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Letters to the editor

Question of the Day

Should Congress make English the official language of the U.S.?

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A champion of human liberty

Milton Friedman was indeed a brilliant economist ("Nobel-winning economist Friedman dies at 94," Nation, yesterday).

Mr. Friedman also was a virtuoso debater. When, to endorse conscription over the volunteer military, Gen. William Westmorland said that he did not want to command "an army of mercenaries," Mr. Friedman piped up and asked, "General, would you rather command an army of slaves?"

Milton Friedman was one of history's greatest champions of liberty and human dignity.

DONALD J. BOUDREAUX

Chairman

Department of Economics

George Mason University

Fairfax

Pelosi's ethical yardstick

When House Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi pledges to make the next Congress the "most honest, ethical and open" in history, readers ought to remember that ethics has a very different meaning for far left Democrats from San Francisco ("Pelosi's purge?" Editorial, Wednesday). Mrs. Pelosi endorsed Rep. John Murtha for a leadership position in the new Congress with full knowledge of his dubious ethical past. However, Mr. Murtha's connection to the Abscam scandal years ago is not nearly as important as where he stands on the great moral issues of today.

For Mrs. Pelosi, morality is not measured with a red-state yardstick, but by how fully one embraces a progressive agenda. Opposing the war in Iraq, assuring access to abortion and smoothing out the inequities between rich and poor are far more important to her than any traditional understanding of ethics. While red-state values demanded the resignation of Rep. Mark Foley, Florida Republican, for sending sexually inappropriate e-mails to male pages, blue-state values supported the re-election of former Rep. Gerry E. Studds, now deceased, to Congress after it was revealed he had had sex with a male page.

Ethical lapses only hurt Republicans because they fall short of a standard Democrats have largely rejected. Democrats only get in trouble when they abandon progressive policies. In supporting the war in Iraq, Sen. Joe Lieberman ran afoul of his party and had to run as an independent. Evil has been redefined to mean opposition to progressive policies, which is why red-state politicians have been tagged with a scarlet letter no matter how much character and integrity they have.

THOMAS M. BEATTIE

Mount Vernon

Fair test for new citizens

The complaints from "immigrant organizations" about proposed changes to the citizenship test simply reinforce the need for those changes ("Activists rap new test for citizens," Page 1, Wednesday). The idea that we should dumb down the test for people who don't speak English and don't know anything about American history ignores a critically important point about immigration: It is primarily for the benefit of America, not simply for the benefit of the person who wants to be here.

Immigration has worked well for generations in the United States because there was a confluence of the interests of the nation and the immigrants. We wanted their labor, their economic demand and maybe even their cultural influence. They wanted to provide those things in return for the chance at a better life as Americans, becoming part of the American fabric, with primary loyalty to the United States and pride in their new nation. Immigration also worked best before America dipped its toe in the water of socialism; as the late Milton Friedman pointed out, wide-open immigration is incompatible with a welfare state.

Immigration must not be only about the benefit to the immigrant or, even worse, the benefit to the immigrant's home country, which wants to export its poor people and let others take that burden. If a would-be immigrant can't answer six out of 10 questions about the country he is claiming to value more than his own, we shouldn't want him.

ROSS KAMINSKY

Nederland, Colo.

Domestic abuse

[Editor's note: All of the letters below use the same phrasing to try to make a case that women aren't the only victims of domestic abuse. But the writers detract from the issue. First of all, the article was not biased against men; it set out to report on the new laws in India and it did precisely that. Moreover, writers' arguments would likely be taken more seriously if they were to dispense with the deceit. We asked each of the writers if they had personally written the letter and each said yes. Obviously, that is not the case. Domestic abuse, whether at the hands of a man or a woman, is a serious offense. Relegating such an issue to chain letters and false claims hurts victims of both genders. We stand by our news story.]

Your article "Abused wives in India pin hope on anti-violence law" (Page 1, Monday) is biased, laced with anti-male rhetoric and uses make-believe statistics (such as the claim, "A 2005 U.N. Population Fund report found that 70 percent of married women in India were victims of beatings or rape" — a complete fabrication). It ignores the well-documented fact that in India, women are twice as likely as men to engage in partner violence: http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mas2/ID41E2.pdf

The story is so systematically flawed that it resembles a propaganda piece. The Washington Times should promptly retract this article and do a follow-up article that tells the truth about domestic violence.

BILL GREENE

Braselton, Ga.

The article "Abused wives in India pin hope on anti-violence law" (Page 1, Monday) is biased, laced with anti-male rhetoric and uses make-believe statistics. It ignores the well-documented fact that in India, women are twice as likely as men to engage in partner violence. See: http://pubpages.unh.edu/mas2/ID41E2.pdf

The story is so systematically flawed that it resembles a propaganda piece. The Washington Times should promptly retract this article and do a follow-up article that tells the truth about domestic violence.

MARK INGRAM

Butterfield, Mo.

Your article "Abused wives in India pin hope on anti-violence law" (Page 1, Monday) is biased, laced with anti-male rhetoric and uses make-believe statistics. No 2005 U.N. Population Fund report found that 70 percent of married women in India were victims of beatings or rape. This 'statistic' is completely fabricated.

The article ignores the well-documented fact that in India, women are twice as likely as men to engage in partner violence: http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mas2/ID41E2.pdf. The story is so systematically flawed that it resembles a propaganda piece. The Washington Times should promptly retract this article and do a follow-up article that tells the truth about domestic violence.

GREG ANDRESEN

Santa Monica, Calif.

The article "Abused Wives in India pin hope on anti-violence law" is biased, laced with anti-male rhetoric and uses make-believe statistics. It ignores the well-documented fact that in India, women are twice as likely as men to engage in partner violence: http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mas2/ID41E2.pdf.

The story is so systematically flawed that it resembles a propaganda piece. The Washington Times should promptly retract this article and do a follow-up article that tells the truth about domestic violence.

DR. HUGO AGUIRRE

Ottawa, Ontario

Canada

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