- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 12, 2002

Schroeder does not speak for all Germans

It is with great interest that I read Viola Herms Drath's column "Germany's fence menders at work" (Commentary, Wednesday). In it, she commented on certain German "fence menders" who want to make Americans forget the "jettisoning" of German-American relations by German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

Actually, this is the first time I have learned of the activities of these official German visitors to America who are trying to fix the U.S.-German relations broken by our socialist chancellor. Apparently German newspapers which mostly follow a socialist party line, by the way have not bothered to report on this.

It is my recommendation that America must not accept any excuses for Mr. Schroeder's anti-American rhetoric. Personally, I feel ashamed for his rampant offenses. I urge Americans to say to these German officials that repairing the damage Mr. Schroeder caused can be obtained if he leaves office.

Please do not forget that Mr. Schroeder is not Germany and that half of Germany's citizens voted against him.


RUDOLF NEUBER

Bad Kreuznach, Germany

From the mouth of Marx

Balint Vazsonyi's column "The price of 'capitalism'" (Commentary, Sunday) is flawed when he writes "V.I. Lenin declared [the proletariat] can lose nothing but its chains."

As a matter of historical fact, this quote did not originate with Lenin. Rather, it is straight out of Karl Marx's "Communist Manifesto" in the last sentence of Chapter 4. So this is a Marxist, not a Leninist denouement.


J.D. TAYLOR

Alexandria

Thomas Jefferson is okay, Clarence Thomas is not?

I read with interest the article in Monday's paper about CQ Press' refusal to permit me to dedicate my book on the Declaration of Independence to Justice Clarence Thomas ("Publisher's refusal to dedicate book to Thomas angers editor," Nation). A couple of additional points should be mentioned.

First, the publisher's refusal violates centuries of publishing practice. Second, contrary to the publisher's purported assertion, I didn't make the dedication decision when the contract was signed. (I did it after the book was finished.) Third, the contributors, to the best of my knowledge, are 100 percent opposed to what the publisher did. Fourth, I was told on several occasions that the decision was made because a dedication to Justice Thomas would hurt sales of the book. Finally, a foreword to a book, such as one written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (which the publisher permitted for someone else's book), associates the justice more closely to a book than does a dedication to a justice. This is because the person to whom it is dedicated usually doesn't even know about the dedication; Justice Thomas certainly didn't.

The first and second points are factual errors in the news story. I'm confident the reporter simply misunderstood when she was speaking with CQ Press. Those points are untrue, and I would be surprised if CQ made them.

What the publisher knows the facts to be are, with respect to the second point, that after the book was finished, I originally decided to dedicate the book to my grandparents. However, I changed my mind, as centuries of publishing practice permit me to do, after deciding that I would prefer to dedicate this particular book to Justice Thomas. (After all, the book is about the Declaration of Independence, and Justice Thomas has said more about the Declaration than any public figure since Martin Luther King.)

With respect to the third point, the publisher had sent me a letter trying to persuade me not to dedicate the book to Justice Thomas. In that letter, the publisher stated that some authors of its other books had published with it in the past because of its supposed neutrality. Even assuming this statement is true, it has nothing to do with the contributors to my book. It's also inconsistent with the publisher's permitting Justice Ginsburg to write a foreword to a book on women's rights, as I mention in my fifth point above.


SCOTT DOUGLAS GERBER

Assistant professor of law

College of Law

Ohio Northern University

Ada, Ohio

Foiled merger would have 'served public interest'

I am troubled that regulators with the Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department have rejected the EchoStar-Hughes Electronics Corp. merger ("Merger of satellite-TV providers turned down," Business, yesterday). Rejecting this merger will leave the federal government (using our tax dollars) to pick up the tab for linking rural America to high-speed Internet.

With the rapid expansion of technology, the government is trying to keep pace in making the latest developments available in all parts of the country. Unfortunately, because of burdensome regulations and other obstacles, the government's methods have proved to be ineffective and costly.

In fiscal 2002, Congress appropriated $700.5 million for the Education Technology Block Grant Program, $32.5 million for the Education Department's Community Technology Centers Program and $15 million for the Commerce Department's Technology Opportunities Program. The merger would have helped eliminate government interference in this emerging marketplace.

With the near collapse of the competitive telecom industry, the regional Bell companies control 86 percent of the digital subscriber line broadband market, and prices are rising as competitive options fall. The combined EchoStar Communications Corp.-Hughes Electronics Corp. entity would have ensured that no consumer would be a captive customer of the Bell giants, even in areas not served by cable television.

This merger would have actively served the public interest, but federal regulators and bureaucrats unfortunately do not see it this way.


THOMAS A. SCHATZ

President

Citizens Against Government Waste

Washington

A rocky road for career women

As Suzanne Fields indicates in "Down to the whine cellar" (Op-Ed, Thursday), there's one thing liberated women have learned, often to their bitter discontent, and it is that the life they have always longed for is the one men traditionally have longed to abandon. Young and twentysomething is the age of career. After 30, many career women have unhappily discovered in their liberation the slavery, abuse, exhaustion, anger, hopelessness, fear, alienation and resentment that most men always have been obligated to endure as they have been forced to juggle their desire for a family and the need to survive and provide.

Having two working parents is, in the end, just plain pointless, but that doesn't mean mom always has to be the one to stay with the children. What surprises me is that more men in this age of liberated womanhood haven't opted to become stay-at-home dads, reduce their chances for a coronary and work a home-based business on the side. I know I'm ready.


CHRISTOPHER MCKEON

Washington


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