Cellular codeSince we keep hearing that cellular phones...

the Forum

September 12, 1995

Cellular code

Since we keep hearing that cellular phones, pagers, fax machines and modems are the reason we're running out of phone numbers, couldn't we just move all of these new uses to a new area code and leave regular phone numbers alone?

That way old-fashioned phone callers won't have to contend with 10-digit dialing. Increased consciousness of when you're dialing a cellular phone or pager may be an additional benefit.

David S. Roberts

Towson

Corrupt parties

A story in the Aug. 30 issue, "Md. mongrel is running for president," contained an error.

The closing paragraph states that Ross Perot, in 1992, was the last "third party" candidate to get on ballots in all 50 states. While this may be technically correct in that he qualified last, another party also qualified that year in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia.

It was the Libertarian Party. In spite of this, the LP was not allowed to participate in the public debates with Mr. Perot and other major candidates.

The Libertarian Party was unfairly excluded from these "honest" debates while a media clown, whose sole qualification was the ability to purchase huge amounts of time, was accorded the same status as the two major parties. It is these two major parties which make it so difficult for third parties to get on ballots.

The press keeps asking if there will be a third party effort. There is always a third party effort and members of the press are always invited to attend. They just don't attend parties of ideas and prefer to promote personalities instead. They then wonder where all the new ideas will come from next time.

The very same thing will undoubtedly happen in 1996. The most popular candidate so far is Colin Powell. A man of considerable ability but with no political allegiance. I am not talking about an allegiance to a specific party, but to a theory as to the preferred function and priorities of government. As it stands now, he could likely advocate mandatory diapers for dogs, make it his sole platform plank and everyone would still claim him the man of the hour.

The death of new political ideas and of political hope for our future is a function of an interaction between a lazy and irresponsible press and a corrupt and monopolistic "two-party"' system.

In the last presidential election, both major parties missed a filing deadline in Illinois. Yet they were both on the ballot in November.

Does anybody anywhere in any way believe the same courtesy would have been extended to Mr. Perot, the Libertarians or Josh the Wonder Dog?

Michael Klapp

Baltimore

Not macho

Most televised sporting events include commercials which present the drinking of beer and the hanging out in saloons as very "macho." These ads, seen by impressionable young people, leave them with the feeling that their goal should be to hang out with the "big boys" (and girls) and indulge in the "suds."

While there is much evidence that alcohol substance abuse is a major contributing factor in most auto accidents and in domestic violence and that sustained alcohol substance abuse leads to dire health problems, there doesn't seem to be any movement to restrict commercials associated with alcohol consumption.

It would seem that the same fervor that led to the banning of tobacco ads on television should come forth in regard to alcohol. Use of tobacco is harmful only to the user's health (and those around if subject to large doses of secondary smoke inhalation). Alcohol on the other hand, not only is a hazard to the user's health but also places at risk innocent bystanders (auto accidents, fights, etc.) and domestic tranquillity

James M. Hall

Perry Hall

Overpaid athletes

Currently, sports stars are being paid millions of dollars every year. In the long run, this is due to greedy team owners.

For instance, the Major League Baseball Association began seeking mainly fun and entertainment for players and fans alike.

As the sport began to draw more fans, the team owners realized that they could make serious money.

Now most players earn more than paramedics, teachers, policemen, etc.

Why is this? The team owners want the best players, and are willing to pay top dollar for them, so that they can have all the glory and publicity of winning the World Series.

There are many more important occupations than playing a sport.

Some people spend their time and effort saving lives, building our nation's future through the education of children, doing their best to keep our streets safe and providing other needed goods and services.

Most of these people aren't paid nearly as much as ''important'' sports stars and never will be. But what would we do without these people? What do sports stars provide for the public?

Plenty of people who have "real" jobs play a sport (strictly for their own enjoyment) in their free time. They don't get a paycheck for this.

I'm not saying that those who play a professional sport shouldn't be paid.

They just shouldn't be paid so much.

Matt Elrick

Phoenix

Deregulate utilities at consumer risk

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