- The Washington Times - Monday, January 3, 2005

Slowly we prosper

James Glassman’s article “Richer than our children” (Commentary, Dec. 23) says that America’s economy typically grows at 3 percent or more a year and, therefore, in 48 years, Americans usually become four times as rich.

Mr. Glassman is missing the difference between per capita and total economic output. As the population has grown at about 1 percent a year or more, per person output has grown at just about 2 percent a year. It has taken roughly 35 years for per person economic output to double and 70 years for it to quadruple.

RICHARD BRUCE

Davis, Calif.

Government becoming more intrusive?

After reading Dennis Bailey’s “Safer and freer in 2005,” (Commentary, Saturday), I had to pinch myself to see if I was dreaming. Is this a joke? Are we really doing all this stuff to ensure our security? His enumerated “reasons” for optimism are nothing if not an Orwellian recipe for a powerful government nosing into every last aspect of our lives.

For starters, I think some insight can be gleaned from the fact that government accountability is the very last item on the list. His touting of civil liberties boards rings hollow for the simple reason that all of government is instituted to secure our unalienable rights; we should never be reduced to mere “offices of rights and liberties” or other such phony institutions.

Realistically, these policies will result in bigger, more intrusive government at all levels than what we have now. Yet what we have now takes about half of what we earn, has troops stationed in more than a hundred countries, is actively occupying two of them (equivalent in size to Texas and Montana) and has the largest percentage of its people in jail of any industrialized country.

If this article is any guide, Mr. Bailey’s calls for “openness” refer mainly to various agencies of the state being “open” to sharing information on us with each other and “open” to dispensing special favors to those who submit biometric information to them. Will this make us safer? Doubtful. Freer? No way.

THOMAS H. DESABLA

Silver Spring

Up and coming home-schoolers

Jay Ambrose’s keen commentary (“Goliaths beware,” Saturday) is right on the mark. Patrick Henry-type home-schooled students are everywhere and are a force to be reckoned with. They are academically gifted, politically astute and stand for what most of America has lost: a determined work ethic based on a Judeo-Christian worldview.

This phenomenon has been in the works for decades, and I have been fortunate enough to see it firsthand — bright young minds discuss complex books and articles with ease and go on to win regional, state and national contests (Math Counts, National Geography Bee, National Spelling Bee). They have made their presence known in local, state and national campaigns; worked as congressional interns; and volunteered their time at shelters for the homeless, hospitals, nursing homes, the Special Olympics and other worthy causes. The list goes on and on.

It’s a phenomenon that will last. For too long, elitist and leftist academia have looked down their noses at others, self-styling themselves as the best and brightest minds in America. For too long, home-schoolers have been viewed with a jaundiced eye as they applied to secular universities despite impressive SAT and ACT scores. They have been sneered at and categorized as country bumpkins who are not up to the “true” academic standard. The students at Patrick Henry College and the many others like them at other colleges and universities are the Davids of their generation, and the opening stone has been thrown. One Goliath has felt the sting, and the others had better start watching out because these youngsters not only embody the true spirit of the original Patrick Henry, but also have the intelligence and work ethic necessary to challenge the leftist stranglehold on public policy and their ipso facto viewpoint on right and wrong.

This phenomenon is here to stay because some of these same students have younger brothers and sisters following the same path, and as Mr. Ambrose has aptly stated, “Patrick Henry students will eventually make themselves felt on the real issues, and America will have reason for gratitude.” To some extent, they already have. It’s only a matter of time before other Goliaths feel their impact.

JEFFREY D. WATTERS

Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.

What if?

Thanks for running the article “Spanish Civil War victims speak out” (World, Sunday). If the United States, the United Kingdom and France had come to the defense of the elected Spanish Republican government in 1936, as Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini rushed to help Gen. Francisco Franco’s rebellion, the Nazis might not have been able to start World War II, Josef Stalin would not have had time to stick his nose into the matter, and today’s world would be a far different and probably better place.

EDD DOERR

Silver Spring

To America’s defense

Christian capitulation is the objective of a “leftist control agenda,” according to Walter Williams (“Attacking Western values,” Commentary, Sunday). How true. Mr. Williams questions “how we should respond.” Consider the following for starters.

First, the root of the problem is in the federal judiciary. To remove the liberal agenda from our courts, it is imperative that the Republican Senate do whatever is necessary to advance President Bush’s judicial nominees to the floor of the Senate for an up-or-down vote.

Second, an army of lawyers spread across this land are intent on defending the attack on Christianity. Part of this defense should include an offensive counterattack against the American Civil Liberties Union. Each and any abusive, frivolous or otherwise improper assault by the ACLU should be met in kind in court. In other words, attack the ACLU.

Third, parents need to be more involved in schools. For example, parents should nominate and elect PTA representatives who will fight against the attack on Christianity and assure that administrators, principals, teachers and PTA representatives implement a common-sense approach rather than the absurdities practiced by some educators.

Issues parents must keep within their sight include curriculum and textbook content as well as the more emotive issues such as Christmas. Teachers need to assure that their union truly represents them and what they believe rather than the agenda of its leaders .

Fourth, the electorate needs to control elective officials and their appointees through the ballot box. November 2004 was a good start .

Finally, although Christianity is the target today, the real enemy of the liberal left is religion. We must all be aware of that.

ROBERT HARGEST

Alexandria

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