Cutting `Academic Pork'

The editorial regarding federal grants to universities, ``Cutting `Academic Pork','' Dec. 9, provides a simple way to distinguish between pork and beef. Money for laboratories can be considered beef, while most other projects can be classified as pork. The Monitor cites Rep. George Brown Jr. (D) of California along with Sen. Sam Nunn (D) of Georgia, the current meat inspectors for Congress, for their splendid work in reducing pork.

In the same issue, however, we read in the front-page article, ``Clinton Doles Out Favors in California, Looks to '96,'' that the president, presumably with the blessing of Mr. Brown, has promised a nice chunk of beef to Stanford University, for a high-energy physics laboratory, which made him a lamb in California. But Cornell University submitted a lower bid for the same project.

It looks as though the old rule is still in force: If you really want pork, you have to go out of state to get it. And any way you slice it, it always turns into beef at home and the taxpayer is the goat. Cora S. Bullock, Geneva, N.Y. The freedom to rap?

Regarding the front-page article ``Backlash Is Brewing Over `Gangsta Rap' Lyrics as Public Says `Enough,' Dec. 13: I do not see that freedom of speech was curtailed when the Los Angeles radio station KPWR pulled ``gangsta rap'' from its play list. By stopping the assault on blacks and women, the station was actually enhancing rights that the rappers destroyed by hatred. If there is anything hatred does not need, it is a platform for expression.

There are those who say this hatred is an art form and its artists are oppressed because they are black. Nonsense. To say that gangsta rap has artistic integrity is like saying that poisonous mushrooms have nutritional value. Art must have some intrinsic benefit to humanity to be called art; an art form based on hate is irrelevant. June Fine, Newton Highlands, Mass.

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