Editor: Lyle Denniston's Perspective article Sept. 9 claimed a national victory for pro-abortion forces because three pro-life state senators were defeated. He wrote that politicians and judges around the country will be reading Maryland's message, "Don't mess with abortion rights," and few legislatures will be willing to support tough new anti-abortion laws.
What a bunch of pro-abortion hogwash. It would be like my stating that, because the Pennsylvania legislature passed the toughest abortion restriction law in the nation, every state will be following suit.
Let us put the truth on the line:
1. Pennsylvania is a pro-life state; Maryland is a pro-death state. Any abortion victory in Maryland is countered by Pennsylvania. It just shows that neighboring states have different views.
2. The only strength for abortion rights in this country can be found in the three cases of rape, incest and endangering the life of the mother. This support is growing weaker every day.
A July Time magazine poll showed 69 percent approved of a law requiring parental consent for abortion among teen-agers. In a poll taken by Parade magazine of 313,000 readers, 59 percent took a very strong pro-life position that abortion is murder.
3. The so-called "pro-abortion victory" in New Jersey last year was hardly a political victory. In reality, the New Jersey loser ran away from the abortion issue and lost; the pro-abortion winner is already in great troubles with the voters.
4. The only reason that states like Idaho backed away from strong anti-abortion laws is because the pro-abortion forces have great power with the press. If a state passed a strong anti-abortion law, pro-abortion forces know that the press will help them promote a boycott of that state's products.
So let us stick to the truth and avoid making these small victories greater that they really are. The Maryland victory was just as expected. As for the pro-life losers, I wish we had more politicians like them who would stand for what they believe.
Editor: I was reading Ellen Uzelac's article on obscenity ("Obscenity: Drawing The Line," Sept. 23) and was interested to read about the pledge artists must sign if they wish to be eligible for federal grants. Work must not include "depictions of sadomasochism, homoeroticism, the sexual exploitation of children or individuals engaged in sex acts."
A scan of a few of my art history books revealed a number of artists who produced works that would be disqualified. To name just a few, Hieronymus Bosch ("The Garden of Earthly Delights"), Rembrandt ("The Bedstead"), Rubens ("Susannah and the Elders"), Ingres ("Ruggerio and Angelica"), Courbet ("Sleep"), Rodin ("The Eternal Idol") and Picasso ("Etching, 1968").
This list of major artists who produced major controversial works could go on, filling several Letters to the Editor columns.
Were these respected master artists pornographers? I think not. One of the tasks of artists is to deal with the human condition in all its aspects and, like it or not (I like it), that includes sex.
In the same edition of The Sun I read in Michael Olesker's column that our infant mortality rates ranks behind 21 other industrial nations and that about one in five U.S. children lives in poverty. Now, that's obscene.
Bias in Uniform
Editor: After reading V. Alton Barker's article about the treatment of our women soldiers in Saudi Arabia, I was fuming, not about their treatment, but by the attitude of those in charge of our armed services.
These women are soldiers, and as such deserve the same respect, rights and responsibilities as their male counterparts.
I understand the cultural differences and the desire not to offend our hosts. But we should not be condoning another culture's lack of human rights awareness by discriminating against our female personnel.
The solution to the problem is obvious and won't offend our hosts: If one soldier cannot wear shorts, all soldiers cannot wear shorts. If one soldier is required to use the back door, or the back of the bus, or the back of the theater, all soldiers must be required to do so.
As for giving our female soldiers traditional black dress in which to tour the towns or countryside, how about providing the traditional Arab dress for our male soldiers when they tour?
Rather than reinforcing the Arabs' discriminatory policies, we should be showing our solidarity by treating all of our soldiers equally.
A. M. Supik.
Editor: Personally, I am deeply concerned. In Barry Rascovar's Sept. 16 commentary, he stated that Chuck Ecker, the Republican candidate for county executive of Howard County, could not raise sufficient funds to mount a successful campaign against the incumbent, Elizabeth Bobo, because "donors are terrified that if they give to Mr. Ecker, Ms. Bobo will never forget their heresy." Is this allegation possible? Could Ms. Bobo be this vindictive or arrogant?
As pointed out by The Sun in editorials and stories, and as shown in the results of the recent primary election, Mr. Ecker is running a very credible campaign to unseat Ms. Bobo. There are many substantive issues upon which the candidates disagree, and the voters of Howard County should be free to choose the candidate of their choice based on their positions on those issues.
The purpose of a two-party system is to allow for the public debate of issues. If it is true that Ms. Bobo is improperly using the power of her incumbency to put a chill on this debate, then these actions should be strongly condemned by the voters in Howard County.
Michael W. Davis.
Editor: I really didn't understand all the hoopla over censoring Barry Polisar's music until I read the feature article in The Sun Sept. 14.
I just hope some dope-crazed idiot doesn't try any of Mr. Polisar's suggestions on his or her unwanted son or daughter.
Editor: This comment is in response to the Perspective article, Sept. 23, "Cuomo Articulates a National Message," by Paul West.
New York Gov. Mario Cuomo is currently touted as a prime candidate for the Democrats in their bid for the White House in 1992. But if the Democrats are serious about this dream, they should either reconsider Mr. Cuomo as a candidate or reconsider exactly what kind of platform they wish to present to the public two years from now: To do otherwise would seal their fate to another four years of Republican hegemony.
In this article, Mr. Cuomo laments that the demise of the Democrats has been in their neglect of values and leadership. In this measure, he is correct. But what starts on a promising note ends in disappointment. Mr. Cuomo unwarily slips into the same trap that has thwarted the victory of Democratic hopefuls in the past, and in so doing he demonstrates a critical weakness in the party's philosophy.
In short, Mr. Cuomo believes that the "vision of the future" is in a more centralized, powerful government with more regulation. This is a blind formula for disaster. If Mr. Cuomo takes this platform to 1992, he will not only lose decisively, but the future of the Democratic Party will be locked in a political paralysis for years to come.
Mr. Cuomo's beliefs are ideal for the 1940's, but not for the 1990s and beyond. His "vision" is nearsighted, and lacks the foresight this country desperately needs. Unlike a head cold, old remedies are not always sufficient to tackle new and rapidly emerging national problems.
Mr. Cuomo and the Democrats must arrest the instinctive urge to argue that government is the solution and not the problem. The debacle over the national debt, the saving and loans, health care and drugs, to name a few, are not recent tragedies in public policy. They are not merely a result of inadequate regulation. Instead, these national concerns, in general, are current reflections of well-intended policy gone bad.
In effect, our public policy has been contrarian at best. In the past decade, federal regulation has constricted that which it was meant to foster, and has liberalized that which it was meant to control, all at the expense of the taxpayer: for prime examples, just take a look at our failing health care and banking industries.
To win the presidency in 1992, the Democrats must articulate an able and innovative platform well-rehearsed in what it does best: consensus building, and not finger-pointing.
A re-evaluation of party philosophy and current public policy is a step in the right direction. Then come 1992, the test will be whether the Democrats can mix common sense and sound public policy to meet the changing needs of an anxious society.