- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 20, 2007

No free credit ride

I strongly disagree with the letter from Manuel Hidalgo praising Bank of America for offering credit cards to people with no Social Security card or credit history (“Applauding Bank of America,” Monday). If anything, Bank of America should be rejected and ostracized for breaking the law and supporting criminals who have entered the United States illegally and continue to reside in the United States illegally.

I have canceled the two Bank of America credit cards that I possessed, and I urge every law-abiding citizen to do likewise. I will not do business with a bank that supports illegal immigration. Illegal aliens have been a drain on our society, law enforcement, school systems, welfare system and neighborhoods, and now they are getting a free ride with credit cards that they do not deserve.

I say no free credit to illegal aliens and people without legitimate Social Security numbers. I will not do any business with Bank of America, ever, because of this illegal activity.



Supply and demand

As a retired police officer and student of history, I would like to assure you that cutting the budget for drug interdiction in South America will have no effect on drug supplies (“Bush plans deep cuts to Andean drug war budget,” World, Saturday). Because the cartels that smuggle in tons of cocaine and heroin build into their business model the loss of a certain percentage of their product because of anti-drug efforts, every ton seized is meaningless. The price of cocaine and heroin over the past 30 years has been dropping, indicating an oversupply. The streets of America have never been short of product.

The policy of prohibition guarantees that there will always be an ample supply of drugs. As the sale of drugs funnels billions to terrorists, will we ever be as wise as our grandparents and end the new Prohibition?


Education specialist

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition


Complex problem, simple solution

A hearty “well done” to Rep. John Linder for his detailed and quantitative presentation of carbon dioxide and methane issues related to global warming (“Global-warming theory and the eugenics precedent,” Op-Ed, Monday). He could have included another H.L. Mencken quotation: “For every complex problem, there’s a simple solution — and it’s usually wrong.”

Can the more than 30 authors of the recent IPCC Summary for Policymakers “Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis” be wrong? It would be comforting to read in their summary that their sole hypothesis, that greenhouse gas concentration causes global warming, resulted after they considered and discarded another hypothesis — that global warming causes greenhouse gas concentration.

The findings of the IPCC group contradict the CO2 data in Mr. Linder’s column. His claim of a “modern scientific shell game” is borne out by IPCC’s definition of “radiative forcing.” As an engineer, I studied physics and heat transfer by radiation, conduction and convection. Radiative forcing is the IPCC shell game to ignore global warming as a cause of greenhouse gases, rather than as an effect.

Mr. Linder points to some of the possible causes of global warming and mentions some respected climate scientists who believe in warming as a cause of greenhouse gases. There is another possible cause, neither mentioned nor analyzed: direct heat transfer from air conditioning and hot-body heat exchangers. Does mankind’s engineering skill in equipment, process and indoor climate cooling come at the expense of the earth’s atmosphere and climate?

We should know as much about the direct-heat-transfer issue as Mr. Linder knows about the effects of termites on methane in the atmosphere. Until then, CO2 will remain the simple solution to a complex problem.


Potomac Falls, Va.

Paving a way

The article “Paver fights new rule on bids” (Metropolitan, Monday) describes a constitutional challenge by Capitol Paving of D.C. Inc. to new rules by the District giving preference in contract awards to firms that have been “certified” by the city for at least 20 years. Capitol Paving is seeking relief in a federal court.

The judge ought to make a summary judgment in favor of Capitol Paving, and probably will. This question was decided in 1949 by the U.S. Supreme Court when it ruled on appeal that Connecticut could not constitutionally withhold welfare payments from a person who had moved to the state less than one year previous to applying. So long as the law recognizes corporations as “legal persons,” we must pay homage to the fiction, in my opinion.

The basis for the decision was that such denial constituted interference with the constitutional right of interstate movement. The District of Columbia, among others, was a party to the appeal that was decided against it.

In the case of Shapiro v. Thompson, Vivian Marie Thompson was a pregnant 19-year-old mother of one child who applied for assistance under the Aid to Families With Dependent Children (AFDC) program in Connecticut after having recently moved there from Massachusetts. Connecticut denied her aid because she did not satisfy the state’s one-year residency requirement. This case was decided together with Washington v. Legrant and Reynolds v. Smith. In Washington, three people applied for and were denied AFDC aid on the ground that they had not resided in the District for one year immediately preceding the filing of their applications. In Reynolds, two appellees, Smith and Foster, were denied AFDC aid on the sole ground that they had not been residents of Pennsylvania for at least a year before filing their applications as required by a Pennsylvania Welfare Code.

The court held that because the regulation touched “on the fundamental right of interstate movement,” it must promote a compelling state interest. Connecticut, Pennsylvania and the District all failed to advance any compelling administrative or social reasons for their requirements. The goal of simply preventing indigents from moving to these states was impermissible constitutionally, Justice Brennan argued, given the value the United States historically has placed on the freedom to travel.



Bedeviled W&M

As alumni of the College of William & Mary, we were embarrassed once again by the questionable leadership of President Gene R. Nichol (“Racy William & Mary exhibit leaves some cross,” Page 1, Monday). Our love for the university is a family affair — three children, a daughter-in-law and a son-in-law also have attended William & Mary.

In October, Mr. Nichol ordered the removal of the Wren Cross from display in the Wren Chapel. The cross, a gift from nearby historic Bruton Parish Church, had been displayed in the Wren Chapel since the 1940s. Until recently, the cross could be removed routinely from the chapel by request for any event or service and simply replaced thereafter. This tradition proved “unwelcoming” to Mr. Nichol — a former American Civil Liberties Union chapter president. Mr. Nichol’s unilateral action ignited a controversy that has subjected our beloved alma mater to nationwide press accounts and ridicule. More than 16,000 alumni and friends of the university have signed a petition to restore the Wren Cross at www.savethewrencross.org. Earlier this month, the William & Mary Board of Visitors, to whom Mr. Nichol is accountable, missed a golden opportunity to rectify the situation, deferring to a committee whose members were handpicked by Mr. Nichol. In abdicating its role, the board asked the committee to “report” its recommendations in April. One need not wait that long to divine the outcome of such a charade.

In view of the recent “Sex Workers’ Art Show” performance at William & Mary, we know what is, in fact, “welcomed” to the college by Mr. Nichol. Here’s hoping that the William & Mary Board of Visitors seizes anew the opportunity to rein in or, dare we speculate, remove Mr. Nichol from his perch at this esteemed university.


Washington, Va.

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