Unclear StarBruce L. Bortz's Oct. 6 column on former U.S...


October 19, 1993

Unclear Star

Bruce L. Bortz's Oct. 6 column on former U.S. Attorney Dick Bennett's campaign for attorney general ("A Shiny New GOP Star") has me confused.

On the one hand, he says Mr. Bennett won't demagogue on the crime issue or "feed the myth" that the attorney general is the state's chief prosector.

But just a few paragraphs later he remarks that juvenile crime and punishment will be the central theme of Mr. Bennett's campaign, and this "issue will sell politically." Mr. Bortz writes, on juvenile crime: "His antidote: Make their first brush with the law as stern as possible."

There seems to be a rather distinct inconsistency here, either in Mr. Bortz's writing or in Mr. Bennett's campaign message, and the former smacks of poor journalism and the latter of demagogy.

I was also troubled by Mr. Bortz's assertion that Attorney General Joe Curran "may" have a hard time pointing to one

overriding accomplishment during his two terms in office.

When I think of Joe Curran, I think of an honest and decent man who practices honest, decent government. I wish more politicians could point to such an accomplishment.

Dore Schwartz


Catholic Dissent

Pope John Paul II deserves my respect as a practicing Roman Catholic, but he does not necessarily deserve my blind adherence to his personal opinions on controversial issues. Although the pope spent six years creating the new encyclical, I wish he had spent more time and taken a more ecumenical point of view.

Within all groups and communities, there are certain issues upon which there is disagreement, and the Catholic Church is no exception. Different points of view should be encouraged to help the church stay alive and grow.

Unfortunately, this new encyclical tells bishops of an obligation to remove the word "Catholic" when referring to any dissenting groups within the church. This obviously estranges these specific groups.

I do not believe that the pope or any other person has the power to ban people or groups from Catholicism because of differing opinions.

Although the document does not name specific "evils," it alludes to special church doctrines against birth control, divorce and homosexuality. Some things will never change in this world, like the fact that there are always different points of view and different ways to approach one's Roman Catholic faith.

It is only fair to all Roman Catholics that this new encyclical not be enforced. There are simply too many controversial issues and too narrow a point of view.

I am a Roman Catholic, and I plan on remaining one. I believe in one God, and I believe in Jesus Christ, but I am being unfairly forced into taking a stand against the pope.

Gretchen Ginter


Objects to Arnick

Does anyone object to John Arnick?

PTC Does anyone write? Does anyone care?

% I care, and I object!

John G. Barry


Battle Monument

Your Sept. 26 editorial stated that one can search the entire--battlefield in Gettysburg and not find a single monument to Marylanders who fought in the battle.

You either did not look hard enough or you were simply overwhelmed by the sheer number of monuments present on the battlefield itself.

A monument does indeed exist on Culp's Hill, just north of Spangler's Spring. It is a monument to the 3rd Maryland Infantry 12th Corps and reads: "Maryland's tribute to her Loyal Sons."

While the effort to erect a monument is noble, what the battlefield does not need is another 30-ton piece of granite.

Perhaps a plaque naming the regiments and their role in the battle would be a more fitting tribute, since this would educate visitors to the importance of this portion of the battlefield.

On my visits to Gettysburg, I find many visitors who rush past the numerous monuments without the slightest idea of the struggles which took place some 130 years ago. Maryland should use the opportunity to educate visitors and not create another monument whose meaning will be lost as people drive by.

H. Robert Dickerson


No Memory Loss

In his Oct. 6 Opinion Commentary article, "Making Therapists Tell All," Dr. James M. Jarvis highlights the central horror of computer technology: it never forgets.

A person's memory of misadventures and missteps in life can fade over the course of an otherwise constructive, maturing and healthy life process, but a computer's "memory" never falters (theoretically, anyway).

It can flash a "memory" on the screen with an intensity and impact that never changes over time or in relationship to personal growth.

Although it is technically feasible to weigh the significance of stored personal historical information to lessen its potentially damaging effects, such foolishness should give way to the optimal solution: scramble the bits when the information is outmoded.

Properly used, computer-based information technology is liberating. There are, however, dangers to the "information explosion."

Henry H. Emurian


The writer is associate professor of information systems at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

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