- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Comcast should be treated as a monopoly

The editorial defending Comcast's right and/or need to raise rates for the cable service it provides in the Washington area misses one very important point ("Comcast's gamble," yesterday).
The editorial argues that Comcast provides a service in a competitive marketplace and that one can simply choose an alternative service provider if Comcast raises rates too high. The reality is that Comcast has a monopoly. Satellite service does not provide high-speed Internet connectivity or flat-rate pricing to many televisions in the same house.
Because Comcast is a de facto monopoly, the government should regulate its rate increases and manage Comcast's monopolistic powers as if it were a utility company. In reality, The marketplace for cable services is not really competitive.

MICHAEL KLEIN
Rockville, Md.

The EEOC over-reached

A letter from H. Joan Ehrlich at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ("EEOC defends its decision," Monday) criticizes the Dec. 4 editorial "Jackbooted liberalism, EEOC-style" for denouncing the EEOC's decision to sue RD's Drive-In in Arizona over the restaurant's English-on-the-job rule. Among other things, Ms. Ehrlich says The Times should have checked the facts with the EEOC before publishing the editorial. Judging from the inaccuracies in Ms. Ehrlich's letter, such fact-checking would have done your editors little good.
To cite one example, Ms. Ehrlich writes that the restaurant owners asked only their Navajo employees to sign and acknowledge a copy of the English-language workplace rule. That is false. The majority of the restaurant's employees always have been Navajo, but typically, fewer than half of those can speak Navajo as well as English. One of the four disgruntled employees who filed the original complaint with the EEOC is not even Navajo. Why would she file a complaint if she was not asked to sign or do anything?
EEOC falsehoods are beside the point, however. The heart of the matter is the vendetta the EEOC is waging against employers who have English-language workplace rules. The EEOC is attempting to conceal its attack on English by saying that a policy that discriminates in favor of English on the job is the same as one that discriminates on the basis of "national origin," prohibited under the 1964 civil rights law.
This "language equals national origin" equation is a false construct that has been rejected over and over again by the courts. It is easy to see why. If national origin is the same as language, then language is the same as national origin. Under the EEOC equation, a Navajo who did not speak the Navajo language would not be a Navajo. The fact is that one can choose to change the language one speaks, but one can never change one's national origin, regardless of where one happens to work or live.
The EEOC effort to confuse the two concepts is simply a pretext for its illegitimate and unauthorized war on English. It makes businesses such as RD's Drive-In settlement offers they cannot refuse and call the settlements "voluntary negotiated agreements." Your editorial's description of the EEOC decision to sue RD's Drive-In as "jackbooted liberalism" is right on target. Thank you for printing it.

K.C. MCALPIN
Executive director
ProEnglish
Arlington

Hey, hey, ho, ho, Jesse Jackson's gotta go'

When I read "Black leaders plan Jesse Jackson protest" (Page 1, Saturday), two questions flashed into my mind.
First, why did it take so long for mainstream black leaders to get Mr. Jackson's number? Second, why did most of the media until recently treat Mr. Jackson as the leading voice of black America?
For more than two decades, Mr. Jackson has been a slick, often demagogic, self-promoter adept at playing the race card here and abroad. As an international ambulance chaser, he was not beyond embracing brutal dictators such as Libya's Col. Moammar Gadhafi and Cuba's Fidel Castro and opposing genuine democratic efforts.
In March 1979, testifying before a Senate committee, Mr. Jackson opposed a democratic election in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) that, as it turned out, was the first ever in Africa that was nonracial and permitted women to vote. Instead, Mr. Jackson supported the Soviet-backed terrorists who had recently murdered more than 1,900 civilians, including nine missionaries and their children.
In 1985, Mr. Jackson wired the White House backing the brutal, Soviet-sponsored military junta headed by Col. Mengistu Haile Mariam in Ethiopia. During his reign of terror, Col. Mengistu used firing squads, aggravated a natural famine to liquidate his "enemies" and blocked efforts to feed the starving.
Here at home, Mr. Jackson once led a march of radical students chanting, "Hey, hey, ho, ho, Western culture's gotta go." And this man has had the arrogance to believe that he should be president of the United States? It's long overdue that more people caught on to his chicanery.

ERNEST W. LEFEVER
Chevy Chase, Md.

Voters reject pipe dream

Sunday's Forum column "Marijuana policy reform crossroads" (Commentary) should have been headlined "Marijuana policy reform dead end." Rob Kampia (chairman of the Marijuana Policy Project), Peter Lewis (the millionaire founder of Progressive Auto Insurance who bankrolled the Nevada legalization effort) and their band of drug legalizers met the ultimate obstacle in Nevada: public education.
After parents, grandparents and law enforcement members networked to help the public understand the dangers of marijuana use and began carrying around 3-ounce containers of parsley to show what 3 ounces of marijuana would look like (3 ounces of parsley fills a 1-gallon Ziploc bag), the legalizers' initiative took a dive.
White House Drug Policy Director John Walters responded to the call for help and went to Nevada to do what the charter of his office directs make every effort to stop illegal drugs. The stature of his office brought needed media attention to help educate and protect the state's residents.
Mr. Kampia brags that his side won 39 percent of the vote. We prefer to say they lost by a 61 percent majority. Mr. Kampia's side spent an estimated $2 million for its loss. Those opposing the bill scraped together about one-tenth that amount. The legalizers use smoke and mirrors to mislead the public by saying, "Hundreds of thousands are arrested for simple possession annually." Statistics in Florida indicate that of 74,000 inmates in the Florida prison system, 107 were charged with "possession." Each one of those 107 was plea-bargained down from a more serious charge.
Mr. Kampia's group claims AIDS patients need marijuana. The facts are that marijuana is harmful to the immune system and AIDS is a disease of that system. The National Institutes of Health states: "People with AIDS and other diseases of the immune system should avoid marijuana use" (NIH publication No. 98-4036). The Supreme Court ruled unanimously, "There is no medical necessity defense for marijuana use."
This time legalizers' lies backfired, and the voters let them know it.
It is outrageous that drugs are so rampant in our country that schoolchildren are forced to pass through metal detectors and endure searches by drug-detecting dogs. Additionally, Congress recently passed a law allowing random drug testing of every student who participates in extracurricular activities. The Supreme Court already has ruled that testing is allowed.
I am not angry because these protective measures are being used. They are vital to students' safety. The reason for my outrage is that I have watched for 25 years as the drug-legalization movement repeatedly has told young people, "There is no evidence that even those few young people who smoke a great deal of marijuana necessarily hurt themselves academically or otherwise." They have held marijuana smoke-ins at which children as young as 12 have been filmed being taught how to roll marijuana cigarettes. Now armed with lots of cash, these same legalizers are marching from state to state to weaken all kinds of drug laws.
Nonpunitive student drug testing may be the most positive anti-drug legislation we have seen. Parents, grandparents, principals and superintendents should begin cooperating to get it started. Nonusing students deserve to be educated in a drug-free environment, and those already using drugs can be pulled back into the mainstream.
Parents who have lost children to drugs regularly tell us, "Because lying is a major part of drug use, my child was using for over two years before we figured out what was happening."

JOYCE NALEPKA
President
Drug-Free Kids: America's Challenge
Washington

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