- The Washington Times - Friday, June 1, 2001

Goodbye, senator, and good riddance

Poor Sen. James M. Jeffords. All of a sudden, the light dawned and he realized that President Bushs policies and the Republican platform are too conservative for him.

Where was he during the presidential campaign last summer? The Bush agenda was clearly laid out for all to see and hear. Was the senator so busy running for another six-year term that he failed to notice?

Mr. Jeffords has every right to change his mind, but how much more noble it would have been to have done it before the election in the fall. He could have taken his chances then to run as an independent, instead of riding along to victory on the Republican ticket.

Goodbye, Judas. Good riddance.


Corresponding secretary

Mid-Montgomery Women´s Republican Club

Silver Spring

'Casey Martin and his Lawyers

Remember Ken Venturis legendary stagger around the golf course in blazing heat to win the U.S. Open? Thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court, a latter-day Venturi can be beaten by a Casey Martin riding in comfort around the golf course, breaking barely a sweat.

I have no doubt that Mr. Martin is a likable and worthy person. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court should not have taken on the role of umpire for professional athletes. As Justice Antonin Scalia noted in his brilliant dissent, there is no indication that Congress intended the Americans with Disabilities Act to apply to such as case.

The history of professional sports is replete with athletes overcoming the frailties of the human body to become the best. Their stories have inspired children and adults for generations. Now, I suppose, we will have to include the story, "Casey Martin and his Lawyers" in those books of sports legends. Too bad.



Ignored in coverage of the Casey Martin ruling has been the fact that golf is international. Our Supreme Court has no authority over the Royal and Ancient Rules Committee. Hence, Mr. Martin could not represent the United States in the Ryder Cup or play in the British Open, European Tour or Canadian Open. What a shame it would be if he became our premier player but was not eligible to represent the United States around the world.

Another case of American arrogance and of our famous whiners.


Carriere, Miss.

Home schoolers have religious objections to state supervision

Being misunderstood is an occupational hazard of any public figure, but there are times when it is important to correct the record.

In the May 29 letter to the editor "Courting a homeless education," Rebecca Johnson, a Maryland home-schooler, objected to a statement of mine that Michelle Malkin reported in her May 22 Commentary column, "Home schooling under siege." I had said that if the Simmons family had been secular or Protestant, Mary Simmons would not have been charged with 83 counts of criminal truancy. Ms. Johnson disagrees, and writes that many Roman Catholic families are home-schooling in Maryland without any difficulty.

Ms. Johnson apparently misunderstands the details of this case. The Simmons family, like many other Maryland home-schooling families, has sincere religious objections to any state supervision or control of their home-school program. Ever since 1987, Maryland has easily been able to accommodate families with such beliefs that is to say, Maryland has easily been able to accommodate Protestant families with such beliefs. There is no easy answer for non-Protestants who object to secular supervision of their religious home education program.

Ms. Johnson says, "This is not a case of religious discrimination." The problem here is not one of discriminatory intent but of discriminatory impact.

That is why family members accepted an agreement with the prosecutor that allows them to petition the Maryland Department of Education to accept out-of-state correspondence courses such as the "Our Lady of the Rosary" program that they have chosen. (At present, no out-of-state program has been "approved" by the Maryland Board of Education.)

Ms. Johnson accuses my client of "attempting to change state law." That is what conscientious objectors always do. The good news in this case is that this change making the system work better for Catholics appears to be a change that everybody welcomes.



Home School Legal Defense Association

Purcellville, Va.

Cincinnati police do the right thing

Michael Allen, Hamilton County prosecutor, and Cincinnati Police Lt. Ray Ruberg did the right thing in response to Cincinnatis recent racial hate crime spree ("Black teen charged in Cincinnati hate crime," May 31).

Of course, it would have been better had the police been out in force before things got out of hand, thereby preventing much of the injustice. Still, late justice is better than no justice. Now, we can only hope the judges and juries don´t let the two youths charged with racial intimidation off the hook.

As for those who call themselves community leaders and who have asked for "amnesty for the healing of the community," just who will be healed by such an asinine action? Certainly not the citizens who were attacked by the racist black thugs. These so-called community "leaders" only foster more racism.


Costa Mesa, Calif.

Subsidizing divorce

Politicians love to deplore the high divorce rate, but they just voted to increase the many divorce subsidies in the tax code ("Negotiators agree on tax-cut package," May 26). The $500 tax refund for "single parents" is not available to the fathers (and few mothers) who are paying child support. Likewise, the $1,000 per child tax credit goes only to custodial parents, mostly mothers.

Is it any wonder that women initiate about three-quarters of all divorces?



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