- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 3, 2007

Geyer’s conspiracy theories

Georgie Anne Geyer has written of neoconservative machinations in her own writ, so it is not surprising that she reaches for the illustrious conspiracy canoodler, Seymour Hersh, for confirmation that the Pentagon is “in the midst of intensive plans to bomb Iran” (“Iran action would test military, Commentary, Thursday).

Mr. Hersh, indeed, has been publishing in the pages of the New Yorker anonymously sourced warnings of pre-emptive strikes against Iran, implausibly detailed predictions the journalist has actually recirculated from equally melodramatic scenarios he originally published (well before the Iraq invasion) warning of impending American-Israeli military strikes against the nuclear facilities of… Pakistan.

Whatever prescience one might be disposed to award to Mr. Hersh, it is undeniable that the nuclear facilities of Pakistan still stand, and, given his repeated cries of wolf, there is no warrant to believe that he will prove any more correct concerning Iran’s.


Falls Church

Work visas

At the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on comprehensive immigration reform, Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez’s comment about obtaining legal status vice citizenship is a brilliant point (“Secrecy could kill immigration reform,” Page 1, Thursday). The point is so insightful that it may torpedo a section of the “secret” Kennedy comprehensive immigration plan, which calls for a path to assimilate millions of illegal immigrants, based on the traditional American immigrant experience.

However, what will the Bush administration and Congress do when much of the debate has been on immigration into the United States rather than back and forth, migration patterns between the United States and Mexico/Central America? In other words, despite three years of vocal debate on illegal immigrants coming to the United States, many policy makers are still failing to realize the some illegal immigrants are actually migrants — yes, migrants. And after they work in the United States, many migrants plan to return home.

Would a bilateral work visa program solve the amnesty vs. no amnesty deadlock?

For example, Mexico has been requesting an immigration deal with the United States for seven years. El Salvador and Romania are onboard too. The least the United States could do it grant work visas to allow workers to come here legally.

So, a big amnesty party for illegal immigrants is no solution for long standing, century old migration patterns. What some migrants are looking for is “legal status,” and this can only be possible when there is an immigration pact between the United States and migrants’ home countries.


Washington, DC

Smoking bans hurt everywhere

I’m happy to see The Washington Times reporting on the negative condition of business due to the smoking ban (“Struggling D.C. bars miss the smokers, their cash,” Page 1, Tuesday).

If only our own mayor and papers would report honestly then you wouldn’t be making the mistake of giving New York City a pass when it comes to the economic damage of its own ban by rationalizing that the locale is not “analogous to the District” or “doesn’t face the same kind of competition” (“Smoking ban update,” Editorial, Friday).

In fact businesses were hurt by this ban — especially in the outer boroughs — and even when the ban went statewide (“level playing field”), eliminating competition, mostly bars outside the NYC area were still hurt. But most of all, ban damage will have a hard time being recorded when so many places are non-compliant to survive. Think about that. The damage to business by the anti-smoker crusaders may vary by degrees but the negative effect is the same all over the country. Arguing that the District is somehow different does little to really put them in their place.



NYC Citizens Lobbying Against Smoker Harassment (NYC C.L.A.S.H.)


Tough love for W&M;

College of William & Mary President Gene Nichol still doesn’t get it. Rather than admit his error in removing the Wren Chapel Cross from its historic display, Mr. Nichol has chosen to sling dirt at the people who refuse to fund his tawdry social experiment (“Donor withholds $12 million over chapel cross dispute,” Metro, Thursday).

This may come as a surprise to Mr. Nichol, but donors do not give money to institutions in which they have no affinity or faith, nor are they obligated to do so. William & Mary alumni who withhold their donations do no harm to the school’s students, as Mr. Nichol spins. Quite the contrary: They are helping those students. Every less dollar the school receives, is one less dollar spent subjecting our nation’s brightest to a personal, bigoted agenda.

Mr. Nichol’s unilateral decision to yank the cross from the altar, coupled with his permitting a “sex workers art show” to parade through campus, clearly reveals that he is taking William & Mary in a new direction: counter-clockwise and down a hole. According to Mr. Nichol, a small gold cross on an altar is worthy of censorship, but a prostitute using sex toys to commentate on global politics is intellectually stimulating.

As loyal alumni of William & Mary, we feel it is our unique obligation to withhold our donations from the college. Only when the Wren Cross is returned to its perch, and Mr. Nichol is removed from his, will our money find a home there. Call it tough love.



Warrenton, Va.

Eminent domain and the poor

Mindy Fullilove is absolutely right about the effects of present day eminent-domain usage, and while it hurts all, it does disproportionately hurt the poor, with the present incarnation via the Supreme Court’s Kelo v. New London decision (“Eminent domain ripples,” Commentary, Friday).

If a government, local or otherwise, can condemn property that they consider “blighted” in order to foster a better tax base, what they are in effect doing is saying the homes and businesses of poorer citizens are not as valuable to the community as a whole as more upscale development. While it is understandable, it is as plain as possible that this is simply an offshoot of the same mentality that allows the present day tax structure to seize assets from one class of people in order to provide more services to another class of people.

Anytime you allow government the power to seize private assets for redistribution, inequity follows as sure as a morning follows night.



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