Howard Stern deserves right to free speechI write as a...

the Forum

January 04, 1994

Howard Stern deserves right to free speech

I write as a loyal fan, concerned citizen and as a free-lance research paralegal in support of Howard Stern's right to free speech.

I recently took the day off and visited the Federal Communications Commission in Washington to see and read what the public has written about Mr. Stern and what law the FCC is relying on to levy fines on Mr. Stern and his parent company.

The tone of Mr. Stern's detractors is most alarming. The letters do not give a persuasive argument against Mr. Stern's right of free speech. The letters supporting Mr. Stern are well written, coherent, rationally based and logically concluded.

The FCC appears to put credence in verbatim transcripts of Mr. Stern's show from people who have complained about portions of the show being obscene.

Is Mr. Stern's show obscene? In Miller vs. California, the Supreme Court took into account "contemporary community standards" and the "reasonable person" test in determining what is obscene. The court concluded that the concept of obscenity remains somewhat vague.

Mr. Stern has millions of fans who represent "contemporary community standards" and are "reasonable persons."

Thank you, Mr. Stern. Keep on fighting for your free speech rights and our right to listen to you. To those that do not like Mr. Stern, listen to someone else and move on with your lives.

Mark Conlin

Crofton

McLean scandal

The Evening Sun has done a remarkable job in covering developments in the Baltimore City comptroller's office.

It is an interesting contrast to the story five years ago about Jody Landers, the defeated candidate for comptroller, who had to battle the Internal Revenue Service to return money that was wrongly sent to him.

Let's not lose sight of the bigger picture, though. The entire Board of Estimates has been lax in reviewing contracts. Why did it even consider moving a city office from rent-free facilities to one of the most expensive parts of town?

This shows total incompetence by the board in handling the city's finances.

Lee Conlin

Baltimore

Double standard

So, Bobby Inman didn't pay $6,000 in back Social Security taxes for his housekeeper because he was waiting to see whether Congress would change the law. What a feeble and implausible excuse that is.

If he is permitted to become our next defense secretary, then Zoe Baird and Kimba Wood were definitely subjected to a double-standard.

Geraldine Segal

Randallstown

Love conquers all

I read with interest Zelda Seideman's Dec. 27 response to Jacqueline Newman's letter of Dec. 7. Ms. Newman wrote about a driver who called out "Hi, I love you."

I believe that all human beings are united in a spiritual bond which has a Supreme Being as its ultimate source.

Since God is love, what better way to look at our fellow human beings than in the reality of that oneness rather than in the illusion of separation?

This is what gives impetus to the Tom Dooleys, the Albert Schweitzers and the Mother Theresas of the world.

They are able to see beyond the ugliness of life and into the beauty of our spiritual foundation.

The late Norman Vincent Peale suggested we shoot arrows of love to everyone.

How beautiful our world would be if we were taught from infancy to love one another.

What this world needs is more love. With the advent of a new year, what better resolution could we make than to express love to those with whom we share a deep and abiding relationship?

William F. Eckart

Ellicott City

What Americans want in health care reform

America's health insurance agents have gained valuable experience over the years working with literally millions of small employers and self-employed individuals.

We know first hand what the Clinton White House just now seems to be recognizing: that almost everyone wants answers to the same basic questions.

* Will I make my own choices? Health care is built upon one-on-one relationships with medical providers. Despite growth in HMO-style care, 70 percent of Americans want to retain their trusted physicians and specialists, according to a 1993 survey.

The White House plan runs directly counter to this, because the savings promised by the untested "managed competition" model can only be realized if Americans agree to live with fewer health care options and submit to government-controlled operatives.

* Will I get quality health care? The insurance community has learned that few of us are willing to sacrifice the extent and nature of our medical services when moving from one plan to another. Americans, unlike Canadians, don't think about the quality of health benefits in national terms. They focus on the personal level. They ask, "Why must I give up something to play some minute role in meeting abstract national goals?"

The White House faces its biggest challenge in moving from selling the public on general reforms to hard specifics on how individuals and small business will be affected.

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