- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 15, 2001

Columnist makes it clear no need for Civil Rights Commission

On the morning of Dec. 11, I was in high dudgeon after reading the front-page story "New battle brewing on civil rights panel," which reported that the Democrat-led U.S. Commission on Civil Rights defied a White House order to seat a new appointee. On my way to the Editorial page, however, the Balint Vazsonyi Commentary column, "Do we still need this commission?" caught my eye.

Mr. Vazsonyi makes it crystal clear that "in the year 2001, no justification exists to continue a Commission on Civil Rights indeed the entire watchdog establishment that pervades so many of our institutions." He does not mention, however, the cost of maintaining this charade: salaries for commissioners and staff, office space, travel costs, per diem, etc.

As Mr. Vazsonyi says, "Please."


THOMAS W. SCHAAF

Fairfax

Tax credits are not 'entitlements'

There is a major flaw in Greg Scandlen's otherwise excellent Dec. 13 Commentary, "Health care tax credit benefits," which addresses the lack of tax credits for individuals who buy their own health insurance.

Mr. Scandlen claims that a tax credit for health care is an "entitlement". Have we been so brainwashed by liberals in Washington and the news media that, whenever we are not taxed on our income, we believe we are receiving some sort of government handout?

Any time we discuss a tax that the brain trust in Washington lays upon us, let's use a word such as "burdensome" or "onerous." Perhaps then people will begin to realize how much freedom has been taken from their lives.


SCOTT GRIMSHAW

Syracuse, N.Y.

'Fat' foster father better than no father

The heartbreaking Dec. 11 article "Man ruled too fat to be foster father" illustrates the ineffectiveness and absurdity of the government-run foster care program (and other government programs for children). This man made every attempt to abide by the guidelines of the program and to be a father to his three orphaned brothers. In this case, bureaucrats based their decision on a minute technicality rather than on the best interest of the children.

According to Census Bureau statistics, nearly 60 percent of black children live in fatherless homes. According to the National Center for Fathering, 79 percent of Americans believe our country's most significant social problem is the physical absence of the father in the home.

We should make every effort to give all children every opportunity to have a loving and caring father-figure involved in their life. An effective foster care program should help provide a loving home for children, not hinder it.


LISA DE PASQUALE

Program director

Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute

Herndon

'Core beliefs,' inclusion are what make Republican Party strong

Thank you for printing Bill Wheaton's thoughts regarding my letter to the editor on the blunders of Mark Earley's gubernatorial campaign in Virginia ("'Moral conservatives' were critical factor in Earley loss," Dec. 11; "Anti-gay ad themes may have cost Earley election," Dec. 8).

Republicans have similar internal discussions each election, and it is a debate that makes us a stronger and more diverse party.

Political parties are about winning elections. Independent and centrist swing voters have a critical role to play in election outcomes. It is absurd to believe that any party can win elections by ignoring this. Such parties may think themselves ideologically pure, but they'll still fail at the central purpose of why they exist.

With all due respect to Mr. Wheaton, he misunderstands the observable effect that gay-bashing alienates those voters in the middle. Regardless of the size of Virginia's gay population, there are ample independent and centrist voters, particularly in Northern Virginia, forming the crucial bloc for winning elections. When centrists see a candidate attacking people for who they are, they see that candidate as too extreme. True conservatives, who fight for the freedom of people to live their own lives, share the same view.

Rather than see the "moral" conservative base cited by Mr. Wheaton as a threat to the Republican Party as he sees us in Log Cabin we believe that everyone who shares the core beliefs of the GOP has an important role to play. That's what inclusion is all about.


KEN BYRER

Deputy director of public affairs

Log Cabin Republicans

Washington

Results of cancer research have hardly been 'disappointing'

Commentary columnist Steven Milloy's grim assessment of the benefits of cancer research is misleading ("Cloning or just conning?" Dec. 3).

Mr. Milloy states, "the [cancer] research has been disappointing" and is "largely futile." Allow me to share a few facts about this "futile" research and how it not only saves lives but millions of dollars annually, as well.

Up to 70 percent of all children with cancer can now be cured. Additionally, the United States has seen a continuous decline in the overall rate of new cancer cases due to the benefits of early detection made possible by research. Combine this with the fact that a 17-year investment of $56 million by the federal government in testicular cancer research has enabled a 91 percent cure rate, increased the life-expectancy rate by 40 years and enabled the savings in the system of $166 million annually.

Imagine the thousands of lives that would have been lost if 30 years ago, at the emergence of promising cancer research, we had been unable to see the enormous potential it held.

Federally funded research is essential in our battle against disease, and we must continue to provide that funding to continue saving lives.


BILL LEINWEBER

Vice president

ResearchAmerica

Alexandria

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