- The Washington Times - Friday, November 30, 2001

'Journalist' cited in editorial has ulterior motives against Iran

In the Nov. 29 editorial "Iran, Syria and bin Laden," you cite Kenneth Timmerman making some serious and unusual allegations regarding the government of Iran. You describe Mr. Timmerman as a "veteran investigative journalist."
Whatever his journalistic accomplishments, Mr. Timmerman also is director of the so-called Foundation for Democracy in Iran. This group lobbies stridently for the toppling of the Iranian government and against normalization of relations with the United States. To quote Mr. Timmerman as a journalist without recognizing this affiliation is unethical.


Ex-Gore operative not a liability for Bell monopoly

In his Nov. 28 Commentary piece, "The Daley grind," James K. Glassman missed another oddity related to former Gore campaign chairman William Daley's new post with SBC Communications. SBC is headquartered in San Antonio, a city bordered by Fort Sam Houston, Lackland Air Force Base, Brooks Air Force Base and Randolph Air Force Base. Considering Mr. Daley's struggle in the last election to throw out as many military votes as possible, he does not seem the likeliest candidate to work in a city with such a high military population.
Perhaps since SBC has a virtual monopoly on local telephone service, no one at the company is concerned about upsetting its customers.

San Antonio

Cell phone common sense

Your Nov. 29 editorial "Cell phone realities" commented on the University of Utah's finding that talking, not using cell phones, makes drivers more likely to have accidents. That's not news to pilots.
When a pilot is busy, talking on the radio gets last priority, though it still is necessary. The cockpit environment has all sorts of tasks and distractions vying for immediate attention and resolution. Headsets make communications "hands-free." Nonetheless, talking requires so much brainpower that the timely and precise execution of more important tasks quickly deteriorates to the point of compromising safety.
"Ahhhhh " over the radio means the pilot needs to shut his mouth and deal with something in need of attention. Perhaps the pilot just needs to form his thoughts to keep his priorities straight before keying the microphone. Regardless, the lesson is clear: Talking greatly diminishes our capacity to process other information.

Boise, IdahoSo now we learn that it is talking, not specifically talking on cell phones, that distracts drivers. This finding may well wreak havoc on efforts to promote car pooling, unless the states quickly ban conversations among car pool participants.
Who knows? Further research may determine that answering the question "Are we there yet?" is even more distracting than conversations among car pool participants. Ultimately, we may require federal legislation banning family trips as a safety hazard.

Warrenton, Va.

Evidence of Oppenheimer treason redeems physicist-author

In your Nov. 18 Books section, Jeremy Bernstein reviewed "Memoirs: A Twentieth Century Journey in Science and Politics," a book by physicist Edward Teller with Judith Shoolery.
Mr. Bernstein stated that in testimony before the Atomic Energy Commission Personnel Security Board in 1954, Mr. Teller said of J. Robert Oppenheimer that there were "a great number of cases in which his actions frankly appeared to me confused and complicated." The board took away Mr. Oppenheimer's clearance, which, according to the reviewer, ended Mr. Oppenheimer's public career as well as many people's respect for Mr. Teller.
Herbert Romerstein and Eric Breindel, in their book "The Venona Secrets," discussed secret Soviet cable traffic from the 1940s that the United States intercepted and eventually decrypted. The messages identify many of the people acting as Soviet agents, and Mr. Oppenheimer is identified as such an agent, code-named "Veksel."
It seems that Mr. Teller's instincts about Mr. Oppenheimer's loyalty were far better than those of many others.


Episcopal bishop can't defeat 'truth of gospel' with lawyers

So, the Episcopal bishop of Washington, Jane Dixon, has spent almost half a million dollars on lawyers to silence the Rev. Samuel L. Edwards, rector of Christ Episcopal Church in Accokeek ("Dispute costs $440,000 for Episcopal diocese," Nov. 27). Meanwhile, many of Bishop Dixon's neighbors are homeless and hungry. Sounds to me like this princess of the church has her priorities mixed up. Interestingly, as recently as 20 years ago, Mr. Edwards' views would have been widely regarded as "mainstream."
Unfortunately for Bishop Dixon and others of her leftist ilk, the best lawyers in the land will never silence preachers like Mr. Edwards because, just like Martin Luther 500 years ago, they have the truth of the Gospel on their side.


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