Lessons Learned From the Pete Rose Case

I appreciate the incisive article on Pete Rose ``Hold a Spot for Pete's Plaque at Cooperstown,'' March 5. As the author suggests, it would be inconsistent to exclude Rose from the Hall of Fame by considering factors other than his baseball performance. For me, the Pete Rose case has a lot to do with what I would like to teach my three preadolescent sons. Virtually everyone would agree that as a major leaguer, Pete Rose the athlete set a good example on the field by pushing his less-than-exceptional talents to the limit in a spirit of fair play and fun. Away from the ball park he obviously made some unfortunate decisions, but there too we may find a few lessons for today's children. Rose accepted the late Bart Giamatti's understandable decision with di gnity; he has paid - and continues to pay - society's price for breaking the law. It appears that he will emerge from this period of largely self-induced anguish humbler, wiser, and determined to lead a productive life without dwelling on the past.

Who has something to teach my sons in this matter? The fallen but undefeated Rose, coping with adversity as he moves beyond the tarnished image of his golden days? Or those who would continue to punish him - the self-righteous, unforgiving guardians of the portals of Cooperstown?

Richard Danner Athens, Ohio

Israeli aid needs close scrutiny The opinion-page article ``US Cannot Solve the Palestinian Problem,'' March 7, appears to answer the earlier article ``Putting Strings on Aid to Israel,'' March 1, and this answer comments sadly on the objectivity of the US Congress.

Can it really be true that the US Jewish-American organizations have so strong an influence on our Congress that we must continue to subsidize Israel regardless of the internal and external policies of that country? If so, it is high time for a strong investigation into lobbying, pressure groups, and minority-group influence on our elected officials.

Israel recently has made absolutely amazing economic demands for aid to cover the costs of war damage and of settling Soviet immigrants in Israel. The first is a problem to work out with Iraq, the perpetrator of the damages. The second in an internal Israeli problem caused by its own immigration policies. If any nation allows unlimited immigration of any group, whether national or religious, from anywhere in the world, that nation is making its own problems. Should we be asked to assist in the maneuver, which will lead to insistence on keeping lands taken in war?

There are demands on our nation's resources from every corner of the globe - and many unmet needs at home. It is time to take a long look at how much, for how long, and with what kind of restrictions on the recipients when we consider the ``bills'' presented by Israel.

Mary Knight Bellevue, Wash.

The appearance of impropriety The editorial ``The Keating Five crossed out Three crossed out One,'' March 4, rightly challenges the conclusions of the Senate Ethics Committee. Members of many military and government agencies are held strictly accountable to standards that identify the appearance of impropriety to be as inappropriate as impropriety itself.

Military and public-service careers have been terminated as a result of noncompliance with this standard. It seems unconscionable to me that our elected national leaders would hold themselves accountable to a lower standard, or to no standard at all.

Duane Hambleton Eau Claire, Wis.

The military and parents I strongly disagree with the editorial ``Orphaned by Duty,'' Feb. 25, which states that the family issue of ``orphaned'' children created by single parents in the military is an issue that ``no one ever dreamed of just a few months ago.''

I am an instructor and faculty adviser at the US Marine Corps Communications Officers School where we hold frequent ``leadership'' discussion seminars. The issue of single parents in the military is one that has been brought up since I was a student here in 1985. Further, there have been articles in such publications as Navy Times that have addressed the problem.

This is one of the situations that should receive careful study following the Gulf war. Let those in Congress and those in various special-interest lobbies who wish to reform the world do so in a venue that doesn't compromise national security, harm unit integrity, or impede the careers of those who chose to be military professionals.

Major Allen A. Cocks Quantico, Va.

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