- The Washington Times - Monday, December 8, 2003

Jaywalking with Dean

Jay Leno has a segment on the “Tonight Show” called “Jaywalking,” in which people on the street are asked easy questions, and many give stupid answers, as if from an alien planet. An example might be, “Who is the vice president?”and the passer-bymightanswer, “Mickey Mouse.”

I thought of Mr. Leno’s funny little game when I read that Howard Dean had referred to the Soviet Union four times as if it still existed (Inside Politics, Nation, Dec. 3). I realize Vermont is a small, sparsely populated state, but even folks up there must know that the Soviet Union has been defunct for more than a decade. Where have you been, Mr. Dean?

It occurs to me that with his proven expertise, Mr. Dean is targeting the wrong office in seeking the presidency. He is a logical aspirant for “Jaywalking.”

By the way, I’m a lifetime registered Democrat.

NATHAN DODELL

Rockville

Nancy Dunning was ‘heart of Del Ray’

Your article on Nancy Dunning’s death (“Sheriff’s wife found dead in home,” Metropolitan, Saturday) was mean-spirited. It was inappropriate to describe her as “touting” her background in politics and social work.

Like all successful people, Mrs. Dunning found a unique way of expressing herself. Her writing for her real estate copy and column in the Gazette Packet used language that was sparkling and humorous. Her involvement in community affairs helped make Del Ray an interesting, desirable and entertaining place to live, not just another metropolitan suburb.

She may have been dubbed “the Queen of Del Ray” by her competitors, but for her family and friends who will be without her for Christmas, she was the heart of Del Ray.

CAROLEE PASTORIUS

Del Ray

Planned value shift

Michelle Malkin’s column “Planned predators” (Commentary, Friday) summed up what many of us have known for years: Planned Parenthood lures young people into a promiscuous, parent-free lifestyle (choice, you know), then provides them with the means (again, usually without parental involvement) of fixing the consequences of poor choices (abortion).

In my experience, when people are made aware of how Planned Parenthood functions by injecting itself squarely between children and their parents, by going into schools and churches to provide sex education and by using millions of taxpayer dollars to provide birth control and abortions, they begin to question Planned Parenthood’s motives. Though I am solidly pro-life, I still can explain to someone who is pro-abortion that any organization that attempts to dissuade my children from the values I impart to them, that often fails to notify law enforcement when a rape (statutory or otherwise) has occurred, instead providing girls (often 14 and younger) with judicial bypass forms so they can take care of their “problem” without telling their parents about sexual activity and that uses taxpayer dollars to undertake these actions is not concerned about reproductive rights and women’s health.

In order to survive, the organization must create a customer stream, which can exist only by perpetuating a culture that is value-neutral, completely secular and glorifies death as the best choice for the unwanted, the weak, the imperfect or the poor. One need only look to the case of Terri Schiavo to see the ultimate result of this radical shift in thinking about the value of human life.

KIM KUNASEK

Phoenix

Security and trade: strange bedfellows

Deroy Murdock (“Security trade-offs,” Commentary, Sunday) is right to argue that international economic policy should be better informed by the needs of national security. However, he is wrong about the nature of the problem preventing such cooperation. The Commerce Department and U.S. Trade Representative are influenced primarily by the transnational corporations that see any consideration of security or diplomacy to be an obstacle to free trade. This is why business lobbyists are always trying to lift restrictions on the sale of high technology or the transfer of production capacity overseas or at least put decision-making in Commerce rather than in the State or Defense department.

The Chamber of Commerce has taken the lead in this lobbying, especially in regard to promoting an appeasement policy toward Beijing. It wants to protect the Chinese investments of its largest members, who are helping to upset the balance of power in Asia. Mr. Murdock seems to be in sympathy with this practice with his naive claim that we should continue to reward China with larger shares of the U.S. market — at the expense of American output — because of Beijing’s help with North Korea. Yet Beijing has never deviated from its desire to maintain the Pyongyang dictatorship as a buffer state. It sees the current crisis as a reason to scare up more U.S. and regional aid to prop up the failed communist regime. Meanwhile, Beijing has renewed its threats against democratic Taiwan.

Treasury also has gotten into the act, with Treasury Secretary John W. Snow chairman of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). This committee is supposed to protect national security but is run by a department with no security responsibilities. Treasury’s only concern is recycling the trade-deficit dollars, so it rubber-stamps the foreign purchase of American high-tech firms and defense contractors. If foreigners won’t buy American goods, they should buy American factories. Again, the impact on the global balance of power and wealth is to be ignored. This is how great powers have declined throughout history.

WILLIAM R. HAWKINS

Senior fellow

U.S. Business and Industry Council

Washington

The numbers game

Julia Duin’s article on the Episcopal Church (“U.S. Episcopalians pursue alternative,” Page 1, Saturday) was one-sided. That’s OK, but at least try to apply the slightest bit of reportorial curiosity and skepticism.

You report that the Network of Confessing Dioceses and Congregation “includes … 384,935 laity. That’s the number of signatures to a statement of support on the Web site of the American Anglican Council.”

If you would just scratch the surface, you would discover that about 90 percent of that number represents three instances of one bishop or archbishop signing on behalf of his entire diocese or province and that most of those come from outside the United States. The diocese of Kitale Kenya was 150,000. The Web site also mentions one province with 184,000 people, although I am not sure where that is. The diocese of Fort Worth represents 18,000, and it is certain that not everyone in that diocese agrees with Bishop Iker.

Much more relevant is the much smaller numbers of individuals (1,500) and persons in families (about 5,000) and perhaps those in parishes (35,000) who are listed, although even those numbers may include persons who would not want to leave the Episcopal Church.

ELEANOR BRAUN

Fairfax


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