Letters to the Editor: April 2006

by | Apr 20, 2006

Re: Pay Less, Drive More Dear Editor: The Bush Administration’s new light truck fuel economy standards save record amounts of fuel, reform an outdated system, preserve vehicle choice, and increase safety. The fact is that in less than three years, this Administration will have raised fuel economy standards for light trucks more than 15 percent […]

Re: Pay Less, Drive More

Dear Editor:

The Bush Administration’s new light truck fuel economy standards save record amounts of fuel, reform an outdated system, preserve vehicle choice, and increase safety.

The fact is that in less than three years, this Administration will have raised fuel economy standards for light trucks more than 15 percent – the single largest boost in a generation. Indeed, these new standards will require many of the light trucks, SUVs and minivans Americans buy to get as much as 28.4 miles per gallon by 2011, more than any passenger car must get today. In addition, the new standards will keep riders safe by encouraging automakers to use the latest fuel-saving technologies on all passenger light trucks without sacrificing vehicle strength or safety.

These new rules will make the environment cleaner, cars more efficient, passengers safer and our economy stronger. They represent the single largest advancement in fuel economy standards in the history of the CAFE program and they will ensure that all passenger sport utility vehicles, pickup trucks and minivans include the latest in fuel savings technology.

Jacqueline Glassman
Deputy Administrator
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Appeasement in France

Dear Editor:

The situation in France over its proposed new labor legislation–legislation that would grant French employers slightly more freedom to hire and fire employees–is a graphic illustration of why appeasement doesn’t work. After more than a million protestors took to the streets last month, some burning cars and throwing rocks at police, President Chirac suspended implementation of the law so that he could try to meet some of the protestors’ irrational demands.

What was the result? On Tuesday, a million protestors once again took to the streets. Chirac, they insist, must withdraw the law altogether. And why wouldn’t they try? They won a large concession the first time around–they were able to intimidate the government into further undermining the rights of employers. Appeasing the mobs–making concessions to them out of fear or intimidation–only lets them know that they should put more effort into their violent protests next time to get what they really want.

Debi Ghate


Borders’ Capitulation Is a Victory for the Islamic Totalitarians

Dear Editor:

In another victory for the Islamic totalitarians, Borders and Waldenbooks stores decided not to stock the April-May issue of Free Inquiry magazine, which contains the Danish cartoons of Muhammad.

The motive for their decision is clear. “For us, the safety and security of our customers and employees is a top priority, and we believe that carrying this issue could challenge that priority,” Borders Group Inc. spokeswoman Beth Bingham said.

Borders’ capitulation is a powerful reminder of the Islamist threat under which we live. It is also an ominous sign of a pervasive fear taking hold of our society: the fear that Muslims will lash out violently against those who criticize or ridicule Islam. Our right to free speech is under attack by our enemies and they are succeeding in silencing our writers, editors, publishers, artists and bookstores.

Our government must do everything in its power to make sure we are safe to exercise our right to speak, denounce and offend anyone, especially those who today seek to subjugate us to Islam and its taboos.

David Holcberg


Re: The Transformation of “Jihad Jack” and John Walker Lindh

April 8, 2006

Dear Editor,

The Transformation of such characters as “Jihad Jack” and John Walker Lindh is not so uncommon. The most noted example that comes to mind is St. Francis of Assisi.

As a young man, St. Francis led a hedonistic, anything goes, life by squandering the wealth and scorning the business acumen of his father for creating it. Later in his youth, as a devout religionist, he displayed the same disregard for the wealth and the ingenuity needed to create it by stealing from his father to rebuild an abandoned church.

The Catholic Church considers him God’s troubadour or Wandervogler or Hippie if you like. Due to his love of animals and his regard for all animals as equal in value in God’s eyes, the Catholic Church has seen fit to appoint him the Saint of Environmentalism.

The common thread running through minds of these types is their virulent hatred of the values of Western Civilization.

John W. Beason
Texas, USA


Warmongering Israel?

Re: Are Facts Obsolete?

Dear Editor,

Perhaps the greatest corruption of facts in modern times has been by Middle Eastern Arabs. The World’s understanding about the history of Israel has been completely changed. Israel has been transformed into appearing as a warmongering country by Arabs who have tried to conquer Israel several times and failed. However, Israel has not even once used its huge military to crush its enemies.

Boggles my mind!

George Lehrer
Concord, CA


A Lady With No Dignity

Re: America Bows to Islam

Dear Editor,

Here is a quote from a woman student at Michigan State University regarding the Islam cartoons: “Free speech ends where my dignity begins.” — Amina Bahloul (college student protesting at Michigan State University about the Muhammad cartoons). No further comment is required.

Donald Carmichael
Detroit, MI

Free speech ends where someone’s rights are violated. Publishing cartoons violates the rights of no one. There is no such thing as the “right to be not offended.”


American and Canadian Healthcare

Re: Canada’s Healthcare System is Bad Medicine

Dear Editor,

I just read the article Canada’s Healthcare System is Bad Medicine. I am a healthcare consultant, I have been in the healthcare industry for about 16 years. I could have sworn the article was about the American health care system. This county needs to wake up to our growing tidal wave of government controlled healthcare.

Robert Mortensen
Newport Beach, CA


Insane Sentencing Rules

Re: Political Alternatives to Reality

Dear Editor,

I am an attorney working in the criminal justice system. The entire system has become a menace to innocents because many less-than-ultimate crimes carry life sentences, so many innocents plead to lower offenses rather than risk their life. Travesties like “Megan’s Law” and sex-offender treatment are imprisoning people for decades even when the “crime” is a statutory rape or a disputed grope. Where DNA has played a role, many have been released after being proved innocent even though the victim was “certain” about the ID, and ten or twenty years were served. Anyone in the system knows that sentencing rules have grown insane, as with California’s three-strike “lifers” who smoked marijuana, and the famous teen in Michigan who got life-no-parole when he acted as a mule for a drug operation. Actual “sexual predators” may indeed need permanent lockup, but they are a miniscule population.

Robert Charles
Toms River, NJ


Blaming Freedom for Socialism’s Problems in France

Re: French Student Riots

Dear Editor,

Opponents of France’s new labor law say it is designed to help exploitative bosses and hurt the young – as if the latter did not suffer already! I do not know of another country where youths find it so difficult to get on the career ladder (admittedly I have not been to Zimbabwe or Syria). This existing “social exclusion” cannot be blamed on capitalism. France has by far the most heavily administered economy in the developed world. The French state is particularly active in the area of employment: the Labor code gives private sector workers virtually the same protection as civil servants. France’s outsiders are the victims of a social system that punishes the people it is designed to protect.

It is ridiculous for the anti-CPE crowd to argue that employers will use flexibility to fire people. Firms do not hire people because they want to get rid of them. It’s just that if their venture fails, they want to be able to shed staff: failing that flexibility, they will not to take the chance. Critics of the CPE warn against the dreaded “Anglo-Saxon” model. But if the lot of the average worker in the US or the UK is dire as they say, why is it that 700,000 French people work there (myself included)? “Anglo-Saxon” employees do have rights, and they enjoy the best social protection of all: the knowledge that anyone who loses his job is likely to find another one soon. Finally, job flexibility is not an Anglo-Saxon preserve. Countries with impeccable social-democratic credentials – notably Denmark, the Netherlands, and Sweden – have reduced unemployment by making labour more fluid. Thank you again to Professor Sowell.

Henri Astier
London, U.K.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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