- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 4, 2005

Texas-size thank you

A big hand to Texas Gov. Rick Perry for upholding the United States’ Constitution against those who would infringe on the rights of American citizens (“Governor of Texas to allow Minuteman vigil at border,” Nation, Thursday).

Your article states that state Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, “a Democrat from McAllen, said in the resolution that Texas border communities rely heavily on tourism, commerce and the free flow of legal cross-border traffic to help support local economies, and that the Minuteman patrols could ‘impede the traffic and negatively affect both tourism and trade along the border.’ ”

Mr. Hinojosa would like us to think that the Minuteman Project would interfere with “legal cross-border traffic.” How so? The Minuteman Project is only concerned with illegal crossings into our country. Moreover, the Minutemen will not go onto private property without the owner’s consent. That’s not so with illegal aliens, who camp in groups of hundreds waiting for their smugglers, leaving behind destruction and filth.

I urge Mr. Perry to use his executive power in Texas and send the National Guard to aid the Border Patrol. President Bush is not interested in guarding our borders. It’s up to each border state to do it.

HAYDEE PAVIA

Laguna Woods, Calif.

Brave young men

Second Lt. Nicholas Jurewicz, the top senior cadet at the Air Force Academy, is an inspiring young man. He is brave and has chosen to stand up to a Christian-intolerant world that would like to shut him up. I find it commendable that he sent out an e-mail proclaiming his trust in Jesus Christ to uplift his fellow cadets, some of whom soon would be putting their lives in harm’s way for this country (“Air Force to review senior’s religious e-mail,” Nation, Thursday).

This nation is a nation that trusts in God. I praise God that this country has men and women like Lt. Jurewicz serving in its armed forces who do not want to keep silent about their love for their savior. I am inspired by his act of love for his fellow cadets.

There was another young man whose faith in God led him to stand up and do the unthinkable. This young man was shocked when the military leaders of his nation cowered in the face of an enemy that mocked them and their God. This young man put all of his trust in his God, and, with a faith that could move mountains, stepped forward to take on the most powerful military force on Earth. Through his faith, this young man brought the enemy to its knees and destroyed it. We call this man King David.

MARK BORCHELT

Accokeek

It all adds up

Although Donald Lambro justifiably criticizes PBS for its ideological programming bent, and though some on the right — including my organization — have called for an end to federal funding of PBS, the subsidies continue to flow (“PBS jousting,” Commentary, Thursday). Supporters of public media will indeed argue that $400 million is a pittance and, taken in isolation, it will do little to cure our budget and out-of-control spending. This mathematical argument misses the point.

Rather than just another $400 million line item in the federal budget, funding for PBS should be a litmus test for conservatives. After all, if you can’t eliminate federal funding for a media outlet that regularly attacks your party and movement, what programs can you muster the political will to cut? The situation is as if taxpayers were being forced to fund advertising campaigns for John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi and conservatives who control the presidency and both houses of Congress were unwilling or unable to stop it.

The real problem for taxpayers is that PBS is just one of hundreds — maybe thousands — of federal programs that take a small slice out of the budget pie every year but add up to big money. If Republicans tinker around the edges by changing the ideological slant of PBS, it will be just another sign that too many Republicans are OK with big government as long as it is “our” big government. To say the least, that is poor strategy.

PAUL J. GESSING

Director of government affairs

National Taxpayers Union

Alexandria

Money drives stem-cell research debate

Chris Glaze (“The ‘soul’ of the stem-cell debate,” Letters, May 28), argues that the fundamental issue in deciding to ban research using human embryos is “whether embryos have souls and thus constitute lives that require the same legal protection as children and adults.” He further asserts that the “onus is on opponents” of research that destroys or cannibalizes human embryos to explain whythe fact that the embryo hasn’t yet developed the physical complexity seen at later stages of human life somehow disproves the absence of a human soul at life’s beginning. I’m not sure why the onus is on protectors of life to defend their motives, but the human soul, if it exists, is nonmaterial by nature and cannot be detected by any scientific method at any stage of existence. Physical complexity has nothing to do with the existence or presence of a soul, so the question is designed to fail.

If the subject is souls, their presence is indicated by life, which can be detected. Centuries ago, the beginning of life (“quickening”) could be resolved to a matter of weeks, while today the resolution may be measured in microseconds. The band of uncertainty around all scientific measurements does not eliminate the distinction between living and dead.

The supporters of research using human embryos supply us with the crucial, measurable information that the embryos are, indeed, human and living. If they weren’t, they couldn’t be used for the research. Squid embryos won’t do, dog embryos won’t do, and dead embryos won’t do. We know the embryos in question are living humans because if you kept them in a normal, supportive environment, they would go on living and turn into someone much like you or me or those nice “snowflake” children (developed from fertility clinics’ “unused” embryos and adopted by infertile couples) at President Bush’s press conference.

What is illogical is the claim that frozen embryos are not really living but we should use them because they’re going to die anyway. In the interest of defending the rights of all living human life, we must include all living human embryos, as well as all living stem-cell researchers. It is increasingly clear that the real engine of the stem-cell research debate is money. Has the private-investment money fled the barren human-embryo research field and gone over to the productive adult-stem-cell research field? If so, the human embryo researchers are perhaps left holding the financial bag and want the taxpayers to bail them out.

DAVID LUCAS

Manassas

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