- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 3, 2001

How to properly dispose of an American flag

It warms my heart to see all the patriotism across America children clutching miniature flags, and flags waving from the windows of cars, porches and the sides of tall buildings. I think just about every paper in America has published excerpts from the U.S. Code and relevant portions of executive orders governing the display of flags. A crucial portion has been omitted, however, in every instance: When to dispose of the flag and the proper and respectful manner in which to do it.
A faded or torn flag must not be displayed. It should be removed (with much care not to let any portion touch the ground or anything beneath the flag), slowly folded into a tri-corner package and set aside for disposal.
Flags can be disposed of in one of two ways. You can either call the American Legion and it will take care of it for you, or you can, in a respectful manner only, burn the flag. I prefer to accompany the burning with a small prayer for America, and I plan to use small aluminum pans as temporary containers for the burning. The flag is never to be wadded up and disposed of in a rubbish can nor burned in a container that contained filth. All reproductions of the flag, such as were dispensed by your newspaper, should be accorded the same respect.
The flag represents America, where many take refuge and enjoy the liberty that we take for granted. Treat the symbol with the respect that is due.

NORMAN HENDRICKSON
Bowie

No better alternative to current Saudi government

While I have concerns about the regime in Saudi Arabia, America should be cautious about the growing fad to condemn it. Being against "corrupt government" is easy; having a rational alternative is difficult.
In the late 1970s, the New York Times made it popular to condemn the shah of Iran. The attacks became so great that he was overthrown. For more than 20 years, we have paid for the naive and foolish liberalism of that newspaper.
Those who are striking out against the Saudi leadership provide no alternative, and that is very dangerous for America.

DICKSON H. SPENCER
Harrisonburg, Va.

VOA not the same as 'the free press'

In his Oct. 22 Op-Ed column, "America, land of the free press?" Nat Hentoff fails to justify the right of the Voice of America (VOA) to broadcast the rantings of wartime enemies. He wrongly equates CBS broadcasts of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler's speeches in World War II with the VOA. CBS was not supported by U.S. taxpayers, nor was it established to counter propaganda from totalitarian states. And if the VOA is obliged to broadcast the truth, then why would it choose to broadcast known liars whose claims have no hope of being verified or challenged?
The Voice of America is just that: America's voice. Balance should not be a requirement. During the Cold War, did the VOA interview Communist leaders behind the Iron Curtain, broadcasting their propaganda to the very population the VOA was meant to give the truth? That would have been ridiculous. Apparently, the VOA has been infected by liberalism.
If the VOA cannot recognize the damage in broadcasting interviews with known oppressors and liars (as well as the accessories to the killing of more than 5,000 people at the World Trade Center), then it is past time to pull the plug on this government "news" organization. Totalitarian regimes lie; they are not morally equivalent to America.
As for the Taliban, they should send their opinions to the editorial page like the rest of us.

WADE BUTLER
San Marcos, Texas

Cowardly lawmakers hide from anthrax threat

In the face of a real but overhyped anthrax threat, Americans attempted to go about their everyday lives. Some flew on airliners. A few went into battle in Afghanistan. For days, however, members of Congress went home and hid.
There is a justification, we're told, for the cowardice on Capitol Hill. According to the logic, our nation's legislators were willing to perform their duties, but did not want to risk their young staff members.
That argument won't wash. Congressional staffers could have chosen to work in the private sector. Instead, they volunteered for public service like the Army Rangers who parachuted into Kandahar on the day Congress went home.
Our national legislature could have responded to the anthrax threat while still conducting its business. It didn't. Next year, let's vote out the incumbents. Let's elect lawmakers who will show up for work.

ROBERT F. DORR
Oakton

More heinous attack impossible to imagine

In his Nov. 1 letter to the editor "Don't bomb during Ramadan," Graham Lanz suggests that "stopping our air war for Ramadan will allow us to regain the moral high ground."
His perception that we need to regain the moral high ground must be based on the premise that we lost it sometime between September 11 and the present. I, for one, would like to know just exactly when that was, and just exactly how we managed to do it.
Mr. Lanz also mistakenly believes that we would have been even more enraged had these attacks occurred on Dec. 25. To illustrate this point, he cites that the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on a Sunday morning in 1941. But the Pearl Harbor attack is memorable because it was a sneak attack not because it happened on a Sunday morning, which only makes it easier to remember.
I have not met anyone in the past few weeks who could possibly have been more angered than they were and still are at what happened to us on a beautiful Tuesday morning just seven weeks ago.
Mr. Lanz opened his letter with his assertion that it would be hard to imagine the September 11 attacks being more heinous. That may be true for some, but for me it would be impossible to imagine.

WILLIAM RICHARDSON
Virginia Beach

Global vigilance needed to guard against future attacks

German Interior Minister Otto Schily's recent visit with Attorney General John Ashcroft in Washington corresponds with the spotlight the FBI is placing on Germany in the investigation of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
In the Oct. 23 article, "Terrorists laundered money globally, Germany suspects," Mr. Schily is quoted as saying: "It is not true that only Germany is the headquarters of terrorism. It is a widespread worldwide network."
It is important to keep this in mind, as terrorism can flourish in any state as long as the right combination of political, economic and social dissatisfaction exists. There are situations that involve more than one country and necessitate multilateral governmental cooperation. This international money laundering investigation is a good example, as it demonstrates the importance of worldwide vigilance.
To combat terrorism is to piece together a global puzzle of economic, political and social pieces and then to dismantle it so it can never be assembled again.

KRISTINA BERLIN
Alexandria

Briefly …

Your Nov. 1 article, "Terrorist-like protein implicated in HIV", describes a fascinating development in the field of AIDS research and virology. However, to emphasize the "analogy with terrorism" seems more designed to sell copy than promote understanding. Please, let the science stand on its own merits. We're already scared enough without thinking Osama bin Laden is playing with HIV.

SCOTT D. ALBISTON
Morristown, N.J.The Oct. 24 editorial "It's about security, stupid" did not go far enough. By getting rid of gas-guzzling SUV's and large pickup trucks used for urban commuting, we can save as much fuel as we will get from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and deny Saddam Hussein nearly $4 billion a year. We need to tell Congress "It's about security, stupid" and insist that legislation be passed to require an average of 30 miles per gallon on all vehicles and also to drill in the ANWR.

DOMINIC T. LEPERI JR.
GreenbeltWe are supposed to be fighting for freedom, individual rights and the pursuit of happiness. What gives the U.S. government the right to dictate the price of Cipro? The Bayer Corp. should be rewarded, not penalized, for creating the lifesaving drug that is in such demand. And Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson says that Bayer should sacrifice? Forcing people to sacrifice is the moral code of the terrorists. Our code is that of the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of profit.

JACK CRAWFORD
Silver SpringIn your Oct. 19 editorial "Kudos to the EPA," you write that the, "Environmental Protection Agency sided with good science and reason this week a welcome change for the often politicized agency by announcing that so-called 'biotech,' or Bt corn, is not a threat to either the environment, or the people who ultimately consume it."
"Bt" doesn't stand for "biotech." It is short for "Bacillus thuringiensis," which is a delta endotoxin, an insecticide produced by the genetically engineered corn.
It's a natural mistake.

MICHAEL HEATH
Princeton, Ky.


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