Zingin' the Blues
2 Keep this in mind as we walk toward the light.
Alice B. Hoffberger
Words and Actions
I recognize that the headline of J.D. Considine's article regarding the controversy surrounding Ice-T's lyrics in the song "Cop Killers" was intentionally ironic: "Guns don't kill people, albums do." This is borne out by his making the actual argument that words don't kill people, guns do.
More importantly, however, it must be realized that words are used as a primary tool in the efforts to shape people's attitudes.
If not, then what was the purpose of his writing the article? And a person's attitudes and beliefs are often the central motivating factor in leading that person to act.
Mr. Considine states that the "Body Count" album is "a sick joke" and that "real rap and metal fans immediately recognized the gag."
Well then, what about those who do not "get it"? In this instance, they may well be motivated to take the life of another person for reasons completely unrelated to the specific actions or attitudes of the officer who will be the innocent victim.
MA This, then, would not be a sick joke but a meaningless crime.
Raymond J. Herman
"Europe's Culture Wars" by Franz Schurmann (Opinion * Commentary, June 28) correctly expounds on the numerous conflicts and confrontations that have been rekindled recently. Ethnocentricities and cultural diversities have historically been a great part of the European socio-economic fabric, which has always carried with it the threat of a simmering volcano, ready to erupt.
"Culture is the way a people live, work and think and it also involves a people's sense of collective identity, who and what they are," writes Mr. Schurmann.
It is therefore hard to comprehend why the Slovaks, who speak the same language and -- for most of them -- embrace the same religion as the Czechs would have joined the Axis powers during World War II.
The same goes for the Croats who also joined the German war machine and often outdid the Germans in their zeal to create a place for themselves in the "new Europe."
It just proves that the buzzword "culture" has a quite selective meaning.
The German playwright Hanns Johst, whose works were banned and labeled "degenerate art" by the Hitler regime, said in one of his plays: "Whenever I hear the word culture, I release the safety catch of my Browning revolver."
War By Choice
I would like to make three points about the so-called war on drugs.
Our leaders chose the path of war. Washington chose to ignore the lessons of Prohibition. The next time you read of someone's child caught in the crossfire remember that war was the deliberate choice of our leaders.
The violence is spreading beyond the drug thugs to pervade our entire culture. Ordinary citizens are arming themselves and even children are taking weapons to school.
This does not look as much like a return to the days of Prohibition as it does a return to the lawlessness of the Wild West. Those who lead us into the war can no longer claim with credence to be the moral defenders of law and order.
A real war would begin at home. While chastising Third World countries like Colombia and Peru for the immorality of the drug trade, the U.S. is selling its high-grade tobacco throughout the world. I read one estimate predicting 200 million deaths worldwide in the 1990s as a result of tobacco addition.
William P. Jenkins
Percent of What?
In the July 1 letter from Tylden Streett, he states that 52 percent of Catholics think abortion should be legal and 70 percent of Catholics would vote for pro-abortion candidates.
What is not explained in his letter is that Catholics who support abortion in any way automatically separate themselves from the body of the Church and may not speak as Catholics.
If you do not believe the teaching of your church, you may not consider yourself a member. You are a member of the church
whose faith you believe and follow.
In his letter in The Sun July 3, Douglas Hermann wrote: "Call me naive and crazy but I'm less concerned about H. Ross Perot's lack of specificity than I am about Gov. Bill Clinton's overt specificity . . . Clinton . . . is producing complicated, brittle, inflexible game plans ... [C]omplicated and obtuse do not equal 'workable'."
Mr. Hermann is neither naive nor crazy; he is mistaken.
"Overt specificity" is actually a nice turn of phrase because it refers to Bill Clinton's plain-speaking, honorable attempt to place before us a real plan that we the people can scrutinize.
(In contrast, Ross Perot's lack of specificity and a game plan reminds me uncomfortably of Richard Nixon's 1968 refusal to provide specifics, including his "secret plan" to end the war in Vietnam.)