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Giving condoms to teens furthers responsibilityI recently...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Giving condoms to teens furthers responsibility

I recently read a letter by Kathryn J. Henderson in the Sept. 3, 1995, issue of The Sun. She commented on an article written by Mona Charen entitled, "Shedding Light on Teen Sex." I did not read the original article. However, I do understand what Mrs. Henderson is saying.

These girls who are 15 and younger are probably being persuaded to have sex by the older guys, and of course, a young girl is curious. I do not think these girls know what they are getting themselves into when they "experiment" with much older guys, much less trying to obtain money ("on the dole") by having a baby.

I do agree that groups and organizations should press the issues of safe sex, waiting, being sure, etc. The reason for handing out condoms is not meant to tell teen-agers that it is OK to have sex. It is meant to teach responsibility.

On the other hand, I guess these guys -- I would not call them men -- have not heard that they could be charged with statutory rape.

Jenifer A. Hilton

Pasadena

Disappointed with new format

The purpose of this correspondence is to register my disappointment as regards your new format for the sad remnants of a once fine paper.

I have not been a fan of your paper since the Times Mirror organization has been in charge. Your paper has been totally socialistic in content, totally devoid of any editorial common sense and totally focused towards political correctness and its associated history revisionist movement.

Notwithstanding this, I had hoped, that in spite of your political learnings, the "new Sun" would at least contain good reporting and improved national and local news. I had hoped it would have the sheer physical weight of printed material as the Washington Post. Such is not the case. This morning's issue remains shallow in terms of coverage and substantive content and is absolutely disorganized. And today was your first under your new life, it should have been your best. Shame on all of you.

The only reason we read The Sun is that we want a morning paper to read as we drink our coffee and pet our poodles prior to going to our respective places of employment on our required daily activities. We live in Linthicum and have been unable to get the Post or the Times delivered. If the format of your new offering remains the same, coupled with its total lack of objectivity -- to refresh your minds, recall your coddling of Parris Glendening in the last gubernatorial campaign and what this has wrought on the people of Maryland -- I am sure that the Times and the Post will both start marketing in our area of northern Anne Arundel County. So, if in the future, we become able to get morning delivery of the Times and/or Post because of your continued ineptness, maybe it will be worth it.

Stanley F. Westendorf

Linthicum

Don't measure religion by donations

This letter is in response to the article, "Catholics ranked low in church-giving, average family donates $386 a year." The reason that I am writing is that I feel that it is insignificant how much an individual donates a year. I disagree with ranking religions by the amount of money they are giving to the church. The important things in church are the faith, belief and love a church shares, all of which cannot be ranked. The fact that Catholics are being ranked low in church-giving is misleading. They are being ranked for the amount of money they are giving, not their generosity in giving themselves and their resources.

To tell you the truth, I don't know everything the church needs money for. I'm sure that there are a lot of things such as heat/air conditioning, wages for people who work at the church and repairs, to name a few. As long as the Catholics have the essential necessities to run a successful church, no one should be complaining. I feel that we should be focusing on the amount of faith and love Catholics give, not the amount of money they give.

Lisa Harding

Pasadena

Faulkner wasn't up to the challenge

In response to Catherine Pulverente's letter in the Sept. 2 issue of The Sun ("No Pity"), I agree with her about the amount of pity expressed to Shannon Faulkner. The men entering the Citadel never have pity expressed on them like she did. Yes, it might have been harder for her because of her sex, but she should have realized that from the beginning. I saw her on TV in an interview a few weeks ago, and she announced that she had received threats while in the Citadel. So what? If she was really the strong person she claimed to be, then she could handle such things. That is a poor excuse from her behalf.

She also complained about the stress. Does she think that the men endure any less? She was not physically fit to complete the training expected. Shannon Faulkner has not even taken this into consideration for her hardships at the Citadel. People should not be discriminated against for their weight, but in this issue, it did matter. I believe that Shannon Faulkner ruined the history and tradition for the Citadel and everyone linked with it. The school always has been an all-men's school, so why should a woman attend?

Equal opportunity is a big issue these days, but this is more an issue of tradition and respect. Shannon did not respect the fact that she should not be a member of the Citadel. I feel that she embarrassed herself and those around her by making an issue out of her entering the Citadel and then backing out on her own. She should have foreseen the consequences of her actions and not behaved in the childish manner that she did.

Gina Liberto

Pasadena

She smelled a rat in 'Cat in the Hat'?

I would like to thank Elizabeth Schuett for writing her opinion of "The Cat in the Hat Comes Back" on Aug. 30. I totally agree with her that the professor of psychology of religion at the University of Ottawa took things out of hand.

I remember when I was little and used to read "The Cat In The Hat" with my twin sister almost every night. "The Cat In The Hat" was one of our favorite books, and today, instead of being a meek, submissive mouse, she is a male-dominating feminist.

I personally do not agree that a ring around the bath tub, or mom's white dress, the wall, on "Dad's 10 dollar shoes" on the rug, or finally the parents' bed had anything to with Freudian symbolism of any kind. I also do not believe the cat's "birthing" or the raising of his hat takes anything away from women. If anything, the 26 alphabet kittens teach children the alphabet and how to share chores to accomplish things together.

If anything, this professor should realize that even in the '90s, enough is enough.

Heather Thomas

Pasadena

Crime and business: Quick fixes, not work

American society is not interested in resolving problems by taking preventive measures. The emphasis is on catching and punishing. This attitude seems to be based on our impatience. We want the quick fix. A quick buck. It's our culture. It applies not only to our reaction to crime but the way we operate our businesses.

On crime, we are going to put our efforts and large amounts of money into a "three strikes and you're out" criterion. We do this in spite of the fact that the criminals who will be snared by this trap don't read, don't watch TV news and don't really think it a great punishment to join others who think like they do. It's just the deal they were dealt in life. We don't want to recognize that there are thousands of men in the pipeline who are destined for this call by our umpires. The supply is actually endless because the conditions that created them are not changed and if anything are getting worse.

Let's call these conditions a process and make an analogy.

Until the 1970s, American products led the world in sales. There was no competition. The production policies were to make products as fast as possible and sort good from bad before shipping them (good was a very flexible criterion). It has been stupid and expensive, but the American way to manage.

The Japanese decided that the way to compete was to control all the manufacturing activities (processes) and produce very, very few defectives. They even took over American companies and did it with American workers. The marketplace illustrates their success.

Some leading American companies have adopted the same policies and recovered market share from the Japanese. But, I guess not too surprisingly, most are dragging their feet. It is an affront to business managers' egos to admit they must change. Also, they can't get quick results. It takes time, investment and persistence.

That's the American cultural deficiency. Incidentally, the Japanese invented very little of the methodology involved. It is based on the work of Dr. Shewhart in the 1930s and the teachings to Japan by Dr. Deming in the 1950s. American management and management trade schools had ignored them both.

But we still don't get it. We don't focus on prevention. We don't want to hear that you can't improve by sorting good from bad at the end of the process. Improving the output of our societal systems means not going for the quick fix. It means investing for long-term improvements. There are no signs of that happening. No leaders interested. Too bad. The cost is going to be enormous.

Tom Cartin

Annapolis

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