- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 21, 2005

Build it and they will… keep coming

The oft-used phrase “build it and they will come,” co-opted from the Kevin Costner film “Field of Dreams,” could not ring truer regarding the approved day-labor site to be set up in the town of Herndon. (“Center staff won’t check legal status of laborers,” Page 1, Friday). This “field of dreams” will soon turn portions of Northern Virginia into a field of nightmares as property values, due to fears both realized and imagined, will begin to plummet.

The 5-2 decision by the Herndon Town Council creates a bad precedent that could spread to Annandale, Woodbridge and countless other locales where residents legal and illegal will flock in even greater numbers.

Such a site only validates the presence of workers who may not have a legal leg on which to stand in the United States. The concept of providing a site for workers who may be in this country illegally simply enables more undocumented workers to rush to the site. Government officials at any level — from town to county, state and/or federal — supporting this site are aiding and abetting lawbreaking.

A site where documentation is verified would be a good first step in an honest attempt to begin solving the pandemic of illegal immigration. Those here legally would be welcome to gather, learn English and secure legal, gainful employment, thus joining the tax rolls and ultimately becoming less of a burden on society.

As legal residents working, they will add to the economy. Verifying immigration status at such a day-labor site will help stem the rising tide of illegal behavior. Those who are here illegally must not be overlooked.

Build it and they most assuredly will come. Just make sure those who come are entitled to the fruits of the labor creating this site.

SANFORD D. HORN

Alexandria

One standard on Islam, please

It is always interesting to hear right-wing commentators such as Joel Mowbray demand an end to extremist views espoused by Muslims while at the same time demanding the right of others to promote their own extremist anti-Islam agendas. (“CAIR and Michael Graham,” Op-Ed, Thursday).

Mr. Mowbray seems to think the First Amendment is a one-way street. In his world, talk-show hosts such as WMAL’s Michael Graham have the absolute right to label every Muslim on Earth as belonging to the “terrorist organization” of Islam, while Muslims have no reciprocal right to defend their faith and the safety of their families.

Many Muslims believe that hate-filled Islamophobic rhetoric on talk-radio programs across the nation is fueling the ever-increasing incidents of anti-Islamic bias, discrimination and hate crimes.

Reasoned debate on issues related to Islam, terrorism or any other subject should be encouraged, but extremist anti-Muslim rhetoric such as that used by Michael Graham only promotes prejudice, harms our nation’s image worldwide and serves as a recruiting tool for terrorists.

IBRAHIM HOOPER

National communications director

Council on American-Islamic

Relations

Washington

Journalistic integrity and parental grief

With all due respect to Cindy Sheehan and her very public grief (“Poster child for surrender,” Commentary, Tuesday), many mothers (and fathers) who have had children maimed and killed in Afghanistan and Iraq disagree with her.

The press has made her and her agenda their latest darling. This makes one wonder what happened to their so-called “objectivity.” The pundits are claiming that her grief makes her and her nutty opinions (such as the war is being run by a pro-Israel cabal ) beyond reproach. They say this with all seriousness and without interviewing grieving parents who support the war, honor their dead children and disagree with Mrs. Sheehan. So, when Cindy implied America is not worth fighting for, the press does not blink, does not question her statement.

Even worse, they believe the rest of us must defer our First Amendment right to disagree with Mrs. Sheehan to her sorrow. Is that what passes for journalism? Frankly, I think Mrs. Sheehan likes the publicity, and does not mind at all being used by far-left organizations that front for her. On the other hand, those who oppose Mrs. Sheehan are shut out of the debate.

Much of Cindy Sheehan’s family, her husband, remaining son and various other relatives completely disagree with her. In fact, they believe she is dishonoring her son Casey’s memory. I have a much lower opinion of her: I believe she is a traitor.

TIM DUDENHOEFER

Silver Spring

Social Security is as balanced as any insurance

In his column (“What do you mean’we’?”Commentary, Thursday), Gary Galles argues that those who pay higher Social Security taxes end up subsidizing those who pay less. But isn’t that the way all insurance works? If one extends Mr. Galles’ logic, one should not buy health or car insurance; even if one doesn’t file a claim, the policy premium may (and does) still rise because the insurer determined that a spike in claims by others has increased its costs. And these other people are not necessarily being irresponsible — they may just have fallen ill, as we all eventually do.

So, would you forgo insurance against your life and limb? I doubt that the professor would argue as much. In the same way, you should not forgo insurance against old age penury. Just as one joins an army to sacrifice for the country, one pays Social Security taxes so that one’s fellow citizens do not have to suffer as much. Those are both moral imperatives that, in my mind, rise above and beyond any selfish need.

Yes, Social Security and other forms of insurance are calculated risks, and there is never complete equity. There are just approximations. But, by and large, Social Security has been as fair as any insurance system could be.

PAMELA MERCER

Washington

Canning canned hunting

As someone who grew up in Indiana, I am pleased to hear that my fellow Hoosiers have made the humane decision to “can” canned hunting and are trying their hardest to enforce the ban on fenced preserves (“Indiana moves to end ‘canned’ hunting,” UPI, Aug. 12).

Unfortunately, I also grew up around hunting, so I know that the animals on these ranches are usually tame, scared zoo and circus castoffs purchased by hunting ranch operators at wretched “wild animal” auctions. They’re often accustomed to humans and usually are unable to escape from the enclosures, which range in size from just a few yards to thousands of acres across. Most of these ranches operate on a “no kill, no pay” policy, so it’s in the owners’ best interests to ensure that clients get what they came for. Owners do this by offering guides who know the location and habits of the animals, permitting the use of dogs and supplying “feeding stations” that lure unsuspecting animals to food while hunters lie in wait.

I’m not a fan of any type of hunting, but I think canned hunting is especially cruel. Plain and simple — it’s cowardly to stalk and kill fenced-in animals.

TIM WALKER

Morganton, N.C.

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