- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Free State no more

Maryland legislators have indicated they do not intend to “waste their final hours” on many bills that have either been ignored or shoved into a drawer by a committee chairman (“Maryland lawmakers eye easy finish,” Metropolitan, yesterday).

While House Speaker Michael E. Busch, Anne Arundel Democrat, is reciting “Casey at the Bat,” the legislature is passing bills that infringe on the people’s free will, such as the feel-good smoking ban, claiming it is for their own good health. At the same time, they ignore AARP’s bill to expand their health insurance for seniors, the people who need it the most.

This legislature — our representatives — have put healthcare on the back burner because they can’t agree on the bill. But they won’t “waste” their time finding a compromise. Nor will they even consider bills that would restore our basic human right of self-defense. They’ll give handgun permits to people carrying a lot of money to protect themselves while the rest of us are left to the wolves.

Adding insult to injury, they passed the bill to bypass the Electoral College and award Maryland’s 10 electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the majority of the popular vote, even if Marylanders voted for the other guy. So much for our constitutional republic. Why bother to vote when the parties will do it for us. “Casey at the Bat”: “Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining.” But in Maryland the cloud of oppression looms.


Frederick, Md.

Anarchy in Annapolis

It does appear that Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley has assumed the mantle of leadership for the existing fifth column of anti-American politicians who prefer criminals to citizens (“O’Malley backs in-state tuition for illegal aliens,” Metropolitan, March 29).

The torch was passed from Doug Duncan, former leader of the illegal alien movement in “The Republic of Montgomery County.” Now Mr. Duncan is ensconced in the liberal bastion of the University of Maryland. I wonder how many more classroom seats will be taken by criminals instead of American citizens and legal residents.

Mr. O’Malley presents his requisite load of farm fertilizer by stating: “We are not a people or a country who… condemn people to … the shadows.” Of course we are. It’s called the rule of law. Criminals hide in the shadows and we go get them. The folks in Annapolis have no clue what law is. They just make it up as they go along.

House Minority Leader Anthony J. O’Donnell is quite right in his objections to this anarchy. The lunatics are indeed running the asylum. Foreign nationals, who have committed uncounted offenses against the United States, are now preferred over law-abiding citizens.

Mr. O’Malley has worn out his welcome even before his chair is warm. He and state Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. can make reservations for Mexico at any time. Seems these local dons would rather be there than in the United States.



A chilling theory

In his letter, “An important message” (Saturday), Edd Doerr advocated population control as a solution to the unproven hypothesis that human beings are the source of global warming.

An example of this method of population control is the U.S. funding of the Chinese coercive abortion program that limits each woman to one child. Subsequent pregnancies are forcibly aborted and her husband and relatives are dealt with harshly. The government even monitors women’s menstrual periods.

Mr. Doerr’s position is identical to that of Al Gore, the Don Quixote of global warming, as described in an article in The Washington Times from Oct. 2, 1997 titled “Third World birth control tops Gore’s list of ‘global warming’ cures.” Mr. Doerr and Mr. Gore promote expanding the availability of abortions in developing countries — a racist and morally disgusting position. These attempts to suppress population bode tragic effects in the future.

For example, Michael McManus, in his article “Holocaust of female babies” published March 14 in virtueonline.com, cited abortion as a major impetus for the killing of 100 million female babies in Asian countries, resulting in an excess of males at 100 million in those countries. China itself estimates that men will outnumber women by a staggering 300 million by 2020. The Gore/Doerr solution to this population imbalance will no doubt be similarly draconian.


Silver Spring

When the price isn’t right

Manufacturers have a moral right — and should have the legal right — to set the retail price of their products (“U.S. Supreme Court hears pricing case,” Web site, March 27). As the legitimate owners of their property, manufacturers — as any other sellers — have a right to set the terms of sale of their own products. If a retailer does not agree with the terms of sale set by a manufacturer, if he judges the terms to be unreasonable or unprofitable, he is free to reject the manufacturer’s terms and seek other suppliers with different pricing policies.

To properly answer the question of what price to charge requires that a producer make difficult, consequential judgments.

If a manufacturer sets his prices too high, he loses customers and risks a sharp decline in sales. If he sets his prices too low, he cuts his profits and may even take a loss. Setting prices at the right level is a difficult task for any manufacturer, a task he must be free to tackle without government interference.

The objection that consumers are harmed by certain pricing policies is groundless. Consumers are under no coercion to buy anyone’s products. They aren’t harmed by a manufacturer’s decision to set his prices as he sees fit.

If they judge a product to be too expensive, they can go their own way, unharmed and free to shop elsewhere. Just as a manufacturer has no right to force consumers to pay the price he wants, consumers (or government officials) have no right to force a manufacturer to sell at the price they want.

The fact that a manufacturer may be punished under antitrust law for setting the retail price of its products indicates the irrational and unjust nature of antitrust law. We can hope for the day when the Supreme Court will no longer condemn innocent companies for violating antitrust law, but instead will condemn antitrust law for violating the rights of the innocent.


Ayn Rand Institute

Irvine, Calif.

Merits of merit pay

There is a bipartisan effort in Congress to push merit pay for teachers (“Merit-based rewards for teachers pushed on Hill,” Nation, Monday). Some are questioning how merit will be determined and who will make the determination.

Since many states have some form of standardized testing for students, teachers who get passing rates within a certain range would qualify for merit pay. Teachers, school boards, superintendents, administrators and the state legislature could jointly set the range.

The difficulty with a merit system is the impossibility of assigning to teachers students who are equal in all respects. Students are randomly placed and therefore, the variation of students is not that great. But if merit pay is based on a passing range, then one student who has poor attendance, and therefore fails a particular standardized test, could eliminate a teacher from the merit pool.

Teaching is not the same as painting a house, for example. One can easily determine the best painter from among several painters because we start with wall surfaces, and we judge based upon on how the finished product looks. Because each student is different, judging teachers based on how their students perform on a particular test has some problems.

Although merit pay is not perfect from a teacher’s point of view, it is an incentive likely to force teachers to be more innovative and creative, which would probably lead to better educated students, at least from the standpoint of passing standardized tests.


High school physics teacher


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