Pope's visit to city gets good coverage
In the name of members of our archdiocese and of many, many of our neighbors here in Baltimore and throughout this area, I express deepest appreciation for the marvelous way in which The Sun provided thorough coverage and commentary on the Oct. 8 visit of Pope John Paul II to our city.
Your thorough detailing of the complexity of the preparations helped a wide audience to appreciate the skill of staff and volunteers.
Your recording of the enthusiasm, which crossed faith lines, helped lift the spirits of all who read it.
Your reflections on the meaning and the challenges of Pope John Paul's visit encourage us who are members of the church he leads to serve more prayerfully and faithfully the Gospel of Jesus, with his call to holiness and to works of mercy, justice and peace.
'Cardinal William Keeler
The writer is archbishop of Baltimore.
Shouldn't let GOP mind store
How fortunate we are to have so many Republicans to keep an eye on our money. Approving a defense appropriations bill for next fiscal year, they included billions more than President Clinton or the Pentagon wanted, specifying, among other things, 20 of those B-2 bombers that have proven to be lemons and a fantasy anti-ballistic-missile defense system.
Of course, the aerospace and defense industries only contributed about $210,000 to the Republican National Committee in the first two months of 1995 and, if strong, should be good for several million.
Furthermore, these Republicans have with foresight failed to pass a mining reform act and have allowed mining companies to buy mineral rights, worth billions in gold and other deposits, for from $2.50 to $5 per acre, with no payment of royalties.
. . . At the same time these members of Congress continue to be alert to costs. They desire to cut Medicare funding by $270 billion, not because it is necessary but because that is the amount still needed for their budget-balancing act (which includes tax cuts for wealthy supporters).
While "work" is an important component of their welfare reform, they will eliminate the earned-income credit that helps the working poor and they would like to reduce the minimum wage. Wisely, they realize that poor people and those with limited discretionary funds do not make large political contributions. . . .
Mary O. Styrt
Corporate welfare deserves criticism
Her Sept. 21 column, "Ending corporate welfare?" was encouraging. However, Mona Charen overlooked one of the most egregious examples. She did mention the $5.4 billion in grants and loans to allow foreign countries to buy U.S. arms. But she omitted the $15 billion in arms sales guarantees just passed by Congress.
The guarantees allow countries with credit so bad they can't qualify for one of the four previously existing arms sales programs to buy weapons they cannot afford. That $15 billion is lTC more than the combined 1994 federal expenditures on Aid to Families with Dependent Children and Women, Infants and Children -- two programs to protect women and children that targeted in the budget-balancing crusade of Congress.
This gift to the arms merchants at the expense of everyone else made the point of Mike Lane's Sept. 21 cartoon so much sharper. Congress is determined to protect the military and the arms merchants from any pain in the budget-balancing process. This is irrational. Previous excesses of the military and associated un-wise arms purchases are the primary reason that the budget is so far out of balance.
Congress is seemingly blind to the fact that the Cold War is over. Or is it that they are blinded by the money that flows from the arms merchants? From 1989 to 1994, Sam Nunn, Daniel Inouye, Joseph Liberman and Dianne Feinstein collected a total of $487,000 -- an average of $121,750 each -- from the defense industry.
J. Wayne Ruddock
Free verse is true poetry
The letter by Wilton H. Shaw (Sept. 19) expresses disdain for the poem, "Say You're Sorry" by Chester Wickwire (Opinion * Commentary), Aug. 25.
Mr. Shaw complains that the poem has no rhyme or meter and reads like prose. True poetry, he expressed, must use meter and rhyme and proper wording.
In the world of poetry, the emphasis has shifted much more toward freedom and expression of feelings.
Because poets can create their own rules for their poetry, poems are often much more expressive than they have been in the past.
Free verse poetry is difficult to write, because even though it does not have rhyme or meter, the poet often tries to give the lines a rhythm and must put the best words in their best order to get their point across.
As a sophomore at the Institute of Notre Dame, I have been required to write free verse, and often do so in my spare time.
I have found that free verse requires at least as much time, effort and revision as any other form of poetry.
Trying to find the words to fit the feelings is difficult, whether those words rhyme or not.
Poetry is a very personal form of art. Two people can react to the same poem in vastly different ways, and each one is right.
It's all a matter of opinion, and we are all entitled to our own opinions. What seems like chopped-up prose to one person may be the epitome of poetic beauty to another.
Stephanie M. Manuzak
Citizens must fight crime together
The Sept. 27 column by Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr.,"Get tough on crime without going broke," presents a sound and well-balanced statement on how Maryland can most effectively protect its citizens against crime now and in the future.
Mr. Curran says we should create school-based family resource centers that train parents of unruly teen-agers how to control their kids and we should institute family violence, conflict resolution, firearms and drug education programs in the schools.
I believe we should also require that the parents of such children be held accountable by law to undertake such education, receive counseling and cooperate with the police and the schools. The cost of enforcement of this law would only be a fraction of the cost of incarcerating the juvenile delinquents and criminal offenders that would result without it.
To develop mentoring and peer mediation programs, establish a partnership between the public and private sectors and provide "community responsibility," as Mr. Curran suggests, we need in each neighborhood a council of responsible citizens.
That council would include the police, school administrators, religious leaders, business leaders, and community activists who meet regularly to monitor the progress of the community in stopping the flow of drugs, reducing juvenile delinquency and other crime, eliminating truancy and disruptive behavior in the schools and developing healthy recreation and social programs for our children and teen-agers.
Our political leaders must take an active role in developing such a plan and helping to build these community organizations.
Lawrence B. Coshnear