- The Washington Times - Friday, April 18, 2003

Translating transubstantiation

The Washington Times article "Canadian churches move to limit contagion" (World, yesterday) refers to the Roman Catholic Mass as a ceremony in which the wafers represent the body of Christ and the wine represents the blood of Christ.

The article should have phrased this more carefully to reflect Catholic doctrine, for Catholics believe that the wafer has actually been changed into the body of Christ and that the wine has actually been changed into the blood of Christ. They are not mere representations. The term for this miracle is transubstantiation, and it is an article of faith for all Catholics.


THOMAS F. KENNEDY

Allendale, N.J.

India weighs in on Kashmir

Tuesday's editorial "The cold war over Kashmir" makes an erroneous case for dialogue and mediation in the provinces of Jammu and Kashmir. For the past 55 years, it has always been India that has initiated dialogue with Pakistan. The most recent examples are Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's visit to Lahore in 1999 and his invitation to President Pervez Musharraf to attend the Agra Summit in 2001. The Pakistani military, however, has negated such efforts. Witness the Kargil misadventure and the continued aiding and abetting of terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir.

Gen. Musharraf made a solemn pledge to President Bush last year to permanently end cross-border terrorism against India. This is a pledge he has not yet fulfilled. India is willing to resolve all outstanding differences with Pakistan through bilateral dialogue within the framework of the Simla and Lahore agreements, but the ball is in Pakistan's court. It needs to act on its promises and stop terrorism once and for all.


SUNIL LAL

Press counselor

Embassy of India

Washington

Negligent response time

Last Saturday afternoon, just six days after the triple murder at the Colonel Brooks Tavern ("3 employees found dead at restaurant," Metropolitan, April 7), I was robbed and assaulted less than three blocks from the tavern. I called the police within a minute after the mugging, and yet it took a full six hours for the police to arrive at my house and file a report.

One would have hoped that, given the apparent need for heightened law enforcement in a neighborhood that just suffered such a tragedy, the Metropolitan Police could have responded more quickly, perhaps apprehending my attackers. Evidently, the police did not think so.

After the Colonel Brooks shootings, D.C. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey downplayed the fact that Northeast Washington is a high-crime neighborhood. Yet a comparison of crime rates here with those in other gentrified D.C. areas indicates that this is not the case.

To correct this problem, the response time to 911 calls clearly must be reduced. Otherwise, criminals will continue to victimize residents and Catholic University students such as myself in the Brookland neighborhood, knowing that they almost certainly will elude the police.

It is possible, of course, that the delayed response was caused in part by the fact that there was a large police presence overseeing that same day's antiwar protests downtown. Still, that would be no excuse. The D.C. police department's priority should be to police local neighborhoods where crime is a constant problem. If additional forces are needed on particular days, that should not come at the expense of normal policing duties.

In any dangerous neighborhood, and especially in one that recently endured such a horrific crime, the police should be able and willing to respond speedily to violent criminal activity. Those who live in Brookland, as well as all other high-crime areas of the District, deserve it.


JOHN LOUIS SCHWENKLER

Washington

Heritage holds line on drugs

Though Robert Sharpe of the Drug Policy Alliance stated in his letter yesterday that some thinkers at the Heritage Foundation may be "reconsidering their take on drug policy" ("Failed drug war" ), I want to reiterate that the Heritage Foundation has not changed its stance. Adjunct scholar William H. Peterson was speaking for himself in his book review ("The war on drugs," Op-Ed, Tuesday), and he did not represent the views of the foundation.

We continue to oppose the legalization of drugs and believe the best approach to this serious problem is the strategy established by President Reagan in 1982. It consisted of several components, including international cooperation, strong law enforcement, prevention and education, treatment, rehabilitation and research. This policy resulted in the reduction of drug abuse in the United States by more than 50 percent during the Reagan-Bush years. By contrast, programs such as needle exchanges have contributed to some of the highest rates of heroin use in the nation.

Undoubtedly, improvements can be made in all facets of the effort to control drug trafficking and drug abuse, but claiming "failure" and then advocating radical changes toward policies that would increase drug use are not in the best interests of our country.


EDWIN MEESE III

Chairman

Center for Legal and Judicial Studies

Heritage Foundation

Washington

Money matters

I hope policy-makers heed Money Matters columnist Charles Jaffe's call for personal finance to be taught in our nation's schools ("A call for formal financial education," Business, yesterday). Excuse the pun, but he's right on the money.

It's hard to imagine youths graduating high school or even college and entering the "real" world without knowing how to balance a checkbook, manage a credit card or build their savings, but that's an all-too-frequent occurrence. Many parents are uncomfortable with or unprepared to address money-management issues at home.

Effective programs exist to teach these basic money-management skills in the classroom. Some do so without the need to displace existing courses the reason, as Mr. Jaffe rightly points out, educators most often resist such programs.

For example, a module developed by the National Endowment for Financial Education and supported by America's credit unions fits within the context of math, social studies, economics or similar classes. That, plus the fact that materials are provided free, has persuaded about 7,000 high schools this year to incorporate this module into their teaching curricula, often with the help of guest experts from credit unions and other local businesses.

The subject of money management is too important for our children's future to be left out of the classroom. It's an essential application of several academic subjects. There are many free and low-cost ways educators and policy-makers can ensure that children acquire these skills, as well as businessmen willing to help teach them, and they should be pursued.


DANIEL A. MICA

President and chief executive officer

Credit Union National Association

Washington


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