- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 3, 2005

Fair questions

Rep. Joe Barton, Texas Republican, wrote to three reputable climate scientists a few weeks ago and asked for the data underlying their 1,000-year study of global warming. Let me tell you, questions not only have answers, they have consequences.

The most common consequence so far has been a shower of gentle advice from politicians such as Rep. Henry Waxman, California Democrat, and Science Committee Chairman Sherwood Boehlert, New York Republican, who recently wrote to The Times to explain how he had run the House Energy and Commerce Committee (“Not a way to vet science,” Letters, Monday).

The Waxman-Boehlert advice boils down to this: “Questions? Questions? We don’t need no stinkin’ questions. Shut up and give us the money.” (Well, I’m paraphrasing, but you get the idea.)

If you have excess billions and no questions, the Boehlert-Waxman-don’t-need-no-stinkin’-questions policy is the one for you. Mr. Barton, meanwhile, means to let the facts speak for themselves.


Deputy staff director

House Energy and Commerce



The Bolton appointment

The recess appointment of John Bolton to be our ambassador to the United Nations should be applauded. The Democrats in the Senate stalled a vote on the nomination because they found Mr. Bolton too aggressive and intimidating. I suspect they would have found the late Mr. Rogers too aggressive as well.

The United Nations is a corrupt forum, as welcoming to tyrants as democrats, to religious bigots and racists as to the pure of heart. It is worse than hapless, for in some venues it is an evil presence, as exemplified by the scandals of oil-for-food in Iraq and sex-for-security in the Congo.

Mr. Bolton is a straight-talking, no-nonsense diplomat with the skills requisite to reform the world body. He will be a stalwart agent in the effort to save the United Nations from its own worst impulses.



Contrary to the statements of Sens. Edward M. Kennedy and Chris Dodd, President Bush’s recess appointment of John Bolton strengthens his influence at the United Nations. If the Senate Democrats had permitted, the majority of senators would have voted for Mr. Bolton. Now Mr. Bolton also has the president’s enthusiastic blessing. Consequently, he is doubly empowered to strike out against the windmills of pomposity and corruption.


Chevy Chase

I am glad President Bush decided to appoint John Bolton during the Senate recess (and in the aftermath of Sen. Bill Frist’s decision to fall away from the pro-life principles he has claimed to hold). I say, Bravo, President Bush, and please get even bolder in your Supreme Court nominations and stand by them.

My thoughts have turned to the possibility that the liberals have added something to the drinking water at the Senate Office Building, and it has affected some Republican senators in a bad way.

Think about the renegade seven and their “concern” over the filibuster — and now the leader of the Senate. Evidently, some Republicans do not do well when they are in the majority, having no idea that they can rule the roost, so to speak, and support our Republican president to the nines.

The Republicans caving in to the whimpers and cries of the other party at a time when they need to be showing themselves as leaders does not set well with this conservative. I suggest that we test the water.


Hermon, Maine

Road rage

The recent entertaining article by Robert Charles on “Road rage remedies” (Commentary, Monday) missed the major cause and cure for road rage. The cause is the failure of our region and many other metropolitan areas to build enough roads and bridges to meet the demands of the public. The cure is to build and plan roads and bridges in response to public needs rather than trying to force people off the roads into mass transit they don’t want to use. People are angry because the clogged public road system fails to meet their needs. Based on what we know, it will only get worse.

Alexandria and Arlington refuse to build adequate parking facilities based upon the proven-to-be-wrong theory that they can harass people out of their cars. The region does not build enough bridges, although building more bridges is the most cost-effective way to cut congestion. We have failed to add more lanes on Interstate 66 inside and outside the Beltway because of the cries of the few next to Interstate 66 at the expense of the public. Many planners want to decide where and how people should live and that citizens must abandon their cars. Instead, planners should build the roads where people are moving and where they need them. We should support dedicated tax revenues necessary to build more roads and bridges.

If the transportation system actually were responsive to what the public wanted, the public would be less angry about it.


Former delegate

67th District, Centreville


I object to the tone of “Road rage remedies” , although I do agree with the suggestion that drivers could “slow down and behave better.”

In my judgment, the writer adopts much too lighthearted an approach in addressing the problem of impatient, unsafe driving.

Anarchy reigns on interstate highways. Civility takes a back seat. In my experience, state and local police are rarely in evidence on highways. Truck weighing and inspection stations usually are closed. The mobile form of those stations is, I think, a figment of the various traffic and public-safety departments’ collective imaginations.

Traffic safety is serious business. A frivolous article such as “Road rage remedies” serves only to diminish readers’ perceptions of that seriousness.



Changing positions on stem-cell research

Praising Sen. Bill Frist for flip-flopping on President Bush’s policy limiting embryo-destructive research, Dan Thomasson inaccurately scorns “hard-right Christians [who] continue regarding as heresy any deviation from the strict adherence to stem-cell opposition” (“Grave mistake … with fallout,” Commentary, Wednesday).

Virtually all Christians, including the 17,000 members of the Christian Medical Association, support ethical adult-stem-cell research, which is currently providing treatments for more than 65 ailments. Our opposition to human-embryo-destroying research has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with the fact that it violates a clear moral imperative (“Thou shalt not kill”) while failing to demonstrate the imminent medical applications its lobbyists have unduly hyped for so long.

While maligning people of faith for “demand[ing] strict adherence to their dogma,” Mr. Thomasson appears equally committed to postmodern dogma that absolutely proscribes absolute moral standards.

Mr. Frist displayed this utilitarian moral relativism when he attempted to explain why he wants to kill human embryos for their stem cells, all the while maintaining that “the human embryo has moral significance and moral worth. It deserves to be treated with the utmost dignity and respect.”

What kind of moral schizophrenia advocates killing those whom we respect?

It’s time to put the double-speak and hype aside and aggressively pursue adult-stem-cell research, which is providing a consistently ethical and effective path to cures.


Senior policy analyst

Christian Medical Association


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