Bill of RightsRecently the news media have supported and...


May 06, 1994

Bill of Rights

Recently the news media have supported and campaigned for the current administrations' -- both state and federal -- stands on firearms control.

Though I personally believe my right to own the legal weapon of my choice could possibly be in danger, I quietly agreed with much of the legislation enacted by Congress and the Maryland legislature.

Recently both the press and electronic media ran stories regarding a new policy put forth by the Clinton administration which would allow for unwarranted searches in so-called "projects."

This frightens me. A federal judge in Chicago recently ruled such a program unconstitutional. Why is this administration attempting to circumvent the judicial system, let alone the Bill of Rights?

Perhaps what the National Rifle Association and others have been espousing is not just the rhetoric of a fanatical group of gun owners.

Maybe the claim that gun control is only the beginning of the destruction of American rights is not a scare tactic. Is what is happening in America at the present time a mirror of what happened in Germany prior to World War II?

Think about it, the people most affected by this warrantless search program must be afforded the protection from crime and violence available to every American.

I am sure these "project dwellers," if they could, would pay any costs involved with providing a safe environment for themselves and their children, but will they be able to justify to future generations the loss of a basic right?

In fact, will they be able to justify it to themselves?

What if the next American right to be infringed is the right of free speech? What would happen to the press if this were to happen?

Maybe the news media should take a closer look at some of the policies being considered by our government and re-evaluate the stance it has taken on issues.

Perhaps the media should report more on the facts and `f consequences of the policies and allow the public to render its own decision. An informed populace is the backbone of this great country.

Please be aware that when one small group of Americans is deprived of constitutional rights, all Americans can be deprived of the same right.

I truly believe if our rights are gradually depleted, sooner or later we will have no rights at all.

Stanley A. Mocarsky


Police Sweeps

I am shocked at your editorial "Those Chicago Police Sweeps" (April 25). "Cutting corners" is the same as violating the law.

If there are "extraordinary circumstances in Chicago," martial law should be declared, but to make people sign leases to allow police to search without a warrant smacks of Hitler's declaration to suspend the rights of a few for the good of the masses.

At least the Gestapo on a midnight search and seizure had the decency to knock first.

The civil libertarians should re-read the history of the U.S. and world and see how dictators dismantled the people's rights.

Walter Cherivtch


Mediocrity in Music

I must take issue with Emily Johnston's (letter, April 22) remark that "WJHU does 'disintegrate' into jazz at night."

Yes, there are types of jazz that are harmonically and rhythmically simple in nature, but as anyone knows who keeps up with such things, there is jazz that is emotionally and intellectually comparable to the compositions of contemporary "classical" masters.

Today's professional jazz artist spends as much time developing his skills as "classical" performers.

The big problem is that in the United States, radio, in its quest for profit, assumes that the average listener can't understand progressive music. One result is that much of the jazz aired is of the "adult contemporary," basically instrumental pop tunes.

Another consequence is the excessive playing of the works of past jazz artists and masters. Their contributions were important, but there is a whole new generation that needs to be heard.

The attitude toward and the myths we have in this country about jazz is going to cause us to fall behind in yet another area, which is especially sad since this is where the art form originated.

I've helped my wife, Jane Lamar-Spicka, with the monthly Jazz Sessions column in Music Monthly magazine, a publication that focuses on the activities of mid-Atlantic artists (popular, jazz and classical).

Those interviewed who have performed in Europe have all commented on how they were treated with the same respect that is given to their "classical" players.

Ed Goldstein, director of the Peabody Ragtime Ensemble, informed us that students at the Moscow Conservatory of Music were required to study American jazz improvisation as an integral part of their studies, and that some of them, even at an early age, were already quite good.

When I competed in the First Theolonius Monk International Jazz Piano Competition, the second place award went to a brilliant young pianist from Czechoslovakia . . .

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