- The Washington Times - Friday, June 11, 2004

Discrimination dogma

Steve Chapman’s report (“A new cut on bias,” Commentary, Wednesday) on the man who filed an anti-discrimination suit against a tavern because of “ladies’ night” makes an excellent point. Most acts are, in and of themselves, neither moral nor immoral. They are rendered moral or immoral by the results of the action and intent of the actor.

Discrimination that is pernicious and malicious is wrong. The dogma that all discrimination is wrong is stupid and has no foundation in any of the major religious faiths of the world. Furthermore, the 1964 Civil Rights Act was not written with that dogma in mind. It was written with the intent of eliminating demeaning aspects of racial discrimination that undermined the unity of the United States and our position as leader of the free world.

DOUG FORBES

Greenfield, Ind.

Where’s the Baltic?

One article devoted to former President Ronald Reagan’s memory, “East Europeans pay tribute” (Nation, Thursday), stated, “World War II left Europe divided, with the Soviet Union in control of Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and East Germany.”

The writer, Bruce I. Konviser, did not mention the Baltic states — Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Maybe he had concluded that as Soviet constituent republics, they were not controlled but ruled directly by the Soviet Union.

Anyhow, the Baltic states proved their affinity to Mr. Reagan by dispatching their highest officials to his funeral services in Washington. According to Estonia’s long-lasting diplomat in the United States, Ernst Jaakson, among the U.S. presidents, Mr. Reagan had been the most firm and straightforward in his support of the Baltic people.

CAMILLA KUUS

Washington

There will be no peace in amnesty

Thanks for your excellent editorial about the potentially damaging consequences of our politicians’ failures to enforce this country’s immigration laws (“The consequences of illegal immigration,” June 5). When we allow illegal immigration to run rampant, we fuel many of this country’s social problems: violence, poverty rates, illiteracy, overcrowding — because all of these problems are accentuated whenever some of our neighbors are forced to live in the shadows.

I agree with your editorial that the solution is not simply to legalize the status of people whose first act was to violate our laws by trespassing across our borders; the best solution is to start enforcing the laws and deporting the lawbreakers. We amnestied 3 million illegal aliens in the 1980s. Our reward was a population of illegals that has grown to number millions more.

What would another amnesty bring us? This would translate into chaos and upheaval throughout our country.

If we allow our politicians to avoid enforcing the laws now, we’ll pay an unimaginable price for their negligence later.

TIM REID

Vienna

Ready, aim, demonize

Two letters (“U.N. at gunpoint?” yesterday) staunchly condemn the United Nations in a misguided effort to promote Israel and its folly filled propagandist Michelle Malkin(“Ambulances for terrorists?” Commentary, June 3) as an expert on international affairs.

Israel, in a long-term refusal to respect the Palestinians’ basic human rights, has been building walls of hate throughout the Holy Land for years, methodically imprisoning the persecuted Palestinians in ever-shrinking ghettos that can easily be attacked by Israeli warships.

Israel’s extensive state-sponsored terrorism against its native non-Jewish population created the Palestinian refugee crisis in the first place. Demonizing the Palestinians, Islam or the United Nations is not the answer. It is the problem. Arming Israel with both words and American-made weaponry only makes matters worse. Enough with the hate-mongering — it might make us feel powerful, but it only makes us wrong.

ANNE SELDEN ANNAB

Mechanicsburg, Pa.

Oily optimism?

Bruce Bartlett’s column (“Oil unlimited?” Commentary, Wednesday) on future oil supplies seems overly optimistic; he believes that we have nothing to worry about. To back this up, he cites new technologies that will get more oil out of existing wells, but principally, he believes in the abiotic source of oil.

This theory states that oil does not come from a finite amount of decayed organic matter but comes from deep in the Earth’s crust and can thus be replenished indefinitely. But M. King Hubbert predicted in 1956 that U.S. oil production would peak in about 1970, and so it proved. The theory of abiotic oil may be true, but it would not seem to be a fast process. Mr. Bartlett did not touch upon the serious problem of rapidly increasing demand from new consumers such as China, which a has a year-over-year increase of 18 percent; India will soon follow.

To say that the possibility of running out of oil should not be a factor in the energy debate is totally irresponsible. To make new sources of energy available such as, ideally, fusion energy, requires long lead times. To find out that there will be a massive shortfall of energy with no long warning period would be disastrous.

WILLIAM G. GARRETT

Harrow, England

A high-tech trade

Fred Reed makes some interesting points in his oddly misplaced screed about the relationship between war and technology (“Ponder the lethal effects of arms,” Business, Thursday). But his column comes off sounding as though he is blaming weapons designers and soldiers for war. Worse, he sounds like a Luddite, and in the Business section, no less. Where is the editor?

Mr. Reed writes that “the emotional distance between those who design and use high-tech arms and their targets makes it easier to kill.” But is that such a bad thing (in a metaphysical sense)? Would anyone getting ready to land on Omaha Beach 60 years ago have really cared whether it might have been too easy and emotionless for somebody to push a button and launch enough high-tech weapons to destroy all the beach defenses? If there had been high-tech weapons back then, would there even have been a need to assault the Atlantic Wall? Or would there even have been an Atlantic Wall? Or, for that matter, even a Hitler?

The advancement of technology frightens some. What many seem not to understand is that advancing weapons technology, instead of making it easier to kill lots of people, might, just might, make it unnecessary to kill anybody. President Reagan understood this and killed the “evil empire” without firing a shot. I think a fair majority of weapon designers and soldiers (and their moms and dads) understand this too, even if Mr. Reed apparently does not.

BILL BAUM

Great Falls

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