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CensorshipDonna Dallas' letter, ("Who's Sleazy?" Aug. 16)...



Donna Dallas' letter, ("Who's Sleazy?" Aug. 16) shows that she, like many people today, does not understand the meaning of the word "censorship."

Censorship is the removal or prohibition of news, literature, movies, etc., by a person or entity who has the power to do so.

For example, if a town, school board or other governing-type body were to examine newspapers and books, and this body had the power to prohibit or remove those items it felt to be "wrong," the actions of prohibition or removal would rightly be called censorship.

However, it is not censorship for a private individual to state disapproval of or disinterest in the subject matter of a newspaper article.

Neither is it censorship for the same individual to cancel her subscription to a newspaper because the content does not please or interest her.

Would Ms. Dallas feel that it was censorship if I did not buy a book because its subject matter offended or bored me?

There is no censorship without the power to remove or prohibit the material from others.

It has become too common for people to cry "censorship" whenever another dares to express an unfavorable opinion regarding a publication, television program, movie, etc.

Perhaps if The Sun were to publish articles on the meaning of censorship rather than body-piercing, its readers would be better informed.

D. Kathleen Berbig-Rus


Saturn Story

I am responding to the article Aug. 11 headlined "Opportunity could lie in Saturn's recall nightmare." While the headline was positive, most of the article was not.

Why is it, in The Sun's eyes, if it isn't negative, it isn't news? When Japanese imports were beating the stuffings out of the Big Three, that was news. When a 1992 J.D. Power report ranked Saturn third in customer satisfaction behind the luxury cars Infiniti and Lexus, that wasn't news.

Now Saturn voluntarily decides to recall its cars for a balky wiring harness, and it rates front-page in The Sun.

To me, and to most other Saturn owners I have spoken to, the recall has been a non-issue. Saturn has handled the problem with skill and aplomb. My Owings Mills dealership took exactly|| TC half-hour to replace the problem part, and did so on the day I called.

As for criticism of the way the national recall story broke before all vehicle owners could be notified, I suspect that somewhere a Saturn dealer had made a courtesy call about the recall to a Saturn owner who also happened to be, you guessed it, a member of the news media.

And, well, you know the rest: "Yippee, another negative story!"

Michael A. Waller


Who's in Charge?

Irrespective of whether or not Superintendent Stuart Berger and his programs are good for Baltimore County students, the overriding and perhaps more important issue is the frustration of the citizens in their attempt to grasp the line of accountability.

Responding to their impassioned concerns over their cherished children, on the one hand, is Gov. William Donald Schaefer telling them that he can't help because it is a local matter, and, on the other hand, County Executive Roger Hayden saying he cannot do anything because the school board is a function of the state.

Dave Reich


Air Battles

Somehow I find it rather embarrassing to see the terrible reaction to Southwest Airlines by USAir and Continental. It will benefit Baltimore to have some new jobs available -- plus all the savings on fares for the public.

A friend recently flew from Baltimore to Los Angeles on a through flight on USAir in 5 1/2 hours -- that was commendable. We appreciate USAir for this but find its hard work to discredit and discourage Southwest distasteful.

How long do you think the low fares will last if Southwest didn't come to Baltimore?

T. Edward Byerly


Senseless Article

Regarding the Aug.17 Opinion * Commentary article, "The Photomone Theory:" One must say that making up a pseudo-scientific theory to explain and condone inappropriate behavior is dubious at best.

The Sun's willingness to print the article is tactless and senseless.

Martha Landerman


Family Matters

Regarding Ellen Goodman's Aug. 19 column, "Family Is What You Do," it is disappointing to have yet another reverberation of a partisan argument on what is inherently a non-partisan issue.

Ms. Goodman wrote: "So it is that Americans who argue about family values agreed that Jessica should have stayed with the parents who raised her.

"The same Americans who believe in an abstraction called the sanctity of family agree with the judge's decision that Kimberly and her legal father should be free from interference by her biological parents."

This paragraph is intended to point out some kind of hypocrisy, some kind of inconsistency. But her poor sense of irony slays an already tired argument.

People agreed that Jessica belongs with the only parents she knows: No one thinks that children should be taken away from their adoptive parents once a certain period of time has passed.

It is not a blatant contradiction to believe in the sanctity of family while also agreeing that Kimberly's life should not be destroyed by the interference of her long-lost biological parents. Ms. Goodman's moral credo, "Family is what family does," is nothing more than ingratiating "feel-goodery."

Family is not whatever takes the least responsibility or whatever is the most fun; family is a healthy environment for the incubation and encouragement of morals, self-esteem and physical and psychological well-being.

In short, family is what family was meant to be . . . way back when.

Jim Stuntz

North East, Pa.

City Secret Discovered

It was a hot, soggy August day in downtown Baltimore. My vacation over, I decided to find something fun to cheer me up during my lunch hour.

It was a challenge.

I made a list of a variety of interesting places within about a mile of my office. The alluring Inner Harbor was just out of reach.

I had it! I grabbed a sandwich and drove easily to metered parking at what I now call, "Baltimore's Best Kept Secret."

It is the fourth floor of the Walters Art Gallery '72 annex.

Not having been there lately, except to the ground-level Sisley exhibit, I was thrilled by the new arrangement and atmosphere of the fourth floor.

It was as dignified and impressive as any museum I know.

It was cool and quiet. The thrill of seeing exquisitely framed and lighted originals such as Monet, Manet, Pissarro, Delacroix, Ingres and Mary Cassatt right there in front of me just took my breath away.

I felt uplifted and refreshed -- and all in less than an hour.

Marty Lancaster


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