Naval Academy sends children bad message on athletic 0...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

July 11, 1998

Naval Academy sends children bad message on athletic 0) discipline

The June 26 editorial ("Navy's quarterback sneak") and Michael Olesker's column ("Geography of Mids' trysts saves athlete's PR value," June 28) concerning the punishment of the four midshipmen for their sexual misconduct were right on target.

Expulsion and public humiliation for three midshipmen but graduation for a fourth, who happens, coincidentally, to be the star quarterback of the decade. As a teacher, I am disgusted to see the emphasis our country places on sports.

But I felt that our Naval Academy was above making such one-sided decisions. Adm. Charles Larson's explanation that star quarterback Chris McCoy's sexual misconduct occurred off campus was laughable. The Sun's line "Location, location, location" was worth applauding.

That all four should have been given the same sentence should have been obvious, even to the powers at the Naval Academy. What message are we sending to our youth?

That McCoy wants to cut in half the time he owes his government for one of the finest educations in the world is one more indication that we have created a segment of our population that has come to expect the preferential treatment.

Barbara Blumberg

Baltimore

Rich have an obligation to help life-saving causes

I would like to praise Elizabeth Farber, the author of the Opinion Commentary article "What few could do for many" (June 30). She is completely correct in her argument that multimillionaires have obligations to support disease-related causes such as AIDS.

Not only do these millionaires have these obligations, but all taxpayers should feel an obligation to help find cures for these serious illnesses. Sometimes we forget that there are problems out there that we can help to stop.

Becket Kirk

Columbia

Slain trooper's wife unfairly criticizes NRA

All of us were saddened by Trooper Ted Wolf's murder, and we all watched as Ginni Wolf grieved her loss with a level of dignity and devotion that was an inspiration to those who followed the trial and related stories.

Mrs. Wolf accuses the National Rifle Association of deleting part of the Second Amendment to accommodate its self interests ("Mixing guns with religion shows absurdity of the NRA," June 27). However, it is difficult to delete anything from a short amendment that reads: "A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

Mrs. Wolf also asserts that the NRA claims to have the support of God. Maybe Mrs. Wolf has decided to twist the comment by the NRA's Wayne La-Pierre about having Moses on his side after Charlton Heston's election as NRA president. After all, Mrs. Wolf belongs to Marylanders Against Handgun Abuse, a group known for twisting and ignoring facts.

If Mrs. Wolf would read the NRA's position on various issues, she would find that they agree on many issues.

The NRA has repeatedly fought for truth in sentencing, harsher punishment for criminals using guns, educating children on firearm safety and revamping the juvenile justice system.

Wayne Croft

Parkton

The violence in N. Ireland is not coming from the IRA

The political situation in Ireland may have changed dramatically ("Starting fresh in Ulster," July 2, editorial), but the perception of the problem in the media remains unchanged.

The silence of the Irish Republican Army's arms is the best evidence yet of its interest in peace. The IRA is not the danger the media claim it is. A day does not pass that the heavily armed Royal Ulster Constabulary and the British Army do not invade Nationalist areas, wreck homes and institute provocative arrests.

Now Loyalist arson has destroyed three Catholic churches and damaged seven others. If history is any guide, some of these "security forces" will have helped or protected the arsonists or set the fires themselves. We do have hope for this agreement, but we have never become disillusioned over the real causes of violence in the North of Ireland.

Andrew Somers

Washington

The writer is national president of the Irish-American Unity Conference.

GM mistreating employees laid off because of the strike

I was shocked to read Ted Shelsby's article ("GM wants Md. to stop paying laid-off workers," July 2).

I'm not employed by General Motors, but I know that it controls a lot of Baltimore's economy and that employees earn every bit of their pay. I can remember back in grade school when a teacher would ask where parents worked, the majority of students either said GM or Bethlehem Steel.

GM workers today have children, houses, cars and other obligations.

I can't believe that GM management would turn its back on these workers and try to cut off their unemployment. The company should be ashamed of itself. After all, this is a profitable company, and some of its biggest customers are the workers, their families, friends and relatives who buy GM products.

Long live United Automobile Workers Local 239.

Ron Kropkowski

Dundalk

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