Parents, not Congress, must monitor TV watching

By , Erik D. Randolph, Virginia Alleman, and Sallie Danielson

Regarding "How ads get kids to say, I want it!" (Sept. 18): Advertising dollars aimed at children have mushroomed much as the cable-television industry has. I don't agree that the government should try to stop this with legislation or regulation. Instead, parents should monitor their children's TV habits much more closely.

We live in an age where we take TV for granted and rarely question its influence. If you come to accept regular and heavy doses of TV, you become less inclined to think outside of that world. As television images become more graphic, lurid, and violent, we begin to view the world the same way.

Our world view is so greatly influenced by TV that we are now holding congressional inquiries into the marketing strategies the advertising companies use to wield that influence. Doesn't anyone see this is an implicit acknowledgment of TV's power? Or is it all just another TV drama to us?

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Benefits of a technical education

Technical high school education is not a substitute for preparation for college or for a college education, as your otherwise excellent Sept. 14 article "Beyond wood shop: the new tech ed" implies.

The real value of technical education is to prepare young men and women for their careers. Many, if not most, of the more than 1,500 young people who annually complete their two years of education here at Great Oaks Institute of Technology and Career Development go on to higher education, either immediately or fairly quickly. Part of the core of the Great Oaks' education is developing skills like continual self-development and renewal. For enduring success in today's rapidly changing, competitive, and globally driven economy, self-development is critical.

Freedom Party is not neo-Nazi

Regarding your Sept. 15 editorial "Halting hate haltingly": The threat of the Freedom Party has nothing to do with the rhetoric of the European Union, which has been trying to make the false neo-Nazi label stick.

Socialists and left-of-center political parties have recently dominated the affairs of the EU. The Freedom Party is a threat precisely because it advocates moving away from government control, socialism, and the EU trend of giving up national sovereignty for regional government. Why else has it been the leftists who have predominantly protested against the Freedom Party?

Vouchers will hurt schools

Two recent letter writers and your Sept. 12 article "America's neediest schools languish far from inner city" have caused me to be concerned about the future of public education in our country. Public schools have consistently been shortchanged by politicians over the last few decades, and vouchers are not the answer. Let's put our efforts into improving what we have to make sure future generations will be given the free education needed to meet the challenges of the new millennium.

Shortage of organists

Regarding your Sept. 15 article "Pumped up": Being a substitute organist, and a member of the American Guild of Organists, I've heard that colleges are no longer teaching the organ. Therefore it is expected that in a few years there will be no more organ players.

No small group can afford to keep or purchase a pipe organ. Our own small congregation is considering an electronic keyboard.

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