Holiday QuestionHere comes another Fourth of July. Let me...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

May 22, 1994

Holiday Question

Here comes another Fourth of July. Let me ask again, "If I can buy a gun, why can't I buy a firecracker?"

George Wroe

Glyndon

Describing Women

I read an article about Jeffrey Kimble, Lotto winner; Gerald Glass, attorney for the Baltimore Housing Authority; Alfred Murphy, warden of the Baltimore City Detention Center booking unit, and Margaret Jensvold, psychiatrist.

I'm just curious -- what color are Mr. Kimble's eyes? Does Mr. Glass wear glasses? How about Mr. Murphy's hands? Delicate? Massive? I'm just dying to know.

After all, this must be pertinent information, if it was important enough to be included in the article about Dr. Jensvold.

This is not on isolated incident. I am mystified as to the reasoning behind the use of such description of women, but never of men, in articles related to their qualifications for highly

regarded, specialized, professional positions.

Jane F. Riley

Towson

No to Tabloidism

Is anyone else beginning to weary of the dreary repetition of a sequence of events which is rapidly becoming as lugubriously inevitable as death and taxes on the national political scene?

The sequence is this: (1) The present administration begins to get some real momentum going on an issue of vital interest to the American people such as gun control, health care reform or establishing some minimal degree of accountability for the CIA, and then (2) someone else crawls out of the wall with an unsubstantiated but highly publicized charge against President Clinton.

As the wise old philosopher David Hume said, you can't see and therefore postulate with absolute certainty the causal connection between a sequence of events, but you can talk in terms of a high degree of probability of causation when the same sequence repeats itself over and over and over.

The latest in this unwieldy, seamy parade of dirty tricks (a peculiarly un-American legacy of the late lamented ex-president) across the American political scene is not as Stephen Hess said, "For Bill Clinton . . . a perpetual low-grade toothache that is not going to go away."

It is a perpetual low-grade toothache for the American people, and it will not go away as long as it gets the only encouragement it needs to proliferate and continue, i.e., a spot on the front page.

To curb this chronic, debilitating, demoralizing infection we need the antibiotic of journalism, not the culture medium of tabloidism.

Please put such things on the inside pages where they belong, and have your best writers do a responsible job of painting the whole picture. A dose of perspective does wonders to clear the head and reduce inflammation.

Anna Vought

Fallston

Chemically Insane

Re: John Thanos' death by alleged lethal injection: I feel he was chemically insane and, although his crimes were heinous, the crimes were behavior that one can expect of a habitual drug user.

We can expect a French poodle to act like a French poodle and a lion to act like a lion. Likewise, one can expect a habitual user of drugs to behave in ways totally divorced from rationality.

The message that Thanos' life and death have for me is that if we want more rational behavior in our nation, we need to go after the supply of drugs being manufactured here and those coming across our borders and into the country by planes and boats, mail, etc.

And we need to clean up TV. In addition, our nation is, nominally at least, 80 percent Christian. The Master Christian said, "You have heard it said of old, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,' but I say unto you that whoever is angry with his brother is in danger of judgment."

In our allegedly Christian nation we are behaving as if Jesus never lived nor died . . . acting as if we don't even understand what he taught.

I'm appalled at the spectacle of people being allowed to watch executions, and appalled at the number of persons who wanted to seen an obviously chemically insane man suffer at his execution. Next we'll be building pits for gladiators.

If we want people to act rationally, we need to clean up drugs, and we need also to clean up the bill of fare we're being served on TV.

The subconscious works on pictures. Put a picture in and you'll get it acted out by a great number of people. We can expect bizarre and violent behaviors if we continue to allow drugs. The same for violence on TV.

Eileen Evans

Baltimore

Why Death

There's a saying that goes: Locks are only to keep honest people honest. Michael Olesker, in his column May 12, wonders if the taking of life by state decree gets us as a society anywhere, if it matters after all.

If it were not for the fact that society could depend on its government to act for it, we might very well re-live the days of the vigilante where individuals took the law, or rather the punishment of the law, into their own hands.

The argument that capital punishment will not deter crime is not the issue. Criminals break the law because there is no fear either of the law or its consequences.

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