Neither party up to campaign finance reformAs desperately...


October 21, 1997

Neither party up to campaign finance reform

As desperately as our nation craves campaign finance reform, neither party is equal to the emergency.

The Republicans have just rejected it out of hand. The Democrats are compromised so long as they feel obliged to nurse the presidential hopes of Vice President Al Gore, who refuses to admit he has done anything wrong -- although he promises not to do it again.

Many Americans outside the Capital Beltway, in either party and no party, have the greatest admiration for the senior senator from Arizona. McCain-Feingold? Sounds like a great ticket for the year 2000.

Hal Riedl


Raising children is parents' job

Are there possibly any other parents out there who don't think that it's everybody's responsibility but theirs to bring up their children?

If I read another article about how we need the Police Athletic League, or the nearest library, or some other well-meaning government-sponsored organization to entertain or baby-sit our children so that they don't get into trouble, I think perhaps I'm going to have to commit a desperate act.

My husband just got back from a field trip during which he was assigned a group of children to chaperone. These kids were from (so we hear) one of the city's finest schools. They were out of control, wandering around and generally not listening.

One errant girl even fell into a pond. Were her parents angry that the school didn't do a good enough job of keeping an eye on her?

It doesn't take an entire village to raise a child -- just a mother and a father who are willing to do the dirty work.

Jeanne March Davis


Bias against gays needs to be unlearned

In his column of Oct. 14, ''Message of atonement arrives after 29 years,'' Michael Olesker tells of a sermon on Yom Kippur by Rabbi Ervin Preis, who tells his congregation that ''people can change. It's difficult, but it can be done.''

As a Jew, I agree with Rabbi Preis completely. As a mother of a gay son, I wonder if Rabbi Preis would agree with me completely.

People who happen to be gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender have been persecuted as long as the Jews. It is now becoming increasingly evident that sexual orientation is genetic. Long-held views of Orthodox and Conservative Jews, that homosexuality is a choice, are hatred in disguise.

Like Mark, other people are products of learned behavior passed on by grandparents, parents and friends. Behavior that makes people believe that they should laugh at, harass, beat, discriminate against in housing and at the workplace and even murder human beings, just because they happen to be gay.

Eleanor M. Binder


O's did fine, but how about instant replay?

I would like to thank the Orioles for an exciting season. With many injuries and major illnesses, they persevered with a great deal of strength. It was a lesson to be learned by all: that when you're down you get up as fast as you can and go on. And go on they did, to the playoffs, right up to the sixth game.

While many feel the last pitch was a bad call, in all fairness Cleveland had a bad call, too.

With the coming of the millennium, perhaps we need to give in to technology and not just the naked eye behind the batter. Instant replay should be allowed at least in the World Series playoff, so that we can at least say when the game is in the ninth, 1-0, that the calls are right and that the better team really won.

Darlene Tebin


Never a good time for murder

I was disturbed by Peter Hermann's choice of words in the Oct. 10 article, ''Slaying is first at Inner Harbor,'' regarding the murder of Darryl Luttrell.

Mr. Hermann wrote, ''The stabbing occurred at a particularly inopportune time for the city, which is host to several conventions and is in the national spotlight with the American League Championship Series being played at nearby Oriole Park at Camden Yards.''

His lack of empathy was appalling. I do not think that murder is ever opportune. My condolences to the victim's family and friends.

Carolyn Cooperman


Questions about leaving public school

Elise Armacost raised a very important question in her Oct. 12 column: ''If the tradeoff between a good neighborhood public school and a private one 40 miles away involves hour-long commutes and debt-stressed parents working themselves to death, is it worth it?''

For families already committed to being commuters, stressed and in debt, the question will seem irrelevant. But perhaps others who have not yet made decisions about schools might reflect on Ms. Armacost's query, along with two other questions:

How good might neighborhood public schools become if, instead of abandoning them, the families who are most able to find time and commit resources to education were using them, advocating them and holding them accountable?

What better way to pursue a safe and fulfilling future for one's own children than to ensure sound educational opportunity for all the children in their generation?

Jo Ann O. Robinson


Pub Date: 10/21/97

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