- The Washington Times - Monday, June 23, 2003

Secure and safe Mexican IDs

Given the fact that you have published several articles on the matricula consular identification (“Mexico’s ID card gains more acceptance in states, cities,” Page 1, June 14 and “House panel probes Mexican ID cards,” Nation, Friday), we would like to ratify our position on this very important topic. The matricula consular is a consular identification document. It has nothing to do with the migration status of the bearer. It is Mexico’s right to issue this document with the aim of having an accurate register of the Mexicans living abroad. The consular ID cards have been issued for several decades. The Mexican government is continuously improving the process of issuing the card. In March 2002, we established a program in order to provide a high-tech document with a number of security features to all Mexicans living in the United States. If the document has gained approval by several local authorities and financial institutions, it is because they consider it to be a secure document. Of course, we share information with them regarding the process of issuing the cards.

MIGUEL MONTERRUBIO

Press Secretary

Mexican Embassy

Washington

The brutal world of boxing

In generations past, the brutal sport of boxing had the best possible face put on it by the gentlemen of the ring: Joe Louis, Sugar Ray Leonard, George Foreman, Muhammad Ali and others (“Boxer Tyson arrested in NYC brawl,” Nation, Sunday).

Today, this blood sport is epitomized by the physical and mental ugliness of Mike Tyson, a brutal thug who has eviscerated any respect that boxing ever had.

Tyson has been convicted of rape: destroying the life of a young woman, a crime for which he served three years in prison. Following his release, Tyson was still unable to behave like a civilized human being, unable to keep himself out of fights outside the ring, including the most recent altercation at a Brooklyn hotel. He succeeded in demonstrating his savagery to the world when he bit off part of the ear of an opponent during a boxing match.

It is appropriate to blame Tyson for his consistently repulsive, offensive and dangerous conduct, but the primary responsibility for his ability to continue to act out on the public stage stems from the adulation he is given by the ringside voyeurs who yearn for him to brutalize his pitiable opponents. The attendees at the “gladiator matches” Tyson has participated in foster and encourage his bestiality, and would never stand for Tyson being removed from professional boxing, so strong is their yearning for blood. If Tyson were not a professional boxer but simply a common street punk, he would likely be removed from society and left to cool his heels in jail for the long term.

We should never be surprised at the outlandishness of anything Mike Tyson does. He receives sanction and encouragement from a society in decline. Perhaps when he has killed someone, an action which is entirely foreseeable, something will be done to restrict his ability to bully and brutalize.

OREN M. SPIEGLER

Upper Saint Clair, Pa.

Suing the fat away

As a lawyer, I have to breathe a sigh of relief that we don’t live by the impossible standards that some in our profession would impose on others in the quest for personal riches. “Advocates meet to plan Big Mac attack on fat” (Page 1, Sunday) is one such example.

What if some brave lawyer decided it was time to take on his own profession? I can imagine a lawsuit against certain big-name plaintiff law firms accusing them of the wrongful death of millions of Americans. The claim would go something like this. Lawsuits have caused health-care costs to skyrocket. For every dollar increase in health-care insurance, a certain number of Americans are forced to drop their coverage, thereby causing a quantifiable increase in morbidity and mortality. Someone has to pay for the deaths of these innocent victims. It seems to me that this hypothetical lawsuit makes as much sense as suing McDonald’s just because its patrons exercise their fundamental right to choose the food they want to eat. If you can choose to have an abortion, can’t you choose to eat a burger without someone making a federal case out of it?

It is a safe bet that there are plenty of doctors willing to serve as experts in this hypothetical lawsuit against plaintiff attorneys. I am sure doctors have tired of hearing the maxim “physician heal thyself.” Perhaps it is time for a new maxim, “attorney sue thyself.” Of course, I would be happy to serve as counsel for the defendants (for a fee comparable to what they charged in their biggest cases).

MICHAEL W. MITCHELL

Raleigh, N.C.

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The story, “Advocates meet to plan Big Mac attack on fat,” by Marguerite Higgins, reminds me of the hypocrisy of Democrats (trial lawyers.) Democrats claim to be defenders of the working class, but filing such lawsuits only creates yet another hidden tax in the form of extorted legal settlements. It also will create more regulatory agencies that will fatten our payroll taxes.

All this will most impact an overburdened middle class, but will that prevent the party of neo-Marxism from going after lucrative food companies? I doubt it. Democrats have so little conscience that they malign and blame physicians for rising medical costs, not frivolous lawsuits, rampant immigration and overregulation.

MIKE SPANIOLA

Vail, Colo.

Metro hikes

Sadly, I can’t share the hopefulness of The Washington Times editorial board regarding the efficacy of the impending Metro rate hikes (“Metro’s fare hikes,” Editorial, Saturday). The 19 percent budget deficit facing the system in the upcoming year shows that the management of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority leaves much to be desired.

Recently, transit systems in cities across the nation, for instance in Boston, have been expanding and improving their services, while keeping down their costs. Meanwhile, Washington-area residents have had to accept as normal long wait times, escalator breakdowns, lack of benches, dim lighting and ridiculously high costs, from a system that is poorly accountable to its customers either economically or politically.

It has ways to go to fulfill its promise to provide a cheap, efficient, environmentally-friendly alternative to rush-hour traffic in the region, the most congested in the nation after Los Angeles. With few choices available to the city’s commuters and visitors, WMATA’s board of directors must implement performance and customer satisfaction tracking, and keep the management accountable for service improvements.

Additionally, area residents, whether students, professionals, or elderly and the disabled, must be allowed to choose alternative forms of transportation, by vastly improving the District’s biking infrastructure and easing the restrictions on private taxi and shuttle services.

PHILIPP TSIPMAN

Falls Church, Va.

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