Stand up for DeLay
Praise God for Tony Blankley’s having the guts, and the common sense, to defend Rep. Tom DeLay (“Keep DeLay or pay the price,” Op-Ed, Wednesday). It’s long past time for every loyal Republican/conservative/non-leftist to stand up and be counted, calling for an end to this outrageous farce.
As a former lobbyist and director of federal affairs for the National Rifle Association, I had occasion to work with Mr. DeLay and know him to be a fine and moral man and a tough but effective nuts-and-bolts strategist. If anything, his main crime appears to be that he also has been the most effective House leader since Sam Rayburn. For far too long, the Republican Party was content to be the party of compromise and convenience. More than once during various debates over firearms issues in my years at the NRA, I was told by so-called Republicans, “While I agree with your position, I just can’t vote with you.” My response was, “The last thing I need is a sympathetic audience at my hanging.”
The issue comes down to this: Either you support Mr. DeLay’s no-nonsense approach to defining and defending principled positions that highlight the difference between a government that relies on the strength and moral foundations of the people for its efficacy against one seeking to impose an elitist “we know best” manifesto irrespective of the will of the majority, or you don’t. Mr. DeLay has been a stalwart defender of all of the positions that have made the Republican Party the majority party and will keep it the majority party despite the namby-pamby Northeastern “lets make a deal so we get invited to the right parties” RINOs (Republicans in name only). Enough is enough.
Either stand up and be counted for a man who deserves your support, or recognize that you are as much a part of the lynch mob as those with their hands on the rope.
THE REV. JOE PHILLIPS
Red River, N.M.
Don’t give heroin to heroin addicts
I am outraged by the commentary “Outside view: Free heroin in Canada” (Web site link to United Press International, Monday), which highlights a government program that sets chemical dependency treatment back decades, but I appreciate the information on this very serious issue. The column indicated that $8 million will be spent on the North American Opiate Medications Initiative (NAOMI), a government program that will supply health officials in Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto with the resources to distribute injectable heroin (in combination with oral methadone) to a select group of people with heroin dependencies. As executive director of the Waismann Institute, which is dedicated to the advanced treatment of opiate dependency, I think it is a crime against human nature to facilitate this disease rather than find a cure.
First, it is pitiful that the priority of the federal Canadian Institutes of Health Research is not to heal people of this medical problem but to protect society from those who have it by perpetuating their disease. While it may benefit the rest of society to see a decrease in prostitution, crime and homelessness, such a measure would not help cure the people who are suffering from dependency.
Second, determining that all participants will receive the same daily dose illustrates the program’s ignorance of the medical disease of opiate dependency. Every person who has developed a chemical dependency requires a specific amount of opiates to curb cravings and suppress withdrawal symptoms. When a predetermined amount of heroin is distributed through this new government program, some individuals may become overmedicated and more dangerously reliant as a result, while others may receive too little and experience withdrawal symptoms, which ultimately would force them to the streets to seek out more drugs to satiate their cravings.
Third, this new program would supply heroin injections to select drug users, but how exactly is the government going to produce this heroin? In trying to create a systematic solution, it may actually contribute to the problem at hand. Will it be contributing to the growth of the poppy plant? After opening the door to drug production, what is next? Cocaine? Amphetamines? A drug buffet on Sundays?
Finally (and what disheartens me most), NAOMI will convince individuals who unfortunately have fallen into drug dependency that their cause is hopeless — so hopeless that the government will supply them with the very drug that suppresses their potential. Instead of receiving drugs that perpetuate bad habits, the people who have become dependent on opiates would be better served if they were educated about the details of their physical dependency, specifically how and why their brain requires the drug to function and how they can correct their chemical imbalances with medical treatment. As in the treatment of other medical diseases, being informed about their disease can instill hope that will motivate them to fight against dependency and become drug-free.
The Waismann Method provides advanced treatment for heroin and other opiate dependencies with the goal of giving patients a drug-free life. My experiences have given me hope that the lives of these users can be turned around. It angers me to see this organization give up on the promise of healing these people, and I hope that this ridiculous program does not find a home in the United States.
Beverly Hills, Calif.
Bearing down on free trade
Regarding the editorial “Will globalization survive?” (Sunday): Liberals are always extremely generous with somebody else’s money. The projected table check that Martin Wolf wishes to pass to America is up to $1 trillion in our debt increase for 2005 alone.
In the real world, globalization is not possible without free trade and has no theoretical justification: Its “law of comparative advantage” is applicable only under utopian conditions of no trade deficit, unemployment, excess capacity, technical progress or uncertainty.
Exchange rates, wages and prices must be “appropriate” and completely flexible. The displaced workers should be re-employed by another industry immediately, without any training or transition cost.
John Maynard Keynes completely rejected this “law,” considering it invalid and irrelevant in the real world, with unemployment and deficits. He also insisted that those countries with a deficit should not bear the entire burden of adjustment, especially under currency “pegging.” (Predatory trade is even worse.)
Even Friedrich Hayek stated, “Probably nothing has done so much harm to the liberal cause as the wooden insistence on certain rough rules of thumb, above all the principle of laissez faire.”
Karl Marx was for free trade — only because he considered it destructive. Besides, free-trade advocates keep mum about several proofs that, even under full employment, wages in all trading countries would be equalized at a sufficiently low level; with unemployment, it will be even worse.
In short, any absolute dogma is a bad bedfellow for the economy, be it sleeping on the left or on the right side of the bed. The Soviet Union and free trade are good examples. A Russian proverb says, “Make a fool pray, and he will get bumps on his forehead.” (This is not about prayer — this is about fools.)
No less important, free trade deprives us of tools of economic persuasion in diplomacy, which are especially needed in times of war. It also forces us to finance the development of the gigantic armed forces of China.
The free market survived at the micro levels of the free-enterprise economies only because it was constrained at the macro level by government policies, which provided some stabilization.
Similarly, free trade and globalization can survive at the micro level of international trade, if the trade deficit shocks are reasonably constrained at a macro level.
VLADIMIR A. MASCH