- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 7, 2004

Like a good neighbor …

In reference to “Bush eyes easing entry from Mexico” (Page 1, Friday): As our country is still under threat of terrorist attacks, it is unconscionable for President Bush to eliminate new border-security programs along the Mexican border. This is apparently being done becauseofcomplaintsby Mexican President Vicente Fox that equally stringent programs are not in place along the Canadian border.

Mr. Bush needs to recall that his first priority must be to protect American citizens rather than to appease foreign leaders.

As opinion polls show strong support among the American public for increased border security, Mr. Bush should answer Mexican complaints that our southern border is subject to more stringent protection than our northern border by implementing at least the same security programs along the Canadian border.

CHRISTOPHER S. EDWARDS

New York

Concerning the story “Mexico lobbies for alien amnesty” (Page 1, Thursday): Would U.S. citizens be afforded the same rights in Mexico as President Vicente Fox is concerned about Mexican citizens receiving in the United States?

JOHN WARKENTIN

Santa Barbara, Calif.

Canada, which doesn’t have as many lobbyists as our southern neighbor, doesn’t interfere as much with our local, state and federal government as does Mexico.

Maybe it’s because Canadians aren’t abused by their government at home and lionized while in the United States illegally, as Mexicans are.

And since Canadians will not work for rock-bottom wages, President Bush doesn’t invite their leader to his ranch.

WILLIAM RUSSELL

Pala, Calif.

The limits of technology

The issue of stem-cell research is a difficult one (“Promise,periland progress,” Editorial, Friday). It sounds so good that humans believe they can alleviate the suffering caused by longstanding medical conditions. All we have to do is to play with the mechanisms that create life itself.

Our scientists are certain that such tinkering can help break down the barriers in the way of medical breakthroughs. Yet, logic would tell us that in order to improve the human condition, one must understand it in its entirety. And which great individuals shall stand up to the plate and truly be able to do that?

There are two questions that thinkers have pondered over for at least 2,500 years: 1) Does life as we think we know it end in the here and now, or is there something beyond us? 2) Does man possess something beyond mere flesh and blood that could link him to another world, i.e., a soul? These two questions beg a third with even more profound importance. Do we have a Creator? Despite all our advances over years, we remain as uncertain about such questions as in the days of Socrates.

Such questions are beyond us and will always be. But if the answers are in the affirmative, they would certainly change our human purpose. Perhaps it would make more sense to not create things which we do not understand. The unintended consequences would most certainly overwhelm the good intentions of well-meaning scientific, governmental and corporate deep thinkers.

It is one thing to tinker with our physical world. It is another thing entirely to tinker with the inexplicable. At least President Bush is willing to face such limits. Are the rest of us so willing?

ANDREW McCARTHY

Leesburg, Va

To leak or not to leak?

Manuel Miranda deserves better treatment from Senate Republicans(“Ex-staffer holds ground as ‘Memogate’ unfolds,” Page 1, Thursday). Mr. Miranda has done the public and the Republican Party a great service by exposing highly politicized Democratic judicial memos that make the Senate judicial nomination process a fraud.

Did Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee conduct an investigation into the seriousness of the memos? No. Instead Sens. Orrin Hatch, Judiciary Committee chairman, and Bill Frist, Senate majority leader, pretend they never saw the memos. Then they have the nerve to force Mr. Miranda out. This is incredible.

Senate Republicans should give Mr. Miranda a medal for a job well done. Messrs. Hatch and Frist are worse than wimps. They are as guilty of corrupting the judicial process as the Democrats who wrote the offensive memos. For the shabby way they have treated Mr. Miranda, Mr. Hatch and Mr. Frist don’t deserve to be re-elected.

JAMES PATTERSON

Washington

The real crime is not the reading of the memos written by staff members for Sens. Edward Kennedy and Richard Durbin, but rather the memos themselves (“Report says staffer directed memo leak,” Nation, Friday). Both senators should be impeached for violating their oaths of office and not just for an ethics violation.

If the senators are not held accountable for holding up the nomination of a judge because of a pending affirmative-action case, they will continue to misuse their offices to promote their own ideological agendas rather than represent the people of the United States.

Should the senators escape punishment for their actions, then Sens. Orrin Hatch and Bill Frist should be investigated to ascertain what is in their background that deters them from carrying out investigations of nefarious acts by other senators. A full investigation of the Senate should not be ruled out if the scandalous acts of Messrs. Durbin and Kennedy are not thoroughly probed.

MILDRED M. FISCHER

Fredericksburg, Va.

Washington and the Society of the Cincinnati

Edward Hudgins is quite right to remind us that we should “reflect on the real greatness of the real Washington and moral lessons he taught us” (“Example of our first president,” Commentary, Feb. 22).

But Mr. Hudgins is wrong when he reports that “Washington resigned from the Cincinnati Society, an organization of Revolutionary War veterans, because he feared it would create in the new nation a hereditary class of nobles.” George Washington joined the Society of the Cincinnati when it was founded at the Continental Army encampment at Newburgh, N.Y., in 1783. He was immediately elected president general of the society and served in that capacity until his death in 1799.

Some of Washington’s contemporaries were, indeed, concerned that the Society of the Cincinnati might form the basis of a new hereditary nobility, but there is no evidence that Washington shared their fear. By remaining president general of the society, Washington effectively assured his countrymen that the organization posed no threat to American liberties.

Thanks in large measure to Washington’s able leadership, the Society of the Cincinnati has endured for more than 220 years and works today to promote the memory of the American Revolution and the high ideals of Washington and his fellow officers.

JAY WAYNE JACKSON

President General

The Society of the Cincinnati

Washington

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