No Big Deal
Editor: Considering your Oct. 7 article, "Rating the Motion Picture Assn's NC-17 Rating," I fail to see the uproar over the new NC-17 rating. NC-17 and X are synonymous no matter how the movie industry trys to camouflage it. Therefore, the New York Times can simply choose not to advertise NC-17, The Sun can still refuse photo ads, the theaters can reject NC-17 movies.
The public can still choose whether to attend, but perhaps feel a little less self-conscious standing in line for a ticket. Just remember that famous line spoken by Marlon Brando in "On the Waterfront," "A monkey in a silk suit is still a monkey."
Joyce C. Robinson.
Don't Be Shrill
Editor: In The Sun's Oct. 6 lead editorial, "Forlorn Fantisies," challenging a recent vote by three Maryland legislators, it is noteworthy that they are identified as Helen Bentley, Republican of Baltimore County; Kweisi Mfume of Baltimore City; and Mr. Dyson, "a something-or-other who purports to represent Southern Maryland, the Eastern Shore and Harford County."
Would it not be more proper to give Mr. Dyson the factual designation accorded to the other two? He is a Democrat who represents the First District, regardless of how the editorialists feel about the man and the quality of his service.
Lawrence C. Freeny.
Editor: Thomas Goedeke's Oct. 15 letter advocated use of people with liberal arts degrees as teachers, with the requirement of additional training in education specialties.
I agree with this general concept; however, those educated in the liberal arts are normally ill-equipped to teach mathematics and the sciences. What is additionally needed are people educated in those areas to become teachers, with the same requirement for further courses in education.
My experience with technical people is that there are not many who are psychologically attuned to teaching. However, there should be enough qualified to fill a large part of the gap currently existing. A good many such people are taking early retirement; ++ they should be approached with some inducement to enter the new field, at least on a part-time basis.
James V. McCoy.
Go for HDTV
Editor: With today's countries coming toward a more democratic reform, we should turn our attention to technological reform in the United States.
The most prevalent is the new ways television will be transmitted and received. High-definition television (HDTV), the newest technology, will be the vehicle to make this happen. One thing certain is that if we do not make a commitment for progress now, we will lose the advantage of being an active player in this future multi-billion-dollar industry in the start of the 21st century.
A few years from now, we could see a brighter outlook in all areas of the technological arena. However, what we need is legislative help from Congress and cooperation from industry leaders. We have to set standards and guidelines to set technological momentum for the future.
The question to most people is why we should need HDTV. Here are a few answers:
* To compete in the global marketplace, one must be a leader in new technological reforms. If we look at Europe and Japan, we see that they have already begun to change to HDTV, which gives them the head start in the race. For example, if we want to export our television goods, such as studio equipment and entertainment shows, we have to have the standards to compete with competitors.
* To create a manufacturing industry that will employ a vast number of workers.
* To get the U.S. communications process back on a competitive scale where HDTV will be the centerpiece for information transfer.
* To provide quality sound and near-picture clarity as you see in the theater.
* To bring a technological momentum to the U.S. that will reach areas of manufacturing, new services and products and government.
There are many other reasons. However, we most focus our goals on a new age where we have to think on global scale of communications to do business and to make peace.
Daniel Patrick Pomykala.
Feed the Needy
Editor: In response to the Oct. 9 letter, "Move the Meals" by Carole Simon, I find the statement that Our Daily Bread is the regular dining place for an army of young to middle-aged, able-bodied males is completely false and misleading.
I have been a volunteer at Our Daily Bread for the last three years. Women have always been served, with a noticeable increase each year. As for the children, their numbers have multiplied at an alarming rate.
The guests served are young, middle-aged, old, in poor health, handicapped, retarded, mentally ill, in good health -- no one is refused a meal. There is a great difference between an outside observer and an inside volunteer. And, yes, I am a concerned citizen and do go home feeling good about helping the needy.
As for moving the meals, I am sure the planners concerned with feeding the hungry are doing what they feel is for the most good. My suggestion to Carole Simon is come in and see. "He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor will himself also call and not be heard." -- Proverbs 21:13.
Tax Caps and Schools
Editor: Whatever voters decide on Election Day with respect to tax caps in certain Maryland counties will have serious and lasting effects.
Some years ago national attention focused on Howard Jarvis and his tax-capping Proposition 13 in California. Howls went up that schools and libraries would close and police and fire departments would be forced to operate with skeleton crews.
It is generally recognized that many vote by age group, selling their loyalty to whoever makes the best promises. Political rhetoric should not be allowed to cloud the most important issue.
How can anyone conscientiously find acceptable that, on a national scale, spending between 1978 and 1987 for programs for the elderly rose 52 percent while spending on programs for children actually dropped 4 percent?
Unfortunately, the thrust of Jarvis' idea led to a new wrinkle in the generational gap. Today, with encouragement and clout from such organizations as the American Asociation of Retired Persons, some old-timers seem bent on voting out of existence entire programs that benefit their very own grandchildren.
When people vote their pocketbooks rather than with responsibility, the wise allocation of resources will lose out every time if the choice lies between taxes and budgets for such things as education.
Teaching is more than the transmission of cold facts from one generation to another. It is the process by which human beings are molded. Education must be well-rounded and it must be funded. Children should be placed at the center and the school curriculum should be shaped around them.
No more of this math-is-in, music-is-out; science-is-in, art-is-out. Reading, writing, math and science obviously are important. But equally so are music, art and other cultural benefits presently available in schools.
There is no legitimate alternative to reasonable class size, adequate teachers' salaries, and funding a well-balanced curriculum. To do otherwise is tantamount to telling the young, this is the math assignment but instead of learning of Beethoven and Mozart at school, we want you to learn about music at home through heavy metal groups and the likes of an Al Yankovic who gained notoriety for a music-video called, of all things, "Dare to Be Stupid."
Budget priorities should not be linked to enrollment statistics. They should be measured in terms of values and goals in education.
I can't help but wonder how it might go in the election if young families were to get their fair say in the outcome by allowing parents to cast proxy votes for their school-age children. Perhaps the seniors among us would get out-voted on tax caps, and children would get a better quality of education.
For all concerned, quality education is the biggest bargain around and the best hope for the future. It is far cheaper to spend money on teachers and education now than to pay for guards and prisons later.
Pay now, or pay more later. That is the choice to be made on Election Day.
' It is that simple.
F. Joseph Wieman.