Tuesday, February 16, 1993

Letter to editor: Headline = The grade is in for John G. Criag Jr.'s column: A big, fat zero

Published in the Post-Gazette on Tuesday, Feb 16, 1993.
Regarding John G. Craig Jr.'s Jan. 30, 1993 column, "Zero in on Specifics," about a forum he attended on the media, gangs and youth violence:

John, before you read my suggestions, you might want to get a copy of your column and read it aloud. Then try to put your thoughts into an outline.

You ask if we -- "regardless of race, creed or national orgin" -- can agree on someting. Well, I can't easily agree with you because your communication skills are foggy and your lack of logic makes for confusing statements.

You talk about the need for "calm and peaceful" schools. I don't want "calm and peaceful" schools. Knowledge enrichment can be brutal, and it can't be achieved in an environment riddled with compromises.

Let's not make nice. There is a war in our midst. We are either winning or losing, and I contend that if we make an easy pace today and allow gangs' existence, we are losing.

The "keystones" of your "new policy" to combat the problems of youth violence are useless. "A sense of proportion"? A tiny bit of poison can kill. Informed choices are what's needed. "A sense of responsibility"? To me, it's irresponsible to come down hard on parents, like those of the Carrick girls' basketball team, who were looking out for their children. "A sense of reality"? Refer back to proportion. "A sense of fairness"? Agreed. But why should "getting tough" on crime cost money?

Here is an old idea. You have an institution at your disposal called the Post-Gazette. Why not use it to effectively communicate clearly thought-out, well-written ideas and solutions? Don't use up space in your paper with some gibberish that in reality is only meant to say that the Post-Gazette is fair ad responsible.

John, please get a critical proofreader and a specific sense of logic in your writings. Your column gets a zero in rhetoric by my standards.

Mark Rauterkus
South Side

This old letter, in a swim book file, clipped and yellow, was re-typed and posted to the Running Mates blog on Dec 6, 2005. The original editorial by Craig isn't here.

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