Readers Respond: Immigration Controls, Spoiled Brats

Wendy McElroy’s lesson in effective arguing was a big hit with readers, as was Matt Hayes column explaining how the need for greater immigration controls is a vital matter of national security -- and how charges that such efforts are racist are both nonsensical and without legal foundation.

Readers were appalled at the selfishness of the ‘gimme generation,’ as demonstrated in Mike Straka’s column on the lawsuit filed by Liesel Pritzker against her father over an insufficient trust fund. Others chose to weigh in on Eric Burns’ column about email improving communication between the media and the public.

In response to ifeminists:

Andrew Corley writes:

The article Stand Up for Yourself is a great reminder that we have the ability to defend ourselves as well as the right to defend ourselves. "It can be a hostile world in which women have to demand respect." It is unfortunate that some people, men and women, cannot really argue in the classical sense of raising an issue by providing reasons or premises, and then closing with a conclusion. However, this method is difficult to use effectively. We often resort to emotional and personal attacks.

Ric Aragon writes:

My only issue is with your use of the word "demand" rather than "command." Man or woman, one can jump up and down demanding respect till they are blue in the face -- they won't get it. By following the wise principles you set out, any person will command the respect of not only their audience, but also their adversary. It cannot be helped.

Shoba Vakkalagadda of San Jose, Calif., writes:

I get into debates/arguments mainly with family members and I try to keep most of (what you suggest) in mind when arguing with them. Sometimes I forget. Sometimes I see that there is no point is discussing a matter further, because I can see that my family members are not enlightened. As time passes and they had some life experiences, they realize they were wrong on the subject. Right now, there are some matters that we don’t see eye to eye on, and this summary will help me to get my point across. Hopefully they will realize that I have a valid point.

Kristin Dunlap writes:

Are you attempting to suggest that women who adamantly oppose abortion are
somehow "intellectually insecure?" I certainly hope not.

Arn Kratzer writes:

I would suggest one other alternative. At certain times, it is best to simply state: "We must agree to disagree." In other words, I have my opinion and you have yours.  I understand your opinion and will not be swayed by it. I give you respect by offering you the right to your own opinions. Now, let us move on and not let this one subject be a wall between us. I have found that when someone is sincere (trying to persuade, and not just being vicious) that this often works. If the person will not "agree to disagree" on the subject, then I know that it is now personal, and it is time to walk away.

In response to Behind the Bar: The Right to Keep Track:

Michael Londarenko writes:

As a legal immigrant myself and big admirer of the achievements of the United States of America and its people, I have only one thing to say: I was truly pleased to see such an article published. Why, you ask? Because these days, when baseless attacks from the likes of James Zogby on the United States have become so common, and hatred of the U.S. is a dominant subject of emotionally charged speeches by imams, mukhtars and other Muslim clerics in the U.S. and abroad, American citizens and other legal residents need some support in the form of such banal things as truth and logic.

Maj. Galloway Perrish writes:

As most Americans and I believe, most Arab and Muslim nations are peace-loving and not subject to providing support to terrorism by any means. But for those who are, I believe it's more than appropriate and in the interests of our government to protect our nation from those whom would do us harm. I concur that it is probably more important to monitor the status of those members from Saudi Arabia, as well.

Fred Fillers of Oak Ridge, Tenn., writes:

How can such a series of unreasonable responses from the Arab and Muslim advocates be delivered to such reasonable security measures? Is Congress not also sworn to provide for the national defense? I think that knowing who is coming here and how long they are staying are reasonable elements of providing for national defense. 

I wonder what sort of immigration and visitor controls are practiced in the very countries whose citizens and advocates are squawking the loudest about ours. To the charges of racism, I would remind them that these controls are based on country of origin, not racial, ethnic or religious constituency. The fact that a source country may not have any statistically significant diversity in these elements is unrelated to the intent and structure of the program.

Dean P. Lazarus of Bocca Raton, Fla., writes:

Profiling is nothing more than a tool that narrows the scope of an investigation. It has been suggested that the clerics and imam's of this country journey back to their homelands to introduce a moderate version of Islam as well as douse the flames of hatred for America. But the Muslim community's silence speaks volumes. The world is drastically different now and our elected leaders must remember their first order of responsibility is to protect its citizenry. NSSERS is the first step, albeit a small one, in the right direction. Militarizing the border is something else that should be explored. I can only hope that this current administration as well as our congressional leaders will stop tallying potential votes and start making tough but fair decisions.

Michael Fisher writes:

Are you sure that Saudi Nationals are not subject to NSEERS? I recently saw an article saying they were, and that Saudi Arabia was 'retaliating' by fingerprinting U.S. citizens. In reference to your question as to why the U.S. exempts Pakistanis? President Bush keeps calling Pakistan an 'ally' in our fight against terror, even though they won't let us mount a search for Usama Bin Laden in their mountainous regions. The reasoning is simple: Pakistani strongman Pervez Musharraf would get assassinated by Islamic radicals if he allowed U.S. soldiers on his soil.

And the Saudis? President Bush keeps calling them a 'moderate' ally. All the while, they endlessly vilify the U.S., Jews, Israel, western concepts of democracy, etc. Why? Because the U.S. in general and the Bush family in particular both have long standing oil ties to Saudi Arabia.

In response to The Princess and the Pea-Brained Lawsuit:

Daniel A. Burgess of Utica, N.Y. writes:

Her father created this trust for her benefit, and placed himself as its trustee. By "giving" his daughter the assets through an apparently irrevocable trust, he gave up the right to take back any of these assets. In fact, as a trustee, he has a fiduciary duty to protect the assets for the sole benefit of the trust beneficiary -- his daughter. Therefore, she is not fighting over her father’s money. She is fighting over the trust’s money to which she alone has an interest. If her father wanted to retain control of the assets, he should not have relinquished his rights to those assets.

Toni Bartram writes:

How sad that our society has become two classes of people: filthy rich or desperately poor. People stand on the corners of the streets here in Kansas City begging for help, food, a bed, a little money and here is a rotten spoiled brat who has more money than she will ever spend in a lifetime and all she thinks of is herself. The old saying "the rich get richer and the poor get poorer" has never been more true. 

Jeffrey Calabrese of Athens, Ga., writes:

…Your swipe at the 'gimme generation' is a pander for 40-60 yr. old middle class males if I ever heard one. I am 24 and am on the very fringe of this group of supposed malcontents. While I am in some agreement that people of my age have unrealistic expectations about material goods, it is only because of the awful job of parenting supplied by the baby boomers around us, and the awful tort doctrines that the "greatest generation's" attorneys and judges expanded so we could benefit from completely excessive punitive damages. 

So before you slam the 'gimme generation,’ it might be best to look to the 'lazy generation' and the 'bleeding heart generation' before us to see why we succeed in being so insatiable.

Leslie Shill writes:

In a society where one is judged by what one can show materially, Ms. Pritzker apparently feels the need to fight for her own standing, notwithstanding the fact that she is a member of one of the wealthiest families in the world. Her family should cut her off altogether with not a dime until she can demonstrate that she is able to earn a living herself.

Never mind the huge inheritance that awaits her, even if she were to lose an entire billion dollars. When so many people are having to go hungry and there are hundreds of thousands of homeless people in this, the richest country in the world, it is a really sad state of affairs that this spoiled brat even gets the attention she is getting. She deserves no sympathy, and the courts should throw her lawsuit against her father out with the other junk and let this woman get a dose of reality!

In response to Fox News Watch:

Lisa Wolf of Iowa City, Iowa writes:

E-mail has allowed me to directly express my doubts, fears, and angers relating to your shows, news and opinions. It has also been good for me in that my writing skills must have improved, and I have less stress once I have a chance to challenge a stressor or find someone to stress with. E-mail has made my private and public life a little more satisfactory to be sure.