- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 11, 2000

Senate endorses unequal treatment

On June 20, the Senate passed a so-called hate crimes bill which, should it become law, endangers the liberties of all who are not part of a protected class. In fact, the legislation, pushed by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat, and Sen. Gordon H. Smith, Oregon Republican, so expands the number of protected classes in this country that the only group not now covered are white men who are not disabled.

That's right. Every other group, including racial minorities, the disabled, homosexuals and women all belong to a protected classes. So, if a homosexual kills a non-handicapped white man it is not a hate crime. But if that white man kills a homosexual, it is a hate crime. Likewise with women. If a woman maims a white man it is not a hate crime under this legislation, but if a white man maims a woman of any color for any reason, it is a hate crime, and so it goes.

For the first time in American history there are two classes of people before the law in the United States. Those who are of a protected class whose crimes will be regarded just as they are, and those white men, who under this theory are the oppressors, and who therefore must be guilty of hate if they commit a crime against any member of the protected class. The only way a white man can now escape being charged with committing a hate crime is to commit the crime against another white man. Then the crime will be judged solely on its merits.

In other societies there were protected classes. Our ancestors fought a revolution to get us out from under such inequality before the law, and here we are when 44 Democrats and 13 Republicans can seek to change our form of government.

Most of the Republicans who caved in to this nonsense are up for re-election this year. Obviously the radical feminist, homosexual and racial preference lobbies have them running scared. As to the entire delegation of Democrats in the Senate, it shows how far that party has come that there would not be a single dissenter to a proposition that fundamentally alters our system of laws.

Thus far the House leadership has not looked kindly on this legislation. There is a chance they can scuttle the Senate-passed bill and save us and our system of government.

Still it is frightening to have 57 senators affirm this kind of proposition. As Paul Craig Roberts pointed out in "Hapless hate crime target" (Commentary, June 30), this initiative is unusual in that the effort is being led by white men against white men. It just shows how some white men have come to believe the propaganda that the real enemies of society are oppressive white men. Therefore, to demonstrate that they are not "one of them," these senators sign on to legislation designed to indict their own class.

These senators apparently think if this bill does become law they will be eaten last by this alligator. I have big news for the 57 senators who supported the bill. If they succeed and this radical doctrine does become the law of the land, they will be among the first to be targeted. And they will richly deserve whatever their fate.

PAUL M. WEYRICH

President

Free Congress Foundation

Washington

Computing proper punishment for virus authors

With respect to the article "Computer virus toll $1.5 trillion this year" (July 8), we have always been told that severe punishment has at the most limited the potential to deter crime because most criminals act out of passion and do not calculate the risks of their acts. Whatever may be the merits of this advice generally, it has no application to virus authors. They are calculating persons. They act out of cool premeditated malice.

Let the virus authors calculate this as their punishment should they get caught: 20 years of hard labor, during which time they would have no access to computers.

If our legislators had the courage to act decisively to fix that level of punishment for viruses causing major damage, and several years hard labor for any virus, we might not have so many viruses.

WILBURN L. MOORE

Vienna

Columnist drilled on solution to oil prices

Walter Williams must know as much about sound energy policy as Texas Gov. George W. Bush ("Political octane performances," Commentary, July 6). Rather than question the nearly 500 percent increase in Big Oil profits or the failure of our politicians to implement sensible policies to reduce U.S. oil dependence, Mr. Williams calls for more drilling in protected natural treasures like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Mr. Williams, wake up and smell the petroleum. America has less than 2 percent of the world's known oil reserves. Plundering every national park and polluting every coastline wouldn't make a dent in our imports or lower prices at the pump. By contrast, modest increases in fuel efficiency standards for our cars and light trucks would save more oil than we import from the Persian Gulf each year.

Ultimately, the only way for the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to "crumble" is for the United States to wean itself from oil by using alternative fuels, renewable energy resources and increasing conservation programs.

ADAM KOLTON

Arctic campaign director

Alaska Wilderness League

Washington

Law trumps change of hearts on abortion issue

Alexis Lamb seems to believe that abortion will only be eradicated by change of hearts ("Change of hearts and minds, not laws, to reduce numbers of abortions," Letters, July 7). No one will disagree with her in saying that hearts need to be changed. What she doesn't seem to understand is the crucial role that law plays, not only in regard to pro-life matters, but in keeping society from devolving into anarchy.

Martin Luther King Jr. demonstrated such a proper understanding succinctly when he stated, "It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me." While a change of hearts is necessary, such a change will probably take several years before we see any effect. For the babies who are dying now and for the countless other lives that are being ruined through the ravages of abortion, such a delay in the securing of their legal protection is simply unacceptable.

More importantly, the protection of the God-given rights of any group of people cannot be predicated upon the hearts of the populace at large. To do so would render the rights of everyone subject to what could be called a tyranny of the majority. In such a situation, no one is truly safe from the often fickle whims that are perceived to be the heart of the majority. King and other civil rights leaders understood this as they worked for passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act in the face of concerted opposition. All people deserve protection under the law now, not when some predetermined elite group somehow has an attack of benevolence.

It must also be remembered that there are those who really do think that morality is determined by what is legal at the moment; the liberal attitudes toward abortion provide prime examples of this somewhat immature mindset. However, law does have an educational purpose. Another prime purpose of law is to restrain the antisocial actions of those who are lawless of heart, for their own good and the safety of their potential victims.

It is true that pro-life activists must work for the changing of hearts. However, they must also work simultaneously for the legal protection of the babies who are looked upon with disdain by pro-abortion people. An election is almost upon us, whereby we have the opportunity to remove officials who do not respect the lives of all and to replace them with pro-life candidates. I reside in Maryland's 8th District, which is represented by Rep. Constance A. Morella. She is one who needs this change of heart. More urgently, however, she needs to be replaced by a pro-life candidate.

JANET M. BAKER

Montgomery Village

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