- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 15, 2004

A ‘double-edged’ admission

Though most homosexuals will applaud New Jersey Gov. James E. McGreevey’s coming out (“New Jersey governor steps down,” Page 1, Friday), his revelation is, in fact, a double-edged sword.

Much will be said about the courageousness of his decision, and much more will be said about how much this does for the cause of same-sex “marriage.” Unfortunately, little will be said, at least by homosexuals and Democrats, about the duplicity, cowardice and selfishness that were involved in his deception.

Lingering in the back of everyone’s mind, too, must be this question: Would he have come out had there not been the threat of exposure? In spite of the circumstances, the news is important if it serves to show Americans that homosexuals exist at every level of the sociopolitical sphere and that not permitting same-sex “marriage” will continue to force men and women to seek the protection of the heterosexual marriage closet in order to conform to an anachronistic view of the world.

GEORGE HENSON

Dallas

On politics and menus

Thomas Sowell writes well and truthfully about the Democratic standard-bearers being “Political pretenders” (Commentary, Thursday). Both of the Johns rank among the most liberal of our 100 senators and, as Mr. Sowell clearly indicates, being known as a super-liberal when pursuing the White House is not very useful.

Thus, the necessity of mixing with the hoi polloi, of getting down here where the blue-collar types live, of pretending to understand a fast-food menu and, better yet, of actually preferring the grub to the truffleized fare usually consumed. A little skeet-shooting this afternoon, long John? No thanks, I much prefer to mix with the sweaty folks at the county fair.

While the flip-flop may be the dexterous liberal’s most sophisticated move, stage acting is rapidly developing. And not a moment too soon, for when George W. Bush kicks a cowpie down the pasture, farm animals and voting animals alike know they are seeing the genuine article. One thing about President Bush — not a scintilla of artifice there.

PAUL BLOUSTEIN

Cincinnati article that would probably not make it into most liberal newspapers. It is unfortunate that most city folks would rather turn a blind eye to what they are causing in many Third World countries by their consumption, so that they can enjoy an unspoiled viewscape on their 10,000-square-foot deck of old-growth cedar, off a 4,000-square-foot house on 10 acres of land (that used to be forested), with their two SUVs and their boat and/or snowmobiles in their three-car garage.

Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with wanting or having these luxuries. What is wrong is that many of these people do not want the materials to support these luxuries to come from their own back yards, or from America’s back yard at all.

America’s timber-harvesting companies do an exceptional job of using environmentallysoundforest management practices. By replanting the areas they harvest, they ensure that a future supply will be available in the years to come. It is a shame to see these forests sit idle or to watch our national forests burn to the ground through non-management, while we look to Third World countries to meet our needs.

America has most of the resources to satisfy its wants. Why is it that many folks can’t see through their fogged-over windows and accept what this land has given us?

DAVE HURWITZ

Renton, Wash.

Press problems

I thought that Arnold Beichman made a lot of good points about Arab journalism being AWOL (“Arab press impressions,” Commentary, Saturday).

Mr. Beichman quotes another author who says “the main [problem] is that we still have no professional journalists.” His point is well-taken. Mr. Beichman goes on to quote the author, who further says “it would be interesting to know why Arab journalists have not succeeded in conducting hundreds of interviews with people who knew Saddam up close … thousands of stories should be written on the lives of Iraqis — but where are the journalists … is it because of the lack of professional journalists?”

I submit to Mr. Beichman that the Iraqi people could easily ask the same questions about the so-called “elite” liberal American media.

COL. BLAKE ROBERTSON

USMC (Ret.)

Stafford

Oil: running a red light

Alan Reynolds’ article “Oblivious to oil” (Commentary, yesterday) was helpful in pointing out that higher oil prices have always choked off economic growth, and that this is occurring again now. But Mr. Reynolds is oblivious to the fact that oil is finite and that current supply shortages reflect a historic event: We are at or near the global peak of oil production.

Everyone is pumping flat-out to capture the profits of the highest oil prices in 20 years. Yet it isn’t enough. U.S. oil production has been in decline since 1970, North Sea production peaked in 1999, and it is falling fast. The handful of nations that haven’t yet passed their peak have to pump enough to make up for the falling production in other countries before they can add additional oil to fuel continued economic growth.

Declining production and higher prices are inevitable. A handful of foreign nations control the lion’s share of the world’s remaining oil. We need to deal with this reality.

While higher prices are inevitable, it isn’t inevitable that we must send all our money to other nations. We should implement a tax shift, reducing income and payroll taxes while increasing taxes on fossil fuels. Such a tax shift would result in higher oil prices, but also higher take-home pay with which to pay for it. This would provide a market incentive to reduce energy consumption and create renewable alternatives.

We will need a number of policies to respond to declining oil, such as an end to further road construction and greater investment in transit. Ultimately, we need to end our population growth and build a sustainable economy. Facing the fact that oil is finite is the first step.

CARL HENN

Rockville


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