Inept GroupingsHere we go again. Another newspaper article...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 22, 1994

Inept Groupings

Here we go again. Another newspaper article tells me how I think. Well, Carl Cannon, you have it wrong in ''U.S. Catholics becoming disillusioned with Clinton" (Sept. 12).

To borrow some bumper-sticker phrasing, I am Catholic and I vote, but maybe not the way Mr. Cannon's article implies.

The article gave supposedly two reasons for Catholics' disappointment in President Clinton. The first, of course, was abortion. In the article, Clinton advisers point out that as many Catholics agree with Mr. Clinton as with the Vatican, and they are right, but you have to read a long way to get to that.

Mr. Cannon goes on to discuss a few supposedly anti-Catholic remarks, none of which offended me because of my Catholicism.

I am a newspaper editor myself, and I am among the first to defend journalists when they are criticized. But I think one of journalism's biggest faults is generalization. It's easy and fun, and it makes a good read to sweep people into groups and describe how they live and think. But it's almost always wrong and is just as offensive to the people in those groups as a remark by a public official.

Here is one Catholic who doesn't fit the stereotype. You wouldn't have to look far to find many, many more.

Teresa Villa Cook

Baltimore

City Problems

The Sun's Mike Littwin and Michael Olesker are taking turns bashing county residents in general, and Lou DePazzo in particular for hostility to the Move in to Opportunity (MTO) program.

Let's examine why county residents are up in arms about the poor people being moved at taxpayers' expense to the county.

Supposedly, the poor are disadvantaged because they live in slums and ghettos, drug-infested neighborhoods, and lack education.

When did these slums originate? When Baltimore and other inner cities were built, they were not planned as slums. No architect ever said, ''Let's build a slum here."

When responsible wage earners and not welfare recipients lived there, people kept their trash picked-up and houses fixed-up. So who is now filling the alleys with trash?

Do county residents in general and Lou DePazzo in particular sneak into the inner city at 2 a.m. and do this? I think not.

The Sun, Sept. 7: ''Man blames residents for missing collections.'' Who is this man, Lou DePazzo? No. City resident Rudolph Shaw of 1926 Ramsay St. blames the trash problems on some of his neighbors.

He said, ''Some people are just like hogs . . . they put out their garbage a half-hour after the truck has passed."

Why do drug dealers deal on city corners? Because county residents drive into the city to buy drugs? I think not.

Why do city children drop out of school or lack proper education? Because county residents demand that these children go to school unprepared, unfed and quit before graduation? I think not.

It's time to place the onus where it belongs, on the city residents themselves.

It isn't that county residents object to ''the poor people coming'' as Mr. Littwin writes. But given the track record of subsidized people moving anywhere, we know what the end result will be.

Examine the most encompassing social experiment of all time, Russia, where everyone was 100 percent subsidized, and we know how that failed.

I live in Essex on a 50-foot-wide lot. I would love to move to Dulaney or Greenspring Valley. But I can't afford it. So here I stay.

Frank A. Sume

Essex

Baseball Tactic

It figures! Surely, the group that launched the three-division farces would grab at any excuse to shut down the season to preclude any further self-embarrassment.

Quentin D. Davis

Aberdeen

Some Choice

It looks like Maryland voters are faced with a miniature replay of the last presidential election.

We get to choose between a Democrat we don't trust and a Republican we can't stand.

Where is Ross Perot when you really need him?

William M. Smith

Baltimore

Everyday Morality

Two matters in regard to Cal Thomas' Sept. 14 column.

His quotation attributed to Dostoyevsky, "if God does not exist, everything is permissible," is a favorite with the religious right, but a computer search of the text I have on CD-ROM didn't produce it.

The closest match is Ivan Karamazov's saying "that if you were to destroy in mankind the belief in immortality. . . nothing then would be immoral, everything would be lawful, even cannibalism." However, another character, commenting on Ivan's ideas, offers an opposing view: "His whole theory is a fraud! Humanity will find in itself the power to live for virtue even without believing in immortality. It will find it in love for freedom, for equality, for fraternity." In any event, the religious-right version is a non-sequitur; did the officially atheist Soviet regime tell its citizens to do their own thing?

That quotation from Washington's Farewell Address. What are we to make of Washington's conceding influence to "refined education" working on "minds of peculiar structure" and then asserting that "national morality" will require "religious principle?"

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