- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 22, 2007

Congressional hypocrisy

Donald Boudreaux’s observations (“Cool reception,” Letters, Feb. 9) are very interesting. I think we got a good look at some of the possible answers to his questions from the new Congress. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave an impassioned speech to the committee that was hearing testimony about global warming from so-called expert scientists. She cited the need for sacrifice and adaptation to combat wasteful use of energy.

After she left that hearing, she proceeded to a press conference where she repeated her demands for a bigger airplane than her predecessor’s. She said she was required to use the Air Force airplane for security reasons. Not true. That is just a suggestion. So much for honesty in the new Congress. Mrs. Pelosi further railed against the Air Force for leaking her demands for a larger aircraft. So much for transparency. I had such high hopes for the new Congress.


Potomac, Md.

Responding to higher-education misbehavior

As a concerned observer of higher education, I commend Asaf Romirowsky for pointing out that the double standards, censorship and other politically correct follies that abound in present-day academia will not end until donors begin to “ask questions about what is being done with their money” (“Scholar activism,” Op-Ed, Feb. 14). Readers also might like to know that the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA), a Washington-based bipartisan organization dedicated to academic freedom and standards, has come up with a way to serve notice on misbehaving universities.

ACTA supporters — like me — are making donations to ACTA to support its higher-education reform efforts in the name of certain universities. How’s that for turning the tables?

As the Yale alum who made the lead gift for this effort put it, “The contributions will register displeasure with, not honor, the university named. The contributor can thereby make it clear that his displeasure cost the university the contribution.” Meanwhile, ACTA will use the funds to promote reforms that are urgently needed. ACTA also will send letters to the offending universities informing them of their lost revenues and encouraging them to change their ways.

I encourage those who share Mr. Romirowsky’s concerns over the present state of affairs at their alma maters to join me in making an “in the name of” gift to ACTA, which can be contacted at www.goacta.org.


Morristown, N.J.

Guilty until proven innocent?

In reference to “Wealthy Serb faces deportation” (World, Wednesday), I find it ironic that after almost four years of trial by a kangaroo court at The Hague, Slobodan Milosevic, who conveniently died while incarcerated, was never convicted of any war crime, yet a man who became a permanent resident of Canada in 1993 is deported because he was a “senior adviser” to Milosevic.

That being the case, shouldn’t former Assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke, who said of Milosevic “He’s a man I can do business with,” also be held responsible for supporting the “Serbian strongman”?

I was always under the impression that you are innocent until proved guilty, yet just being a Serb associated with a previous government is enough to get you tossed out of a country.


Camp Hill, Pa.

Just say no to high-tax ‘darlings’

Donald Lambro’s article “GOP ‘darlings’ slow to sign tax-cut pledge” (Page 1, yesterday) should be a red flag to all conservatives and ought to spur them to action. According to Mr. Lambro, both Sen. John McCain and former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani are hiding behind their records as an excuse not to sign an anti-tax-increase pledge that has become routine for Republican presidential candidates.

It’s a “trust me” excuse. Well, “trust me” doesn’t cut it.

It’s time to send candidates from both political parties, but especially Republicans who pretend to carry the low-tax/limited-government standard, an unambiguous signal: No signature on the anti-tax-increase pledge, no vote at the polls. Why doesn’t some flush conservative advocacy group organize a voters pledge drive: “I pledge not to vote for any presidential candidate who refuses to sign the anti-tax-increase pledge.” Maybe that will get their attention. I’ll be first in line to sign it.



Social Security Foundation

Senior fellow

Institute for Policy Innovation

Warrenton, Va.

Wrong on Armenian genocide resolution

The editorial “Pelosi’s pandering against Turkey,” (Tuesday) makes the incorrect assumption that Congress’ consideration of the Armenian genocide resolution (H. Res. 106) focuses on events of the past. If the genocide in Darfur is any indication, ending genocide and crimes against humanity is the key battle of the 21st century.

Over the past 100 years, we have seen the Armenian genocide, Ukrainian famine, the Holocaust and genocide in Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda and now Darfur. How can the United States truly speak with moral authority in its efforts to promote peace and democracy around the world if we can’t speak truthfully about the Armenian genocide? What example are we setting through the State Department’s blatant submission to Turkey’s pressure as it lobbies our own Congress to deny this crime?

In considering H. Res. 106, the United States has a historic opportunity to honor human rights and take a step toward the reconciliation of two peoples still divided by this genocide and the state policy of denial instigated by the Turkish government since 1915. Far from focusing on the past, passage of this resolution would be an investment in our future — a future without genocide.


Weehawken, N.J.

I was not at all surprised to read yesterday’s Op-Ed column “Armenian genocide folly,” which gave a doom-and gloom account that amounted to a transparent attempt at fear-mongering over the proposed Armenian genocide resolution. Soner Cagaptay’s conjecture that passing the resolution will “sever the bilateral ties” between the United States and Turkey is hogwash and a testament to the futile and increasingly desperate attempts by the Turkish state to revise history.

Everyone knows that Turkish-American relations were tarnished irreparably when Turkey refused to support the United States on the eve of the Iraq war — long before this resolution was conceived. Indeed, Congress will not arbitrarily “pass judgment” on Turkish history if it passes the Armenian genocide resolution. Rather, it will reaffirm decades of historical scholarship by impartial historians and several international scholarly, legal and human-rights communities that have corroborated the Armenian genocide. Mr. Cagaptay’s wrongheaded contention is intellectually indefensible and not conducive to attempts to uphold human rights.



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