- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 12, 2004

Cattle, not horses, are the real problem

I would like to know how Merle Edsall can possibly say that wild-horse groups have blocked effective management of the largest “unmanaged species” in the West (“How to save wild horses,” Forum, yesterday).

Open your eyes, Mr. Edsall. You claim that excess numbers of horses overgraze the lands and this leads to the horses dying of thirst and starvation. When you compare the number of horses to cattle, your claims are ridiculous.

Due to pressure from cattle ranchers, the Bureau of Land Management has been removing the wild horses from public lands and placing them in government holding facilities, for the benefit of the privately owned cattle, which outnumber the wild horses 150 to 1.

There are 4.5 million cattle grazing on public lands — lands that were supposed to be for the horses, not the cattle. A government study in 1990 found that horses did little or no damage to the land. It also found that damage to the lands was caused from overgrazing by mismanaged herds of privately owned cattle. So why are the horses being removed? Six Western states have already lost their entire wild-horse population. Is this the kind of effective management you think the horses need? Is it effective management to slaughter them for human consumption?

How can you say Sen. Conrad Burns’ amendment simply offers Americans a choice? The wild horses belong to the American people. The American people were not given a choice. This amendment removes wild horses from the people.

Due to the greed of the cattle ranchers, BLM, and Mr. Burns, the wild horses, our nation’s treasure, the free spirit of America, are doomed to be a memory of our past, consumed on a dinner plate overseas.

VALERIE JAMES-PATTON

Shingletown, Calif.

Red-state intelligence

One of the big stumbling blocks in the debates leading up to last week’s intelligence bill was how to coordinate 15 intelligence agencies and get them to talk to each other (“House OKs intelligence reform bill,” Page 1, Wednesday). Why didn’t we simply reduce the number of intelligence groups down to three? We would have one for the military, one for the foreign affairs (the CIA) and one for domestic matters (the FBI).

Our Washington bureaucrats need to put a little red-state common sense into their decisions.

CHUCK BOWER

Elkhart, Ind.

Keeping Christmas

Thank you for Deborah Simmons’ great column, “Onward Christian soldiers” (Op-Ed, Friday). I really must see my dentist due to all the teeth gnashing I have been doing.

Not only is Target now off my rounds, but several years ago I dropped Hallmark cards after they stopped their employees from designating the Boy Scouts as a deductible charitable organization. I also wrote them a letter enclosing my cut-up Hallmark card.

Ever since this effort began to obliterate the Christmas message at Christmas I have taken pains to buy only the cards with “Christmas” printed on them. No “happy holidays” or “seasons greetings” cards will do any longer. The ones celebrating Christ are in the minority. Also try to find a creche in a “Christmas store” — or is it now a “seasonal store”? Last year, a store in Dulles Town Center had a wee one way in the back corner.

YVONNE LAW

Ashburn, Va.

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Nearly 90 percent of Americans identify themselves as Christian or from a Christian background, yet when the month of December arrives we shrink from objecting when the politically correct crowd runs roughshod over our Christian celebration by substituting the phrase “happy holidays” for “Merry Christmas.”

On June 26, 1870, Congress declared Christmas Day, Dec. 25, a federal holiday. Christmas Day is the only national holiday in the month of December. It’s the name of the day, folks. You’re not celebrating “holiday day” or “season’s greetings day.” It’s Christmas Day. It’s a day set aside to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. That must be the part of “Merry Christmas” the PC crowd doesn’t tolerate.

This year Macy’s, the very store featured in the 1947 Christmas classic “Miracle on 34th Street,” decided to stop the practice of wishing their store patrons a “Merry Christmas” greeting in favor of the secular greeting “happy holidays.” This has offended the sensibilities of enough Christians to cause a boycott committee to form to remove Macy’s and its other stores from their shopping lists.

Having Macy’s Santa say,”Ho! ho! ho! Merry winter holiday” just doesn’t quite have the same sparkle. Macy’s management claims it is concerned about cultural diversity and wants to avoid offending people with a “Merry Christmas” greeting. But its concern only lasts until Dec. 25. On Dec. 26, Macy’s will be advertising a huge, “After Christmas sale.” No qualms about offending when it comes to making money.

Perhaps the PC crowd next will go to work on the classic movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life” and alter or remove the line “Merry Christmas” as spoken by a “reborn” George Bailey wildly running through Bedford Falls.

After 40 years of allowing the Salvation Army to set up their Christmas red kettles outside their stores, Target Corp. callously announced it would no longer allow it. No more bell ringing in front of Target stores. Just another retail giant who has profited greatly from the Christmas trade but is not willing to give a venue to the needy.

Christmas is for giving and exchanging presents with those we love in a fallible attempt to imitate the infinite generosity of God in giving His Son for the world. Christmas is a profoundly Christian holiday. The PC crowd, the atheists and the ACLU can try, but they’ll never take away the true reason for Christmas. Say “Merry Christmas” to all as often as possible.

MARY E. TRAEGER

Forsyth, Mo.

Capturing the moment

In your December 7 and 8 editions, you published two award-deserving photos by Washington Times photographer Daniel Rosenbaum. The one on December 7 (Page 1) shows President Bush, with first lady Laura Bush at his side, intently listening to a shy little girl with her head down at the White House Children’s Christmas Reception. The one on the cover of the Metropolitan section the following day showed a 5-year-old boy with his hand on his heart looking in wonder at a World War II veteran saluting before the statue of the Lone Sailor at the U.S. Navy Memorial to honor those who died in the Pearl Harbor attack. Thank you for these inspiring photographs.

JIM BACKLIN

Frederick, Md.

Gay ‘marriage’ in Canada

Those Americans perplexed by the stamp of approval given to same-sex “marriage” up here need to keep in mind that Canada’s political class is beginning to express doubts about both democracy and the market economy (“Canada to allow gays to ‘marry,’” Page 1, Friday).

Canada’s liberal elite has succeeded in foisting same-sex “marriage” on its people, but Americans need to know that an overwhelming majority would defeat it if a referendum were held.

Given what Canada’s becoming, you know that isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

RON J. WALLACE

Truro, Nova Scotia

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