Global freezingWhen I first started to read your Feb. 11...

the Forum

February 17, 1994

Global freezing

When I first started to read your Feb. 11 editorial, "Act now on global warming," I thought it was satire.

What timing. It is February and, yes, I would love to see a field without a mantle of white snow and a sidewalk without diamond clear coat of crystalline snow. I am sure the people of New York and the Great Lakes region would feel the same.

I think this winter debunks the radical environmentalist predictions that we all are going to cook because we have destroyed the ozone. Just about 10 years ago that they told us we were going to freeze to death because our pollution was going to block out the sun's rays.

The person who wrote the editorial must be a product of that lost generation of sixties, such as Gore and Clinton.

Frankly I think that it's time to repeal the Gore-inspired laws and rules that are going to forbid the use of Freon in our air-conditioners.

Malcolm S. Barlow


Embattled soprano

The firing of the Metropolitan Opera's pampered prima donna, Kathleen Battle, was entirely justified.

Her surname is very appropriate; she has a reputation for "battling" with other singers, directors and conductors.

This was to have been the first time Miss Battle was to have sung "Marie" at the Met. I am sure that her replacement, Harolyn Blackwell, is capable of doing an excellent job.

Twenty-four years ago, the Met mounted Donizetti's "La Fille du Regiment" for Dame Joan Sutherland. Dame Joan's behavior has always been the antithesis of Ms. Battle's. She was always conscientious, cared about her colleagues and demonstrated that a star soprano didn't have to be a spoiled, self-centered singer.

Unlike Ms. Battle, Dame Joan was a true prima donna.

Geraldine Segal


Christian view

I have been a Christian my entire life, but I refuse to be associated with the so-called Religious Right.

It was never intended that Christianity be used to justify disrespect and intolerance toward gays.

Whenever a group of religious individuals starts believing that they alone possess God's truth, the result will be persecution and religious war against those who do not join them in their righteousness.

Read Edward Gibbon's "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire." He lists state-run Christianity, religious intolerance and the denouncing of science as the reasons for Roman collapse.

Studies that lift our understanding of life around us out of the Dark Ages should be supported.

Recent scientific findings of a "gay gene" suggest that being gay is normal for some of the population -- a natural part of cultural diversity.

Many Christians may find it difficult to deal with the gay issue in terms of cultural diversity.

But it is the task of the modern Christian to view the Bible's story with an open heart, to strive for spiritual understanding that is often hidden by a literal translation.

Steve Kehoe

Melbourne, Iowa

Don't coddle prisoners

Politicians are finally waking up to the call for crime reduction. Across the country incumbents and candidates are espousing tough-on-crime positions. President Clinton now supports a three-time loser law.

How are we going to pay for the increased prison space required to keep repeat offenders in jail? I would like to offer a few thoughts.

I seem to recall the Supreme Court ruled some time ago that ''double celling'' constituted ''cruel and unusual punishment.''

It seems to me that the ''cruel and unusual'' clause of the Constitution was written at a time when torture of prisoners was not uncommon in the world.

I don't think comfort of prisoners was what they had in mind. Perhaps it's time to revisit this issue. Prison capacity might be expanded, without cost, if the Supreme Court overturned this ruling.

It would be interesting to see if there is a correlation between the double cell ruling and crime rates. Since prison capacity was in effect halved, the number of prisoners turned loose on the public must have increased significantly. I doubt prison construction ever caught up.

Somewhere along the line we have confused rights with privilege. Maybe it is time to look at privileges of prisoners.

Why should we pay for a prisoner's college education? I have been told that prisons in Maryland are required to have the highest grade food while hospitals only require second highest grade food. Why is this?

Perhaps when the country was flush, we could afford the privileges prisoners now expect as rights. This is no longer the case. The great experiment of rehabilitation is a failure as witnessed by the rate of recidivism. I no longer wish to underwrite the experiment.

Let's get back to basics in prisons as well as schools.

John M. Banbury


School boards

I appreciated reading the Feb. 7 article headlined, ''Legislators may alter makeup of school board,'' by Mary Maushard. It's important to keep the public informed on bills that will affect children's education.

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