As any propagandist knows, the catchphrase "save the children" will cause bighearted Americans to open their wallets. Our federal government administers the biggest wallet of all.

A cynic might say that "placeability" is the primary criterion for taking children out of their allegedly abusive circumstances. Ask any judge how hard it is to place a willfully disobedient teenager.

When an opportunity arose to round up 468 sweet, innocent, highly "placeable" children, every state and federal official who could drive a car descended on El Dorado, Texas, to allegedly "save the children."

Not surprisingly, the state placed all of these children in less than a month, while thousands of less-desirable kids remain in state custody with no money and little hope.

Steven G. Wheaton