- The Washington Times - Monday, April 10, 2000

Home-schooler learns president needs help on keys to good government

I am a home-schooled 15-year-old in the ninth grade. My studies include a course in government. Recently, our class focused on the keys to good government. This led me to respond to the March 27 Commentary column "Treaties, triggers, tobacco and tyrants."

I agree with David Limbaugh that President Clinton is both clever and deceitful on a regular basis. Mr. Clinton has limited powers regarding federal government decisions. Therefore, it was wrong of him to try to regulate tobacco as a drug after Congress voted otherwise. Even though I personally agree that tobacco should be considered a drug, it is unconstitutional for the president to overstep the powers of his office as chief executive. The president continues to disregard the checks and balances that are the cornerstone of our Constitution. The point is that the end result does not justify President Clinton's ignoring the legislative and judicial branches when it is in his favor to do so.

Mr. Limbaugh pointed out: "President Clinton urged India to comply with the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which the Senate soundly rejected last year, and the Kyoto [global warming] Treaty, which he has not even submitted to the Senate for ratification because he knows he doesn't have the votes." According to the Constitution, our legislative branch must approve these treaties. Unfortunately, we the people of the United States have allowed the president to become all three government powers. Shame on us. The people elected him president, not king.

KRISTINA DARNER

Fairfax Station

Gen. Kennedy's sexual harassment case illustrates a double standard

Let me see if I have this part of the story right: Because she "was so scrupulous about gossip," Lt. Gen. Claudia Kennedy "made sure her male aide was married" ("Retiring Army role model ends career with unwanted attention," April 4)? Did Gen. Kennedy ask about marital status while interviewing candidates for the position, or did she just dig through the personnel files of prospective aides, rejecting the files of single men?

As a civil servant who has been required to sit through more mandated equal-opportunity training than I care to recall, I have a hunch that Gen. Kennedy's action constitutes discrimination in hiring.

I have no doubt that if a male general considered marital status in evaluating prospective female aides, the many feminist supporters of Gen. Kennedy would busily, and publicly, denounce him and his actions. This pathetic double standard is offensive.

JULIE MUIR

Springfield

President's costly trip met with some successes

I disagree with your paper and Sen. John McCain's charge that President Clinton "came up empty-handed" on his recent trip to South Asia ("Clinton's South Asia trip assailed as costly failure," April 5).

Though no definitive agreement was reached on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, which Mr. McCain himself voted against, serious progress was made in a host of other areas, including trade, workers' rights, the environment, technology and fighting terrorism. The signing of a comprehensive framework agreement between India and the United States has helped rectify 22 years' worth of arrears in our relations with one-sixth of the world. Surely this cannot be underestimated.

Despite Pakistan's continued backsliding on its commitments and its illegitimate nature, the president officially registered the United States' serious concerns about that country's fundamentalist and increasingly violent direction. The next time Pakistan chooses to increase tensions over Kashmir, Mr. Clinton, though not acting as a formal mediator, will be greatly empowered to pick up the phone and apply pressure for a Pakistani de-escalation.

Such leverage should not be discounted.

CAMERON HUDSON

Washington

Editorial on gun violence hits the mark

I agree with your April 5 editorial "The facts about gun violence," and I appreciate The Washington Times' giving this view a chance. However, I think we are on the losing side of this debate.

It is all too easy for the supporters of feel-good legislation, who make up a large percentage of the voting block, to gravitate to the opposing position. Gun violence bad, gun laws good. It is simple and an easy sell. It takes an educated view of history and a good intuition for the evils of elitists to understand the importance of an armed citizenry. This is not an easy sell especially in Maryland, where apathy is high and gun enthusiasts are few.

I like Maryland. I like Baltimore, its Fell's Point neighborhood, blue crabs and the Eastern Shore. But I also think that with a great salesman like Gov. Parris N. Glendening, who considers his motives greater than our constitutionally recognized freedoms, at the helm, there will be a day when millions of Marylanders will be made into criminals overnight.

CHRIS VANDEWINCKEL

Severna Park, Md.

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With the passage of gun-lock legislation in Maryland, the assault on private ownership of guns is gaining speed. It also shows that the Maryland legislature has missed the point, as have many other gun-control advocates. Only people willing to obey the laws will be affected by them. Those who are not willing to submit to the laws will, as they usually do, manage to circumvent them. There is no need to enact more laws because the ones on the books would be sufficient if only they were enforced.

The National Rifle Association commercial featuring Gov. Parris N. Glendening taking a long time to deactivate the lock on a gun is proof positive that the notion of locks is foolhardy. It won't take the burglar that long to find you.

MARK T. RIMKUS

Rockville

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With the passage of gun-lock legislation in Maryland, the assault on private ownership of guns is gaining speed. It also shows that the Maryland legislature has missed the point, as have many other gun-control advocates. Only people willing to obey the laws will be affected by them. Those who are not willing to submit to the laws will, as they usually do, manage to circumvent them. There is no need to enact more laws because the ones on the books would be sufficient if only they were enforced.

The National Rifle Association commercial featuring Gov. Parris N. Glendening taking a long time to deactivate the lock on a gun is proof positive that the notion of locks is foolhardy. It won't take the burglar that long to find you.

MARK T. RIMKUS

Rockville

Well-intentioned but absurd tampering with Scriptures

Just when I thought political correctness couldn't get any more ridiculous, I read "New Bible for black women thrives in 2 major markets" (April 3). The "Women of Color Study Bible" was hailed by a former religious editor of Publishers Weekly as a "knockout." So it is, of a sort.

After the 1995 publication of "The New Testament and Psalms: An Inclusive Version," by Oxford University Press, I thought I had seen it all a politically correct and thoroughly feminized version of the Scriptures.

The editors sought to liberate victim groups, especially women, from the onslaught of words that exclude or demean them. The Oxford Bible, according to its editors, replaces or rephrases "all gender-specific language not referring to particular historical individuals, all pejorative references to race, color, religion" or "physical disability."

The editors cut out God the Father and begin the Lord's Prayer with "Our Father-Mother in heaven." The Son of Man becomes "the Human One." In the Sermon on the Mount, all references to brother are rendered as "brother or sister" or "sister or brother."

The simple benediction in 2 John 1:3 becomes: "Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us from God the Father-Mother and from Jesus Christ, Child of the Father-Mother."

Anticipating the new "Women of Color Study Bible," the Oxford version eliminates all references to "darkness" that are equated with sin, evil or ignorance because darkness, the editors claim, is "associated with dark-skinned people."

The solicitude of editors of both new versions is touching, but somehow the age-old message of the Bible has managed to get through to men and women, to the lame and the blind, to slaves and slaveholders, and to those of every clime and color as today's more than 2 billion biblical believers attest.

This benevolent tampering with the Scriptures is one more example of virtue uninstructed by common sense.

ERNEST W. LEFEVER

Chevy Chase

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