- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 16, 2005

Ungrateful aid recipients

When a nation refuses our wholehearted efforts to assist the victims during a tragedy such as the tsunami disaster, we should listen carefully to the message that is being conveyed (“Indonesia denies U.S. pilots use of air space; carrier leaves,” Page 1, Thursday). After the deaths of more than 100,000 of its citizens in a natural disaster, Indonesia is indicating displeasure at our participation in the rescue and rehabilitation efforts. We should take what resources we have and devote them to nations that are not going to differentiate between countries supplying assistance and are willing to accept gratefully our help.

While the American public has responded overwhelmingly in giving both funds and material assistance, we should distinguish between those nations that receive our aid gratefully and those who bite the hands that feed them. Americans desire more from their tax dollars and more credit for their generosity. Aid that is not accepted graciously should not be given.

NELSON MARANS

Silver Spring

On trade, ‘America first’

Your article places much of the responsibility for our record trade deficit on a tepid demand for U.S. exports in Europe because of the sluggish growth there (“Trade and the dollar,” Editorial, Friday). But even if Europe’s economy strengthens, why should Europeans buy our exports when much cheaper goods are available from Third World countries and China? In addition, we have much less to export, since much of our manufacturing is being outsourced overseas. Our suicidal giveaway trade policies are making Communist China an economic and military superpower while creating a hollow America — an America that is fast losing its ability to produce goods. The weak dollar reflects this stark reality.

Globalist trade policies are destroying our manufacturing base and middle class as good jobs disappear to cheap foreign labor. Over time, the overburdened American consumer will rein in spending, and this, along with rising import costs from a weak dollar, will cause stagflation and a severe recession.

The only real solution is to enact an “America first” trade policy that severely discourages outsourcing U.S. manufactures abroad, especially to Communist China. Tax breaks for American companies abroad could be eliminated, and some tariffs, when appropriate, could be imposed on imports. Corporate taxes and onerous government regulations could be reduced to lower the costs of American-based businesses. American businesses could also be encouraged to move to lower-cost, non-union small towns. President Bush could also push hard for an energy policy that frees us from being dependent on Saudi Arabia.

America will always be held hostage to foreign economies and governments unless it once again becomes a productive and independent nation.

LOU VENTICINQUE

Jamison, Pa.

Machine politics

The ghost of Mayor Richard J. Daley of Chicago must have migrated westward and taken up residence in King County, Washington (“GOP demands new election as disputed votes emerge,” Page 1, Jan. 8). With his spirit went the tradition of voting the tombstones, in which Democratic machine workers — usually city employees in patronage jobs — took names from the headstones of the not-so-long deceased in city graveyards and cast ballots in their names.

The latest Washington state election scandal proves once again what every political operative knows, but few will admit: Machine vote counts are more accurate and less prone to fraud than counts by hand. Those who demand the latter in any relatively close election, whether in Florida in 2000 or Ohio or Washington in 2004, are simply trying to impose the will of a roomful of election workers — usually of one party — on the electorate. And in King County (and thus in Washington state) they seem to have succeeded.

Washington-staters who want their elections to be honest and their votes to be counted should rise up and demand a new election.

LYNDA MEYERS

Arlington

Lutheran Church in crisis

It’s sad that the decision by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America not to censure churches that ordain homosexual clergy raises so little controversy (“Lutheran decision splits on gay clergy,” Page 1, yesterday).

Martin Luther’s prime assertion and the entire basis for the Reformation was “sola Scriptura” — that doctrine and practice must be founded in God’s word and not driven by the whims of the moment.

Scripture is unrelenting in its condemnation of homosexual practice — of any kind, “loving and committed” or not — and St. Paul is most emphatic that ministers must be male and either married to a woman or celibate.

The ELCA has abandoned its roots and has no reason to refer to itself as Lutheran any more. I fear we will reap what it sows as families continue to disintegrate, public morality drops to the lowest common denominator and our society in general repeats the fall of the ancient Roman Empire.

PAUL BLASE

Alexandria

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