- The Washington Times - Monday, February 19, 2001

PETA story ruffles feathers, fetches praise

I was shocked to read the positive tone of the recent front page article on People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals("Guarding Animals, PETA pressure goes all out," Feb. 11).

PETA is a terrorist organization that has caused millions of dollars in damage to vital medical research facilities. PETA-targeted research is involved in developing insulin for diabetics, tetanus-diphtheria booster shots for children, polio and measles vaccines. PETA's violence ultimately affects the quality of our science, health, economy, food and other aspects of life we take for granted.

PETA's ideology loathes human life for the sake of animals. PETA is an animal "rights" or animal "liberation" group. It bears no similarity to "human" or animal "welfare" organizations, with which PETA is apt to be confused. Animal welfare organizations seek the humane treatment of animals. PETA, in contrast, believes that humane treatment is irrelevant: All use of animals by people, no matter how humane or necessary, should be banned. PETA is opposed to the keeping of all pets in the home. People who mistake animal rights with a legitimate concern for animal welfare should take note of that fact.

PETA has declared war on animal trainers, hunters, fishermen, cattlemen, grocers and, indeed, all non-vegetarians, whom they believe are the moral equivalent of cannibals and slave owners. PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk has made the comparison between humans and animals by saying, "A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy."

PETA isn't funny or cute or courageous. It's a threat to human beings.

TOM DEWEESE

President

American Policy Center

Herndon

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Thank you for your interesting and informative article on PETA and the work they do on behalf of sentient creatures everywhere. The human species will become more human only when we acknowledge the innate intelligence and worth of our brethren species and treat them with the dignity and respect that they deserve. It is shameful and ungodly the way we brutally use these species without their consent for food, fur and so-called medicine. It is high time that we dispose of our reverence for animal testing and modern farming techniques and look for technologies that will better serve our fellow creatures, while protecting human health and safety.

DIANA ARTEMIS

Falls Church

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I appreciate your article on PETA. It is important that people realize that, behind the provocative ads, a dedicated staff is working hard for animal issues that really matter to a lot of people and, of course, to the animals themselves.

WENDY LOCHNER

Sayville, N.Y.

Threat of war, though not number of wars, has declined

In "Changing dynamics" (Commentary, Feb. 13), F. Andy Messing Jr. and William Shingleton suggest that the 1992 report on the world's wars by the Center for Defense Information was off-base: According to their count, the trend of declining wars chronicled by the report did not continue throughout the 1990s.

By focusing on the crude number of wars under way, however, they miss the point: brush fires (smaller, regional conflicts) around the world did not, and do not, pose a military threat to the United States remotely comparable to fighting the Warsaw Pact. If President Bush wishes to continue military spending at well over 90 percent of the Cold War level so that we can intervene in all the world's messy conflicts, so be it but he will be doing it for humanitarian reasons, not because the brush fires pose a threat to the United States.

MARCUS CORBIN

Senior Analyst

Center for Defense Information

Washington

Oversight body explains Voice of America language cuts

We continue to read with interest your recent articles on the proposed language cuts at the Voice of America.

It is important that we reiterate that the Broadcasting Board of Governors' congressional mandate stems from the U.S. International Broadcasting Act of 1994, Section 305(a)(4), as amended. As such, it is our assigned task "To review, evaluate and determine, at least annually, after consultation with the Secretary of State, the addition or deletion of language services." We believe that through an efficient review we will achieve a reallocation of resources within our broadcasting services that will best serve our country. We are not taking any money away from the VOA, only reorienting our broadcasting and our resources there toward this end.

In the case of a country such as Turkey, which has a rich media environment, is a member of NATO and has moved into the mainstream of European policy, it is necessary to lessen our presence there in favor of nations that do not enjoy these attributes. Language service review is not about cutting employees it is about reallocating our resources in a changing world in a responsible way, using the taxpayers' resources wisely and to the benefit of our national interests. We plan to continue broadcasting 30 minutes a day in Turkish but with more limited resources.

MARC B. NATHANSON

Chairman

TOM C. KOROLOGOS

EDWARD E. KAUFMAN

ALBERTO MORA

CHERYL HALPERN

NORMAN J. PATTIZ

ROBERT M. LEDBETTER JR.

Tax code treats stay-at-home moms like second-class citizens

Once again I find myself cheering for news that I can find only in your paper. Today's piece on Ann Crittenden's new book, "The Price of Motherhood" couldn't be more topical ("Family laws punish moms, author says," Culture, Et Cetera, Feb. 13). The perspective provided in the overview is absolutely on target, and I very much look forward to reading her book.

Allow me to propose an immediate solution to the second-class status of stay-at-home mothers: End the marriage-tax penalty. In his tax plan, President Bush should adopt a provision which allows the one-income family to divide its income by two. The couple would be subsequently taxed as two earners rather than one. Such a provision would provide an instant benefit to all those families who are sacrificing by having one spouse caring for the family and home, and one earning a salary.

Mrs. Crittenden accurately reveals the disparity in the tax code between the sexes. It is simply outrageous that child-care is not a legitimate tax deduction. It is fair to accept the premise that compensation has been foregone when a spouse stays home to raise children and maintain the home. Believe me, the skills required to successfully raise a family and keep a house are highly sought.

We do need to amend our immigration laws to permit talented and competent child-care workersto come from overseas. Child-care workers should not be classified as unskilled labor. No mother would ever agree with that statement.

Come on, gals, let's get on board. We have a lot of talented women out there who are beginning to grasp the enormity of the challenge, but also are seeing (and are in a position to influence) the solution. Let us maintain our vigilance on more traditional issues, but call upon our national women's organizations to pick up the slack on these purely economic and legal issues. Such an initiative could even help resurrect these increasingly out-of-touch organizations.

JENNIFER R. BANTA

Burke

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