- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Bolton’s U.N. departure

With the (essentially forced) resignation of United Nations Ambassador John Bolton from that post, the United States has lost an opportunity to reform and restore that body to the same level of usefulness as when it was founded (“Bolton quits fight for U.N. nomination,” Page 1, yesterday). Not since Jeane J. Kirkpatrick has the United States had such a vocal and forceful ally for our national interest in that organization.

The United Nations has needed major reforms for the past 20 years, but with ineffective or biased secretary-generals, it has pursued a downhill path, becoming the lackey of a coalition in the General Assembly of Arab and Muslim countries in conjunction with Third World nations, many being the most oppressive regimes in the world.

Without strong individuals such as Mr. Bolton, the United Nations will become a farce — subservient to dictatorships and theocracies. The question that should be asked is whether that body can be saved, whether we should withdraw our financial support or whether should we continue to be chastised for our support for democratic ideals.

NELSON MARANS

Silver Spring, Md.

In defense of Jack Johnson

We of the National Black Church Initiative (NBCI) are ashamed of the recent behavior by former Prince George’s County Executive Wayne K. Curry — who we believe is trying to undermine the effectiveness of Executive Jack Johnson’s current administration. For us to stand by and say nothing would be an endorsement of the rude behavior that has infected American — particularly African American — society in recent years. We in the Black Church consider it our mission to restore civility to public discourse and hold local leaders and politicians to a high standard of behavior.

Mr. Curry, an able and talented man in his own rite, has twice called into question Mr. Johnson’s honesty and integrity, without facts, in a malicious attempt to stain his moral character. Clergy throughout the D.C. and Maryland metropolitan areas know Mr. Johnson as a God-fearing, honest, forthright, and honorable man — someone who displays one of the finest characters we can lift up from our pulpits. He is someone we teach our young men to emulate. However, Mr. Curry and Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Glen Ivey have sought to cripple Mr. Johnson’s political leadership by waiting until the final hour to throw tacks in the road (e.g., endorsing Rushern L. Baker) to Mr. Johnson’s re-election as County Executive. Mr. Curry has also criticized Mr. Johnson’s methods in winning one of the largest area development deals ever by an African American politician — The National Harbor Project. The Harbor deal is brilliant compared to Anthony William’s stadium deal: He gave way the whole store.

This type of public behavior discourages honest and open debate on the issues. It also causes those outside of the African American community to wonder why Mr. Curry would try to destroy one of the most successful political tenures the Metro area has seen in a very long time. We are stunned by the apparent rudeness and disrespect Mr. Curry has shown to both Mr. Johnson and the residents of Prince George’s County.

Today, many black youths are destroying their lives, black families are under assault, and our most talented black men and women are choosing to divorce themselves from their people and culture. Now we have Mr. Curry doing all he can to tarnish the reputation of one of the most effective and talented black politicians on the East Coast. Instead of meeting with Mr. Johnson privately to discuss their differences, Mr. Curry has sought to publicly embarrass a solid, honest, Christian character — one whom the people of Prince George’s County are proud to call their leader.

Mr. Curry, you had your chance to lead Prince George’s County. If you are not going to work with the current leadership in a positive fashion, please be quiet and show a little civility.

REV. ANTHONY EVANS

President

National Black Church Initiative

Washington

REV. MARK MCCLEARY

Chairman

National Black Church Initiative

Ministerial Alliance

Washington

REV. ROBERT EDDY

Lay Leader

National Black Church Initiative

Washington

Alternative fuels

The otherwise fine editorial “ ‘25-by-‘25’ assumptions” (Thursday) unfortunately mangled the distinction between fossil energy use and petroleum use. Corn ethanol requires a lot of energy to make, but very little petroleum. Thus, the renewable fuels requirements of the Energy Policy Act will reduce the nation’s gasoline use by about 3 percent — six times as much as you reported, citing the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Substantially larger biofuels contributions will be possible through the use of agricultural residues such as wheat straw and highly productive nonfood crops such as switch grass.

REID DETCHON

Executive director

Energy Future Coalition

Washington

Beltway voters

Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele’s loss has been ascribed largely to his distancing himself from the Republican Party (“Steele’s losing ways,” Letters, Friday). Many other Republicans did the same, and most of them lost also. This is more verisimilitude than fact.

Given that the party in power usually loses seats in a non-presidential campaign year, all that was necessary for the Democrats to win was a relentless attack on President Bush for six years and an electorate weary of war, outspending the Johnson administration and the trading of ideals and principles for the spoils of office. The voters did not vote for Democrats — they voted against Republicans, who lost too many conservatives, moderates and Reagan Democrats.

Another factor was the phenomenon of the Washington suburbs of Prince George’s and Montgomery counties. This huge population base identifies not with Maryland, but with the federal government, and it is overwhelmingly Democratic. It is very much an uneven playing field, and it largely controls the political fate of Maryland, with a big assist from the city of Baltimore.

It is unreasonable to assume that the voters who loved Mr. Steele and Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. at the last election have become disenchanted with them. Had the above circumstances not been in play, Mr. Steele and Mr. Ehrlich would have won.

DICK MORRISSEY

Arnold, Md.

Thanks, Rep. Tancredo

It’s obvious that the anti-American opposition is made up of ill-mannered advocates who need a course from Miss Manners. As always, Rep. Tom Tancredo, Colorado Republican, speaks the plain and obvious truth regarding illegal aliens — and nothing offends the anti-American opposition more than the unvarnished truth (“Speaker driven off by hecklers,” Nation, Saturday).

The fiasco at Michigan State University didn’t faze Mr. Tancredo; he has been there before and will be there again. He refused to back down after an orchestrated protest and presented the facts to everyone, free of the emotional and demagogic harangue to which the anti-American pro-illegal-alien advocates typically resort.

I wonder if President Bush is aware of what happened in Colorado on Nov. 28: Jose Francisco Franco Rodriquez, a Mexican national, faces charges of smuggling 14 illegal aliens into the country. Four of them were killed on Interstate 70 when their van overturned. He obviously was doing a “job Americans won’t do” — illegal human trafficking. Every American citizen should be concerned and outraged by the use of our interstates to smuggle illegal aliens. Americans are lucky to have Mr. Tancredo’s voice in Congress.

JAN HERRON

Evergreen, Colo.

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