- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 17, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Immigration rhetoric

Perhaps Sen. Barack Obama felt his statement about middle-class America would make good political theater, but the senator only embarrassed himself when he said loudly that middle-class Pennsylvania voters “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment” (“Obama’s remarks slammed by rivals,” Page 1, Saturday).

One has to question his “anti-immigrant” statement. It’s not too early to start thinking about Mr. Obama’s comment because the immigration debate is an important issue in this presidential election.

Political hacks in this debate are easy to recognize: They refuse to call the illegal-alien foreign invaders what they are — illegal aliens. Instead, they choose intentionally diluted, politically correct and pandering terms like “immigrants,” “migrants,” “undocumented migrants” and “unauthorized workers.”

It is the American voter, the American citizen, the grass-roots people who make this country what it is. Being an American is something that is incomprehensible to the rest of the world. We are unique in the way we govern ourselves. The key word is “ourselves” — we do not allow ourselves to be governed by others. It’s time to take a good look at the senator from Illinois.

JANICE HERRON

Denver

The real scare-mongers

Michael F. Jacobson’s Monday letter, “The perils of corporate funding,” is a misinformed, scurrilous, ad hominem attack on me and the group I head, the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH).

As I stated in my April 8 Commentary column, “‘Conflict’ chills research,” those who target “industry funding” as an inherent source of bias (a) are wrong and (b) ignore the fact that there are myriad other sources of bias in scientific research. Cooperation between corporations and individual scientists has been extremely beneficial to scientific research. The quality of a study is evaluated in the peer-review processes and if the quality is deemed to be good enough to publish, what does it matter who funded the research?

Mr. Jacobson’s characterization of ACSH as a “fringy group” is outrageous and insulting to the more than 350 distinguished physicians and scientists who sit on ACSH trustee and advisory boards. These scientists are leaders in their fields and include many members of the National Academy of Sciences and one Nobel laureate. Mr. Jacobson’s group, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), lacks any such scientific leadership and its frequent pronouncements do not come from published studies in peer-reviewed journals, as do ACSH statements.

For nearly 30 years, ACSH, using a strict peer-review system, has defended sound science frequently in opposition to Mr. Jacobson and CSPI, who specialize in hype and scares about everything from food additives and pesticides to products such as olestra.

I would like to know where all these “payments” Mr. Jacobson claims ACSH receives from “pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnology, food and other companies” are going. ACSH has a budget of less than $2 million per year (as compared to Mr. Jacobson’s nearly $20 million). ACSH has very limited funding from such companies (and when we do accept a donation, it is always on a “no-strings-attached” basis). The largest (and growing) sector of ACSH’s funding is from family foundations and thousands of individual supporters who are sick and tired of being scared to death by individuals like Mr. Jacobson who claim there is a “carcinogen” or “toxin” on every plate.

Also, talk about sources of bias: CSPI would not exist unless there were heath scares. It is CSPI’s bread and butter, and it is at least as important a potential source of bias as industry funding.

Given CSPI’s belief that funding influences ACSH, we at ACSH have a modest proposal: that CSPI become a generous ACSH funder in an attempt to influence our work and see how successful it is in getting ACSH to support CSPI’s scare-mongering agenda.

DR. ELIZABETH M. WHELAN

President

American Council on Science and Health

New York

Save the SAVE Act

The Monday editorial “Two-faced on illegals” was aptly titled. The House of Representatives has the perfect opportunity to do something constructive regarding the illegal-immigration chaos in our nation, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other pro-illegal-alien representatives are attempting to sidetrack the SAVE Act.

The SAVE Act (H.R. 4088) will help secure our borders from further invasion and will stop illegal aliens from taking jobs away from American workers. Representatives in the House who refuse to sign the discharge petition to bring the SAVE Act to a vote are the same people who are merely followers, unwilling to take action unless they feel threatened by their constituents.

It’s a sad day in American history when the speaker of the House and many other members of Congress do not care if our nation has an immigration policy that would benefit U.S. citizens.

BOB ALLAN

Rochester Hills, Mich.

‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ and a new president

I appreciated S.A. Miller’s article “Obama won’t require top military picks to back gays” (Nation, Friday) but there is more to the story. Both Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton intend to repeal the policy regarding gays in the military, known as “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

Former President Bill Clinton imposed that convoluted and problematic policy on the military shortly after Congress rejected his attempt to allow discreet homosexuals to serve in the armed forces.

Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton also want to repeal the 1993 law that codified long-standing regulations stating that persons who engage in homosexual conduct are not eligible for military service. If that statute (Section 654, Title 10) had been given a name of its own, it might have been called the Military Personnel Eligibility Act of 1993.

The only “compromise” involved allowed Mr. Clinton to stop asking the question about homosexuality on induction forms, but the law permits that question to be reinstated at any time.

Mr. Obama and gay activist leaders cry crocodile tears about the number of military personnel who are honorably discharged after they reveal that they engage in homosexual conduct. These are a fraction of discharges for other purposes, such as weight standard violations or pregnancy. Such losses could be reduced to near zero if the Department of Defense properly explained and enforced the 1993 law.

Mr. Obama disingenuously claims he would consider appointing high-ranking officers to the Joint Chiefs of Staff even if they disagree with his views on this issue.

However, if President Obama (or a second President Clinton) successfully persuaded Congress to repeal the 1993 law, the armed forces would be ordered to follow the “civil rights model” in enforcing acceptance of homosexuals in the ranks.

Persons resisting this mandate, which would be reinforced by “diversity” programs and sensitivity training, would not be promoted to flag rank much less to high levels close to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

In 2000, Al Gore initially stated that he would not select service chiefs who were opposed to gays in the military. Mr. Gore was met with a firestorm of controversy that Mr. Obama obviously is trying to evade.

ELAINE DONNELLY

President

Center for Military Readiness

Livonia, Mich.


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