- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Sex, but no sex offenders, on Internet?

How ironic it is that judges in Alaska and Connecticut, along with some U.S. Supreme Court justices, view Internet listings of convicted sex offenders under Megan's Law as unfair and stigmatizing ("Megan's Law on the Internet is debated," Nation, Thursday).

Here we have criminals who, having already traumatized, scarred, maimed and/or infected one or more children, are returned to society, presumably "cured" (dare we discuss the track record of psychiatric treatment for sex offenders, inside or outside the prison system?). With sentences for shoplifting sometimes longer than for sex crimes, untold numbers of convicted rapists and molesters live and work alongside unsuspecting families with vulnerable youngsters. Yet, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, for example, characterizes sex offender listings on the Internet as a step backward, unconstitutional and calls amazingly for what amounts to censorship.

These same judicial luminaries apparently have no such qualms about Internet pornography, though soft, hard, child, sadomasochistic, bestial, whatever being transmitted en masse by spammers. Not one of the government agencies to which angry citizens are referred to seems interested in either tracing or apprehending the culprits. Only after a charge of sexual assault is there, occasionally, a serious inquiry concerning pornographic materials, especially those depicting children.

In today's culture of "proactive" government and "pre-emptive" strikes, perhaps these judicial defenders of the underdogs can explain their ambiguous approach to sex crimes. Meanwhile, the Internet postings of sex offenders are sending them a message: Upstanding citizens will take on the burden of protecting themselves as long as government can't or won't.


B.K. EAKMAN

Executive director

National Education Consortium

Washington

America's 'impending demographic catastrophe'

I'm especially interested in Byron Slater's letter on immigration ("America bulging at the seams," Monday), having just returned from a trip to California, that immigration battleground state in which Mr. Slater lives.

Having witnessed the immigration invasion from ground zero, I have to say that it is irresponsible for the Bush administration to do nothing to stem the tide of millions of immigrants, legal and illegal, while it is aggressively engaged in homeland security. An America with more than a billion people is a frightening scenario, but that may be the population by the end of the century.

This is not the future I want for our country. It is not the future I want for my grandchildren. But until Americans demand that the impending demographic catastrophe be stopped, nothing will happen. It is commendable that Mr. Slater wrote a letter, but he and others need to do much more. Sadly, U.S. citizens are complacently accepting a foreign tidal wave that will swamp our sovereignty and way of life.

During my trip, I discussed immigration with many Californians. I was shocked and appalled at their total denial of this deluge that not only is engulfing their state, but threatens to overwhelm the rest of their country.


ROSALIND ELLIS

Baltimore

'A nation of grown-up children'

In his column "Marriage vs. 'player' syndrome" (Commentary, Saturday), Clarence Page states that "marriage will not be restored until we guys begin to love it as women usually do." He cites Jennifer Lopez's upcoming third marriage, the plethora of wedding-themed magazines and the popularity of TV shows such as "The Bachelor" as examples of the popularity of weddings and presumably marriage among women.

I agree. Women want weddings. They want the parties, showers, attention, clothing and months of hoopla leading to the moment of being queen for a day in an expensive white dress. Men usually don't care about weddings, though; they just want the sex. But neither gender seems to want marriage, per se.

That is because marriage means work. It requires commitment, sacrifice, compromise and responsibility. For all this a couple gets no material rewards, not even a pat on the back. Yet, over the past generation or so, we have raised young people to believe that they can have whatever they want with little effort; and that something that brings no tangible rewards is not worth the smallest effort.

It takes two adults to make a marriage. I think we are becoming a nation of grown-up children.


VIRGINIA SHAW

Bowie, Md.

Bad rap

One would be hard-pressed to disagree with Bill O'Reilly's assertion that rappers such as Eminem are able to prosper today because society has become too desensitized to be shocked by his kind of entertainment anymore ("Sanity has left the building," Commentary, Monday). I am a bit disappointed, however, that Mr. O'Reilly chooses to attack Eminem as the problem rather than as a mere symptom.

In one of his songs, Eminem brags "I am the worst thing since Elvis Presley to do black music so selfishly and use it to get myself wealthy." Therein lies the problem and why Mr. O'Reilly chooses his target very carefully. To go after Eminem is easy and nobody blames him, but to go after rap music as a whole is political suicide because you run the risk of being labeled a bigot. Fortunately, I do not have that worry. Eminem is just one in a very long list of rappers who should be censored.

Attack Eminem for his violent lyrics, but let's not forget the others who glorify violence and sometimes end up dead themselves. Attack Eminem because he speaks degradingly and violently of women. But how about NWA, which sings about grabbing a [derogatorily described] woman by her hair weave? Or how about the Digital Underground, which in its song "Freaks of the Industry," raps of the different ways to sodomize a woman?

And drug use? Please, if Mr. O'Reilly is going to go after an entertainer who promotes drug use, he could do much better than Eminem. "Smoking weed every day" (Dr. Dre's "The Next Episode") is like a religion for black rappers such as Cypress Hill, Snoop Dog, Ice Cube, Ice T, NWA, Nelly, Busta Rimes, Afro Man, ad nauseam.

This shouldn't be misconstrued as a defense of Eminem. His career should never have got off the ground. But let's not limit ourselves to suggesting that he alone is going to be the downfall of our children's sense of decency.

Parents concerned about how their children will mature into adults should forbid the possession or consumption of any rap. Just listen to your local rap station and you will quickly realize that the dominant themes are sex, drugs and violence and this is the "music" edited for the public airwaves. Imagine the CD tracks our youngsters are listening to that aren't. "Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics": Loosely translated, these words mean "only let your kids listen to this if you hate them."


BRIAN HUDSON

Gainesville, Va.

In case you were wondering

Yesterday morning, I noticed a letter in The Washington Times by Steve Cucolo with the headline "Is there a tofu turkey?" Well, I ask, "Do we live in America?"

For those readers out there who don't already know, there is indeed a tofu turkey. It is called the Tofurky, and I can attest that it is quite delicious. One of the ingredients is tofu, but there is a wide array of other vegetarian ingredients. It is a great way to sample a variety of meat alternatives, impress guests, and improve your and their health.

The Tofurky (according to Turtle Island Foods, at tofurky.com ) can be found in many health food stores, such as Fresh Fields, Trader Joe's, etc.


DANIEL HESS

Alexandria, Va.


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