- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 12, 2002

On the Wall's 20th anniversary

As we commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Vietnam War Memorial Wall, readers of The Washington Times may be interested in knowing that the last 506 names on the Wall still await the most basic tribute of respect: the Vietnam Service Medal.

Like myself, thousands of loyal Americans proudly answered the call and served in Vietnam and elsewhere in Southeast Asia between the time the Paris Peace Accords took effect (March 28, 1973) and the time of the S.S. Mayaguez operation in Cambodia (May 15, 1975). In fact, the last names on the wall are the dead from the Mayaguez incident.

It's time that all who served in or near Vietnam between 1959 and 1975 received their due, and this disgraceful situation finally be righted.


SGT. MATTHEW PHAIR

USMC (Ret.) and Vietnam veteran, 1975

Croton on Hudson, N.Y.

'Science' vs. 'goverment propaganda'

David H. Hemenway's letter ("Arguments against states legalizing drugs," Friday) claims that there are 1,000 federal studies showing that inhaled marijuana is ineffective as pain relief. This claim is reminiscent of the supposed 10,000 or so studies of yesteryear showing that marijuana is a dangerous drug.

A survey of the medical (not federal) literature paints a different picture.

In the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, to give one example, a paper was published describing a dramatic improvement in pain relief from a rare neurological disorder following the smoking of marijuana.

Perhaps Mr. Hemenway should stick to reading science, not government propaganda.


MATTHEW HOGG

Predoctoral fellow

Department of microbiology and molecular genetics

University of Vermont

Burlington

Hydrogen or 'hot air'?

Ah, "inevitability," we know it well. Most failed ersatz religions from Marxism to the Kyoto Protocol have been promoted on the basis of their "inevitability." Yet, Sunday's editorial "The burning questions of hydrogen" invokes the same certainty regarding the cult of a hydrogen future.

It is noteworthy, however, to consider one more factor in addition to technological hurdles facing market delivery of this mechanism for storing and transporting energy: The Greens will do everything in their power to ensure it never happens. Consider the following "environmentalist" gasps, typical of their emissions when confronted with one energy technological breakthrough or another:

n "If you ask me, it'd be a little short of disastrous for us to discover a source of clean, cheap, abundant energy because of what we would do with it. We ought to be looking for energy sources that are adequate for our needs, but that won't give us the excesses of concentrated energy with which we could do mischief to the Earth or to each other." Amory Lovins in "The Mother Earth" (from a Playboy interview, Nov.-Dec. 1977 issue)

n "Giving society cheap, abundant energywould be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun." Paul Ehrlich (from "An Ecologist's Perspective on Nuclear Power," May-June 1978 issue of Federation of American Scientists Public Issue Report)

These and other statements by individuals who remain in the vanguard of today's Green leadership certainly seem to represent the thinking in environmentalism and explain the proliferation of Green scare campaigns. (Speaking of which, see: "[W]e have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we may have. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest." Stephen Schneider, quoted in "Our Fragile Earth" by Jonathan Schell).

Man is the world's most resourceful creature, and we will exit the fossil fuel age not because we ran out of fossil fuels any more than we left the Stone Age for want of stones. Yet, we must be resourceful enough to overcome our inherent susceptibility to calamitous claims as we seek to improve the lot of humanity though ensuring more energy, not less.


CHRISTOPHER C. HORNER

Senior fellow

Competitive Enterprise Institute

Washington



I would like to direct some comments regarding Sunday's editorial on hydrogen.

Hydrogen is not like gas, which packs a lot of energy into a small tank. Unless hydrogen is liquefied at -400 degrees (F), it's not very practical. Much storage space would be needed if hydrogen gas were used in a fuel-cell powered car. A typical car's gas tank contains about two million Btu of energy, but only 700 Btu if it's filled with hydrogen gas at atmospheric pressure. If the pressure is raised to 150 psi (like a barbeque's five-gallon propane tank) this would be 7,000 Btu. About 285 barbecue propane tanks would be needed to equal the energy in a full tank of gasoline. Heavier, high pressure hydrogen spheres could cut the space requirement a bit, but most people have better uses for their car trunks.


JIM HOOD

Laughlin, Nev.

Aw, shucks

I am a news hound, so I read various national newspapers online every day. I had some extra time today, and was able to read The Washington Times more thoroughly than usual. The experience was fantastic.

The articles reported news rather than spinning it. Facts abounded, a surprisingly rare occurrence in some newspapers. The scope of issues addressed was much wider than in other sources. The focus was worldwide rather than some myopic politically correct view that focuses on special interests. The Times helped me learn about our world without the screeching tones and fuzzy reporting of other national papers and media outlets. In the future, I will turn to The Times more and more often to get fair reporting and reasonable commentary on our world. Thanks.


ROBB SINN

Cincinnati

A mirage of freedom and democracy

With his defense of a new TV series based on "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" ("Egypt defends anti-Zionist show," Letters, Saturday), Egyptian spokesman Nabil Osman has created a wonderful new democratic country in the Middle East. Freedom of religion, freedom of the press and freedom of expression, previously unknown in the region, have miraculously appeared in Mr. Osman's Egypt.

In reality, the anti-Semitism of the Egyptian media is well known and rivals in viciousness anything which was produced in Nazi Germany. The demonization of Jews in "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" and any theatrical work based upon it is pure anti-Semitism. This has nothing to do with artistic creativity or pro-Palestinian sympathy. What happened to the "culture of peace, amity and tolerance" of which Mr. Osman writes? If "the Egyptian media respects all religions and will not allow or encourage any desecration of religious beliefs and sanctities,"then the series "Horse without a Horseman" would not be airing on Egyptian television


HAROLD POMERANTZ

Dundas, Ontario

Canada




I found Nabil Osman's fevered defense of Egypt's commitment to unfettered artistic expression truly touching. Evidently this commitment is especially strong when such "creativity" is overtly anti-Israeli or anti-Semitic. (However, would this "human right" apply to any expression, however mild, of criticism toward Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak?) As for those accompanying claims of Egyptian religious tolerance, tell that to the Copts, the persecuted native-Christian sect.

Despite Mr. Osman's disclaimers, the hate-filled series "Horse Without a Horseman" broadcast in prime-time, night after night, throughout the holy month of Ramadan will have an extremely negative impact, not only in Egypt, but throughout the Arab world.


RICHARD D. WILKINS

Syracuse, N.Y.

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