Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for Sept. 6

Cash for Clunkers was a bust

The Cash for Clunkers program was a big misfire. What will happen now that the program has ended?

It likely was only a temporary boost for automakers and auto dealers. I am strongly against this program because:

We are rewarding people that purchased gas guzzlers and now are having buyer’s remorse. I didn’t qualify for most new vehicles since my current 1998 Nissan is rated at 30 mpg. If I wanted to go in debt, I likely would have gone for a Prius or something of that ilk so I would have gotten the full $4,500 federal rebate.

I didn’t get to participate in this program, but I get to help pay for it. People purchased gas guzzlers and now the ever-kind taxpayers get to bail them out. I purchased a reasonable mpg car in 2001 and get nothing out of this new program except more deficit federal spending!


No need to pay for a study

I whole-heartedly agree with Leonard Pitts opinion about texting while driving in The Olympian.

In his column, he mentioned that Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced a government study will be conducted to study texting and other driving distractions.

Why must the government spend money on such a study? Doesn’t the word “distraction” imply that something is distracting drivers and should not occur? What would the study produce?

Yes, texting, eating, reading a map, and yelling at the kids in the back seat are distractions and should be avoided.

I believe that if lawmakers want to create laws to limit driving distractions, they should create them, and let the public vote on them.

Spending money to study such a known problem seems frivolous.

I’ve seen television programs that have addressed driving distractions by having people drive an obstacle course while talking or texting on the phone, or while eating a meal. Reaction times always are diminished during such distractions. These programs may not have been official studies, but I am sure the insurance industry and possibly the auto industry have already studied these issues.

Let’s not pay for a study and let’s start creating some laws that help keep us safe on the roads.


Online comments are mean-spirited

I prefer the electronic version of The Olympian to the printed paper. It saves trees and transportation, and it comes right to my desk.

It also allows readers to comment on articles, adding potentially rich insights and useful information to the articles.

Sometimes community discussions ensue among those commenting.

Lately, however, I have noticed a disturbing increase in the frequency of mean-spirited comments. There seem to be a rather small percentage of readers who are surprisingly quick to share their rantings about issues that often greatly transcend the boundaries of the information in the articles.

Some may make up to a dozen such comments in a day. Aside from the negative aspect, the tenor of many of these seems like something from disenfranchised middle-schoolers.

I have only responded directly to such comments with my comments; a friend who manages a blog warns that responding directly is known as “feeding the trolls.”

While I support free speech, I just wish these readers would incorporate a bit more compassion and restraint in their comments, and stick to commenting on the information in the article rather than tangentially related issues the article may bring to mind.

As with letters to the editor, commenting on articles offers our community an opportunity for productive dialogue. Let’s take advantage of it.


Balance of power is needed

When Bill Clinton tried to ram Hillary Care down the throats of the American people he was stopped by a very determined Newt Gingrich who was leader of the House. Newt and his Republican majority saved the country from catastrophic failure, which would have certainly been a result of an ill-begotten scheme launching national health care for all without any lawful constitutional authority.

However, the two leaders, who didn’t care much for each other, eventually worked together to create a balanced budget and welfare reform.

Then, as now, we had a popular president, but the difference was that there was balance with the opposing party in control of Congress. The liberal agenda put forth by the Clinton administration was tempered by a fiscally minded conservative Congress giving the country a feeling of accomplishment, which hasn’t been seen since.

But now we have single party control over Congress and the White House coupled with an agenda to bring wholesale slaughter to fiscal responsibility, individual liberty and government restraint.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, leader of the House, is in lockstep with the Obama administration while giving no pretense of balance of power as intended by the framers of our government. What she and her colleagues are doing is setting up the president for monumental failure while giving the Republicans their opportunity to regain control of Congress in next year’s elections.

It’s time for the Democrats to wake up.