Split ScreenI am writing in response to the article...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

December 16, 1992

Split Screen

I am writing in response to the article entitled "TV For Children" that appeared Dec. 1.

This article made some good points about the quality of what is being considered educational programming, but I feel the problem is much larger than that. Nothing is more important to me than education, for the young inherit our legacy and control the future.

What is put on TV for kids today is a joke. Most of it can be divided into two groups: mindless violence or mindless stupidity. These types of shows don't stimulate any beneficial thought processes in children, they're just half-hour commercials for toys.

It's not surprising that our children are falling behind in the educational system when you look at what is given to them on TV. And while many kids know that these are only cartoons, the violence they see has a definite effect on them.

Ask children why they like Batman. Because he brings the most nefarious and ingenious criminals to justice as he did in the old TV series? No, it's because he drives cars with machine guns, throws razor-edged boomerangs and beats the stuffing out of the bad guys.

Naturally, children want to be like the heroes they see on TV, and if their hero uses violent methods, chances are, so will they. Or take, for example, the ex-Saturday morning show in which the "smarter-than-the-average" bear is reduced to a neon-wearing, pizza-eating mall security guard.

And what is left on the major networks besides cartoons? Trashy talk shows, smutty soap operas, violent movies, and bad sitcoms.

We need to revive quality cartoons like The Flintstones, which had jokes that made sense, no more violence than an occasional bonk on the noggin, a moral message, and best of all, no action figures.

Greg Schuster

Columbia

Wetland Folly

Is Sen. Frederick C. Malkus implying (letter, Dec. 7) that because wetlands were badly abused in the 1930s before their importance was understood, now it is OK to "knowingly" destroy the remaining vital resources?

That the folly of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 60 years ago somehow justifies William B. Ellen's illegal action today?

This kind of illogic would surely spell doom for the Chesapeake Bay.

Ajax Eastman

Baltimore

Old Laws

In reference to the letter of Dec. 7 from Sen. Frederick C. Malkus, D-Middle Shore, I find it incongruous that Senator Malkus refers back almost 60 years to find an example for excusing William B. Ellen's conviction on five counts of violating the federal wetland laws that protect our nation's environment.

Is it possible that Senator Malkus thinks that we should travel back to the 1930s with our other laws? One example might be to disregard our present requirements for driving a motor vehicle. Maybe some of us can remember that a signature at the corner drug store was the only requirement for an automobile license in those days.

Winifred S. Jonas.

Havre de Grace

POW Issue Key to U.S. Relations with Vietnam

U.S. corporations are using highly paid and well-connected lobbyists to press Washington to lift the embargo and are calling for renewed ties with Vietnam. Because 4,800 wartime photos were released, along with flight suits, helmets, some documents and some ID cards (in the last 45 days), the callings for improved ties have gotten louder.

Taking a hard look at this "new" evidence, this is what the excitement is all about: Of the 4,800 photos released, only 272 are of live POWs . . . Some 63 photos show dead bodies taken at crash sites . . . but only 23 have tentatively been identified. Of the GIs in these 23 photos, Vietnam has only 12 remains . . .

The bottom line on the 4,800 photos -- two photos of live POWs who were not released and 11 photos of remains, with no explanation of where they are.

This "discovery" in Vietnam archives can hardly be hailed as cooperation, when 2,265 Americans are still missing. It does appear that some form of spin control has twisted the public image through rhetoric U.S. officials have used in describing these photos as a major breakthrough in cooperation.

The cooperation was, in fact, between Ted Schweitzer, a private researcher, and the Vietnamese Army historians. There was no cooperation between the United States government and Vietnam's leaders.

Today, the United States has no official diplomatic ties with Vietnam. In fact, the U.S. has blocked international loans to Vietnam from the World Bank, holds frozen Vietnamese assets and has a trade embargo imposed against Vietnam.

These economic sanctions against North Vietnam were put in place on May 5, 1964, and extended against South Vietnam on April 30, 1975, when the two countries were unified under Communism. The same trading embargo is in place against North Korea, Cambodia and Cuba, according to the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Asset Control.

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