- The Washington Times - Monday, January 17, 2005

Your article “Chiropratic roils campus” (Nation, Monday), about Florida State University and the efforts of professors to block a school of chiropractic, was appalling. It demonstrates how out of touch university professors have become.

As a consumer of chiropractic services, I can attest that this profession has enabled me to function without surgery and has prevented me from living a life of pain because of a bad back.

Also, studies have documented that this profession is the best solution to back problems and far outperforms surgery, which has just an estimated 25 percent success rate.

Though I’m used to goofy proclamations from major private schools, I usually think of the land grant, state-supported colleges and universities as being of a higher caliber than what is being shown at FSU on this matter.

G. WILLIAM VINING

Annapolis

Headed for extinction

In the article “Most unmarried women voted for Kerry” (Nation, Saturday) the reporter quotes Democratic strategist Stanley Greenberg: “I think [single women] are the future.”

Does Mr. Greenberg realize that single women usually do not have children, and if they do, they are more likely to be a lot poorer than their married counterparts?

They also are less likely to vote and more likely to have abortions. Because liberals are more likely to have abortions than conservatives — and the children they do have also are more likely to have abortions, they are setting themselves up for extinction.

I say: Mr. Greenberg, if they are the future, that’s a great future for the Democratic Party.

BORIS NAZAROFF

Sterling, Va.

Think character not color

I have followed with interest The Washington Times’ series of stories on “The new senators.” Yesterday’s article featured the newly elected senator from Illinois, Barack Obama (“Obama sets out to build legacy of achievement,” Page 1 Monday). The first paragraph pointed out that he “became the first black man elected to the Senate as a Democrat.”

It was later pointed out that he is the son of a white woman from Kansas and a black father from Kenya. Why, then, does society designate him and others of black-white parentage as black? Isn’t he equally white? My comments are not intended as a criticism of Brian DeBose’s article, but merely as a commentary on how our society still classifies people by race, especially when part of the mix is black.

An example would be the golfer Tiger Woods, whose lineage within a couple of generations includes black, white, Asian and American Indian. Nonetheless, he is most frequently referred to as black.

The tendency of modern society to classify people whose mixed parentage includes black likely has its roots in old racist notions. Society viewed the offspring of two people, one white and one black, as somehow “tainted” or “tarnished.”

They automatically were considered black, as if they were inferior. Isn’t it time for us as a society to stop making these distinctions?

Perhaps there will come a time when the wish of Martin Luther King that we judge people by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin will come true. Then someone like Sen. Obama will be distinguished not for his parentage, but for his honesty and his intellect and political positions.

STEPHEN R. ROSCHER

Owings Mills, Md.

A conscientious atheist?

I am confused by the recent atheist response to President Bush’s comment on his relationship with the Lord (“Atheist lawsuit awaits ruling,” Page 1, Friday). I thought the conclusion of the atheist is that God does not exist anywhere in the known or unknown universe. If Mr. Bush said he has a relationship with Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy, would the atheist consider this “divisive” or causing “injury”? What is different when Mr. Bush says he has a relationship with the Lord?

I suspect that, somewhere deep inside, Mr. Bush’s comments prick the atheists’ consciences — hence causing the “injury” and creating a sense of “division” between the saved and the lost. In this case, it is the Lord who is the cause of their experience.

RICH ZEBRO

Hillsborough, N.J.

The dollar and the yuan

Friday’s editorial “Trade and the dollar” came up short on some key points that are mandatory in any discussion of trade deficits and currency exchange rates. After correctly pointing out that the dollar has weakened against the euro and Japanese yen, the editorial went on to state that the dollar “has barely moved against the Chinese yuan and other Asian currencies.” As the editorial points out, we should not expect much movement from the yuan because it is artificially pegged to the dollar by the Chinese government.

Absent from the editorial was any mention of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), whose primary reason for existence is “to promote international monetary cooperation, exchange stability, and orderly exchange arrangements.” The yuan is grossly undervalued (some say by as much as 40 percent), contributing to our trade imbalance with China of $147.7 billion through November 2004. Why hasn’t the IMF acted to bring China into compliance as is its obligation under Article IV, Section 1 of its Articles of Agreement? It’s all spelled out at the IMF Web site, www.imf.org, if anyone is interested.

China is a nation of 1.3 billion consumers, and yet through 11 months of 2004, U.S. exports amounted to just $31.5 billion. Imports from China amounted to a whopping $179.2 billion for the same period. Put another way, each American consumed $607.46 worth of Chinese products while each Chinese citizen consumed $24.23 in American products; that’s a trade imbalance of 25 to 1, while the population ratio is 4.4 to 1 (1.3 billion Chinese, 295 million Americans).

Perhaps a reporter should go to IMF headquarters and ask its managing director what his organization is doing to end Chinese currency manipulation; it’s a fair question for the world body established to deal with such issues.

RICHARD W. RESSLER

North Olmsted, Ohio

Trade deficit and falling dollar

Alan Tonelson is confused about the trade deficit (“Behind the falling dollar,” Commentary, Monday). First, he assumes that a trade deficit is synonymous with indebtedness. It is not. Second, he accuses the high U.S. trade deficit of prompting the dollar’s fall and, thereby, threatening the dollar’s status as an international currency. He forgets that demand for dollars as an international currency itself is a large factor contributing to the U.S. trade deficit. Third, he worries that our trade is imbalanced. It isn’t, for our current-account deficit is matched by our capital-account surplus.

DONALD J. BOUDREAUX

Chairman, Department of Economics

George Mason University

Fairfax

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