- The Washington Times - Friday, January 21, 2005

‘Faulty’ teen-sex study

The validity of the study by the Alan Guttmacher Institute claiming that if family planning clinics were forced to tell parents of their children’s use of contraceptives things would be worse for all teens is suspect (“Teen sex won’t stop if parents are told,” Nation, Wednesday). The authors of the study also claim the results can be applied to teen abortion.

The study surveyed only teens who already were sexually active and who frequented family-planning facilities, which are mostly Planned Parenthood facilities and mostly (78 percent) in minority neighborhoods, where there are many dysfunctional families. (For example, 70 percent of black families are single-parent families).

It would be a giant leap of faith in the notoriously ineffective teen contraception program, which has resulted in teen pregnancy and an epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases, to believe the study results could be applied to all teens and families. The majority of teens, perhaps because of abstinence programs, are remaining abstinent.

Claiming that such a faulty study can be applied to abortion flies in the face of polls showing that a vast majority of parents want to know about a minor’s abortion decision and of statistics in every state that show parental-notification laws decrease teen pregnancy and teen abortions.

Planned Parenthood profits, and government funding (at least $150 million annually) would be at risk if the truth was found — that teens wouldn’t engage in teen sex and abortion if parents were made aware of such activities.

RICHARD A. RETTA

Rockville

The 55th inauguration

In writing about President Bush’s invoking God’s name in his inaugural address, it was erroneously reported that “• nly Theodore Roosevelt’s 1905 speech and Calvin Coolidge’s address in 1925 made no mention of God” (“Faithful Bush calls on God’s blessings,” Page 1, yesterday). In fact, both presidents did, indeed, invoke God. Like many of their predecessors and successors, they used their own special rhetoric in doing so.

In the case of Roosevelt, the country’s youngest president spoke “with gratitude to the Giver of Good, who has blessed us with the conditions which have enabled us to achieve so large a measure of well-being and of happiness.”

Coolidge, who had lost his young son to blood poisoning months earlier, ended his address with: “The higher state to which [the United States] seeks the allegiance of all mankind is not human but of divine origin. She cherishes no purpose save to merit the favor of Almighty God.”

Make no mistake, every president has chosen to invoke God’s name based on the enormous undertaking before him and his own belief that the United States does indeed remain one nation under God.

JAMES P. MOORE JR.

Former assistant secretary

of Commerce

Arlington

I truly applaud the sentiment expressed by President Bush during his inauguration speech: to work toward “ending tyranny in our world.” As citizens of the free world, we all should be encouraging foreign societies to embrace freedom and renounce authoritarianism.

However, this is not and should not be the primary goal of the president of the United States. Our leadership’s primary mission is, above all else, to strive to increase America’s power in the world. For that reason, I resent and oppose this administration’s decision to spend American resources on endeavors that will not, in the end, increase American power.

The continuation of policies based on unilateral aggression against tyrannical regimes will result in significant losses in both our hard and soft power. There are numerous other, more pressing issues that are more worthy of our hard-earned resources.

The cause of “ending tyranny” in foreign countries is something that is best undertaken collectively with our democratic allies, who can finance a large part of the cost. To do so unilaterally is to open ourselves to the charge of imperialism, to drain away our tax dollars and to distract our attention from more pressing matters, such as fighting terrorism.

I sincerely hope that the Bush team comes to recognize this fact before weakening America in a fundamental way.

CARLOS STAGLIANO

Washington

While they are still mocking the president’s second inaugural address, I wonder if liberals realize the exquisite irony of their folly. I thought ideals such as protecting the dignity of all human beings and opposing the suppression of liberty by tyrants were based on aspirations that spring from the hopeful hearts of those who adhere to quintessential liberal values.

Is the fact that these imperatives are coming from the lips of a Republican president too burdensome? How odd, indeed, that they find themselves ridiculing these notions, which once were thought to be integral to their ideology, simply because of their blinding hatred of the president.

MIGUEL A. GUANIPA

Whitinsville, Mass.

Having been at the swearing in and at the parade, I found it really funny to see what passes for “the opposition.” First, you could smell them all before they got there.

Second, they were mostly either 18- to 22-year-old former high-school nerds who haven’t found their place yet in college or homeless guys who got some extra booze cash to help out.

What you realize about the protestors when you get to hang out with them is: Who cares what they think? They are whining about the social programs because they are going to be on them one day. They whine about capitalism because they know they will never hold down a decent job. They whine about the war because they will never have enough willpower to change themselves, much less the world.

I say protest. Protest away. Yes, you will be the darlings of the media as long as you carry a coffin draped with an American flag one minute and burn that flag the next, but that only lasts as long as the cameras are around.

I love this country. It is so easy to know who the good guys are.

CHRIS FISHER

Gaithersburg

Korea and MacArthur

According to the article “South Koreans doubt relevance of MacArthur” (World, Tuesday), some Koreans in Inchon want the statue of Gen. Douglas MacArthur removed because “protest groups [are] angry with American policies.”

It seems that some protesters in South Korea are as dimwitted as leftist protest groups in the United States. Despite our many disagreements with the foreign policies of France, I’ve never heard of any American, left or right, in his right mind or otherwise suggest that the statue of the Marquis de Lafayette that sits directly across from the White House should be removed. No one has suggested stripping his name from the park. Young South Korean leftists evidently have more emotion than brains, much like our own leftists, when it comes to an appreciation of history.

MacArthur has as much to do with current American policy as Lafayette has to do with French policy. Perhaps the young South Korean leftists would prefer a statue of the “Great Leader” Kim Il-Sung or the “Dear Leader” Kim Jong-il. A statue of either of those tyrants would be a nice counterpoint to the name of the park in Inchon: Freedom Park.

JOSEPH R. FARRELL

Alexandria

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