- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 11, 2002

When will animals respect animal 'rights,' professor?

After reading the article on professor Peter Singer, I am convinced that there is virtually no limit to man's stupidity, and at the same time astonished that Princeton University would have a clown like this on the payroll ("Princeton bioethicist argues Christianity hurts animals," Nation, Thursday). I will not challenge Mr. Singer's equality to an aardvark, wart hog or salamander, but I do not place such creatures at parity with my fellow human beings. It is unfortunate that Mr. Singer's mommy did not favor the world many years ago by pulling the plug on Peter in his youth when it was discovered that he was intellectually and morally bankrupt.

His contention that animals have souls and are no different from humans those of us who differ are accused of "specieism" is patently absurd. Christianity does espouse man's superiority to animals, but it does not give its membership license to abuse and injure them. On the other hand, I have yet to witness a giraffe design and build a skyscraper or a piranha turn away from an injured duck on moral grounds. I have observed sharks attack and devour an injured member of their species instead of nursing it back to health. Most humans would choose the latter.

Because Mr. Singer is able to articulate his insanity in a coherent and cogent manner, he is given a hall pass by those who are themselves morally deficient. If yo-yo's like him are at the forefront of atheism, it gives me great comfort to consider myself part of the Christian community.



Anti-anti-Israeli bias

In the course of claiming to prove that CNN and other TV networks are biased against Israel, Joel Himelfarb wrote, "Mr. Arafat launched a wave of terror" ("Misreporting Israel's war," Op-Ed, July 5). However, Mr. Himelfarb omitted the fact that the second intifada erupted after Ariel Sharon took a large group of followers for a walk on the Temple Mount, a place holy to Muslims. It was the most provocative thing Mr. Sharon could have done. But former Prime Minister Ehud Barak's inability to dampen the resulting violence handed Mr. Sharon the premiership. While Mr. Arafat may or may not have wanted the intifada to start, Mr. Sharon clearly wanted it.

Ironically, omitting Mr. Sharon's Temple Mount walk is a standard misreporting practice of pro-Israel writers.



Benign nuclear drawings

James Gordon Prather falsely insinuates that former Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary delivered a drawing of the W-87 nuclear warhead to U.S. News & World Report ("Loose Nukes a la Hollywood," Op-Ed, Tuesday). That claim was clearly refuted years ago.

The W-87 drawing, published in the July 31, 1995, issue of U.S. News, is not of a U.S. government document. Rather, it is an artist's rendering based on public information explicitly credited to the Natural Resources Defense Council. Furthermore, there is reason to doubt the accuracy of the configuration portrayed in the drawing. Maybe that is why it was approved for publication in the unclassified version of the 1999 Cox Committee report.


Project on Government Secrecy

Federation of American Scientists


Shriver defends his gun-control record

For The Washington Times to disagree with my support for gun control is fair, but distorting my strong record of leadership on gun safety issues is not ("Shriver shotgunned," Editorial, July 3).

Coming from a family that has felt the tragedy of gun violence, when I hear that an estimated 650 Marylanders will die from gunshots this year and that the handgun death rate for those under age 18 is higher in Maryland than in any other state I consider gun safety to be more than a call to action for me. It's personal. My record on gun control issues reflects that commitment.

This year, I was the lead sponsor of legislation to require licensing for handgun owners and to strengthen current gun control laws, and I successfully led the fight in the House to defeat legislation that would have allowed people convicted of misdemeanors and felonies to regain the right to own a gun. Over the past eight years, I have been a co-sponsor of more than a dozen other gun safety measures, including the bill on mandatory trigger locks referenced in your editorial.

My commitment to gun control goes far beyond passing legislation, however. In 1988, I started the Choice Program to steer juvenile delinquents away from the temptations of the street including guns. The program has become a national model and continues to help young people.

I am more concerned about saving lives than claiming credit for work I have done. In the next Congress, I will continue to stand up to the National Rifle Association and fight for strong and effective gun safety legislation to protect our families and our communities from the horrors of gun violence.



Maryland House of Delegates


Diversity by any means necessary

;According to coverage in The Washington Times of Egyptian-born Hesham Mohamed Hadayet's rampage at Los Angeles International Airport, he was able to evade normal visa rules and remain in this country because of the State Department's annual Diversity Lottery ("Shooter faced deportation in '90s, received green card through wife," Page 1, Sunday). Readers should be better informed about this dubious program.

According to a State Department press release on June 18, the Diversity Lottery is conducted each year under Section 203 (C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. It calls for granting 50,000 permanent-resident visas annually to persons from countries with low ratios of immigration to the United States. While the visas have been apportioned among all major regions of the world, no one country can receive more than 7 percent of the total. The program appears to represent an effort by its sponsors in Congress to "balance" our traditional sources of immigration. Countries such as Canada and the United Kingdom (excepting Northern Ireland) are excluded from the program, as are such heavy immigrant nations as Mexico, South Korea, Pakistan, India and Vietnam.

The only qualifications are a high school education or its equivalent and two years of work experience during the past five years in an occupation that requires at least two years' worth of training. The only "proof" required is a signed statement that the applicant's claims are "true and correct" to the best of the applicant's knowledge. There is no indication whether the interviewing visa officials will or will be able to verify the information.

Moreover, there is no indication whether the families of those who are allowed to accompany the successful applicant to the United States are included among, or are in addition to, the 50,000 annual visa recipients. According to the story in The Times, Hadayet's wife was admitted for permanent residence under the Diversity Lottery.

The State Department reports that approximately 6.2 million "qualified" applications were received during the October 2001 registration period for the 50,000 slots available in fiscal 2003. The randomly selected winners will include applicants from Egypt (1,551), Iran (768), Iraq (71), Syria (62), Libya (61), Yemen (44), Saudi Arabia (38) and North Korea (4). These, of course, are in addition to immigrants who enter through regular channels.

Whatever the good intentions behind this program may be, the United States simply does not need it. While Hadayet may have benefitted from the program, the two people he shot dead did not.



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