- The Washington Times - Friday, February 25, 2005

Speak up, Congress

Paul Greenberg’s column “Democrats for life?” (Commentary, Thursday) exposes the divide between party leaders, who are tired of losing elections, and rank-and-file Democrats, who tend to support abortion on demand. Mr. Greenberg has done a masterful job analyzing this issue and its implications for Democrats in future elections. Cleveland about a newborn whose life was saved by heroic efforts by doctors and nurses who diagnosed the infant’s problem and drove more than 60 miles to the only hospital in the area with the expertise to save the infant’s life. The child’s father recorded the entire saga on his video camera, and it was proudly aired on the 11 o’clock news as a story with a happy ending.

But although my liberal-dominated, pro-Democrat local TV station saw this miraculous, lifesaving event as newsworthy, no news coverage is given to the daily carnage that occurs here in local abortion clinics. It seems that educating viewers about the tragedy of abortion would only drive more voters into the pro-life camp, and the liberal media wouldn’t want that.

The Supreme Court affirmed legalized abortion in Roe v. Wade in 1973, and since the landmark ruling, liberals, primarily Democrats, have bulldozed their way through to add such things as “partial-birth” abortion to their menu of death.

An issue of this importance should have required an amendment to the Constitution, which, in my opinion, would have failed.

With its ruling, the Supreme Court liberalized laws on abortion in 46 states. If our democracy has a flaw, then allowing the judiciary to override the legislatures of 46 states is it. Congress is the voice of the people, and it’s time that voice was heard.


North Olmsted, Ohio

The global marketplace

Regarding William Peterson’s article (“Global competition,” Op-Ed, Feb. 15): Rather than recommending Lou Dobbs to brush up his economic knowledge, Mr. Peterson might do it himself. Even the introductory “Economics” textbooks of professor Paul Samuelson (10th edition) and Samuelson and Nordhaus (16th edition) comprise long lists of utopian conditions necessary to make the “law of comparative advantage” applicable.

To name just a few, the trade should be a balanced barter; the economies should have neither deficit, nor unemployment, excess capacity, technical progress, nor uncertainty; exchange rates, prices, and wages should be “appropriate” and completely flexible; with no delay, cost or training, the displaced workers are re-employed by another industry sector; the economy is static, rather than dynamic. (In 2004, Mr. Samuelson analyzed a dynamic economy that had technical progress, and in that case rejected free trade.)

John Maynard Keynes completely rejected the law. He protested that in the real world — with unemployment and unbalanced trade — the law became inapplicable and irrelevant. He also was against the misplaced notion that the deficit country should bear the entire burden of adjustment and therefore was against currency devaluation, especially under fixed currency rates, which cover “pegging.” He considered the theory dangerous.

Also, free-trade advocates keep silent about the “factor price equalization theorems.” These theorems state that, even under full employment, wages should be equalized everywhere at a sufficiently low level. Unemployment makes everything even worse. To neutralize that, all trade participants should have high enough wages.

I can cite many more irrefutable reasons (unsustainable trade deficits, etc.) why the abstract theory is not applicable and why free trade is suicidal for this country. Number one is geopolitical: We have now no adequate tools of economic persuasion in diplomacy. In time of war, this is inexcusable.


Warren, N.J.

Neocons ” realists and idealists

Suzanne Fields addresses the term “neoconservative” in her column “Reality mugs us all” (Op-Ed, Thursday), arguing that neocons have “as many shades as Cher has hair colors.”

Are neocons realists or idealists? Realists, in balance-of-power parlance, view war as a legitimate mechanism for change in a world divided by competing poles of power operating under the “rules” of game theory. Realists claim to see the world as it is and life as “nasty, brutish and short,” to quote Thomas Hobbes. Nations integrate and disintegrate into and out of alliances based on self-interest or “superpower” coercion. The usage of terms such as “human rights” and “communism” is only a propaganda mechanism known as “ideology” and functions to trick citizens into siding with one or the other power center.

In a world divided by the Berlin Wall, nation-states lined up against each other in coalitions, often of the unwilling, around the main poles of the United States and the Soviet Union. The two main poles fought each other through proxy wars.

The idealists, or Wilsonians, on the other hand, operate from a utopian perspective, believing that the larger canvas of the international system could mirror the cohesion of the state. Moreover, in this view, the system, rather than being motivated by power considerations, is motivated by moral and ethical considerations.

The neocons of today value the idealists’ export of human rights to, for example, the former Soviet Union and the export of democracy to the Middle East, but the latter spread through the realist mechanism of war. Although human rights and democracy are “soft” goals, war is a calculation of hard power.

Neocons bridge the formerly opposite poles of realist and idealist and export a combination of the two, defying the earlier firewall between the realists and idealists.



Unsung heroes at WHO

We’re fortunate to have the World Health Organization (“No hajj epidemics,” The U.N. Report, World, Feb. 14). It is one of those necessary U.N. agencies that, if it didn’t exist, we would have to invent.

Too often, however, we don’t hear about the effectiveness of this agency in protecting our health. There’s more media interest in Michael Jackson’s trial and the start of baseball spring training.

This month, a WHO conference grabbed headlines in some newspapers when it reported on the potential for an outbreak of influenza. We also heard about WHO keeping a close eye on the health of religious pilgrims. And without the WHO, the 2003 SARS epidemic could have been much worse.

We’re lucky to have a committed group of health professionals from around the world who choose to cooperate through the facilities of the World Health Organization. WHO professionals should get more recognition for their good work — and probably more funding, too.

In today’s world, Americans’ health depends as much on disease control and prevention in places such as China, Africa and the Middle East as it does on control and prevention at home.



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