- The Washington Times - Friday, April 14, 2006

Immigration agendas

I am one of the silent majority who has been awakened by the pro-illegal alien demonstrators and by the rantings of some of our elected officials. I’m referring to Deborah Simmons’ Op-Ed yesterday (“Immigration talking points”), and she is right on target. I have heard of “ethnic politics” and how it causes divisions in the society when politicians focus on ethnic groups. I am very disappointed in those politicians who appear to have their own agendas rather than focusing on what is best for all of America.

As for legalizing the illegal aliens through amnesty and/or a guest worker program, this will only accelerate the growth of the Mexican population that is projected to become the majority by midcentury. Ethnic politics will become even more strident, and the whole fabric of our culture will change.

Further, amnesty will only increase entry by illegal aliens, as those legalized will then demand minimum or prevailing wages, thus perpetuating the flow of illegal aliens willing to work for less. As to the demands of illegal aliens for respect, you don’t demand respect, you earn it. Why should I respect someone who flouts our laws by working illegally and by entering the United States illegally.

This is the main issue for me in the upcoming elections, and I will vote for whomever is standing up for Americans and America regardless of their party affiliation.

If Sen. George Allen, Virginia Republican, maintains his position as stated in Miss Simmons’ column and he remains against legalizing illegal aliens, I would vote for him for president. I also like Rep. Tom Tancredo, Colorado Republican, and would vote for him if he ran for president.

J.C. POTTER

Arlington

Debunking the ‘unwanted horse’ theory

In addition to the many points Christopher J. Heyde brought forth (“Slaughtering horses is cruel,” Op-Ed, April 7), I would like to bring up another issue, which the slaughterhouses, and their spokespersons, have so far refused to address or offer any kind of explanation.

The horse slaughter industry has managed to stay alive here by claiming that they provide a needed service by butchering America’s “unwanted” horses. (Correction: inhumanely butchering America’s “unwanted” horses. I have seen the videos, and there is nothing humane about it.)

But thankfully, we do have enough sense to know that they are not here to provide a service, but rather to gain profit from the meat of our horses. Do we really have the number of excess horses the slaughterhouses claim we do? I would like to hear their explanation to this:

Last year the slaughterhouses were unable to obtain enough U.S. horses to fill the foreign meat demand. They imported 7,095 horses from Canada for slaughter here in America.

Their meat was shipped overseas… and without missing a beat, business went on as usual. So far this year, 2,374 horses already have come to America for the purpose of slaughtering for their meat. Still, the industry has yet to explain the reason for importing Canadian horses.

I would say this fact alone effectively kills the “unwanted horse” theory.

The reality is that U.S. horse meat is highly desired in Europe. As far as many Americans are concerned, the French can consume French or Belgian horses if they like. I’m sure they’ll survive without having to eat ours.

But Americans need to ask that Congress make the ban permanent and quickly pass the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act.

We are losing thousands of horses each week while they are being served up for wealthy foreign dining, to be eaten, eliminated, forgotten; without a care, somewhere overseas. One more life, forever gone.

But Americans do care. Our voices are getting stronger each day. We do care about that horse. That horse may have been a racehorse, or someone’s pet, but most surely, that horse was a noble, proud, American horse. This slaughter needs to end.

VALERIE JAMES-PATTON

Shingletown, Calif.

Protecting property rights

Virginia Republicans Rep. Frank Wolf and Sen. George Allen’s plan for a four-state National Heritage Area dubbed the “Journey Through Hallowed Ground” should be met with scorn by landowners and residents along the Route 15 corridor (“4-state heritage area eyed to bind ‘hallowed ground,’ ” Metropolitan, Tuesday).

The legislation being proposed would give the National Trust for Historic Preservation — an organization with a history of hostility toward property rights, development and even the most common-sense road improvements — undue influence over land use planning in the area.

The bill would create a federally funded “partnership” between the National Trust and the National Park Service, greatly empowering the trust to foist its ideologically rigid vision of land use control on Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania residents.

At every turn, the National Trust pushes for maximum restrictions on private property owners. It bankrolls campaigns to deny property owners their rights, lobbies courts to refuse compensation to landowners when the government takes their property, and even argues for government restrictions on basic home renovations.

On its Web site, the Trust takes issue with roads that have been “straightened and widened to accommodate traffic,” claiming they somehow threaten our heritage.

Virginia residents should ask Mr. Allen how deputizing an anti-property rights organization and unaccountable federal bureaucrats to dictate local land use practices meshes with his conservative, limited-government philosophy. The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Kelo v. New London sparked a national bipartisan outcry for more property rights protections. Messrs. Wolf and Allen apparently aren’t listening.

J. PEYTON KNIGHT

Director of environmental

and regulatory affairs

National Center for

Public Policy Research

Washington

Solidarity in Belarus

At 8 p.m. on Sunday, as many Christians in the world celebrate Easter, people in Belarus, Ukraine, Poland and other countries will turn their lights off and burn a candle in their window.

They will do this, as they have now on the 16th day of every month, in memory of those Belarusians who opposed Alexander Lukashenko’s regime and disappeared without trace.

It will be an act of respect and one of solidarity, taking on special poignancy on this first sixteenth since the presidential elections and the subsequent mass protest actions against flagrant electoral and human rights violations.

Those protests did not become another peaceful revolution, sweeping a dictator from power like in the Ukraine (“The Belarus ‘election,’ ” Editorial, March 22). In a sense, the lack of any realistic chance of toppling Mr. Lukashenko’s regime makes the scale of the open protest seem all the more incredible. The courage those thousands of Belarusians demonstrated in coming out onto the street and affirming their right to free and honest elections, and the risks they faced, should not be underestimated.

In those first few days, they forced Mr. Lukashenko and his henchmen, his friends in one neighboring country, as well as the world, to sit up and take notice of people not willing to be written off as somehow not ready for democracy.

The press is constantly on the lookout for new stories, and Belarus slipped from the headlines. The struggle, however, continues, as do the repressive measures against those who had the courage to demand to be heard.

They have a right to be heard, and surely we have the duty to listen.

Please light your candles this Sunday and ensure that the spotlight remains on Belarus until the so-called last dictator in Europe is removed from the stage — and his country is given a chance to build a democratic society.

HALYA COYNASH

Kharkiv Human Rights

Protection Group

Kharkiv, Ukraine

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