- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 1, 2006

Praise for Malkin

There are some places on the Web where I can visit and know I will be getting reports where the information has been thoroughly validated for its accuracy before ever being published.

One place is The Washington Times Web site, and another is the Michelle Malkin Web site.

So I’m glad “Nobles and Knaves” has voiced up about the abuse aimed at Mrs. Malkin (Editorial, Saturday). It has been going on for too long, and frankly, I don’t know why these people who regularly criticize her this way are not sitting in jail for the despicable tactics and lies they continually try to spread.

It’s time for it all to stop, and I wish Mrs. Malkin nothing but the best for her high level of expertise that she loyally provides daily for everyone to view, typically including all the factual information that is available on any of her topics.

The other thing about Mrs. Malkin that places her at the top of her field in my opinion, is that she takes the time to sort and read her e-mail, even those from inconsequential nobodies like myself.

Michelle Malkin is a first-class investigative reporter, and she runs a first-class Web site, especially noteworthy in these times when so much baseless information seems to be the norm from the press, the liberals and their Web sites.

ROBERT BARRENA

Joshua Tree, Calif.

Paper or electronic?

The governors of Maryland and New Mexico may belong to different political parties, but they agree that “the best way” to avoid problematic or fraudulent elections “is paper ballots” rather than electronic voting machines (“Democratic governor backs Ehrlich on balloting,” Commentary, Wednesday).

Govs. Bill Richardson and Bob Ehrlich may have confidence in paper ballots but they may be sorely disappointed if they count on them to prevent fraud.

In order to disrupt an election or change its results when electronic voting machines are used, a potential perpetrator must have a sophisticated knowledge, not just of computer hardware and software in general, but of particular hardware and software, plus he must gain physical access to the machinery by overcoming simple and widely-practiced security procedures.

In order to disrupt an election or change its results when paper ballots are used, a potential perpetrator must have: a pen. Or a pencil. And nothing more.

Marking a second (or third) candidate in a “vote for one” race invalidates a ballot for that race, with nobody receiving a vote.

Stray marks made on an optical-scan ballot render that ballot unreadable by a machine, and therefore it must be set aside for hand-counting, when it becomes subject to human error.

All it takes is a pen or pencil to make these marks on paper ballots to change the results of an election.

Paper ballots can also be torn, folded, spindled and mutilated, making them unreadable by either machine or human eyes.

In his 2004 book, “Stealing Elections,” Wall Street Journal editorial writer John Fund documents dozens of cases of electoral fraud involving paper (either voter registration forms or paper ballots) over the past two decades. At the same time, he notes in regard to electronic voting machines, that “in the twenty-plus years that these machines have been used, in many counties all across the country, there has never been a verified case of tampering.”

There are many other problems involving paper ballots, but one thing is clear: They will not stop perceived or actual election fraud.

RICHARD E. SINCERE JR.

Secretary

Charlottesville Electoral Board

Charlottesville, Va.

Lame ducks and illegal aliens

Based on previous devious maneuvers, something about the Senate’s approval of a border fence makes me nervous (“Senate approves fence for border,” Page 1, Saturday). What promises were made that will be kept by the lame duck Congress that returns after the November elections?

For decades our leaders and their money-bags-backers have allowedillegal aliens to rewrite immigration laws as well asthe part of our Constitution that definesdefense from foreign invasion. I will only believe that these fat cats have changed their spots when I see the wall actually constructed and immigration employment laws actually enforced.

BARBARA VICKROY

Escondido Calif.

FDA fumbles on abortion pill

Regarding the editorial “Holding FDA Hostage,” Sen. Jim DeMint from South Carolina is making a principled stand for women’s health by holding Dr. von Eschenbach accountable for the FDA’s inadequate scrutiny of the abortion pill, mifepristone or RU-486 (Sept. 24). A review of mifepristone adverse events in the Annals of Pharmacotherapy in February 2006 concluded, “Mifepristone presents a significant risk of severe, life-threatening, or even lethal events.” The FDA is aware of mifepristone use associated with 12 women’s deaths and 116 bleeding episodes serious enough to require blood transfusions.

The FDA has failed to require the drug sponsor, Danco Laboratories, to collect the data in the Phase IV “prescriber monitoring study,” to which Danco agreed when the drug was approved. It is reasonable to hold acting Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach accountable 1) for this failure and 2) for the inadequacies of the Adverse Events Reporting System. It is fair to insist that the FDA protect the American public and get the needed answers about the serious women’s health issues surrounding elective abortions with the drug, mifepristone.

As a citizen, as a husband and father, and as a physician, I seek the health and wellbeing of pregnant women and their unborn children. I expect the highest standards of medical science and public policy from the FDA. I applaud and fully support Mr. DeMint for bringing light to a dark and serious problem, that is, the questionable approval and inadequate scrutiny of this abortion drug by the FDA.

DR. MARK A. O’ROURKE

Greenville, S.C.

Biased Muslim cabbies

I read with interest “Muslim cabbies shun fares with alcohol,” (Nation, Saturday). The article explained that in Minneapolis cabbies, who are predominantly Muslim, are refusing to give rides to customers who have alcohol in their possession, particularly in the form of clearly visible duty free and wine boxes. Furthermore, the article states that the taxi cab advisory commission is considering issuing different colored cab lights as to support the Muslim cab drivers’ discrimination of customers.

It is under my best understanding that cabs and housing are both public accommodations. Previous litigation instituted by the American Civil Liberties Union and found binding by our court system compelled Christian landlords to rent apartments to unmarried cohabitating couples. Support of this behavior is considered by many Christians to be in direct conflict of their faith. However, the courts ruled that since housing is a “public accommodation” that the Christian landlords could not refuse rental to unmarried couples.

Why is the government’s approach to this clearly similar circumstance so different? The situation clearly calls into question government’s role in imposing and controlling religious beliefs in the marketplace. This is an extremely complex question and at the heart of much of the tensions facing the world today. I would expect the government to at least take a consistent approach; or are they and the ACLU just cowardly bullies?

MICHAEL SIEWERTSEN

Huntingtown, Md.

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