- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 11, 2007

Fed up with traffic? Move to Texas

I read with interest the article “Officials seek more state cash for roads,” (Metropolitan, Thursday). Northern Virginia is following its typical pattern to solve perceived problems: raise taxes or cry to the state or governor to help pay Northern Virginia to solve its problems.

Gerald E. Connolly, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, says, “The same sources of revenue for Hampton Roads ought to be made available for Northern Virginia.” I say why? Another typical attitude of the politicians in Northern Virginia is captured by a comment made by Corey A. Stewart, chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, when he said, “We are desperate. It is damaging our quality of life and it is hurting our economic-development prospects as well.”

As a longtime former resident of Fairfax County and former school board member, I know the attitude well. Northern Virginians are taxed to death and have lost all of their freedoms. Prospects for change are slim as liberals control the vast majority of all local elected positions.

If Northern Virginians are truly concerned about their quality of life, they will vote into office conservatives who truly understand that faith, family and freedom are the true indicators of quality of life. Until then, I recommend that others do as I have done and move to Texas. We have no state income tax and no burdensome regulations promulgated by liberal local officials and our quality of life is excellent.

CARTER THOMAS

Floresville, Texas

What is Kerry hiding?

In his Op-Ed piece (“Kerry and the swift-boating victims,” Friday) Wade Sanders states: “I just don’t believe that assaults on the military records of veterans belong in our politics.” He feels that the “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth sullied the reputation of one of the Navy’s bravest, most dedicated fighting forces.” They did nothing of the kind.

The group called into question the record of one member of that force, Sen. John Kerry — who was running for the highest elected office in the United States as a “war hero.” He was, in his own words to the Democratic Convention in 2004, “reporting for duty.” When a candidate for president touts his war record as one of his primary qualifications for that office, the American people have a right to see that war record.

Mr. Kerry has refused, to this very day, to sign the necessary document authorizing the Department of Defense to release his military records. His refusal to authorize release of his those records to rebut the charges raised by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth speaks volumes as to the veracity of those charges.

JOSEPH R. FARRELL

Alexandria

The ‘Scooter’ Libby verdict

The facts laid out by Thomas Sowell about the unjust persecution of White House aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby Jr. by special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald reveal an outrageous abuse of government power and waste of taxpayers’ money (“Meat grinder politics,” Commentary, Saturday).

We see here the nightmare of the original Framers of the Constitution: a part of the federal apparatus run amok, operating effectively outside the system of checks and balances and bringing to bear its hideous strength against an innocent American citizen.

We can also smell the stench of prosecutorial power mixed with equal parts of politics and ambition into a witches’ brew whose acrid vapors hang heavy on every aspect of this case.

A presidential pardon alone would not set this scandal right. The appointment of “special prosecutors” should be outlawed, once and for all. Mr. Fitzgerald and his entire staff ought to be hauled over to the National Archives to re-read the Magna Carta and the Constitution, those famous documents that mark our civilization’s centuries-long struggle to keep kings, courts and prosecutors from unjustly destroying those unlucky enough to become victims of their malice.

DAVID BURNS

Springfield

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The trial verdict of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby Jr. (“Libby found guilty on 4 counts,” Page 1, Wednesday) needs to be put into proper perspective. Libby was not convicted of revealing Valerie Plame’s identity, which was supposed to be the purpose of the trial prosecuted by Patrick J. Fitzgerald. Libby’s attorneys will no doubt appeal the decision.

The crucial point in all of this is that Miss Plame was not a special agent for years when her name was made known — her identity was already known in various public circles.

More important, even if Libby revealed her name — accidentally or otherwise — his crime can no way compare to the breach of national security made by the writers of the New York Times who revealed the National Security Agency’s eavesdropping techniques used by President Bush to catch foreign terrorists communicating with their sleeper cells in the United States. They also revealed our techniques in tracking financial transactions of the terrorists as they attempt to move money around to their terrorist cells. These disclosures hurt badly our war on terrorism. Where is the liberal outcry over these security breaches?

It appears ridiculous to me that while all of these political shell games are going on in Washington to gain political power, communist China is developing advance attack submarines and laser weapons. Or North Korea and Iran are developing nukes and vowing to use them against us while we are asleep at the wheel.

We need to focus on what is really important to the security and freedoms of this nation; that is, the need to defeat the enemy, lest we lose our way of life like other nations that have fallen under the control of despots.

JOHN A. MALAGRIN

Baltimore

The benefits of labor unions

Gary Andres’ unflattering description of labor unions and the legislation they support seems to be based entirely on his personal hostile attitude toward organized labor (“Labor’s payback,” Op-Ed, Thursday). He writes as if labor unions are special-interest groups whose priorities are in direct conflict with what’s good for this country, when in reality the opposite is true.

The long-term prosperity of our country depends on a healthy middle class — a middle class threatened by the fact that fewer and fewer jobs today offer decent wages, health care, pensions or job stability. Union jobs, however, provide these staples of middle-class living. It’s no coincidence that as the gap between rich and poor in our country is dramatically increasing, the number of union jobs has been decreasing. H.R. 800 and S.4 both could help reverse this trend. If you care about the strength and stability of our economy and the future of our nation — just like labor unions do — it makes sense to support these bills and encourage Congress to quickly enact them.

JAIME CONTRERAS

Capital Area District Chair

Local 32BJ, Service Employees

International Union

Washington

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