- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 14, 2008


Voters and education

Regarding the Heritage Foundation report that public funding of faith-based and other private schools is on the rise (“School choice on the rise, but with setbacks,” Nation, Monday), it should be noted that this is occurring only in states where voters have been denied the opportunity to vote on the matter and where state courts have failed to apply the restrictive provisions of their state constitutions.

In the 26 statewide referendums on school vouchers or their variants between 1967 and 2007, voters have said “no” by an average margin of 2-1.

Voters know that tax aid to nonpublic schools harms our public schools and tends to fragment students along religious, ethnic, class and other lines.



Americans for Religious Liberty

Silver Spring, Md.

Illegals in Montgomery County

The Montgomery County Council is gearing up for another round of proposed legislation to protect the illegal aliens in our community (“Bill would protect domestic workers,” Metropolitan, Jan. 29).

Spearheaded by council members Marc Elrich and George Leventhal, at-large Democrats, the council wants to institute signed contracts between domestic employers and “domestic workers” maids, housekeepers and others. Is Mr. Leventhal (a former board member of the taxpayer-funded Casa de Maryland) serious when he states publicly, “All our constituents deserve basic protections, basic rights” and includes in that mix the Casa-pampered and -coached illegal-alien domestic workers?

Under the guidance of Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett, the entire County Council already skirts federal law by funding Casa-managed day-laborer centers.

Because Casa manages the workers and hires them to unscrupulous employers, Mr. Leggett, Mr. Leventhal and the others can claim no knowledge of aiding and abetting illegal aliens. It’s a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy used to remain a half-step ahead of the criminal justice system.

However, no such fig leaf is offered to employers of domestic workers in Mr. Leventhal’s proposed legislation. Instead, employers will be required to sign an agreement with their illegal-alien workers guaranteeing a number of demands concerning wages, overtime and more.

There are two major problems. Employers will be knowingly aiding and abetting, as well as harboring, illegal-alien workers a serious federal offense. Illegal alien workers will be forced to reveal their illegal status or, worse, use false documentation to cover it, which is a deportable criminal offense.

Mr. Leventhal’s true constituents, the taxpaying, voting residents of Montgomery County, would be better served if this lawless legislation were dropped. Legal workers already have to provide proper documentation to certify that they are eligible to work in the United States.

The same should hold true for domestic workers. Let’s not create a special set of laws and sanctuary status for illegal aliens who have no legal right to be in the United States.



Help Save Maryland


Obama’s qualifications

I normally don’t like Suzanne Fields’ column. However, I think she made some good points in “Voter, know thyself” (Op-Ed, Monday).

Is Sen. Barack Obama the first black (so he says) man who has made white people feel comfortable? What about Sen. Edward Brooke, Clarence Thomas and others? Or is Mr. Obama the first black man whom the Democrats have put up on a pedestal?

Also, does doing extremely well in law school qualify you to be president? What I see is a man whose resume reads like this: I’m half-white, I went to Harvard Law School and did very well, and I beat Alan Keyes in a Senate race in Illinois. Is that enough?

Why is it that when someone questions anything about Mr. Obama, that person is labeled as being jealous or racist? As a black man who has read about many black men far greater than Mr. Obama, I find this insulting.

Why can’t he be questioned? He is no greater ” in fact is far less so ” than Thurgood Marshall, Adam Clayton Powell, Malcolm X, Paul Robeson and many more. They all were questioned and attacked, but they did not whine like Mr. Obama. They kept moving toward their goal.

This, I think, is Mr. Obama’s weakness. He is soft. He has not been tested. He claims to be black, but in fact, he is the biracial son of a Kenyan man and a white woman. He has co-opted the black experience, but in fact, with that background, he has completely missed the “black experience.”

Mr. Obama may beat Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, but if Sen. John McCain shows the stripe of a man who stayed in a prison camp for almost six years, Mr. Obama is going to get beaten.

Mr. McCain is tough. When he gets Mr. Obama in a debate, unless he puts on the kid gloves, I think he will make Mr. Obama look like an ambitious, articulate young fool.

Finally, I am concerned about the message being sent to young blacks that suggests that in order to be accepted, they must be like Mr. Obama. Most blacks are not half-white. Most did not attend Ivy League schools.

If this is the only way whites will accept blacks, then Mr. Obama does more harm than good to the black race and the black struggle. I wish him well, but I hope a more honest black person comes along to be the real first black president.

If you ignore or eliminate all of the racial and gender politics, Mr. Obama is still the least qualified.



Fighting terrorism in Pakistan

While asking the United States to continue supporting Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, the authors of the Sunday Commentary column “Pakistan: U.S. imperative” have conveniently forgotten the most important reality of Pakistan: Terrorism has increased, not decreased, under Mr. Musharraf’s rule.

Opinion polls have been conducted on this subject, including one by the U.S. organization Terror Free Tomorrow, which includes Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, and former Rep. Lee Hamilton, Indiana Democrat, on its advisory board. The studies show 70 percent of Pakistanis want Mr. Musharraf to resign. How can a man with so little support among his people be the only person capable of holding the country together?

Furthermore, according to the same polls, popular support for terrorists has declined since Benazir Bhutto began her campaign against al Qaeda and especially since her assassination, for which 58 percent of Pakistanis blame Mr. Musharraf or his allies and intelligence operatives.

Why should the United States support a much-hated dictator who has no credibility left in fighting terror instead of reaching out to Mrs. Bhutto’s Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and other popular secular political movements?

Historically, Islamist terrorism in Pakistan was nurtured by Pakistan’s military and intelligence services as part of a failed strategy of regional influence, which was backed during the Afghan war against the Soviets by the United States. Now, fighting terrorism in Pakistan requires a withdrawal of the army from politics and reassertion of civilian control over intelligence agencies that have worked too long with the jihadis to be trusted in fighting them without supervision.



Boston University Center for

International Relations


Hudson Institute’s Project on Islam and Democracy


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