- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Wake up and smell the oil

Carl Henn of Rockville makes some good points in his letter yesterday, “Oil runs through it,” by quoting Austin Bay’s Friday Commentary column, “The age of proximity.”

One of his better points is that we could all save a lot of oil and gas by living closer to work, something I have tried to do all of my work life. My distance from home to work was mostly one block to about five miles except for 10 years when I was transferred involuntarily four times and had to commute about 12 miles.

Something happened in 1976 when I discovered synthetic oil. I haven’t used petroleum oil since. Amsoil, the first company to make and sell “pure” synthetic oils, in 1972, was followed by Mobil a few years later with an engine oil that also was a “pure” synthetic, meaning it contains no petroleum. Most oil companies sell synthetic blends that are part petroleum and synthetic. Pure synthetics are best, and blends are next best. All are better and less expensive than petroleum oils. They provide longer drain intervals, run cleaner, protect your engine better and operate in higher and lower temperature extremes. Pure synthetics also save gas by as much as 25 percent. What’s not to like?

It’s long past time for Americans to wake up and stop using petroleum oils. By using a product such as Amsoil’s 25,000 mile or 1-year drain-interval oil, drivers can save about 50 percent on oil and filters and get a 15 percent to 25 percent increase in gas mileage. The blends are good, too, but the results are not quite as outstanding. There are 5,000, 7,500, 15,000 and 25,000 drains for six months or one year.

Most Americans have no clue that all jets and spacecraft have used synthetic lubricants since their inception. Petroleum doesn’t cut it.

BILL MASON

Upper Marlboro, Md.

Political hay

I don’t object to anyone expressing an opposition to war or to a proposed direction by any president. It would seem to be beneficial however, if the party expressing that opposition had a plan to submit in its place (“Democrats ready to fight new war plan,” Page 1, Jan. 11).

It seems that many liberals in Congress have a much easier time complaining about current policy in Iraq than presenting an alternative. “Get out of Iraq” is hardly a plan, yet the Democrats seem to have nothing after that rallying cry.

I believe the real underlying theme here is that the Democrats would oppose any plan offered by President Bush. The Democrats have no desire for this conflict to be finished. If all of the troops were home and the Iraqis were on the road to democracy, the Democratic Party probably would cease to exist as a political entity. The longer the conflict drags on, the more political hay can be made. Each American and Iraqi death is a plus mark on their political agenda. That is what they counted on, and unfortunately, that’s what they got. However, even after political victory, the Democrats still have no plan.

Mr. Bush made three great mistakes in Iraq. He believed the intelligence services of France, Germany, Russia and the United Nations about the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. He believed the fabrications of Iraqi exiles living in the United States, and he believed that a 12th-century culture and mentality would understand the concept of democracy.

George Orwell once said, “The quickest way to end a war is to lose it.” Orwell must have been a Democrat.

WILSON FARIS

Gaithersburg

Children of the Left

P.D. James’ 1992 novel “Children of Men” is a not-so-subtle swipe at abortion, the pill, gay marriage and other Western mores attendant to notions of sexual freedom that de-emphasize procreation. Given current trends, in the near future Europeans will no longer reproduce themselves at replacement levels. Seeing a portent, the British novelist fictionalized a civilization without hope for the future, i.e., without the ability to reproduce itself. Ms. James’ polemical point equates a lack of ability with a lack of desire.

Needless to say, such a viewpoint is anathema to the Hollywood left; thus my surprise at seeing a big-budget action-movie rendition of “Children of Men,” now playing at a theater near you (“The stories of three amigos,” Show, Friday). I enjoyed it. Doomsday is narrowly avoided, and the cinematic enemy is thwarted with nary a hint of Ms. James’ variation on insight from the famous “Pogo” comic strip: “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

Once again, Hollywood has transformed an existential dilemma into an escapist fantasy.

How typical, I thought, that doctrinaire lefties would blithely dismiss this looming crisis for Western civilization because of their childless chic. Then liberal California Sen. Barbara Boxer showed that the left is not without dissent on this issue. Mrs. Boxer publicly faulted Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for offering war advice when Miss Rice has no military-age (or any) children (“White House rips Boxer over Rice,” Page 1, Saturday).

“You’re not going to pay a personal price, as I understand it, within immediate family,” the senator scolded the startled secretary. Childlessness is a bad thing, according to Mrs. Boxer. Like the miracle baby in the movie, could Mrs. Boxer be the first of a revitalized generation of pro-family liberals?

GREGORY L. LEWIS

Baltimore

Evangelicals and immigration law

As the humanitarian arm of the National Association of Evangelicals, World Relief has worked with Evangelical churches over the past 25 years to provide refugee and immigration services throughout the United States.

As the recent article “Christian groups torn over illegals” states, there are many Evangelicals in the United States who are conflicted between the rule of law versus welcoming the stranger (Page 1, Sunday). We do not condone any violations of the law, such as living in the United States illegally, but we recognize that our complex and inadequate immigration system has made it nearly impossible for many of the hard-working people that our country needs, to enter or remain in the country legally and/or reunite with family members.

Working with the immigrant population, we have seen the real life impact of a broken immigration system, where families are separated for five to eight years and immigrants who have entered legally are caught up in processing backlogs through no fault of their own. A broad coalition of Christian groups last year — including some conservative white Evangelical leaders, leading Hispanic Evangelical leaders, mainline Protestant groups, Catholic bishops and others — have called for strong secure borders and enforcement of the rule of law while also welcoming the stranger — all of which are needed in good immigration policy so we can create a healthy society that recognizes the root causes of immigration and addresses the needs of our economy while not treating the immigrant as someone to be feared.

Our leaders in government need to continue to consider the moral dimension of this debate and recognize that welcoming the stranger does not have to work at cross purposes with creating strong and safe communities.

SAMMY MAH

President

World Relief

Baltimore

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