Voters must take care with political termsMaybe the time...

the Forum

September 02, 1992

Voters must take care with political terms

Maybe the time has come for those who forget how to use Webster's dictionary. There seems to be a great confusion over these two simple words, "family values."

According to Webster, "family" means a social unit consisting of parents and children: husband, wife and children. "Value" means the principles of a society, worth and goodness.

It would seem, then, that to a great portion of this society, the words "family values" mean a unit of father, mother and children living with the best principles that they can display to their children while teaching them of their worth and value to this society. What is wrong with this?

According to this same dictionary, "slick" means smooth and slippery, clever in deception and trickery. Since this word was used by a Democrat working for the Arkansas Gazette to describe Mr. Clinton, one should have a tendency to think about that word very carefully.

The word "bias" means slanted, prejudice. The word "reporting" means to give an account of what is actually seen and heard.

Therefore, biased reporting as we all have been witness to in this election year simply means a slanted account of reporting the news to the public and the refusal to give an accurate account.

It appears to be the in thing today to hold the president accountable for our family values or the breakdown of these values. Is he to come into our homes and tell us how to raise our children? Is he responsible as to what time our children are due in at night or if they get to school on time or if they even go at all?

My parents raised me, not the government, not the president and not the schools either.

Blaming the president is just as bad as blaming your mother or father because of the moral breakdown of the people in this society. This all started back in the 1960s, and I was there to see it begin. It did not happen under the Bush administration, as some would have the people believe. Let's get real on this one.

Seven percent of our work force is unemployed. Isn't it great that 93 percent are employed? Germany, France, Great Britain and, yes, even Japan would love to have these figures.

Let us learn the meaning of the words we use and, above all, let us learn the facts.

Jean C. Kittel


Captive GOP

It is frustrating to see the Grand Old Party held hostage by the religious right. The prudent economic policies and message of less government are lost and discredited by the bigots and "moral" zealots of the New Right. Their intolerance and fanaticism taints the whole party.

When our forefathers separated church and state they had two purposes in mind. They wanted to insure freedom of worship without fear or reprisal, and they also wanted to eliminate any possibility of a state-enforced religion. They also wanted to prevent a government run by religious leaders such as we see today in Iran.

Our forefathers knew that while religion elevates the spirit, it can also cloud the mind. This is why we have kept the fervor of faith apart from the deliberation of government.

A small number of Christian zealots have already twisted the Bible to suit their own bigoted and intolerant agenda. We must not let them near our Constitution.

George Bush may have "kicked a little Baghdad Bully," as he puts it. But if he can't stand up to the bullies here at home, he has accomplished less than nothing.

D.S. Bakker


Rubicon crossed

In the Evening Sun editorial "Channel One: A poor trade" (Aug. 26), you wonder whether this "creeping commercialism" will lead to "ads in textbooks."

Well, wonder no more. Haven't a clue about textbooks, but in my latest foray at the library, I checked out a slim volume by Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., "The Disuniting of America."

I was nonplused to find, interspersed among the scholarly "reflections on a multicultural society," nine -- count them -- nine sleek, double-paged, illustrated, full-color ads extolling the virtues of Federal Express. The Rubicon has been crossed.

Curious to know the publisher, I discovered it was none other than Whittle Books, a unit of the very same Whittle Communications that graces us with Channel One.

Rea Knisbacher


Promoting reading

As president of the Maryland Educational Media Organization, I am writing to voice concern regarding the proposed voluntary transfer of school library media specialists to the Enoch Pratt Free Library.

Baltimore City students will not succeed in a competitive world economy without the ability to access, analyze, evaluate and create information in many forms.

School library media centers were established to provide resources and to instruct students in those skills necessary to become independent lifelong learners.

"The mission of the library media program is to ensure that students and staff are effective users of ideas and information," according to the information power statement of the American Library Association. "This mission is accomplished:

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