Letters to the Editor

They're not refugees

It has sickened me for hearing the media refer to the citizens of Louisiana that were the unfortunate victims of Hurricane Katrina as refugees. A refugee is a person who flees to find refuge in another land or place as from persecution or political danger.

Last time I looked on a map, Louisiana is a state in the United States. I find it quite funny, in 1992 when Hurricane Andrew hit Florida, those people weren't referred to as refugees. They were called victims.

If you're a foreigner who comes to this country trying to get away from an evil dictator, king or president, then you're a refugee. Political correctness is so heavily stressed in this day and age by the media that I think they need to rethink their poor choice of words themselves.

- Darren Wilson


Repealing estate tax would harm charities

Senate Finance Committee members were informed recently that despite Katrina's devastating blow to America's 35th-largest city, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., will move forward with a vote to permanently repeal the estate tax.

One stands in awe of Frist's timing. Permanently repealing the estate tax would be a major blow to the nation's charities. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has found that the estate tax encourages wealthy individuals to donate considerably more to charity, since estate tax liability is reduced through donations made both during life and at death. If there were no estate tax in 2000, for example, charitable donations would have been between $13 billion to $25 billion lower than they actually were.

As they did after the Sept. 11 attacks and during the lead-up to the Iraq war, conservatives have placed tax cuts for the most wealthy and well-off over the spirit of shared national sacrifice. What a stark contrast to the outpouring of generosity being shown by the American people in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

- Allison O'Kelley


Aim of enemy links WWII, war on terror

Michael Bence's letter ("No comparing Iraq to World War II," Aug. 25) lambasted a "right-wing" attempt to justify the war in Iraq. He said World War II and the Iraq war are dissimilar.

Here is the other side, in brief. Japan and Germany were declaring war on the world. Iraq is doing likewise from a not-so-deceptive approach. America and the western world are their beginning point. Their aim is a war of civilizations.

It began in small steps: an attack on the World Trade Center, the attempted sinking of the USS Cole, embassy destruction, killing of 5,000 Kurds who didn't agree with Saddam Hussein and destruction of 3,000 Americans in the twin towers and on our own soil. There were more incidents, but I choose to list a few.

My question for Bence is where does it stop? Do we retaliate? Must the war take place on our soil? From the terrorists' viewpoint, this is a religious war meant for world rule and domination. If we don't stand and fight in Iraq, where do we make a stand and what kind of stand does Bence think will be acceptable to the terrorist?

This is not the same world as 1944, but the enemy has the same aim: world domination.

- Don Ashworth