Heroism and courage aren't interchangeable
Carl Cannon, in discussing ''Who is braver?'' (Sept. 29) omitted important semantic distinctions and facts. Heroism requires self-sacrifice; courage does not. Heroism always requires courage, but courage does not always imply heroism.
Mr. Cannon recited details of Bill Clinton's steps to avoid the Vietnam War, by all measures an unnecessary, wasteful and even immoral war. He then used the phrase, ''[JFK] like Dole, a hero of World War II.'' Thus he equated their service but he left out major details that weaken any such comparisons.
Bob Dole (unlike JFK who enlisted in the Navy before Pearl Harbor and volunteered for combat) was not eager to serve in real national emergency and stayed away from the recruiting offices for a year after the war began. When warned of his poor academic work (and possible exposure to the draft), he improved his work, enlisted in the reserves, and completed his college year. He went on active duty in June 1943 and then spent another year and a half in schools.
He finally arrived in Italy in December 1944, three years after Pearl Harbor, and was assigned to staff work prior to being ordered to the front as a replacement platoon leader in February 1945. After six weeks in combat, he was terribly hurt on April 15. His short combat service was performed honorably and well, but he was not a special hero. Like many thousands of others, he was a reluctant victim of the battle.
Bob Dole's subsequent fight for life and restoration was not heroic. It was determined and courageous self-preservation, which appears to be Bob Dole's essential ''character'' trait.
Ronald P. Bowers
If players charge, so can also fans
Once millionaire ballplayers stop charging for autographs or personal appearances, perhaps then the fans will start returning precious memorabilia to them free of charge.
I say more power to Daniel Jones for not giving the ball to Eddie Murray who hit it for his 500th home run. If the ball was so important to Murray, then why didn't he buy it? He certainly can afford it.
Surely the fans deserve to make any money they can off the ballplayers.
Luskin has been more than salesman
Some important aspects of the story concerning the closing of the Luskin appliance stores have been missed.
While Jack Luskin's slogan was ''The Cheapest Guy in Town,'' in reality that was far from the case.
The "public" Jack Luskin was known for his showmanship, a la Baltimore's former mayor. Who can forget the commercials of a miniaturized Jack jumping onto washing machines and dryers? Nationally known stars were usually found making public performances at various Luskin locations. The Pimlico store hosted a near-riot with the appearances of teen heart-throb Fabian.
The "private" Jack Luskin has been known in the community as a generous supporter of many health-related, social and religious organizations. His giving has not been of the showy variety; he has instead preferred to remain low-key. His love for his family and friends has been a hallmark of his life. Those close to him know the lengths he would go to help them.
The demise of another locally-owned business is a tragic loss for Maryland. How many more of these stories will we read about in the pages of The Sun?
Gail E. Zlotowitz
City folk once were Baltimore countians
I commend Amato Mongelluzzo for his knowledge of local military history (Sept. 26). However, his knowledge of local political history is inaccurate.
At the time of the Battle of North Point in 1814 Baltimore was the county seat of Baltimore County and all the residents thereof were Baltimore countians. The separation of Baltimore City from Baltimore County did not become effective until July 4, 1851. Towsontown was chosen as the new county seat by popular vote on February 13, 1854.
State's bill paying record is good
I would like to clear up several misunderstandings caused by the article ''New computer system gives state a headache" (Sept. 15). The state of Maryland is undertaking a multi-year project to upgrade our antiquated financial management information systems. The new computer system will replace hundreds of separate and redundant systems and manual purchasing operations scattered throughout state government. For the first time ever, Maryland has an automated statewide purchasing system that links every taxpayer dollar spent to specific products and services.
State agencies currently process more than 190,000 payments per month. Naturally, replacing 20 year-old systems with an integrated, state-of-the art financial management information system has resulted in a few ''glitches'' that caused the number of late payments to rise during the early stages of implementation.