- The Washington Times - Friday, September 23, 2005

Do your thing, Mr. President

Sen. John Kerry’s remarks over dinner are just more of the same old tripe from the likes of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Charles Schumer and actors like Danny Glover and Harry Belafonte (“Pass the calamari,” Inside the Beltway, Tuesday).

They scream incompetence, racism and Third-World treatment for the situation in the Gulf states. I’m not sure if they mean our gulf or the Persian Gulf. Their speechwriters compose the same droll stuff for both. Odd that none of them has offered, even in hindsight, a better way to do it. They ignore New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin’s refusal to evacuate while hundreds of available buses remained neatly lined up just waiting for the levee to break. They ignore Gov. Kathleen Blanco’s refusal to evacuate while she used the National Guard as her palace guard. They also ignore a storm and disaster of biblical proportions.

Let’s just imagine what would have happened if the president had ignored the law and the Constitution and just kicked the door open with the 82nd Airborne. As the people of New Orleans were forced onto trucks, buses, rail cars and aircraft in order to save their lives, Mr. Kerry would have been screaming “usurper,” Mr. Jackson, Mrs. Clinton, and Mr. Glover would have been screaming “racism.” Mr. Nagin would be crying foul for federal intervention, and Mrs. Blanco would have been squealing as if Gen. Sherman had just marched to New Orleans instead of Savannah.

Mr. President, next time just do your own thing.

WILSON FARIS

Gaithersburg

There is nothing worse than a poor sport in any walk of life (“Kerry’s complaint,” Inside Politics, Nation, Tuesday).

In the political realm, a poor-sport public servant is not an inspirational role model and contributes to the notion that politicians, in general, should not be respected.

A certain lack of maturity combined with a degree of insecurity, selfishness and envy are characteristics that align themselves with the prototype poor sport.

Democratic Sen. John Kerry just cannot seem to get over the fact that he lost the presidential election, and he takes advantage of any opportunity that arises to criticize President Bush. Mr. Kerry deserves a place in the poor-sport category.

He utilizes the disastrous effects of Hurricane Katrina and its widespread impact to criticize and find fault with the president, and, in so doing, Mr. Kerry seemingly attempts to place himself on a pedestal that implies he could have done better.

Mr. Kerry remarked that President Bush has failed to lead and commented: “America needs more than a campaign.” It is unfortunate that Mr. Kerry cannot even be adequately objective and acknowledge that President Bush, in fact, is doing far more than a mere “campaign” entails, and he has assumed his leadership role with determination, diligence and dedication.

Despite many obstacles and challenges he faces on diverse issues within various sectors, the president is steadfast in responsibly leading this nation honorably and with dignity.

The American people had their say and chose Mr. Bush as president. It is high time that Mr. Kerry finally accept that fact and stop behaving like a spoiled child who did not get his way.

Mr. Kerry’s continual criticism of Mr. Bush and his public denunciation of the president’s capabilities are becoming tiresome traits and ones that reinforce the notion that Mr. Kerry should be awarded an Emmy for “poor sport.”

KAREN L. BUNE

Arlington

Cut Palestinian aid

To partially pay for Katrina recovery, without even more busting of the budget, the administration has proposed cutting other discretionary spending. An excellent place to start, judging by “Funding Palestinian terror” (Op-Ed, Wednesday)and”Diplomatic hypocrisy” (Op-Ed, Sept. 16), would be with U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority. None should be forthcoming, unless and until the PA abides by its formal obligation to stop terrorism and incitement and takes effective control of Gaza.

Why foolishly burn through scarce U.S. taxpayer cash while Gazasynagoguesburn, weapons flood through blasted-through Gaza-Egypt border barricades and Gaza’s streets seethe with Hamas’ hatred?

RICHARD D. WILKINS

Syracuse

Eminent-domain travesty

In my opinion, Justice John Paul Stevens and the four other Supreme Court justices, who ruled in favor of government use of eminent-domain powers to take property and give it to private developers in exchange for their promise to deliver more tax revenue, have dealt America another shameful blow that will set this great country and its citizens back many years (“Senators, property owners review Kelo,” Nation, Wednesday).

Yes, I can speak with authority on this subject because I have walked in Susette Kelo’s shoes.

About 13 years ago, the city of Fairfax condemned about 10 percent of my prime commercial property on a major intersection for the purpose of constructing a turning lane to ease the traffic flow. The reasoning for the taking of my property was with my good wishes. I was certainly aware of the dire need to ease the traffic flow in this area. The problem was, they only offered me a fraction of what I had purchased this land for 18 years earlier.

Of course, it was common knowledge that commercial property values in this area had increased tremendously during this same period. Bottom line — it took me about two years to get them to court. Finally, the jury awarded me a sum about three times greater than their final offer some two years prior, plus interest. My experience has shown that my own city in which I had operated a business and paid taxes for so many years tried to cheat me big time with their so-called “fair offer.”

My advice is, don’t be fooled — if you are ever faced with a similar problem, get yourself educated as to what the realistic fair value of your property is on the current market and fight for your rights.

During this stressful period, I was grateful for an opportunity to testify concerning this matter in the General Assembly in Richmond. I testified that as a young man of 20 years of age, I voluntarily joined the Air Force and was willing to lay my life on the line, if need be, in return for the great honor to serve my country in Korea in a time of need and to help all the other military men and women currently there and throughout the world defend the many freedoms and rights that have always been so abundant for every American citizen to enjoy in this great land of ours.

What they were trying to do to me was un-American. I felt it was unconstitutional, as well. During my testimony I asked, how could this be happening in America? This is not Russia, I continued, nor is it some Third World country. I further testified that if I had known that my beloved America was going to turn on me in my twilight years, I may have had reservations about laying my life on the line at 20.

In conclusion: Yes, Justice Stevens and the four other justices need to rethink their decision and apologize to the American people for the gravest mistake of their professional lives.

Additionally, every member of the Senate and House of Representatives needs to join in lock step and denounce the Supreme Court ruling in this matter. They should pass legislation immediately to prohibit the states from following the recent ruling of the High Court.

DICK KELLER

Manassas


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