I became angry reading Richard Reeves' column about taking his 7-year-old to see "Batman Returns." It seemed as if he knew he was to blame, yet couldn't freely admit this as he blamed McDonald's, the need for a common culture, etc.
I, too, have a 7-year-old daughter and I am not going to allow her to do things that will harm her. She has been known to plead incessantly to be allowed to cross a busy street alone -- so, I must be steadfast in my ability to say "no."
I believe that seeing a film as sick as "Batman Returns" would be just as dangerous to her mind as being hit by a car is for her body.
We live in a sick culture, with so many advertisements urging us to live in unhealthy ways. So it is even more important for us parents to resist by saying "no." That's what the job of parent is all about.
If we parents don't set limits -- who will?
Jacqueline Colianni's July 6 letter referred to some pro-life demonstrations as "anti-abortion pornography." Extremists in any movement can be most unsettling -- but she is wrong to condemn a movement because of extremists.
Do we abandon the quest for civil rights because of the "burn, baby, burn" doctrine?
Should we forget about the environment because radical environmentalists trash citizens' private property?
Should we advocate nuclear war because extremists block traffic and throw blood on government records?
Of course not.
In his recent article ("When It's Best Not to Be Born"), Cal Thomas asks that we not judge the value of life for those born with disabilities. I agree with his assertion that life is a gift and human beings, complete with their abilities and disabilities, ought to be free to meet life and negotiate the value of their own life.
However, Mr. Thomas proceeds to judge as selfish those who make a choice about their ability to raise a handicapped child. I am always surprised at how judgmental and categorically "right" people can be in the name of demanding that others accept a position they have taken and value.
I believe Mr. Thomas judges others according to his own values and decides for others the "right" course of action. In so doing, his actions mirror what he set out to condemn.
The Way to Redo The Block
If we seek to nuke The Block, let's make it stick.
Over a decade ago, our city council shrank The Block to just one dinosaur block through urban renewal.
To finish the job, we need to employ the same powers -- but with private-sector dollars to back us up.
The Block is already a designated urban renewal area. The city council can condemn properties. What's needed is business support in acquiring, revitalizing and marketing those properties.
In turn, city government must commit to a plan and infrastructure improvements which transform a dreary strip into a reborn pedestrian mall, connecting the financial district to the municipal district to the President Street subway connector to Hopkins Hospital.
In the short-term, a city-state partnership is required on The Block to padlock criminal establishments and retire liquor licenses. Such coordinated action would terminate relocation options and diminish private-sector costs for business acquisition.
To make a change stick, we must replace The Block entirely with a new Baltimore Boulevard of bright banners, pedestrian privilege and commercial relevance to everyday downtown workers and tourists alike.
Mary Pat Clarke
5) The writer is city council president.
The destruction of St. Mary's Cemetery in Howard County to '' feed the greed of church and business would be a beautiful irony, if it were not so sad.
The irony is that a religious institution with a long history of burying its bureaucrats in splendid tombs which then become tourist attractions will also sell, for a pittance, "consecrated" ground filled with the bodies of lesser saints.
Where is respect, where is responsibility, where is pastoral concern for the living and for the dead?
When the community surrounding the cemetery (overgrown, but not abandoned until the last body is removed) tried to buy it from the church for restoration and care, that was refused. Why?
When a builder offered to buy it for development, he was welcomed. Why?
Could it be, still, the money changers in the temple?
As a member of the Baltimore Road Runners Club and a city resident, I am dismayed by the turnabout in City Hall's policy toward street festivals and special events such as road races.
Part of the city's special appeal as a place to live, work and visit is its day-to-day diversity. Downtown does not look or feel like Towson or Catonsville. Unfortunately, by actively discouraging special events from taking place in Baltimore, city officials are eliminating one more element of that diversity.