GOP rule changes are affront to party's own grass roots
Re: "Paul supporters turned off by convention shenanigans," From Readers, Sept. 5
As one of hundreds of grass-roots-elected delegates to this year's Republican National Convention, I must agree with and expound upon Jane Aitken's assessment of the GOP's shenanigans. Those watching at home may not have fully understood the depths of the power grab that will centralize influence within the GOP and shun grass-roots activists.
A number of rules changes set forth by hired D.C. insiders allows presidential campaigns the right to remove duly-elected delegates and replace them with ardent campaign supporters. Long-time GOP rules guru Morton Blackwell and others fought tooth-and-nail against these changes because it would discourage new activists from getting involved with the Republican Party. Blackwell called the changes "a slap in the face to grass-roots people."
It is unfortunate that these rules were passed, but I refuse to give up. This should only light a fire under the many thousands of new Republicans who have joined the GOP in recent years. We must push back against those who want to centralize power and influence within the Republican Party and reach out to new activists to change our party for the better.
More roads, parking will not relieve traffic congestion
Re: "Proposed parkway near Manassas park provokes new battle," & "Groups criticize planned Reston tower," Aug. 31
The stated remedies in both these local news articles -- new highways and thus more automobiles -- fail to realizea "congestion relief" to the steady traffic increases in past years.
But this is old news. The common thread is the private auto controlling our very lives, to the extent of seeking ever-more parking, as with the Reston Tower's additional 1,100 new parking spaces.This apparently innocuous addition of new parking to accommodate more autosis a silent buthugespectertoourdeclining quality of life.
This reminds me of the old axiom that "what we wish for is often not what we need." If only these park superintendents and planning commissioners would recognize that congestion relief is not achieved via more roads, more parking and thus more autos.
Abortion zealot exposes his own unscientific bias
Re: "Most right-to-lifers are scientifically ignorant," From Readers, Aug. 29
Dino Drudi states that most people in the right-to-life movement are scientifically ignorant religious zealots.As proof, he offers the following statement:"The vast majority of biologists and physicians ... reject the notion of human personhood beginning at conception."
Since when did the notion of "personhood" become a scientificinterpretation? Any biologist will concede that a new human life begins at conception."Personhood" is an entirely different inquiry.
Unfortunately, the scientific fact of when human life begins is sometimes co-opted or misusedto promote a personal religious or sociological bias that is anything but scientific.An example is Drudi's insertion of the word "personhood" into an otherwise legitimate scientific inquiry.
History shows what happens when misuse or mischaracterizationof science is used to further a view or cause that can lead to the persecution or death of human beings. In Nazi Germany, the concept of "personhood" was propagatedto exclude Jews and those deemed mentally unfit.
Is it any less tragicwhen a deceptive statement masquerading as "scientific fact" is made in an effort to justify the killing of a human being by its own mother? There are indeed zealots in the abortion debate who are scientifically ignorant.But, as Drudi'sletter demonstrates, religious zealots do not have the market cornered.