- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 8, 2003

Just say ‘no’

On behalf of the 2.8-million-member American Legion, I echo the warnings to banks and to all levels of government by Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge and Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo: Mexico’s matricula consular card should not be accepted as a valid form of identification (“Matricula ID controversy grows,” Nation, Monday).

Accepting a foreign ID card that can be obtained with dubious authentication is anathema to common sense and homeland security. If America learned anything from the terrorist attacks of September 11, it learned that immigration must come under tougher scrutiny. Why would this nation allow individuals to make financial transactions and to obtain driver’s licenses, which grant access to numerous restricted areas, by using an ID card that may be obtained with documents the U.S. government cannot verify? This sets a dangerous precedent that other nations will follow.

Legal immigrants have valid, government-issued identification. Therefore, the matricula consular is useful only to those who are in this country illegally. Federal, state and local governments should enact legislation to invalidate the matricula consular and to prohibit future attempts to grant quasi-legal status to illegal immigrants.


National commander

American Legion


A rose by any other name?

I believe the recent court decision that upheld the naming rights of the Washington Redskins football team was wrong. What really angered me, however, was the arrogant opinion column by Bruce Fein published in Tuesday’s Commentary (“Redskins win over PC”).

In essence, Mr. Fein acknowledges that there are some very real justice issues and past court cases that have ruled in favor of American Indians. He feels that these past cases are important and worthy of the favorable decisions the courts have handed down; yet, he believes the current Washington Redskins naming issue to have been adjudicated correctly.

I think that one important factor that people like Mr. Fein overlook is that American Indians still exist as a people today. I think it is highly disrespectful to allow a sports team to use a term that refers to, essentially, some of our fellow citizens.

Most teams are named after animals or people who do not currently live as part of our culture today, e.g., the Vikings or 49ers. Are Mr. Fein and others who think like him aware that our fellow Indian citizens work, pay their taxes, serve in our military, raise their families and love this country, too? I don’t think Mr. Fein thinks of these citizens as potential colleagues of his, but rather as faceless people who should exist at the margins of society.

The court decision had nothing to do with political correctness. It was wrong because it affirmed that it is OK to name a sports team after a portion of the U.S. population.


Fishers, Ind.

Making fun of a serious matter

I am appalled by the article that appeared in your publication regarding PCOS, or polycystic ovarian syndrome (“Doctors studying bearded women,” Metropolitan, Sunday). PCOS is a common hormonal disorder in women — causing the majority of infertility in America. It is a tragic thing that the reporter mocked a disease that not only affects one’s ability to reproduce, but also poses serious health risks, such as cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure. Body hair, as the article so rudely described, is but a symptom of a potentially fatal disorder that is quite serious.

The article states: ” ‘The problem is that adolescents who experience increased hair growth and missed periods don’t discuss these issues,’ Dr. John Marshall, director of the Center for Research and Reproduction at the University of Virginia, said. ‘Usually by the time I see these women, they are infertile and have heavy hair growth.’ ” Women don’t discuss these issues because viewpoints and publications such as yours make women feel ashamed about something that they have no control over.

I commend The Washington Times for bringing the subject up, and I was delighted to hear about the study and the grant money. I do not, however, feel that the reporter was in any way justified by downplaying the article with such mockery of the condition. If the article was about cancer funding or AIDS awareness, the reporter wouldn’t dare use such imagery.


Casper, Wyo.

Decrypting numbers

Frank J. Murray’s article (“Murder hits 40-year low,” Page 1, Sunday) contains a quote claiming that no good theory explains the drop in homicide rates. In fact, recent research, particularly that published by the Criminal Justice Program at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, does suggest such a theory.

Vast improvements in medical care — ranging from better emergency responders and faster ambulances to improved surgical techniques and medicines — are now saving many people from injuries that would have proven fatal a few decades ago. Particularly because of the battlefield medical advances that emerged from the Vietnam War, more and more people now survive violent attacks. So, someone who was attacked 40 years ago who might have died and been listed as a murder victim is now more likely to be saved in an emergency room and classified as the victim of an aggravated assault. This phenomenon not only explains the declining murder rate Mr. Murray notes, but also the skyrocketing assault statistics during the same period.

Furthermore, this theory raises new questions about the racial breakdown of many of the statistics cited in Mr. Murray’s article. If it is true that access to medical facilities is a key factor in determining whether an assault victim lives or dies, and therefore, whether the attack is classified as an assault or a homicide, then we would expect to see more homicides in communities whose members lack advanced medical care or fast transportation to such care.

Unfortunately, the minorities who are overrepresented in murder statistics are also overrepresented in such disadvantaged communities. This logic suggests that societal inequalities in medical care, rather than inherent differences in the intent of attackers, may help explain racial inequalities in murder rates. Although this theory certainly remains up for debate, it is at least worth mentioning in an article such as Mr. Murray’s.



Not his generation

In regard to the article, “Appeals to youth spawn nascent ‘Dean Generation’ ” (Nation, Tuesday): Kudos to Emily L. Zimbrick for confirming that which anyone who has attended college recently already knows. Given the insulation of academia, the overwhelming liberal slant of academics and the anti-establishment attitude of young adults, it is not surprising that many college students support Howard Dean for president. Only those who are removed from reality, incapable of independent thinking and predisposed to reject the status quo could come to the conclusion that Mr. Dean is good for America.

If addressing national security concerns and encouraging economic growth through sound fiscal policy are not of interest to young people, one has good reason to be worried about the kids these days. Before you panic, realize that the tenets of Generation Dean are hardly endemic to tomorrow’s leadership. In colleges and graduate schools across the country, a small but committed group of students is devoted to the principles of the Reagan revolution — smaller and sensible government, unfettered economic markets and strong national defense. The leftists, wannabe hippies and socialists may garner all the media attention, but as they leave the sanctuary of the academy, their influence will go the way of their time in college — up in smoke.



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