Driving is a public/private joint venture

Re: "High-speed rail: Obama's gift that nobody wants," Editorial, Feb. 11

I agree with this editorial's ultimate conclusion that taxpayers should pass on Obama's multibillion-dollar high-speed-rail scheme. In a time of massive national debt, painful cuts are required, but they won't come until the low-hanging fruit -- such as Vice President Joe Biden's new bullet train and former President George Bush's mission to Mars -- are first plucked off the budget tree.

Nevertheless, your use of "public transit" vs. "private cars" creates a false dichotomy. Highways are a governmental creation no less than the Obama high-speed trains would be. The fuel we pump is subsidized and produces costly pollution that is unaccounted for by the private market. Perhaps it is better to think of our cars as public-private joint ventures.

And a newspaper whose circulation numbers are largely dependent on Metro riders might want to take another look at the benefits of the existing transportation alternatives.

John Murdock

Falls Church

Arlington lawsuit tarnished county's reputation

Re: "Arlington to drop lawsuit over HOT lanes on Interstate 395," Feb. 9

I am very disappointed in our Arlington County Board for delaying and blocking the HOT Lanes project on Interstate 395 with its lawsuit. I am also deeply disturbed by the way it tarnished our county's reputation.

Traffic is so bad in our region. It's too bad we won't have any traffic relief on I-395, but at least HOT lanes on I-95 should alleviate some of the backups when folks are heading south in the evenings.

Michelle Cohan

Arlington

Pregnancy centers tell women the truth

Re: "Montgomery attorney stands behind county pregnancy center law," Feb. 9

The Montgomery County law designed to steer poor pregnant women away from pregnancy centers, where they can get help to have their babies, and into abortuaries to have their babies killed was based on erroneous information from NARAL about the negative effects of abortion.

Seven council members, many of whom publicly support NARAL -- which has a financial interest in increasing abortions -- voted to accept a biased report claiming that abortions are completely safe. But NARAL's claim that abortion does not increase the risk of pre-term birth is contradicted by 122 medical studies and major medical organizations.

Laura Meyers, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, said, "Crisis pregnancy centers have an obligation to provide accurate information, and women should not be deceived by organizations with an ideological bias." Pregnancy centers are the ones that provide accurate information about abortion, while PP provides disinformation and, as seen in Live Action investigative videos, aids and abets rapists and pimps for child prostitution.

Marjorie Smith

Washington