have always existed, they did not exist to the degree they do now and society could continue to grow. Nowadays, we've got religious-moralist zealots and libertine, immoral fools, and not much sanity bridging the gap. Blame it on a liberal pendulum that swung too far during the 1960s and 1970s, whose organized vestiges like the American Civil Liberties Union continue to distort and debase decency.
Which brings us to Ms. Goodman and the aforementioned American children. Ms. Goodman is a perennial whiner, the sort who provides easy fodder for male chauvinist cannon. In the Aug. 16 paper, she whines about the impossibility of being a parent and "fighting" the influence of a media culture.
Quitters like Ms. Goodman are why we end up with a bankrupt morality of the kind Mr. Simon laments. It is not that difficult to be a parent in 1991 America. One simply places one's children ahead of oneself and merges one's pursuits. After that it gets a bit easy to turn off televisions, say no to $130 sneakers and re-introduce green beans. All you really have to do is put the child first, as most decent parents once did.
It is merely the moral bankruptcy of greed and self that get in the way. This is as true for poor parents who love as it is for rich ones. I know, sadly, far more of the former, than of the latter.
D. B. Hermann.
Editor: Governor Schaefer's proposal to have health-care workers and patients tested for HIV will only perpetuate public hysteria and build a false sense of security.
The Centers for Disease Control has already provided guidelines for administering care for HIV patients by health-care workers. Recently, they have also been involved in regulating care administered by health-care workers who test positive for the virus.