- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 2, 2007

Public money and the ACLU

While the body of the Wednesday letter skews the matter, the headline, “Military memorials and religious symbols,” defines completely the issue at the Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial. Contrary to what the American Civil Liberties Union would have everyone believe, those like the American Legion that are committed to protecting that monument — and others like it — focus on no single religious symbol.

Moreover, the wool that is being pulled over the public’s eye on this matter, as the ACLU’s Jeremy Gunn contends, is being tugged by the ACLU. By Mr. Gunn’s words one would think that the ACLU has concern for the taxpayers’ dollars. They do. But not in saving them; only in collecting them.

In attempts to destroy, dismantle or otherwise do away with religious symbols on veterans’ memorials the ACLU has collected, with the help of federal judges, millions of dollars from towns and cities across the nation. While the check may be written by the city, the court-awarded payment is coming from the wallet of the taxpayer to the coffers of the ACLU.

That’s why Legionnaires are working for passage of the Veterans’ Memorials, Boy Scouts, Public Seals and Other Public Expressions of Religion Protection Act of 2007 in the 110th Congress. The bill would preclude judges from awarding taxpayer paid attorney fees in these cases to the ACLU and other lawyers supposedly working “pro-bono.”

The American Legion is, naturally, a strong advocate in support of veterans memorials regardless of the religious symbols those memorials may bear. The greatest concern, of course, lies in protecting our National Cemeteries from those who, like the ACLU, would wipe from those white marble headstones any and all vestiges of religion.

JOSEPH CAOUETTE

Chairman

National Americanism Commission

American Legion

New Hampshire

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Speaking of “pulling the wool,” the ACLU must be accustomed to audiences of sheep who never question its deceptive rhetoric. The ACLU’s response to Paul Morin’s column “Aggression against military memorials” (Commentary, May 27), with its ridiculous accusation that the American Legion “wants to exclude” non-Christian veterans from being honored, is a masterpiece of misleading nonsense.

The deception becomes outright offensive in the face of facts. Fact: A lone atheist crusaded against the Soledad memorial since 1989 with an eager ACLU recruited for the mission in 1999. The original plaintiff passed away, but the ACLU continued the assault by enlisting the Jewish War Veterans in 2006. Fact: The San Diego chapter of Jewish War Veterans is opposed to the ACLU’s lawsuit against Mount Soledad. Fact: The former head of San Diegans for the Mt. Soledad National War Memorial is the Jewish son of holocaust survivors. The ACLU pushes these suits, not “protect” veterans who feel “unrepresented,” but to advance its secularist agenda. Nearly $1 million in attorneys fees the ACLU has demanded from San Diegans probably doesn’t hurt either.

Ask any fair-minded American: Who more credibly represents veterans? Is it the 2.7 million-member American Legion, the nation’s largest veterans’ organization, or the ACLU? Only the ACLU could claim to speak for veterans while suing to disfigure veterans’ memorials.

The American Legion has joined the Alliance Defense Fund to protect crosses on veterans’ memorials because the ACLU is attacking veterans’ memorial crosses. TAL and ADF would never file a suit to remove another faith’s symbol from a veterans’ memorial. The ACLU doesn’t exhibit such restraint and respect. A cross dishonors no one. So, ACLU, who exactly is being honored by razing memorials to thousands of our greatest Americans to satisfy the agenda one atheist?

JOSEPH INFRANCO

Senior vice president

Alliance Defense Fund

Scottsdale, Ariz.

Keep ANWR in reserve

In “Please stay off the gas” (Commentary, Thursday), H. Sterling Bennett blames the Windfall Profits Tax for reducing U.S. oil production by 3 percent to 6 percent during the 1980s. But since you can only burn oil once, the Windfall Profits Tax has left us with greater energy security. The oil we didn’t burn then is the oil we have left now. Further, the primary reason our oil production fell during the ‘80s was depletion. Depletion forced U.S. production into decline in 1970. We now produce as much as we did in the late 1940s, and it will continue to fall till it runs out.

Mr. Bennett now wants to drill in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drive oil prices lower. So we should burn our last oil as fast as we can to drive prices a few cents lower, then leave ourselves to the tender mercy of Venezuela and Saudi Arabia till the end of the oil interval? That would be insane. It would make far more sense to keep the ANWR oil as an extension of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, to be used only in case of emergency.

CARL HENN

Rockville

Immigration fallacies

The editorial “Immigration-poll distortion” (Wednesday) demonstrates the absurdity of the New York Times’ attempt to bury information contradicting its cry that Americans want evermore floods of the foreign-born.

Yet it’s a bad-hair day for mad social scientists attempting to remake America into a balkanized foreign country via extreme plastic surgery — comprehensive immigration reform, predicated on the fallacy that permanent welfare for 12 million to 30 million illegal aliens will end their continuous arrival here.

The Kennedy-crafted 1986 amnesty had never-enforced requirements for businesses and illegal aliens, leading to six additional amnesties ditto, so hopefuls threaten, whine and shout for Bush and Congressional Democrats’ eighth .

According to Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation, low-skill households get three dollars in citizen worker-funded welfare benefits for every dollar they pay in taxes . And the Census Bureau states 25 million less-educated Americans are unemployed, along with 700,000-plus high-tech citizen workers. Even mad scientists know more people equal fewer resources and lower salaries per person, resulting in ever-worsening conditions.

And, given that a definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, endless Bush wars and Kennedy amnesties certainly qualify.

That pesky problem of getting the patient to agree to a gratuitous operation?

Rasmussen Reports released its poll last week finding 70 percent of Americans want less immigration, and 79 percent want attrition through enforcement and self-deportation for handling the illegal aliens here.

M.L. PINKARD

Lafayette, Calif.

Iran’s game

The Iranian mullahs have a ninth century view of the world fueled by an unforgiving religious fervor, but understand their twenty-first century antagonists better than we them (“Hostage to Tehran,” Editorial, Thursday).

They know that President Bush will not start another war in the time he has remaining, that a Democratic successor is highly unlikely to consider a military option and that the Euro-weenies have already capitulated.

They would acknowledge as correct your editorial conclusion that they do not really want engagement, but they are clever and realize that the West places great stock in the talking cure.

Thus, they will occasionally meet with us at a negotiating table, smile sweetly and drop a meaningless crumb so we can feel as if progress is being made. It is all a game for them. And they are winning.

PAUL BLOUSTEIN

Cincinnati

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