- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 22, 2002

Florida's electoral foul-up take two

Isn't it interesting that the two counties in Florida that could not work the new voting machines, leading to the Janet Reno protest, are the same two counties that could not work the punch-card ballots in 2000 ("Reno concedes Florida primary to McBride," Nation, Wednesday)? No other counties in Florida had similar problems in either election.
The Democratic Party contested the punch-card mess, claiming the problem originated with Gov. Jeb Bush despite the fact that its own officials had given prior approval to the ballots. All election districts select officials from the community. Both of these districts are heavily, if not exclusively, Democratic. Thus Democrats, were misadvising fellow Democrats on how to vote. Is it possible that the manner in which the officials have been selected should be investigated? Perhaps workers at voting centers should be given a literacy test.

WILLIAM D. DANNENMAIER
Cumberland Furnace, Tenn.

Lawmaker gets hammered for respecting the law

Rep. Tom Tancredo, Colorado Republican, is one of the few elected officials taking a stand against the huge flow of unskilled immigrants illegally entering our country ("Lawmaker feels heat for effort to deport a Colorado student," Nation, Thursday). Unfortunately, most of our spineless officials are too afraid of the various entrenched open-border advocates to support Mr. Tancredo.
In a time of recession and attacks on Americans within our own borders, it seems reasonable to close the borders and aggressively round up illegal aliens. Not only is there the terrorist threat, but, despite propaganda to the contrary, immigrants do take jobs from Americans. I see them waiting in groups for construction jobs.
I do not believe there are no American citizens who would want these jobs. It is just cheaper to pay illegal aliens cash and let us tax slaves subsidize their work when they send their children to our schools or go to our emergency rooms for health care. Then, we all get to pay for bilingual teachers, forms, etc.
Naturally, a subculture devoted to manufacturing fraudulent documentation springs up around the illegal community. Most of us know by now that illegal immigrants from Central America supplied some of the September 11 terrorists with fake identifications.
In spite of all this, most of our elected officials are afraid to incur the wrath of the open-borders crowd. However, they are not afraid of the unemployed construction worker or the guy who died in the World Trade Center on September 11 or a lone tax slave.

JENNIFER MOUNTJOY
Hollywood, Maryland



I live in Rep. Tancredo's district, and I support him 100 percent. He is to be congratulated for respecting our laws regarding immigration and speaking to the Immigration and Naturalization Service regarding illegals who break our laws. We are a nation of laws, and the Apodaca family, who are illegal aliens and about whom Mr. Tancredo has spoken to INS, has broken them plain and simple.
The American taxpayer who follows the law can no longer afford, tolerate and support the millions of illegal aliens living in this country. Coloradans are especially tired of funding illegal aliens. We have had tremendous budget cuts in this state, and yet Colorado pays millions each year to educate, house, incarcerate and provide free medical services especially prenatal care to illegals.
It is commendable that the young Jesus Apodaca is an honor student, but his family has no respect for our rule of law. We cannot provide free education and health care for the whole world. Furthermore, more than 80 percent of U.S. citizens want illegals deported. It is time for other countries to care for, educate and support their own people. Mr. Tancredo is to be commended for defending our country and the rule of law. We need more Americans like him in government.
Because your newspaper is located in Washington, let me say to some of its readers: Please, President Bush, Sen. Wayne Allard and Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, let's get our own house in order and grant no more amnesties.

JANICE HERRON
Evergreen, Colo.

Federal work force's minority over-representation

Shirley Wilcher, executive director of Americans for a Fair Chance, opines that "it's difficult to understand how white men have suffered systemic discrimination as a result of the government's affirmative employment program." ("Is the federal work roll skewed against minorities?" Letters, Aug. 26) Her reasoning is that racial minorities are represented in the government's Senior Executive Service (SES) in lower proportions than in the overall federal work force. That's true, but only because minorities are substantially overrepresented in the overall federal work force.
Minorities hold more than 30 percent of federal jobs, despite making up only 14 percent to 19 percent of the comparative civilian labor force, by the government's own reckoning. The preferential hiring goals that result in this overrepresentation are the subject of a lawsuit about which Ms. Wilcher complains. The suit was filed last month by the Center for Individual Rights against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Had Ms. Wilcher compared minority employment in the SES to the comparative civilian labor force, she would have found that, overall, minorities are proportionately represented in the SES. So Ms. Wilcher's point essentially comes down to a complaint that the minority hiring preferences so prevalent throughout the federal government have had less effect in the SES. Given that these preferences are at odds with constitutional and federal civil rights law to put it charitably that's nothing to complain about.

CURT A. LEVEY
Director of legal and public affairs
Center for Individual Rights
Washington

The healing power of post-abortion therapy

I am a certified grief therapist, so I was pleased to read Theresa Burke's letter relating to the psychological impact of abortion ("Healing abortion's other victims," Sept. 12). I have run a post-abortion healing support group in the metropolitan area for six years, and I can attest to the enormously painful and destructive trauma that can result from an abortion.
The women who find their way to me through Mrs. Burke's Project Rachel (202/269-HOPE, [email protected]) are in psychological pain, and many of them have classic symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. They finally have a language, framework and structure for their experience, which they come to understand is a disenfranchised grief.
When a woman, or a man, comes to understand the abortion event as a hidden grief, she or he finds relief to know she or he is not crazy, not alone and not judged. The Project Rachel program uses Mrs. Burke's model of psychological and spiritual support to provide a return to spiritual and psychological health. This powerful healing process is instrumental in returning these people to the rich and full lives they have been cheated of by the lie that is a "choice."
As a mental health professional trained to be nonjudgmental and compassionate, I colluded in the lie for many years. The national professional organization to which I belong is officially pro-choice, and although that has never been my position, I thought it was compassionate and loving to minimize a past abortion and encourage the client to "get over it." It wasn't until I found Project Rachel that I truly understood the depth of the quiet desperation of so many women trying to understand why they could not "get over it."
Like all secrets, the word has not spread because of the political polarization, privacy, shame and stigma attached to abortion. This is not something you see on the talk shows, nor is this coffee-break chatter.
Now things are poised for change. Men and women are finding post-abortion healing support, and they are speaking up. Books such as "Forbidden Grief" are being published; the research is being validated; and professionals like myself are using our real experience, instead of cultural rhetoric, to attend to the hidden pain of abortion.

CELIA RYAN
Rockville

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