- The Washington Times - Monday, March 27, 2006

Israel’s future

The unilateral concessions platform of the Kadima Party, coupled with the statement by Ehud Olmert that he will acquiesce to the international community in deciding the future boundaries of Israel, does not portend well for Israel (“Israel’s historic elections,” Editorial, yesterday). No nation that has won four wars of survival would allow the international community, heavily weighted in many cases against its very existence, to determine its boundaries.

Not even the so-called dovish Labor Party in Israel has approved of the unilateral concessions urged by Mr.Olmert, instead preferring to conduct final peace negotiations when a partner is available from the Palestinian Arab side talks that will lead to a final resolution. The headstrong and, in my assessment, foolish path Mr. Olmert is taking should be anathema to the Israeli electorate. His strong stance on retrieving the murderers of the Israeli minister of tourism was an obvious ploy to win votes, while his current platform is more reminiscent of the Peace Now movement that would make any concessions demanded by the Palestinian Authority and the controlling party, Hamas.

NELSON MARANS

Silver Spring, Md.

Political pollutants

It is really hard to stomach liberal hypocrisy, especially when it is supplied by the likes of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, but I held my nose yesterday and made it through your editorial “NIMBY environmentalists.” I remember working in the shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss., one summer in the 1970s as an engineering intern. When I arrived, I noticed that a lot of the cars had the paint peeling off of them from acid rain, and then there was that strong odor coming from the Pogy fertilizer plant when the wind shifted. You see, Mississippi concentrated most of its heavy industry in this small outlet on the Gulf of Mexico. Needless to say, I was taken aback by what people had to put up with there, and I had grown up in the center of Detroit. I had thought I knew what living next to heavy industry was all about.

The point of my little summertime story is that elitists such as Mr. Kennedy and their ilk always pontificate about sharing the burden, but when it comes to their own lifestyles, they are content to enjoy the products manufactured by the rest of the world, which has to put up with the side effects. Nothing has changed since my summer job, though. Most of the refineries are in Louisiana and the Gulf region, and most of the gasoline and associated products are consumed by people such as Mr. Kennedy, far away from the pollution and industrial side effects. But Mr. Kennedy and his friends cannot even be expected to pollute their ocean views.

SAMUEL BURKEEN

Reston

Keep Chief Ramsey

There should be no need for Metropolitan Police Chief Charles Ramsey to audition for his job once a new mayor is elected (“Ramsey’s long run,” Page 1, Sunday). Chief Ramsey already has proven himself and has excelled in his leadership role in the city’s police department. He is articulate, knowledgeable, experienced, forthright and street smart. Chief Ramsey is, unquestionably, the best police chief this city has ever had.

Voters need to recognize that Chief Ramsey has been a proactive police chief who has made significant changes in the department that have led to numerous accomplishments. He has greatly enhanced the reputation of the police department, has achieved a notable impact on crime in the city and has had a profound effect on community policing.

Chief Ramsey established the Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender (GLBT) Unit, which has made tremendous strides in the community by fostering trust in a population previously reluctant to interact with the police. His willingness to engage the community through proactive outreach has led to noticeable improvements within that community. Chief Ramsey also has established other units that target community policing.

Mayoral candidate Adrian Fenty’s notion, if elected, of giving the chief a specified time to improve community policing is ludicrous. Mr. Fenty or whoever becomes the new mayor would be well-served to keep Chief Ramsey throughout his or her term because, as anyone in law enforcement knows, the chief is highly respected throughout the country for his expertise. The mayoral candidates merely need to open their eyes and recognize the caliber, quality, and class police chief who is in their midst.

Michael Brown, another mayoral candidate, needs to understand that there is no need, as he states, “to look inward at our talent pool.” What Mr. Brown needs to recognize is the truth in an old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The best talent in town is Chief Ramsey, and it is time Mr. Brown wakes up to that fact.

With more than three decades of experience, Chief Ramsey has served as an outstanding law enforcement leader and is a definite asset to this city. Mayoral candidates need to focus on the fact that if whoever is elected does not keep Chief Ramsey in place permanently, the new mayor will be making the most monumental mistake of a political career. Chief Ramsey is “the man,” and “the man” must stay.

KAREN L. BUNE

Adjunct professor

Department of Criminal Justice

George Mason University

Fairfax

Blood on foreign hands

When Charles Stenholm urges us to “focus on facts,” keep in mind that he is paid to justify the existence of the horse-slaughter industry (“Meat plant ban a Trojan horse,” Commentary, online, Sunday). His job is to bend the truth to make it look good.

Because we are focusing on facts, let’s consider some facts that undermine Mr. Stenholm’s rhetoric.

In the 1990s there was a sharp decline in the number of U.S. horses slaughtered. According to Department of Agriculture records, 345,700 horses were slaughtered for export in 1990, but 10 years later, in 2000, that number was 50,400. During this time frame, the number of horses slaughtered per year dropped by as many as 79,000, and there was no rash of “unwanted horses.”

Seven thousand one hundred horses were imported from Canada for slaughter in the U.S. last year. How can there be an “unwanted horse problem” if the slaughterhouses have to import the horses?

Not all horses sent to slaughter have “outlived their usefulness” or are “unwanted.” United States Equestrian Team member Jill Henneberg outbid a kill buyer for a horse that earned a Silver Medal in the 1996 Olympics.

Since California banned horse slaughter in 1998, horse theft has dropped by 39.5 percent. Thieves can make a quick profit selling a stolen horse to a kill buyer.

Euthanization by a veterinarian and disposal of the horse carcass is relatively inexpensive. It cost me a total of $150 to have a horse euthanized by my vet and buried at the landfill.

Horses commonly are treated with products such as Zimectrin (de-wormer) and Phenylbutazone (anti-inflammatory). These products are plainly labeled “not for use on animals raised for food,” as meat tainted with them can cause nasty side effects, such as cancer, in human consumers. I wonder why Mr. Stenholm would wish to poison “our friends in Canada, Europe, and Japan” with tainted horse meat.

The real “Trojan horse” is the foreign-owned horse-slaughter industry.

DUANE BURRIGHT

Malibu, Calif.

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