- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 9, 2003

Garner depicts reality in cartoon

Allow me to congratulate The Washington Times for running Bill Garner’s trenchant cartoon depicting our illegal-immigration problem (Thursday).

It does what cartoons are supposed to do: call our attention to situations, sad or comical, that we either do not see or are unwilling to recognize. The reader will note that, like a modern-day Prometheus, the figure of Uncle Sam is chained by endless hordes not for what he has done, but by a policy that substitutes inertia for a plan of action.

More salient is that our national symbol dozes, asleep at the wheel of government — with good reason: After 30 years of steadfast refusal by either party to deal with this issue, illegal immigration overwhelms the citizenry of this land. Who, then, will awaken the sleeping giant to a course of direct action? Remember that cartoon next November when you vote.

VINCENT CHIARELLO

Reston

Gore’s loyalties

I am sorry, did I miss something? Does anyone care whom Al Gore endorses? (“Gore throws support to Dean,” Page 1, yesterday)

I find it interesting and hopeful that Democrats, members of the anti-American party, kerfuffle around with whom Mr. Gore endorses. Gee, do we know whom Jimmy Carter is hot on now? Meanwhile, the more scheming of the Clinton duo is visiting our troops in Iraq and telling them they could lose, while Sen. John Kerry, the French-looking wannabe, is firing off the F word to look cool. What stars, all of them.

Modern Democrats do not seem to have the first clue about how Americans see them. They trash our military and degrade it, slander our president and make excuses for the people who murdered 3,000 in one morning on our shore. This is because none of them has a moral center: They all will say or do anything they think necessary to gain power. Fortunately, so far, they are saying and doing all the wrong things. Let’s hope they keep up the good work.

RICHARD STANARO

London

Planned support

Michelle Malkin’s Friday Commentary column, “Planned predators,” is a sad example of why Americans are so misinformed about sexual behavior and Planned Parenthood’s role in addressing it. As part of this community and as a public health provider for 66 years, Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington (PPMW) has an obligation to keep our young people informed and healthy and to encourage them to abstain.

As the adults, we also have to be brave enough to step back from our own biases and deal with the reality of what is happening with our children. PPMW opened its first teen clinic this May, in Northeast, to create a safe haven for teens. We provide teens with accurate information and free, quality birth control and screening services. A critical aspect of our approach is counseling sessions for parents and teens to ask open questions about relationships, self-esteem, sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy and how to say no. Parents come to us for the expertise; they provide the guidance.

We are working side by side with churches, community groups and schools in an inclusive approach to the crises of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections in this area. We are people of faith, parents and grandparents ourselves, and as difficult as it may be to accept, young people are becoming sexually active in spite of what we would hope.

The real “yikes” here is that adults can be so blinded by their own stubborn politics that they end up turning their backs on these issues instead of facing them head-on with us. Imagine the progress we could make if we all worked together to end the need for abortion by making sure our young people have the knowledge and medical care they need to avoid pregnancy in the first place.

JATRICE MARTEL GAITER

President and chief executive

Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington

Washington

Considering U.S. policy in Taiwan

Friday’s editorial “Keeping Taiwan free” named Zhou Wenzhong as Chinese foreign minister. Actually, Li Zhaoxing, a former Chinese ambassador to the United States, is foreign minister.

Elsewhere, the opinion “The people in Taiwan consider themselves Taiwanese, not Chinese” is debatable. According to surveys released by the Mainland Affairs Council in Taipei, Taiwan, about two years ago, 70 percent to 80 percent of the population indicated that they were both Chinese and Taiwanese. Most of them are one-half “mountaineers.” (One of their parents is a mainlander who came to Taiwan after World War II.) Numbered in millions, intermarriages between old and new immigrants have contributed to the domestic stability on the island.

Strictly speaking, Taiwan is not a country. Legally, it is a province of the Republic of China. At present, 27 countries diplomatically recognize the ROC as an independent country, enjoying full sovereignty. If President Chen Shui-bian abandons his vision and preserves the name of the ROC, the escalating tension between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait would de-escalate or disappear. After all, sticking with the status quo is also the U.S. policy toward Taiwan.

JAMES TSAO

Senior editor

Journal of Asian Economics

Washington

Weighing in on the ‘fat tax’

I completely disagree with the premise of Morton Kondracke’s Commentary column “Fight obesity with fat taxes?” (yesterday).

Taxing fats and sugars will do nothing but increase the prices of tasty foods and fund questionably effective government education programs. Personal responsibility and discipline once again get pushed aside when they should be brought to the fore.

Want to lose weight? Eat fewer calories than your body burns during a day. Don’t know what that number is? Take some time, do some research at the local library or on the Internet and figure it out.

Want your child to avoid sodas and candy machines at school? Talk to your local school board, not your congressman. People shouldn’t pay higher prices for the occasional hamburger and fries because their sedentary neighbors can’t distinguish the correlations among eating too much, gaining weight and being obese.

JEFFREY M. GNIPP

Arlington

BCS bricks it

In regard to yesterday’s sports column “Remember, to err is human”: Yes, Dan Daly, to err is human. You are an example thereof, for I can think of no other reason you would publish such a piece. Consider, if you can, that the Bowl Championship Series was created by humans and is thus as prone to error as any sportswriter. Consider further that the architects of the BCS likely never took a snap in their lives and thus do not understand the difference between conference and non-conference schedules. That appears to be beyond you, but don’t worry; it also has escaped the attention of those masterminds of the travesty that is the BCS.

In six years, we have witnessed at least two major mistakes with the BCS selection of title contenders. In that time, both the University of Colorado and the University of Southern California have been unfairly denied access to the title game because of the poor design of your system. Mathematically, that is one-third; the human polls that determined the national title before this stupidity had a much better record than the BCS.

It is your business if you want to continue to be an apologist for the BCS. I, for one, will not be subjected to either Mr. Daly’s commentary or the BCS trash.

RICHARD H.A. WOLFE

Leesburg, Va.


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