incoming (2007-03)

I long for the days when politicians might speak more about “us” as inclusive rather than “us” as against “them.” So many of these xenophobes quoted in your article rail against immigrants who won’t make themselves known to public officials. Well, if I were someone foreign to this land, and all I seemed to hear was how much I was hated and unwelcome, I doubt I would make myself known either. I come from a background of white male Southern privilege, so I have never had to face being the “them” that immigrants seem to face more and more in our nation. However, I think it is sad commentary on our nation that we seem to be so fearful of whoever is not a “good American” (whatever that means).

I am a minister at a church here in Knoxville. Therefore, what saddened me the most about the article were the quotes from the “Rev” T.J. Graham, if that word “Rev” indeed stands for Reverend.  Because this “Rev” is an African American, and assuming he is a reverend, I would want to ask the “Rev” to comment on what another African-American Rev had to say 40 some years ago. This Rev talked about a dream, a dream that spoke of inclusion and welcome, and not exclusion and hate. I think we need more of that Rev and less of “Rev” T.J. Graham.

Scott Rollins

The Mechanics of an Illegal Workforce

Surely it is not that minister’s intent to advocate for those who keep the wages of working people at starvation levels. That minister might find James 5:4 instructive. “Behold, the hire of the laborers, who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth.” Hiring illegal workers suppresses the wages of others and thus wages are “kept back by fraud” and the cries of the legal worker who is displaced by the illegal worker “are entered into the ears of the Lord.” As our economy becomes more dependent on the corrosive system of illegal labor, and Spanish becomes necessary to gain employment, it becomes self-fulfilling statement that American’s won’t do certain work. This is not just working in the fields, but all construction trades or any public contact job.

Sr. Minister y Sr. Guerin, usted entenderá cuando usted debe hablar español para ser empleado. [Mr. Minister, and Mr. Guerin, you will understand when you must speak Spanish in order to be employed.]

BTW—Did you know that Limited English students have increased in Tennessee by 369.9 percent in the last decade? Considering that a great majority of these students are either illegal themselves or children of illegals, how just (or sensible) does it seem to keep dividing the school funding “pie” into smaller pieces to provide education to this illegal workforce and their children? (See www.ncela.gwu.edu/policy/states/reports/statedata/2004LEP/Tennessee-G-05.pdf .)

Barbara Vickroy

Smoke Out, or In

Based on your statement, the free market is well-equipped to handle the issue of smoking in public places. Currently, the free market allows all of us to choose for ourselves whether or not we want to patronize and/or work in a smoke-free environment. Hopefully the power implied in the previous sentence is not lost on you or your readers—all (not some) of us are allowed to choose. 

We can choose. We are not forced—at least not yet.

While I would personally enjoy never again being exposed to the negative affects of other people setting things on fire and putting them in their mouths, neither I nor we collectively have the right to take the choice to allow this activity away from private businesses. Thankfully, I still have the right to choose my environment, just as those who do not mind being exposed to smoke have the right to choose their environments. The fact that I and others choose to spend fewer and fewer dollars with establishments that allow smoking is legislation enough.

If the legislature is itching to do something about smoking in 2007, I propose they crackdown on people throwing their cigarette butts (trash they don’t want littering up their own cars) into our streets.

Scott Adcox

Green, with Envy

Despite my envy, I’d like to extend an invitation to Mr. Green to join the thinking-world in what we like to call “reality.”

So al-Qaeda has “little or no role in Iraq”? Hmm, I guess the now-dead Abu Musab al-Zarqawi must have missed that memo when he named his terrorist organization “al-Qaeda in Iraq.” I know the meaning of the appellation is difficult to understand, but just repeat it over and over to yourself while concentrating really hard.

So AQ avoids trying to influence elections, and, as Green puts it, was “very unhappy” that the Democrats won? Gee, I guess he’ll have to take that up with the current AQ in Iraq leader, Abu Ayyub al-Masri, who praised the results of the U.S. midterm election saying, “We will not rest from our Jihad until we have blown up the filthiest house, which is called the White House…The American people have put their feet on the right path by...realizing their president’s betrayal in supporting Israel...So they voted for something reasonable in the last elections.”

No doubt Democrats are quite proud to include al-Masri in their  constituency. It illustrates that appeasement just may work if only Americans will “understand” Islamofascists by “building bridges” in the name of “tolerance and diversity.”

And cutting and running—um, excuse me, I mean “an early exit” from Iraq means America and Americans are less likely to be attacked? So Muslim terror attacks didn’t happen until we invaded Iraq and liberated 25 million Iraqis from a bloodthirsty dictator?

Maybe Green can refresh my memory, just how many troops did we have in Iraq in 1993 when the World Trade Center was bombed the first time? How about the Khobar Towers attack in 1996? What? None? Well what about the 1998 bombing of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania? Still nothing? Surely we were in Iraq in 2000 when the USS Cole was bombed, er, right? OK, let’s try September 11, 2001? No?

Blaming the reality of Islamic terror on America’s presence in Iraq is just a regurgitation of the same old leftist dogma, and it doesn’t make them true no matter how many times Islamic apologists, the “Blame-America-First” crowd, and leftist Democrats (redundant, I know) repeat them….

Mr. Green, put down the New York Times , stop drinking the Kool-Aid of Daily Kos, do some research, and start thinking for yourself. That invitation to reality is always open.

Melissa Golding

Conservatism and Christianity are Not Synonyms

I do appreciate your assessment of The Church and its vexation with divorce among the saints. I cannot say whether it will be fixed to your satisfaction this side of death, but I do pray that divorcees and others who long for hope (like me) will come with thirsty spirits to Christ. However, I have a difficult time agreeing with your separation of “the private affairs of citizens” and “the common good.” Who will work for the common good in a government peopled with folks whose private affairs are against the general welfare? I do hope you are the same man with the same convictions in both common and private arenas—as I hope for myself—lest we accomplish nothing.

Adam Whipple

Welfare and Other Assorted ‘Monstrous Liberal Creations’

On the national scene, Social Security and Medicare are the biggest of these monstrous liberal creations, and all they have managed to do is to lift the elderly out of poverty and provide them with decent health care. So it stands to reason that we’d better get rid of them. Indeed, why can’t these shiftless old people wean themselves off the federal teat, go out and get a job, and buy their own health insurance? After all, if they were real Americans, then God would smile upon them so they would never get sick or old in the first place.

Stan Ivester

Guidelines for Incoming Mail