- The Washington Times - Monday, April 9, 2007

Poor little lambs

That people would object to military personnel being portrayed with weapons is ridiculous (“Community at odds over fallen hero’s statue,” Page 1, Saturday). Would they also object to police officers being shown with weapons?

The Emily Cassidys and Linda Cuestas of this country want our children to be taught that no human life is worth defending — not their own lives, not the lives of family members or friends. They want people to act as sheep, ignoring the deeds of the wolves around them, fleeing futilely when the wolves turn in their direction.

Pacifism has never prevented a single act of brutality or saved a single life. If all life has value, do we limit that value to the amount of effort, risk or force we are willing to take to preserve it?

If the Emily Cassidys and Linda Cuestas do not want their lives and freedom defended by necessary force, they should be allowed to put their names and addresses on a do-not-defend list, which every jurisdiction would be obligated to observe and share with other jurisdictions; the police in Iowa should not have to assist a person from Ohio, for example, who does not want to be defended.

DARREL SALISBURY

Lorton

No mystery at all

Paul Greenberg’s article “Save the Electoral College” (Commentary, Saturday) makes a fine point regarding the unintended result of the bill in Arkansas being a French-like presidential election that neither represents the nation nor preserves our constitutional rights. There are two other points that must be made about this very dangerous movement.

First, Mr. Greenberg rightly decries the sophomoric appeal of “one person, one vote” to replace states voting for what state voters want with a national popular vote. Almost 100 years ago, the election of senators was changed (by a constitutional amendment) from “chosen by the Legislature thereof” to “elected by the people thereof.” This, too, was heralded by the “one person, one vote” cry. The result has been the election of senators who represent national causes and international agendas at the expense of their state.

Like the British and the Canadians, we might ask ourselves why we need such a “House of Lords” if they do not represent state interests while pontificating like lords of old in their lifetime roles on behalf of aristocratic self-interests. Are we surprised that we find ourselves with an ever-growing supply of federal laws, bureaucracy and unchecked (by states) power?

Second, Mr. Greenberg asks, “why would the state’s own legislature take away Arkansas’ right to vote for a president, and just go with the rest of the country willy-nilly?… Why sacrifice what little influence a small state has? It’s a mystery.”

Not true; it is not a “mystery,” it is clear as a proverbial bell. There is no state advocacy at the federal level. Federal politicians and federal bureaucrats are ruling more and more of our daily lives and they see no reason to pause in this march to absolute central rule of the nation.

State agencies like highway departments and fish and wildlife agencies get more and more of their funding (and direction) from Washington. State bureaucrats are graded on their success and speed in getting federal dollars. State politicians have bought into the illusion that federal dollars make them look good without having to raise taxes themselves.

And the federal establishment plays them like a piano as it assumes more and more of each state’s constitutional authority and jurisdiction. In this environment, any state bureaucrat or state politician who does not stay on the good side of federal power centers is taking their career in their hands as we all expect the federal government to provide everything for us.

So thank you, Mr. Greenberg for a fine article and my only hope is that readers will think about what is happening all around us. Government from the local (state) level is integral to the nation we know.

JIM BEERS

Centreville

Outing the ERA

The story “Democrats revive efforts for ERA,” (Nation, March 28) about the Democrats reviving efforts to ratify the so-called Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) sent me scurrying to dig out my copy of Sex Bias in the U.S. Code, a 1977 report by the U.S. Civil Rights Commission.

The purpose of the report was to show how ratification of the ERA would change federal laws to make them gender-neutral and “eliminate sex-discriminatory provisions.” The report’s authors were Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who currently sits on the Supreme Court, and Brenda Feigen-Fasteau, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

At the time of publication, Sen. Barbara Mikulski reportedly called Sex Bias in the U.S. Code “brilliant.” Bear in mind that all these people favor ratification of the ERA.

If ratified, ERA would mandate sex-integration of all federal prisons (p. 101); would force sexual integration of the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, because they currently “perpetuate stereotyped sex roles” (p. 145); sex-integrate college fraternities and sororities, replacing them with “college social societies” (p. 169); make it illegal for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day to be separate holidays (p. 146); outlaw the traditional concept of the father-breadwinner and mother-homemaker in all federal statutes (p. 214); and draft women into the armed forces, and place them in combat (p. 218).

In terms of morals, ERA would be a real humdinger. It would legalize prostitution in all 50 states (p. 97); reduce the age of consent at which one may legally have sexual relations to 12 years (p. 102); would repeal all laws against bigamy and cohabitation (p. 195); and repeal the Mann Act, a law that prohibits interstate sex trafficking of women (p. 98).

Terms like “he,” “she,” “him,” “her,” “his,” and “hers” would be dropped from all federal statutes, to be replaced by “he/she,” “her/him,” and “she/he.” Federal laws would be required to use the bad grammar of “plural constructions to avoid third person singular pronouns” (pp. 52? 53).

In its introduction, Sex Bias in the U.S. Code asserts, “the Constitution was written using the generic word ‘man.’ ” Such a statement makes me wonder if either of the authors, or the 15 Columbia Law School students who assisted them, had ever actually read the Constitution. The word “man” does not appear in the Constitution at all. Instead, it uses gender-neutral terms such as “person,” “member,” “representative,” and so on.

The ERA was never an instrument to assure equal rights for women. From its inception, it has been a Trojan horse designed to radicalize American society in ways we would never agree to if the goals were presented openly.

THOMAS M. CRAWFORD

Laurel

Hit ‘em again — harder, harder

In his column “Opting for failure?” (Commentary, Friday), Clifford May condemned the Democratic Party for responding to the popular desire to end American involvement in Iraq. The Republican Party has lost majority support because of the unpopularity of the war in Iraq. The Democrats would be fools not to exploit this fact. When a boxer can tell his opponent is in trouble he does not back off. He punches harder and faster.

The war in Iraq is an unprovoked war fought for false and probably dishonest reasons. It has been lost because the commander in chief is an incompetent who surrounds himself with advisers who have been chosen for their willingness and ability to make him feel good about himself.

Other people thought Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Perhaps the president did not lie. The best one can say about the war in Iraq is that Mr. Bush started it because he made a legitimate mistake and that he lost it because of additional mistakes. Nevertheless, failure should have consequences. I want Mr. Bush’s failure to cause serious and lasting damage to the Republican Party.

JOHN ENGELMAN

Wilmington, Del.

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