- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 7, 2002

Northern Virginia Roundtable hardly group of 'corporate elitists'

In your March 4 editorial, "The Virginia referendum sham," you describe the Northern Virginia Roundtable as "corporate elitists who see tax increases as a way to get working stiffs to fork over more money."

The round table was hardly acting as a group of "corporate elitists" in its stance on tax increases. Rather, it urged that, as a first priority, corporate taxes should be increased, that exemptions for corporate taxes should be eliminated whenever possible, and that those who are in the highest tax bracket should pay a higher rate for their individual income taxes. Those measures target the corporations and the executives not the "working stiffs."

Further, the round table called for a special session of the Virginia Legislature so that the commonwealth's tax structure could be seriously reconsidered from top to bottom. The round table's hope and expectation is that a much fairer system of taxation can be created.

Finally, the round table also highly commended the governor's appointment of the Wilder Commission, which will look at ways to eliminate bureaucracy and make the state more efficient in the way it does business.


DOUG PORETZ

McLean


Doug Poretz is a member of the executive committee of the Northern Virginia Roundtable.

Schools prove unworthy of Indian names

According to your March 4 report, "Many schools keep Indian logos," 13 schools "have changed or plan to change" their Indian nicknames or logos. These schools should, indeed, change their names. Instead of changing them to "Falcons" or "Wolverines," however, they should change them to "Wimps" or "Cowards." These schools have surrendered to misguided political correctness and do not deserve to be honored with bold names such as "Indians," "Warriors" or "Braves."

According to the article, 11 schools have resisted changing their Indian names. These schools are proving they are worthy and will defend the honor of their Indian names. Two more schools remain undecided. I hope they will find the backbone to resist political correctness.

The man behind the drive to stamp out Indian names, Indian Affairs Commissioner Richard Regan, does not understand that organizations do not choose a name to dishonor it they choose a name because they are proud of it. When was the last time you heard of a team named the "Robbers" or "Rapists"? People choose names of honor not dishonor.

I praise the schools that are defending the honor of their Indian names and logos. I strongly urge those schools that have already surrendered to political correctness to get a backbone and re-evaluate their decision. Finally, I suggest that Mr. Regan find a real job.


ROBERT TOTTEN

Severn, Md.

History doesn't agree with columnist

Tod Lindberg's March 5 Op-Ed column, "Standing by Afghanistan," justifies nation building in Afghanistan on the grounds that it will encourage "international 'bandwagoning,' whereby other nations are drawn to us as the world's greatest power."

But Mr. Lindberg's bandwagoning idea turns balance-of-power theory on its head. Indeed, he assumes that nations tend to align with emerging hegemonic powers instead of trying to balance against them. The history of international relations suggests otherwise.

History, moreover, is littered with the wreckage of countries that thought that displays of power would overawe opponents and draw undecided states to them. Powers as diverse as ancient Athens, 18th-century Britain and Imperial Germany all made that blunder. Their behavior energized others against them.

Regardless of the motive in the present case, we shouldn't kid ourselves: Hegemonic behavior will elicit balancing in the long run.


GARY DEMPSEY

Foreign policy analyst

Cato Institute

Washington

No wrongdoing by former U.N.drug czar

You have no right to damage my reputation by saying in your March 4 editorial, "Jose Serrano is a drug czar," that as the last U.N. drug czar I "was widely accused of fraud and mismanagement." No one ever accused me of fraud, and the U.N. external auditors, following an extensive investigation of all accusations against me, cleared me of any wrongdoing.

After the conclusion of all probes, I have not been subject to any disciplinary measures. Accusations against me have been largely anonymous, and the underlying "facts" turned out to be invented, distorted or grossly exaggerated. Anyone who reads without prejudice the publicly available documents will come to this conclusion.


PINO ARLACCHI

Vienna, Austria

Harmful generalizations about Muslims

In his March 5 Commentary column, "Vivid examples of fundamental wrong," Dennis Prager opines that many Muslims in the West hold "anti-Christian, anti-Semitic and anti-American sentiments." Mr. Prager reaches this conclusion only by means of a handful of anecdotes, which do not reflect the vast and varied experiences or beliefs of the [millions of]Muslims in America. The Muslims I know eagerly embrace the American way of life, just as they embrace their Christian and Jewish friends, but we all know how easy it is to manipulate isolated facts to arrive at a bigoted conclusion, whether anti-Islamic or otherwise.

From his statements, Mr. Prager has made a distinct contribution to Jewish anti-Islamic bigotry, but I won't make Mr. Prager's mistake by jumping to the conclusion that all Jews are as bigoted as he.


YUSUF WASEEM

Arlington


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