Getting the garbage out of rock musicMany heartfelt thanks...

LETTERS

November 15, 1996

Getting the garbage out of rock music

Many heartfelt thanks to Blockbuster, Kmart and Wal-Mart for carrying only those CD and VCR tape editions that removed the pornographic, violent, blasphemous, racist and graphic messages that some artists and their producing studios insist we need to experience.

Don Rosenberg, owner of the Record Exchange, laments that those stores are ''a group of retailers that don't care a whit about music or the music industry.'' I say he is a music producer who doesn't care a whit about our society.

Oliver Stone, director of ''Natural Born Killers,'' cries, ''People don't understand how much power these corporations have.'' I say he doesn't understand how much power this film has.

And Nina Crowley, executive director of the Massachusetts Music Industry Coalition, said that the selection process by the big chains ''is creating a chilling effect.'' She needs to know that this unbridled entertainment is creating an even greater chilling effect that she is not experiencing.

There are those of us in middle-class U.S.A. who are old enough to remember when you could walk alone through a park, when you could ride your new bicycle without fear of having it stolen out from under you, when we didn't have five different alarms and locking devices on our vehicles.

We are the ones who see this obscene part of the music industry as a giant cheering section and support group for the accelerated demise of our youth and, as a result, our society.

It is unfortunate that the rock stars and big music producers don't have to live with the crime and pain they encourage and grow richer on.

Our lives are not damaged by having it removed. They are damaged by having it protected.

Georgia Corso

Baltimore

Jewish funds vanished in Swiss bank

Dr. W. Mordechai Haffkine (1860-1930) was a member of the Pasteur Institute in Paris. In 1892, he developed the first effective vaccine against the cholera epidemic which killed thousands all over Europe.

On the invitation of Lord Dufferin, the British ambassador to France, he went to India to fight cholera there. In 1897, Queen Victoria named him ''Companion of the Order of the Empire and India.'' Two years later she granted him the ''Honor of British Citizenship.''

In 1925, he founded the Plague Research Laboratory in Bombay, India, which exists to this day under his name.

The above is copied from the encyclopedias.

As an Orthodox Jew and a bachelor, he left his fortune (one or two million Swiss francs, in those days the highest currency in the world) to the Haffkine Foundation in a Swiss Bank. The interest was to go to the yeshivas (rabbinibal colleges) of Eastern Europe.

The famous Rabbi CH. O. Grodzenski of Wilno was in charge of receiving the check annually, and dividing the funds to the various yeshivas. Rabbi Grodzenski died in 1940, about the time the tyrant Stalin forcefully incorporated the Lithuanian Republic into the Soviet Union.

Since then, not one penny has been paid by the Swiss bank on that account.

H. Shapiro

Pikesville

Law protects lawyers, not consumers

I am writing to comment on Kate Shatzkin's Oct. 31 report about the Maryland attorney general's court settlement with a transmission company accused of repair overcharges.

The article calls the case ''the largest investigation of auto repair overcharging'' handled by J. Joseph Curran's office after receiving 114 complaints which somehow grew into 7,450 claims for reimbursement.

The settlement may be a ''landmark,'' the reporter says, and the attorney general stated that, ''We stopped a deceptive practice . . . They fought us at every turn and we fought them at every turn.''

Well, there must have been more turns than a barrel rolling down the Jones Falls. It took eight years for the case to get through the legal repair shop. That's a time frame, I thought, reserved only for death row appeals.

The sad part is that it's not over.

The 7,450 claimants now must submit a second form for reimbursement consideration which the company can further dispute. Consumers will not see their money, according to the article, for ''at least another year'' (that's nine and counting) and with no accumulating interest.

The maximum payout for which the company is responsible divides out to about $94 per claimant.

Is it my imagination, or does this performance by our fine attorney general and his crack legal staff really result in the protection of lawyers' jobs rather than consumers' rights?

Do you think that the surviving relatives of the claimants will be eligible to claim the largess when and if it is available?

God save us from the Lawyer Protection Division.

Geary Foertsch

Lutherville

Use the Walters for arts education

Betty H. Kansler (letter, Nov. 10) is to be congratulated for establishing and coordinating an academic enrichment program for grades two through eight at the Shrine of the Little Flower School that uses art and music as a foundation for curriculum studies.

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