- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 14, 2003

Historical comparisons

Reading Ralph Z. Hallow’s “GOP hopes to paint Dean as the new McGovern” (Nation, Thursday), taxed my imagination as to how President Bush can point to anyone else as a big spender. I hope the standard Mr. Bush has set for big spending will not soon be broken.

I am sure I will end up voting for Mr. Bush, but I am by no means excited enough about him to buy his talking action figure.

GEORGE SEEVERS

Van Alstyne, Texas

It was with great interest that I read the article on the Republicans’ intention to compare former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean’s candidacy with George McGovern’s 1972 presidential run. I applaud the Republican Party for its candor in constructing this analogy. After all, history has vindicated Mr. McGovern’s views on the Vietnam War for the most part. It seems increasingly likely that Mr. Dean’s position on the invasion of Iraq will be similarly borne out.

The Republican formulation, however, is a bit incomplete. Republican strategists can round out their comparison by casting President Bush as the “new Nixon.” After all, Richard Nixon was a popular president at one time. If voters knew then, however, what they know now, I think many of them would have passed on the opportunity to provide Mr. Nixon with a second term. Today’s voters may come to the same conclusion about Mr. Bush, the “new Nixon.” In today’s age of instant information, however, the voters — unlike our counterparts of 1972 — might do so in time to do something about it.

GEORGE COLOMBO

Winter Springs, Fla.

The cost of ‘cheap labor’

I would like to comment on the descriptive phrase “cheap labor,” uttered by Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican, in Thursday’s Page One story about Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge’s proposal to consider some type of amnesty for 8 million to 12 million illegal aliens (“Ridge rapped for immigration views”).

It costs U.S. taxpayers dearly to pay for the health care, education and other basic needs, such as police and fire protection, mass transportation, etc., of this enormous population. Added to these costs are billions of dollars in direct payments to illegal aliens under the misleading name of “earned income tax credit.”

Now, under something called Executive Order 13166, the federal government is trying to force state and local taxpayers to pay the cost of translation services for illegal aliens and other non-English-speaking residents who use government services.

The fact is that illegal-alien labor is “cheap” only to the employer that exploits it.

K.C. MCALPIN

Executive director

ProEnglish

Arlington

Northern exposure?

Wednesday’s editorial on security at the Canadian-U.S. border (“Secure the northern border”) needs a border check of its own — especially the comments on immigration and refugee policies. We are both nations of immigrants with very similar admissibility requirements. Refugee acceptance rates are almost identical — for Canada, 56 percent of total applicants were accepted in 2002, compared with 52 percent for the United States. We have identical legislation regarding the detention of claimants. On the issue of enforcement, however, there appears to be one major difference between Canada and the United States, and that is in the number of undocumented individuals — an estimated 200,000 in Canada and at least 8 million in the United States.

Having Canada to the north makes America more secure, not less. Our shared border is proof of how innovation, technology and a shared approach to risk management — putting more resources in security where it counts while still enabling trade and the hundreds of thousands of jobs supported by Canadian-U.S. trade — turns the border into a zone of cooperation. As Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge has said, “[Canadian-U.S.] collaboration is solid and secure and is as good as it gets.” Attorney General John Ashcroft, who himself has confirmed that none of the 19 September 11 terrorists came from Canada, said: “Long before the attacks of September 11, Canada provided consistent and invaluable assistance to law enforcement officials in the United States. And since the attacks, our nations have collaborated more closely than ever to secure our borders and protect our citizens from the threat of terrorism.”

Canada and the United States understand the mutual threat of terrorism to both of our societies. Repeating urban myths about Canada’s immigration policy only serves to give an incomplete picture of what is the most successful security partnership between any two countries in the world — that is why there is a Canada-U.S. Smart Border accord.

MICHAEL KERGIN

Ambassador

Embassy of Canada

Washington

On canning spam

While e-mail spam is a serious problem that needs to be addressed (“Common sense and spam,” Editorial, Thursday), the Can Spam Act will only make the problem worse.

Now, spammers have to buy e-mail address lists or glean them from across the Internet. A national “Do not spam” registry will provide spammers with a huge database of valid e-mail addresses. This will be an invaluable resource to spammers who operate from outside the United States.

In not thinking through the problem, Congress has created a cure that is worse than the disease.

JOHN MIANO

Summit, N.J.

Avoiding the flu

Considering the hysteria that has been created by the excessive coverage of the influenza outbreak, you would think some responsible news outlet would come forward with some helpful advice other than “Get the vaccine,” especially now that the manufacturers of said vaccine reportedly are out of their supply (“FluMist booms on CDC backing,” Page 1, Tuesday). What has been lacking in the coverage are some very simple and effective steps people can take to reduce their chances of getting the flu — something I would suspect was the hope of those in the media.

Those steps (as provided on Mercola.com, a for-profit health Web site ) are:

1. Avoid sugar — it decreases function of your immune system almost immediately.

2. Get enough rest — fatigue weakens your resistance to the flu and other bugs.

3. Eat garlic regularly — it is anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal. Make sure it’s fresh.

4. Don’t let stress become overwhelming — 90 percent of illness and disease is stress-related.

5. Exercise — increased blood flow increases circulation of immune-system components.

6. Wash your hands — it provides a bit of extra protection to assist the immune system.

Eating a healthy diet clearly is helpful. Hopefully, a day will come soon when the pharmaceutical industry’s influence will no longer restrict access to valid and important advice on health issues and replace it with self-promoting, deceptive, dogmatic statements. This is a wake-up call for doctors — your reputations are in the balance.

WILLIAM BURKE

President

Outreach 2K Inc.

Kansas City, Kan.


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