- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 2, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

A nod for Babe

I am a granddaughter of George Herman “Babe” Ruth and I would like to express how delighted I was to read how my grandfather stood up against the Holocaust and the ghastly taking of human lives. The article (“Sultan of Swat,” Op-Ed, Dec. 25) told how my grandfather took part in a big anti-Nazi ad in 1942. It was a great read.

One could say I am a “student” of Babe Ruth, starting at my mother’s knee, as she was his only direct descendant daughter, Dorothy.

I was then in my teens, but now at 53, I am still on this glorious adventure. It is a wonderful ride of discovery. I am finding a generous, compassionate gentleman, who truly loved and helped his fellow man. He never forgot where he came from. All that, on top of revolutionizing baseball.

I have a Web site (www.retirebabesnumber.com) where you can read and see pictures of my mother and grandfather. I am also trying to get his number retired throughout Major League Baseball. It is an honor that he well deserves. There is a electronic petition to sign, for any readers who would like to help honor Babe.

LINDA RUTH TOSETTI

Durham, Conn.

Border talk

Wesley Pruden’s column (“A little sanity on the border,” Pruden on Politics, Friday) is great news for Americans and legal immigrants at war with inactive politicians.

The changing attitudes among illegals proves what rational Americans have been saying for years: enforcement works. Illegal immigrants will self-deport over time if we remove job and social services magnets and enforce existing laws. Our local and state governments are carrying the burden for now but the federal government needs to follow up if we are to prevent another massive invasion when the economy picks up again.

We don’t need comprehensive immigration reform, we need to enforce the laws. It is clearly working.

PETER SMITH

Falls Church

Shame on Editor in Chief Wesley Pruden for suggesting that the majority of Americans might be willing to compromise on amnesty for illegals if we finally secure our borders (“A little sanity on the border”).

Isn’t his foolish idea exactly what got us into trouble 20 years ago when President Reagan signed the “one-time-only” amnesty for 2.7 million illegals because he was conned into believing it would be followed by strict enforcement of our immigration laws?

To use Mr. Pruden’s own words, the American public “is not a ass, after all.”

DAVE GORAK

Executive director

Midwest Coalition to Reduce

Immigration

LaValle, Wis.

Looking for good news on immigration is fine, but Wesley Pruden’s column (“A little sanity on the border”) reflects unrealistic optimism and suggests that border enforcement will do the trick. This is not true, as the failure of 1986 immigration law proved.

It will take the full program of real enforcement with the following key ingredients being done at the federal government level: 1) Enforce the law, which means illegally here is illegal; 2) overhaul our admission priorities; 3) make English the national language; 4) encourage cultural integration via education; and 5) balance immigrant intake, now skewed by illegal Hispanic entries. This will fix the system and get most Americans feeling good about immigration again.

DONALD A. COLLINS

Board member

Federation for American Immigration Reform

Washington

Wesley Pruden correctly states that illegal immigration is down somewhat, due to less demand for illegal alien labor in part because of the construction slowdown (“A little sanity on the border”).

But he is incorrect to say that U.S. border enforcement has become appreciably more strident in its efforts. The raids on meatpacking plants and other businesses employing illegals are mere token gestures meant to soothe the public’s anger and make it seem like something meaningful is being done; in order to try to sucker the public into accepting an amnesty — “now that the border is finally being secured.”

“Sanity” on the issue of illegal immigration does not include any form of amnesty. By rewarding and then subsidizing illegals, the government also encourages more of the same behavior. This is exactly what the United States has been doing for years, and citizens are sick of it.

We have the means to stem the flow of illegal immigration provided we simply have the will. The E-verify system would easily stop employers from being able to hire illegals, and they would then self-deport in massive numbers: known as attrition through enforcement. A double-layer fence, which Congress approved in the light of day and then gutted in the din of night, wouldn’t hurt either.

LOUIS A. SKUCE

San Diego

Money, coming and going

While the efforts of Greenburgh, N.Y., to help seniors pay their property taxes are commendable (“Property tax relief?” Nation, Dec. 26), a much larger and more important issue seems to be overlooked.

Property taxes, along with local zoning laws and permit requirements, are all intrinsically wrong.

These three dictates by local (and perhaps state) government constitute an assault on the very concept of private property. By imposing them, government is asserting that our property is not really ours.

Even if the mortgage is paid off, Big Brother insists that he is still our permanent landlord, and will tax us for our use of “his” property.

Furthermore, we must seek his permission to build our houses on what is supposed to be our land, and we may only use it for the purposes he approves of.

Many of us were outraged by the Supreme Court’s ruling in Kelo v. New London allowing local government to forcibly take a person’s home and give it to someone who will pay more in taxes.

However, if we accept the premise that the government is the real owner of the land, the ruling makes a perverse sort of sense.

Next, consider that the bulk of the funds collected from property taxes goes to support our rotting public schools. The real solution to both the crisis in education and skyrocketing property taxes is this: Stop requiring children by law to attend specified schools, and stop funding those schools by taxation.

Some parents want their children taught basic skills, accurate history, morals, abstinence-only sex education (if any) and religion. Let those parents fund the type of a school they want.

Other parents want their children taught moral relativism, political correctness and “value neutral” sex education. Let those parents fund the type of a school they want.

Not only would people like Audrey Davison (mentioned in the story) no longer be forced to pay for the education of other people’s children, it would also end controversies over such matters as prayer in the schools or Christmas displays.

As for the remainder of local services financed by the property tax, they could instead by financed by probably a 1 percent or 2 percent increase in local consumption taxes. Not only would these be far less intrusive, they would end the danger of people like Miss Davison being forced out of their own homes.

THOMAS M. CRAWFORD

Laurel

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