- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Think of protection before profits

In regard to the editorial “Bush and illegals” (Monday), the proposal for amnesty in the Bush guest-worker program would eventually give permanent status to many millions of illegal aliens residing in this country, but would also be an open invitation to poor, unskilled Third World workers around the world.

We can ill afford this affront to all those waiting to enter the country legally, and we owe decent, hard-working Americans and recent legal immigrants a right to an opportunity to earn fair wages allowing them to live with a reasonable lifestyle. Such an amnesty would increase the overwhelming flow of poverty and disease that is destroying our country.

President Bush is pandering to greedy employers and others who profit on cheap foreign labor, rather than protecting our borders from incursion by potential terrorists and millions of low-paid workers who are subsidized by the taxpayers — who must educate their children and provide health care and other benefits. We also suffer from the drugs and crime that they bring across the border.

This invasion of our country may ultimately result in a deadly attack by terrorists.

BYRON SLATER

San Diego

Fate in bishop’s hands

I have followed the Rev. James Haley’s story and his courageous stand to rid the priesthood of actively homosexual men (“Silenced priest warns of gay crisis,” Page 1, Monday). Unfortunately for the good father, his vocation is now in the hands of Bishop Thomas G. Doran of the Rockford, Ill., diocese. I would advise Father Haley to begin scanning the help-wanted ads.

Our family has had two occasions to experience the authority of Bishop Doran on the two most volatile subjects in modern Catholic events — abortion and abusive priests. The bishop came up disappointingly short both times. Bishop Doran is always careful to speak orthodoxy publicly, but through his two monsignor assistants, he harshly governs in concert with the politically correct.

JOSEPH EARL

Marana, Ariz.

Whose side is the media on?

Every time an embedded reporter airs a negative report about our military, it provides a major propaganda victory to our enemies and endangers our military forces (“Insurgent clashes kill more than 50,” World, Tuesday).

As far as I’m concerned, such reporters are providing aid and comfort to our enemies. Look at what is going on in the Middle East after the shooting in the mosque. Headlines throughout the Middle East scream that a Marine shot an unarmed man in a mosque. Talk about inflaming our enemies.

These reporters need to be removed from these units or show more restraint. They should think about the consequences to our military forces versus the public’s right to know. The lives of our military should come before the story.

ROBERT WINSTEAD

Alexandria

Last night, I sat by in disgust as the media mounted a massive campaign against a young Marine who fatally shot a wounded terrorist. The media did not say “terrorist.” They called him an “unarmed Iraqi.”

We should pull the embeds out of Iraq. I once believed it was a great idea, but I have come to the conclusion that the media has an agenda to turn this into Vietnam. We have seen it since the start of the war.

We asked these young men to go over there and fight for us. We asked them to lay their lives on the line so we can live in freedom and security here. No one knows what this young man has been through. We do know that the insurgents have been playing dead in order to trick our troops.

I call on you and your colleagues to support our troops, and this one in particular. If we don’t have the courage to fight for them here, we shouldn’t be asking them to fight for us over there.

JASON VANZIN

Bridgeville, Pa.

What Darwin said was …

Ronald Abud (“Debating evolution,” Letters, Saturday) attempts to make a case for intelligent-design theory as a refutation of Charles Darwin’s theory of the origin of species. He states that evolution theory “has been touted as the scientific answer to the origin of life,” but when it is so touted, it must be by those who have not read “On the Origin of Species” or who choose to misread its thesis.

The final sentence in Darwin’s book is this: “There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.” Darwin’s own words are humbly religious, directly acknowledging a mysterious Creator as the origin of life. What Darwin proposed was, given created life, an explanation for the differentiation of forms of life in changing environments.

Mr. Abud seeks evidence in the fossil record of “transitional forms” to justify the proposition that species change over time, but he offers no idea of what transitional species are or what sets them apart from standard, presumably nontransitional, species. Darwin was quite clear that evolutionary variations are usually quite gradual and that the boundaries between variations and species are to a fair extent arbitrary. He predicted that because fossils are laid down only in exceptional geological circumstances that occur sparsely scattered over time and geography, extensive fossil sequences demonstrating slight and continuous variations over evolutionarily significant intervals are not likely to be found. All the fossils ever laid down offer only fragmentary snapshots of particular times and places.

In his need for transitional species, Mr. Abud is probably mindful of the chief argument of intelligent designers such as Michael Behe: that it is impossible to imagine a successful species having, for example, at the organ level a less-than-fully-formed eye or at the chemical level a less-than-complete blood-clotting cascade. This argument employs the imaginative powers of the proponent as the reference, a fickle reference indeed.

Darwin’s argument is constructive and prospective: that it is logical to expect any slightly increased competence with respect to the environment to confer slightly increased reproductive success. The intelligent-design argument is negative, subjective and retrospective: that the difficulty of imagining a previous reduced competence and simultaneously imagining past circumstances in which a reduced competence was still an improvement over its predecessor is proof of something even more difficult to imagine, that whole biological competences in their present forms have been “beamed down.”

In Darwin’s words again: “The belief that species were immutable productions was almost unavoidable as long as the history of the world was thought to be of short duration; and now that we have acquired some idea of the lapse of time, we are too apt to assume, without proof, that the geological record is so perfect that it would have afforded us plain evidence of the mutation of species. … The mind cannot possibly grasp the full meaning of the term of even a million years; it cannot add up and perceive the full effects of many slight variations, accumulated during an almost infinite number of generations.”

P.M. DAVIES

Riva, Md.

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