- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Prejudices at Gallaudet

Gallaudet University’s ousting of President-elect Jane Fernandes, who had a desire to increase enrollment to include those who weren’t privileged as young people to have American Sign Language as their primary mode of communication, is disgusting (“Gallaudet’s board ousts Fernandes,” Page 1, Monday). As a deaf person myself, I got much of my education through military schools and abroad — none of which supported ASL. I guess I also would be considered not deaf enough to attend the university, pay the tuition and finally feel confident with my skills at ASL.

Somehow I do not believe there is any truth in the message of the current president, I. King Jordan, on the Gallaudet Web site:

“As the world leader in educational programs for deaf, hard of hearing and hearing students, as well as an internationally recognized center of American deaf culture, Gallaudet enjoys a well-defined niche in higher education. No other college or university provides deaf and hard of hearing students with the kinds of academic and social involvement opportunities that Gallaudet does. Likewise, no other college or university offers hearing students interested in working with deaf and hard of hearing people the breadth and depth of scholarly and experiential possibilities that Gallaudet does.” Except in the case of Jane Fernandes I guess.

I am disappointed that the deaf community is among the ranks of the prejudiced.

LEIGH COOK

San Diego

Right and wrong

Bill O’Reilly calls opposition to California’s parental notification referendum “insane” (“Don’t tell mom or dad,” Commentary, Monday). His characterization of the opposition includes Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, New York Democrat, who taped a phone message to use to keep parents from knowing about their minor daughter’s abortion, even if she were impregnated by a sexual predator.

Mr. O’Reilly’s characterization is right on the money, but he fails to mention that money is why there is opposition. If teens know their parents will find out about their pregnancies, they will avoid pregnancy, thereby reducing the revenue of abortionists.

Mr. O’Reilly is fond of describing the preborn as “potential human beings,” an incorrect term because there is no point in our lives from fertilization to death when we are not fully human. Throughout our lives, we are always human beings with potential. Mr. O’Reilly has no biological basis for his claim and never says when and how we become “real” human beings. He can’t because any attempt at defining such an event would be illogical and, perhaps, insane.

Mr. O’Reilly is right on parental notification, wrong on the preborn.

JOHN NAUGHTON

Silver Spring

The Ortega alliance

Jose Rizo’s claim that “Most polls show the [Nicaraguan presidential] election is a tight race between Daniel Ortega and myself” is erroneous (“Nicaragua’s critical election,” Op-Ed, Monday). Only 1 of 10 published polls taken since August has shown Mr. Rizo to be the leading alternative to Mr. Ortega.

Every other poll, including the most recent CID/Gallup poll, has shown Eduardo Montealegre, not Mr. Rizo, as running second to Mr. Ortega.

Mr. Rizo also omits a crucial fact: that President Enrique Bolanos courageously supported the successful prosecution of his predecessor, Arnoldo Aleman of Mr. Rizo’s Constitutional Liberal Party (PLC), for corruption.

Many believe Mr. Rizo is beholden to Mr. Aleman, who remains boss of the PLC and who, to avoid prison time, has entered into an unholy alliance — the “Pacto” — with Mr. Ortega.

BILL GLEW

Washington

Pakistan’s Plan B

“Nuclear program oversight increased,” by David R. Sands (World, Oct, 24), is based on a subjective report by a senior Pakistani military official. I would like to counter it.

The only reason Pakistan would not allow the United States to interrogate serial nuclear proliferator Abdul Qadeer Khan is that he would confirm the involvement of Pakistan’s government and military in its nuclear proliferation over many years. Pakistan’s nuclear plants and other assets have always been under multilayered military and ISI intelligence security controls.

To suggest that Mr. Khan, perhaps with the presumed powers of Superman, transferred tons of materials and components to Iran, North Korea, Libya and other countries, perhaps over decades, without the government and military of Pakistan knowing, is the equivalent of pink elephants flying in Pakistan’s sky.

Pakistan continues to be a hub of both global nuclear proliferation and Islamic terrorism. Pakistan does not manufacture even basic car engines yet has exchanged nukes for North Korea’s missiles. If Uncle Sam is watching carefully, he would observe that Pakistan has to get missiles and components from North Korea, directly or indirectly, in spite of the United Nations Security Council ban, and can only offer nuclear technology, directly or indirectly, since it is bankrupt except for the financial assistance it receives from the United States and others.

Pakistan, using Plan ‘A,’ has tried its best to derail the U.S.-India civilian nuclear agreement. The United States, United Kingdom and international community agree that Pakistan has been involved in gigantic nuclear proliferation and that India has been a very responsible nuclear power. Pakistan would obviously do anything to get a civilian nuclear deal similar to India’s, as its Plan ‘B.’ It is elementary.

VIPUL THAKORE

London

Scandalous

Though I agree that it costs airlines more to fly obese people, I think it is disingenuous to talk about obese people using more gasoline (“Obesity drives up U.S. fuel appetite,” Page 1, Thursday). Did the study adjust weight factors against older cars (which are heavier)?

The continued focus on behavior rather than the addition of more refineries in this country is the real scandal. Congress needs to fast-track a new refinery and drop blended fuels in times of crisis — California being the exception.

HARRY JOHNS

Montgomery, Ala.

Bison bidders

Ted Turner’s Flying D Ranch will be auctioning off a bison that will be hunted and killed by the winning bidder in order to raise funds for the Montana Special Olympics. (“Charity auction set for bison hunt,” American Scene, yesterday). How very pathetic to use an animal for entertainment — to hunt him down in order to raise money. Couldn’t anyone have come up with a humane way of accomplishing this otherwise worthwhile fundraising drive?

It seems in a sense very hypocritical to kill any living creature for a cause. We are blaming others around the world these days for doing just that.

FRANCES FREY

Baltimore


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