- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 31, 2004

Seeing the future

In “Moving beyond regulation?” (Commentary, July 24) Dick Armey directs readers to a battle being waged at the Federal Communications Commission to determine what the future of telecommunications should look like.

What I see is a future of fewer choices and higher prices, prices that many senior citizens with fixed incomes can’t afford to pay.

Mr. Armey claims the 1996 TelecommunicationsAct brought us turmoil; I say it brought us lower prices, innovative services and more choices. And that’s what the FCC must continue to ensure through new rules it is drafting — lower prices, good service and competition.

Mr. Armey asserts that cable and wireless services will provide us with all the competition we need.

Although cable, wireless and Internet phone service may someday be worthy opponents across the country, they don’t yet reach many homes.

So, while Bell executives and their friends tout the benefits of competition among technologies, the rest of us are left standing and watching our telecom options dwindle.


National spokeswoman

Seniors Coalition


Just the beginning

“Agents seek Russian sale of nuke-boosting gas” (World, Thursday) reported that U.S. intelligence agents discovered that Iranian agents are taking part in advanced negotiations with Russia to purchase deuterium gas. Deuterium gas can be used in a nuclear fusion bomb.

However, Iranian officials have failed to report these negotiations to the International Atomic Energy Agency, the story reports. Nevertheless, an Iranian official claims it is all “nothing more than a rumor.”

This report can be looked at in two ways: Either U.S. intelligence is mistaken again or international nonproliferation laws are ineffective.

If the intelligence is incorrect, placing sanctions on Iran may be harmful to U.S. security. Iran, although an arguably democratic nation, is predominantly Muslim. Iran-U.S. relations can be detrimental or beneficial to the war on terrorism.

Regarding international law, this is just another example of how current international law has been ineffective. Made up of treaties, organizations and bilateral agreements, current international law lacks formality, adequacy and universality. Furthermore, it lacks strong leadership, guidelines and enforcement mechanisms.

Without solid international laws on proliferation, it is difficult to conclude that states or nonstate actors have nuclear capabilities. This has been evident with North Korea, Pakistan and Iraq.

Iran’s ability to obtain nuclear-weapon components from Russia is just a beginning.

The lack of reliable intelligence and the failure to accurately track components of weapons of mass destruction are obstacles rogue states and terrorists may easily defeat in obtaining WMD (assuming they do not already have them) and ultimately creating their own nuclear arsenals.


Research assistant

National Defense Council Foundation


Underlying causes of youth violence

Once again, violence has claimed the life of a young person, 15-year-old Myesha Lowe (“Young bloodletting,” Editorial, Wednesday). We must ask, what is the cause behind the recent rash of killings?

Violence in the community is directly related to the breakdown of the family structure. Teens from single-parent or step-parent homes are as much as 10 times more likely to commit crimes than those from two-parent homes, regardless of income level.

As long as Washington has a 73 percent out-of-wedlock birthrate, the problem of violent crime is not going to be solved.

One newspaper reported that some young men who had approached Myesha and two other women earlier might have shot Myesha.

If this is true, it would not be the first time that a real or perceived rejection by someone of the opposite sex or jealousy over a relationship was the possible cause of violence.

How can we emphasize respectful relationships between the sexes while breaking the cycle of out-of-wedlock birth? We can do this by emphasizing abstinence from sex until marriage.

In my work with the city’s middle- and high-school youth, I have found that they are willing to wait when they are shown the consequences of premarital sex by caring adults and older peers. Many have committed to abstinence until marriage, and they are willing to talk to the younger students about their commitment.

We must start looking at the cause of violent crime among youth, instead of only lamenting the effects. Mayor Anthony Williams, the D.C. Council and the school board need to encourage the formation of and funding of programs that direct youth to abstain from sex until marriage.

Abstaining from sex until marriage is at the very core of good character and is the beginning point for character development in adolescents and teens.

The D.C. Health Department rewards youth who become pregnant with many benefits, including free milk, cribs and medical care. On the other hand, how are abstinent youth being encouraged and rewarded?

Much more emphasis should be placed on abstinence education, disease and heartbreak than on caring for young, single moms and their babies.

By rewarding and encouraging abstinence until marriage, we will see a substantial change in the cultural environment of Washington. Taking these preventative steps will lead to a long-term cure for the urgent problem of juvenile violence.


Executive director

Urban Life Training

& Reality Assessment

Inappropriate parallels

Tony Blankley’s attempt to draw a comparison between the “group hate” he sees within the Democratic Party and the mind-set of one of the chief architects of the Holocaust, Reinhard Heydrich, is inappropriate and offensive (“The hate cure,” Op-Ed, Wednesday).

The racist musings of a Nazi have no place in a column about anti-Bush sentiment at the Democratic National Convention.

Already, we have witnessed numerous attempts this election season by supporters of both the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates to inject Nazi references and comparisons to Hitler into the campaign. It is time to put a stop to such odious comparisons.

The Nazi campaign of genocide, which resulted in the deaths of 6 million Jews and others, has no parallel in history. Nazi comparisons in a political campaign only serve to trivialize the Holocaust and to cheapen the level of political discourse in America.


Associate national director

Anti-Defamation League

New York

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