- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 16, 2006

Don’t be fooled

Tom Ridge is right when he says all work has dignity (“Immigration and security,” Commentary, Sunday), but there is no dignity in breaking just and fair laws to get that work, and that is exactly what illegal aliens and the employers that hire them are doing. Furthermore, there is no dignity in a government that passes laws but then refuses to enforce them. This type of government behavior is more typical of a third-world country and should not be tolerated by the citizens of the United States.

Mr. Ridge is also either naive or thinks we’re stupid when he says: “Moreover, once we create a lawful means for Mexican workers to transit our border, their government can no longer avoid its obligation to protect the integrity of our mutual border and an immigration system that protects their citizens.” The Mexican government has been shirking its responsibilities to its own citizens and to the United States for decades. What in the world makes one think it would stop this behavior just because we implement another guest worker program on our side of the border?

DALE JONES

Dallas

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Tom Ridge’s recent opinion piece on illegal immigration and border security is illogical and contradictory on a number of levels. The former governor was always a strange choice for homeland-security chief; he’s famously quoted as saying America is an idea, not a place. Mr. Ridge noted that he learned the dignity of labor as a young man. Try that today with teen unemployment at an all-time high as illegal labor prices our youth out of the market. Today our young learn that only suckers play by the rules.

Mr. Ridge is so out of touch with reality that in all the fields he named as jobs Americans will no longer do: construction, custodial, hospitality and health care. He fails to realize our citizens still constitute a majority of those employed.

Then there’s what he calls the rub: Mr. Ridge’s notion that unless we bring illegals out of the shadows through a legalization program (spelled A-M-N-E-S-T-Y), we will never get operational control of our border.

As a border resident, I can attest what the real rub is: Unless our politicians stop apologizing for being a country of laws, then illegal aliens and their enablers will continue to operate as they do today — no matter how many millions we legalize.

Historians will no doubt ponder how it is that the Bush administration — a lion on the Tigris and Euphrates — is a Harvey Milquetoast on the Rio Grande. Until we care as much about the homeland as we do our foreign conquests, our illegal-immigration problem will continue.

MIKE TAYLOR

Tucson, Ariz.

Taiwan and the United Nations

Every September since 1991, Taiwan’s diplomatic allies have applied on behalf of the island nation’s 23 million people for representation in the United Nations. With a proven track record of international humanitarian and economic aid, Taiwan’s participation in the United Nations makes sense.

This year, Taiwan did try once again for representation, and also simultaneously floated a revolutionary proposal that, if it had been adopted by the world body, might have provided a way for Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China to work out their differences and have ensured continued peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

Unfortunately, it failed again — as we could have anticipated.

The proposal would have the United Nations act as a forum in which both sides of the Taiwan Strait could contribute their considerable respective resources toward international humanitarian projects while giving the two the opportunity to build mutual trust. Given the United Nations’ traditional role as an arbiter for peace, this “peace proposal” allows the organization an active hand in helping diffuse tensions in the Taiwan Strait.

These dual proposals to the United Nations will allow Taiwan to take its rightful place as a responsible member of the international community while creating an opportunity for active cross-strait engagement. Please join us in urging the United Nations to allow Taiwan to do its part for peace in the coming year.

ALBERT LIU

Deputy Director

Press Section

Taipei Economic and Cultural

Representative office

Washington

More guns, less crime

In his Friday letter, “Guns and crime,” William G. Garrett of England claims that the chance of being killed by a gun in the United States is “nearly 300 times that in Japan, where gun ownership is not permitted.” This claim is false, for various reasons. Gun-control nuts used statistical fraud to arrive at the number. Additionally, the cultures in the United States and Japan are not very similar. We have a much stronger history of gun ownership.

If the presence of guns means more crime, then how does he explain Switzerland? It is culturally similar to the United States, and has a strong gun tradition. Not only are there a lot of guns for recreational shooting, but many homes contain fully automatic weapons — they depend on a militia not a standing army for defense. In 1998 — the latest year figures were available — there were a total of 64 homicides and attempted homicides by firearm.

America is a nation of some 280 million people, and roughly a third own guns. It is estimated that there are 230 million guns in homes in the United States. If just owning guns automatically leads to gun crime, we should be awash in blood.

He also failed to mention that in England guns are now illegal, and the violent crime rate is astronomical. England is more similar to the United States and thus a better comparison than Japan. In England the likelihood of being killed by a criminal with a gun is 50 times ours. It has gotten so bad there that they have banned not only guns, but also fake guns and representations (images) of guns. A similar situation exists now in Australia. Nations with draconian gun laws have a lot of gun crime.

This proves that gun control is dishonest and monumentally stupid.

TIM DUDENHOEFER

Silver Spring

Evil has many faces

The fact-studded page one story, “An apology to slaves-from the catchers” (Thursday) demonstrates that evil has many faces and causes. Most well-informed Africans know that slavery had been practiced in Africa for centuries before the colonial period.

They also know that the enslavement of Africans abroad would not have been possible without the cooperation of Africans eager to sell Africans of other tribes to white slavers who brought them in chains to the New World.

Out of a distorted sense of guilt for the evil of slavery, many Americans, including Bill Clinton, tend to exonerate the black slavers for their essential complicity in the evil trade.

A further point: Americans today should not be held to account for the sins of their ancestors. But all of us should be held to account when we discriminate against another human being because of his or her race, religion or place of origin.

ERNEST W. LEFEVER

Chevy Chase

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