- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 20, 2001

'Blasting animals,' collecting goldfish 'trinkets' shows disrespect for life

In his zeal to denounce People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and, one guesses, fight for the rights of those who enjoy blasting animals out of the woods, outdoors writer Gene Mueller left some important facts out of a recent column ("Are we becoming a bunch of babies?" Sports, Nov. 11).
Mr. Mueller discussed an incident that occurred more than six months ago, when PETA respectfully asked a local Catholic church not to give away living goldfish as prizes at a bazaar, as the life span of these living "trinkets" often can be measured in hours after they are taken home. Had Mr. Mueller called PETA, we would have been happy to tell him that the Vatican has condemned such animal giveaways because they do not show a respect for all beings.
Nor did Mr. Mueller mention (or call our office to find out) that PETA pulled its billboard about shark attacks in the wake of the latest deadly attack. The ad suggested that, as awful as the attacks are, we humans have choices about what we eat, while sharks don't. Those who read our message without hatred in their hearts can see it was meant to reduce the overall sum of suffering in the world.
I invite Mr. Mueller to call PETA any time to learn the facts, and I hope readers will visit www.Peta.org to learn the truth.

KATHY GUILLERMO
Correspondent
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
Norfolk, Va.

Time to revamp the Coast Guard

Christopher Lehman and Scott Truver were right on target with their outstanding Nov. 13 Op-Ed piece, "Coast Guard more important than ever." The many readiness woes they outlined reveal that the Coast Guard needs an immediate infusion of precious taxpayer dollars that is, if this nation wants to keep its waterways, ports and ships free from terrorist attack.
If the American people knew their Coast Guard is equipped with geriatric cutters, aircraft and communication systems, they would be outraged.
Now is the time for the American people to take back their Coast Guard from the highway-centric bureaucrats at the Transportation Department. One obvious remedy is to move the Coast Guard back under the auspices of the Department of the Navy, as it was during World War II, only this time permanently. The last time I checked, the U.S. Navy was not sailing any ships that first saw service in World War II. I wish the same could be said for the Coast Guard.
The Navy, Marine Corps. and Coast Guard would make a great team. Fellow Americans, let's make it a reality.

JIM DOLBOW
Alexandria

Turkish Cypriots achieve nothing by antagonism

Historical reality and two recent statements one issued by the United Kingdom's permanent representative to the United Nations and the most recent inflammatory comments waged by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash call into question two critical points in Ahmet Erdengiz's Nov. 13 letter to the editor, "EU can't admit Cyprus without consent of Turkish Cypriots."
First, Mr. Erdengiz erroneously claimed that the 1960 constitution of the Republic of Cyprus prohibits the union of Cyprus with the European Union. As recently as Nov. 9, in a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Jeremy Greenstock, the United Kingdom's permanent representative to the United Nations, refuted assertions that Cyprus' application to the EU was illegal and that the United Kingdom was obliged by the terms of the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee to veto Cyprus' accession. He stated: "The United Kingdom disagrees with both of these assertions. In our view, there is no legal obstacle to Cypriot membership. The fact that there is no legal barrier to Cyprus' membership is clear from the actions and statements of other European Union member states, the Commission and the United Nations Security Council."
As for Mr. Erdengiz's assertion that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash persistently has pursued meetings, in good faith, with Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides, the historical record indicates the opposite.
Turkish and Turkish-Cypriot intransigence on the Cyprus problem has, for the most part, intensified in recent years. On Nov. 13, in the presence of U.N. representatives, Mr. Denktash offered to hold face-to-face talks with Mr. Clerides. That, however, marked a sudden U-turn in Mr. Denktash's steady refusal to meet for United Nations-sponsored proximity talks. While making his offer, Mr. Denktash also issued a dangerous threat. On Nov. 15, the Associated Press reported that he said, "[The Republic of Cyprus is] playing with fire; this situation could go as far as a Turkish-Greek war" if Cyprus is accepted as a full EU member.
This boisterous attitude is no doubt emboldened by Turkey's most recent threats to annex the occupied zone of Cyprus should Cyprus proceed to EU accession without a resolution of the current problem.
Using this kind of antagonistic rhetoric instead of making a concerted effort to return to the bargaining table further prolongs a just resolution on Cyprus and only fuels tensions in an already volatile region.

NICK LARIGAKIS
Executive director
American Hellenic Institute
Washington

Sugary article leaves bitter taste

Your Nov. 13 Metro article about artificial and natural sweeteners was riddled with inaccuracies and personal bias posing as science ("A spoonful of Moderation best with any sweetener"). For example, one "authority" is quoted as saying soda has 10 teaspoons of sugar. In fact, there is no sugar in soda. The sweetener used in soda is corn syrup. Another equally egregious inaccuracy is attributed to a Providence Hospital "clinical manager." She is quoted as saying that "a teaspoon of sugar contains 30 calories." False again; a teaspoon of sugar contains half that number, 15 calories.
In particular, I must protest a statement attributed to me as a direct quote: "If you eat 10 extra calories a day for a decade, you gain 10 pounds." Anyone attempting to calculate calories as a factor in obesity without acknowledging levels of physical activity not only misleads, but further confuses the public about a very serious public health issue. You certainly did not get this hokum from me.

RICHARD KEELOR
President and chief executive
The Sugar Association
Washington


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