- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 22, 2006

No parking needed

Thursday’s Metropolitan section had a front-page headline reading, “Bid to hasten construction of ballpark parking hit.” So, the controversy continues.

Suppose our D.C. Council became innovative and banned additional parking altogether? Is this proposal so outrageous? Or, are we married to the glory of the almighty private automobile and thus unable to envision any institution standing without its own parking lot? Other civilized nations do so routinely — folks walk, take mass transit or drive a limited distance.

We are blessed in the District with moderate weather conditions. We should capitalize on this fortune and build the Washington Nationals ballpark with no additional parking. Not only will a savings of tens of millions of dollars be realized, but the quality of life surely will be uplifted by the mingling of folks walking, taking Metro, bicycling, etc., all to the benefit of personal health and sobriety — free from the tyranny of honking one’s way into a parking spot.



Rangel is wrong

Rep. Charles B. Rangel’s observation that “Republicans have … lost the public’s confidence in their management of the economy” is but further evidence that some within the political arena would elect to demagogue and attempt to rewrite history rather than understand and acknowledge it for what it is (“Rangel responds,” Letters, Thursday). Had Mr. Rangel taken the time (or required his staff writers to take the time) and done his homework by engaging in basic research rather than relying on the Democratic National Committee’s talking points du jour, he would have stricken his absurd assertion about the economy.

Had Mr. Rangel attended to the lessons evident in rudimentary data, he would have discovered that since the 2003 tax cuts (which, of course, we all realize benefited only the rich) the U.S. economic growth rate has been 3.5 percent, a rate that compares most favorably against 3.1. percent for the 1980s and 3.3 percent for the 1990s. The unemployment rate, at 4.6 percent, is 20.6 percent lower than the 1990s’ 5.8 percent average, and 40 percent lower than the 6 percent average over the past 40 years.

The Treasury’s most current data indicates that income taxes collected from all sources for the fiscal year to date are ahead of the same period last year by 13.4 percent, while outlays are down for the same period by 6.66 percent. The devastating bloodbath of budget-deficit red ink previously predicted by the Rangel school of economics has turned into another Alice in Wonderland prognostication.

The data clearly show that the current federal budget deficit, as a percentage of GDP, is 1.9 percent. This compares to federal budget deficits, as a percentage of GDP, of 2.1 percent for the 1970s, 3.0 percent for the 1980s, and 2.2 percent for the 1990s.

On a closing note, it would be exceptionally rewarding if the congressman would address a few comments focused on the continued dismal performance of the equity markets, in which tens of millions of Americans have billions of dollars invested. Surely, as with his insightful assessment of the current economic situation, he would be able to dissuade quickly those inclined to view, as a plus, the foolish experiment called free-market capitalism.


Glenview, Ill.

Will conservatives stay home?

Thank you for the article “Conservative voters likely to stay home” by Ralph Z. Hallow (Page 1, Thursday). I consider myself conservative, and I have identified at least one race this November in which I will not vote.

It is my judgment that a candidate for federal office, appealing for my vote, would remind me of all he has done to support the president, the secretary of defense and our military. He would remind me of all he has done to elevate the quality of public discourse on important issues. He should report his understanding of the facts and the competing judgments of those with whom he serves to those he represents. When an incumbent cannot do that, he lacks either the will or the ability to persuade. A practiced inclination to merely provoke after the fact serves no one well. Such an incumbent should find work elsewhere.

I am being told to vote for that incumbent if for no other reason than to preserve his party’s control of Congress, but how many such place holders can we so indulge? I am frightened to see a party resort to that strategy. A party that does or must campaign on that basis is a party already defeated.


Mount Lebanon, Pa.

Jihadists in Bangladesh

Friday’seditorialon Bangladesh’s persecution of journalists is, unfortunately, right on target (“Persecution in Bangladesh”). All too often in the past several years, journalists who have called for moderate responses to growing radicalism have been subjected to harassment, imprisonment and torture. For example, Shahriar Kabir was imprisoned and tortured upon his return from Indiaforadvocating secularism.

Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury’s fate hangs in the balance in a country that goes to the polls for its fourth election since the restoration of democracy. Amnesty International has been one of the few organizations working for the rights of people in Bangladesh to be free from the abuse Mr. Choudhury and his compatriots have faced. The editorial points to growing intolerance as a big problem for the country. I agree. It is good to see that the battle is joined for Bangladesh.


Bangladesh country specialist

Amnesty International USA

Ithaca, N.Y.

Sen. Allen and minorities

Please add one more African American woman to the George Allen camp (“Allen for Senate,” Editorial, Thursday) As a single parent who raised a child, alone, from the time she was 13 months old through receiving her doctorate, I only have time for the really important stuff. All I need to know about Sen. Allen is his record:

n He supported reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act.

n He sponsored the Minority Serving Institution Digital and Wireless Technology Opportunity Act to provide $250 million a year in federal grants for minority-serving institutions to upgrade their telecommunications infrastructure.

n Along with Sen. John W. Warner, he secured $850,000 to conduct low-cost or free counseling and educational workshops through the Women’s Health Center in Northern Virginia. The center serves women, men and children across all races and economic levels.

n Secured language in a comprehensive energy bill “to increase, to the maximum extent practicable, the participation and advancement of women and underrepresented minorities at every level of science, technology, engineering and mathematics education.”

Not only do I want other African-American children to achieve what my daughter has achieved, I want them to surpass her. It is a well-known fact that the best jobs in the future will go to those who are best prepared.

Business Week reported in 2005 that China and India graduate a combined 500,000 engineers and scientists a year, compared to 60,000 produced in the United States. Of the 60,000, only about 6,000 are African American. Increasing this number within our community requires an aggressive strategy. Mr. Allen cosponsored the National Innovation Act to provide tangible action items to increase America’s science and technology talent through grants, scholarships and training and to encourage minorities to enter these fields.

I am strongly supporting George Allen.



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