Stage VulgarityEditor: I cannot believe that The...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Stage Vulgarity

Editor: I cannot believe that The Sun has sunk as low as to review the "performance" of Annie Sprinkle, as Mike Giuliano did on Jan. 21. This "performance" can in no way be considered art or theater. As you are reviewing this act, most of which could not be explained in the article due to its vulgarity, will you next be reviewing the nightly performances on "The Block"?

Ms. Sprinkle's act has received funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. Yes, "We the People" are forced to support this garbage without our consent. I believe that "taxation without representation" was a rallying cry of our revolutionary fathers.

The NEA is only one small example of how our tax money is spent on things which we do not need and most Americans do not want. If Ms. Sprinkle's "performance" is an example of the "art"' funded by the NEA, then I fully support the Congress eliminating this agency from an already overflowing budget.

By giving an upbeat review of the Annie Sprinkle act, you appear to condone the actions of the NEA, thereby supporting the government's policy which forces Americans to support material which they find offensive. Ms. Sprinkle can perform her act and invite the world to inspect her cervix, but I do not wish to pay for it with my tax dollars or read about it in a "family newspaper," as Mr. Giuliano refers to The Sun.

David W. Glassman.

Carney.

Shilling's Plan

Editor: Your editorial titled "Schools Without Bureaucrats?" was excellent. State School Superintendent Joseph Shilling's proposal to eliminate 70 percent of his bureaucrats is a much needed step in the right direction.

One of the most serious problems we face today is those educators who build a bureaucracy and forget what their primary goals are: to educate our children and instill in them the values to be good and productive members of society.

Dr. Shilling, it should be pointed out, would be the first one to point out that the status quo is not good enough. In contrast he is challenging his peers to do a better job, to set goals for improving school performance standards, so that our children will be prepared for the many challenges they will face in our ever changing society.

As indicated in the editorial, "breaking the stranglehold of administrative educators won't be easy." However, with the support of the administrators, the teachers and parents working for a common goal of improved education, change will occur. What you didn't say in your editorial, but I believe is the cause of the problem, is the question of power. Dr. Shilling understands this as well as anybody, and I believe he will be successful in this endeavor.

William Murphy.

Millers.

Bush War Scored

Editor: A fervent "God Bless you" to 19-year-old Navy Corpsman Clarence D. Conner, Operation Desert Storm's first Purple Heart recipient, for his courageous "Please don't send me home. I've got to get back to my unit; they're depending on me," and a cordial welcome into the [Military Order of the Purple Heart].

I am tremendously -- almost tearfully -- proud of our boys and girls in that inhospitable desert environment. Our family prays for them daily. I must sadly admit my sentiments are of a different character when I consider the lunacy of our president in condemning our armed forces to a no-win squabble 7,000 or so miles away. When it's all over and the human and financial costs tallied, where will we -- and Mr. Bush's "New World Order," for that matter -- be?

Some have suggested impeachment; others think that is too mild and opt for a war crimes trial. What will history's evaluation be?

John J. O'Connor Jr.

Baltimore.

Skewed Spending

Editor: The United States gives nearly $1 trillion to the military and about $7 million, or .000007 percent, to the National Peace Institute for the study and practice of non-violent conflict resolution.

Is there anyone out there who, like me, feels this is a little unbalanced and that such financial priorities could affect the direction and outcome of foreign policy?

Cathy Myrowitz.

Baltimore.

False Saving

Editor: Sometimes we grown-ups act so much like children. First, we break our toys and then we cry because we can't use them.

Rather than preserve a school that was demonstrably successful, we allowed it, through lack of care, to slide into desuetude. Departments closed or unused, student services cut and faculty impaired.

Too late we sought a solution by hoping to have the state of Maryland find or create a multi-million dollar replacement. What has been thus broken, has never been fixed and our children and state will be the poorer for it.

Now, we grown-ups are proceeding to repeat our foolishness of break-it, cry-for-it.

The Lida Lee Tall Learning Resources Center, a proven success, is going to the knacker's yard. For a temporary savings of a few dollars and at incalculable cost to the future work-force of our state.

Bennett Gold.

Baltimore.

Glued

Editor: Roger Simon wrote a fascinating column, "Command central in America sits behind a remote-control TV." It really hit home!

Most people are finding themselves glued to the news on TV or radio.

It's very hard to turn the TV off!

Betty D. Edlavitch.

Baltimore.

Personnel Lessons

Editor: The recent revelations about the problems in the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, particularly with the Maryland State Games program, are an embarrassment to all state employees.

It must be pointed out that the personnel involved with the Maryland State Games fiasco are for the most part either unclassified or contractual employees. Such personnel are appointed to their jobs without going through the testing and selection process for classified, merit system positions.

When personnel are hired without regard to merit system qualifications, the results speak for themselves.

Gene Allbrooks.

Baltimore.

Watch Gut Feelings on Teen Abortions

Editor: Georgia Corso's Jan. 16 letter unfortunately mimics the gut feelings most of us have concerning the right to be notified if our daughters seek abortions.

However, let's be cautious and face the reality of the problem before our gut feelings mislead us. Some families are not truly loving or concerned about what is in the best interest of the young person.

Family situations are all different. They can be physically or emotionally abusive and callous to the needs of children. And even loving parents may feel hurt, betrayed or embarrassed by such news. Knowing this, some daughters will do almost anything to spare their parents.

We would all like to feel that we have been parents that our children can come to with any problem. Regardless of the rhetoric one hears from anti-choice advocates, counselors do encourage parental involvement.

It certainly would be easier for everyone concerned if that support was always there. For more than half of those seeking help, this is true.

For some, the threat of notification would turn them away from safe, legal abortion services or delay action until later, when abortions can be more difficult and more costly. the trauma of the difficulties faced, sometimes alone, are heartbreaking.

What lies ahead for some young women if notification becomes law? Self-induced or illegal abortions, runaways, carrying unwanted pregnancies and even suicide are all possible tragic scenarios.

It should be known that according to the Centers for Disease Control, early abortions are eight times safer than carrying a pregnancy to term. Also that 80 percent of the young female runaways rescued by the Children of the Night Foundation were found to be victims of incest.

There must be protections for these children who, for whatever reason, feel they cannot communicate with their parents or guardians.

Unselfish love is respecting our children's feelings, even if painful for us, and allowing them and even helping them, if they choose, to find safe, legal medical help as well as responsible, unbiased counseling. We trust and pray that their decisions will be the best ones for them and will reflect the love and caring we have given through the years.

Eleanor A. Johnson.

White Hall.

The writer is state coordinator for the Maryland Religious Coalition For Abortion Rights.

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