Wednesday Letters: Running the gauntlet through airport security (8-05-09)
Running gauntlet: airport security
Two or three times a year, for the past three years, I have been profiled as a potential terrorist. I am an 88-year-old male WASP.
I flunk “airport security 101” every time; I have a hip replacement. Those sailing through security always look at me with fear or uncertainty, or at least the thought, “I knew it. He looks shifty to me.”
So it is at best very annoying. At two flights per year times two (each way) times three years, that’s 12 times harassed!
So far, I have not lost my cool, but I sure could use a beer.
P.S. Now, I can’t find my birth certificate!
ó Scott H. Mitchell
Clunker fine print
My husband and I recently visited a local dealership. We arrived with our “clunker” and a coupon we received in the mail to double our stimulus money. We expected a “great deal” after applying our $9,000 credits! We were immediately approached by a salesman while we were looking at a 2009 vehicle with a tag hanging from the mirror showing the car was “on special” for only $15,900.00.
Our next question was how the “cash for clunkers” money and the coupon would be applied, as we were slightly concerned due to the gimmicks we had encountered in the past. But, we were also optimistic because the U.S. government was offering the additional money direct to dealers to benefit their business, the general public and spark the economy. This time there couldn’t be a gimmick, right? Please read further …
The salesman explained that, with the “cash for clunkers,” the price reverted to the sticker price of over $26,000. The dealership would then credit us the $4,500 and honor the coupon of up to $4,500. Now our price for the 2009 new vehicle was going to be only $17,000.
The message for the general public, at least the Salisbury public, is that with the “cash for clunkers” stimulus, you may be paying at least an additional $1,000 for your automobile!
I certainly do not believe this is the way the governmental stimulus money was expected to work.
ó Heather Goodman
Rails are answer
I and many other American taxpayers are fed up with our taxes being directed to irresponsible corporations. This is money we do not have for our streets, schools and parks. The bailouts have done little to alleviate unemployment, which more than anything contributes to the lack of healthcare affecting Americans. Instead of offering a strong resolution to unemployment and healthcare, officials show us complicated charts. Bills before Congress are longer and more difficult to decipher than a “Lord of the Rings” novel. The “cash for clunkers” promotion seems a novelty effort to confront financial and environmental crises in America.
A better use of taxpayers’ money and one that would truly be “greener” in the long run would be to improve our aged and underdeveloped railway system.
Our rails have fallen behind with times and this has increased transport of goods by tractor-trailers. The additional heavy traffic on highways leads to a breakdown in the very infrastructure that guides trucks across our country, costing taxpayers more. The pollution from tractor-trailers adds to the detriment of our ecosystem. When an accident involves a tractor trailer, there is a much higher risk of fatality regardless of fault.
Trucks serve a purpose and for localized transport of goods and products they are irreplaceable, but a strong railway system is much more efficient for the long haul.
I urge our government to do something that will create a lasting benefit to our society and create jobs by improving our railway system.
I urge government officials to stop banking out our money to corporations and stop the greedy practices that led to the financial downturn. It is time to make strong decisions and think large scale as to what will truly pull us out of this depression and support our environment.
ó A. Dan Paholski