Heavy HazeOn Sunday, Oct. 24, all three major television...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

November 04, 1993

Heavy Haze

On Sunday, Oct. 24, all three major television networks were showing competing two-hour stories. A veritable couch potato heaven?

Well,hardly. All three of the major networks must have been playing up to the tobacco industry in that every actor on every channel was a chain smoker, both the good guys and the bad guys, and the cigarette smoke from all three channels must have left a heavy haze on all television screens.

What gives?

Stan Hornstein

Baltimore

Just Shoe It

The "shoe" article featured in the Oct. 21 Maryland section is baffling, both in its placement and intention.

Centered just beneath an article on William Issacs' release from prison after serving a 20-year sentence for participating in a killing spree, and neighboring an article of the conviction of Sgt. James Kulbicki, who was found guilty of first-degree murder for shooting his mistress, is an interesting position for the article entitled "To dress for success, youths start from bottom up."

The message this article appears to be relaying is one which is plaguing our young society today. Dressing for success does not lead to a successful future. These expensive tenderfeet are going to be "running" our world in a few years.

"I'm telling my mother that buying the Barkleys for me is an investment in my future, right. . . . The shoes will help me realize my potential for her." These words, spoken by a 15-year old, sum up the misguided philosophy of our youths today. Parents are being conned into buying $150 sneakers because their children are telling them the shoes will make them successful.

Sure they will be successful. After spending hours polishing and coddling their Nikes and Adidas instead of opening their algebra texts, your kids will be well trained to be professional, possibly even successful, shoe polishers of others' shoes, unless of course they make it to the National Basketball Association.

Who will buy their next pair of shoes if they don't succeed in the latter profession?

But don't fret, mom and dad, after enough quality time enervated adoring and adorning their leather comrades, your little ones are sure to espy resourceful methods to obtain closet companions for their beloved sole mates. The appalling number or reports of youths killing one another for their material items, namely shoes, is a clear reflection of the direction our youths are headed.

Not too long ago, Barbie (who at one time, made a living by simply sitting pretty and modeling fashionable ensembles) started whining that math class was difficult.

After much debate at what message this was sending to our children, she became intellectually stimulated, remarking how she enjoyed the challenge mathematics provided. Perhaps in the City that Reads, a shoe can be designed to be pumped up and recite lines from Shakespeare, or maybe flash, "I like math class."

How about it, Nike? Just Do It!

Jacqueline Harding

Westminster

Death Penalty

After reading your editorial on July 1, "The Lesson of the Bloodsworth Case," I felt in my mind that finally it had been proven how stupid and barbaric the death penalty is. This case has offered the strongest argument imaginable for abolishing capital punishment.

I know The Sun has consistently opposed the death penalty, but it has taken something like this case to bring the issue to the public's realization of how savage and primitive this punishment is.

The death penalty is not a deterrent, it certainly does not save the state money and it absolutely contributes to the violence in this country -- the state is imitating the act of the criminal -- not preventing it.

Janet Reno has stated that she "is personally opposed to the death penalty, because I think that all human life is sacred and to take human life for taking it is inconsistent -- I think the only reason for the death penalty is vengeance." Yet she regularly asked for it as a prosecutor, because politically it was the thing to do. How sad.

Of the 14 men now on Maryland's death row, 10 were sent there by Baltimore County State's Attorney Sandra O'Connor. She is not troubled by the disproportionate number of people on death row from her county; she says, "it's the attitude of the voters."

What do the voters know about alternative sentencing? Why do we have life without the possibility of parole and not use it?

In a public opinion poll conducted in March and April published by the Death Penalty Public Information Center, public support for the death penalty drops below 50 percent when voters were offered alternative sentencing. "More people would support life TC without the possibility of parole plus restitution to the victims families than would choose the death penalty."

What about the victims' families who are against the death penalty (Murder Victims Families For Reconciliation)? Do the citizens of Maryland ever hear about them?

Now as we face the possible execution of John Thanos, how sad it is that people can be happy and pleased that another killing will take place, this time state-sanctioned.

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