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Letters to the Editor

April 04, 2008

No longer any such thing as shame



To the editor:

While I believe Islamist supremacists present a very real danger to hard-won western freedoms in the long-term, liberal nanny-state do-gooders are far more dangerous in the here-and-now. Listening to the pronouncements of Obama and Hillary can only lead any logical person to think we're on the autobahn to socialism.

While President Bush is no small-government conservative (which is one reason many on the right believe he's single-handedly crippled the conservative movement for years to come), he at least paid homage to the idea of personal responsibility. Not so Hillary and Obama.

Hillary actually believes she should be able to force all Americans to purchase health care, going so far as to garnish wages of those who refuse to buy it themselves.

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Leaving aside the fact that this is patently unconstitutional, it should nevertheless scare anyone who still believes in personal responsibility.

Why should a healthy 22-year-old have to buy health insurance? In fact, the much ballyhooed "40-something million uninsured Americans" theme doesn't hold water. The vast majority are people between jobs or young, healthy and willing to keep the premiums and risk it for a year or two.

Obama, on the other hand, wants to reward irresponsible financial behavior by committing $10 billion to some sort of fund to help people keep homes they couldn't afford in the first place and who compounded that mistake by believing they could use the equity (which isn't real money unless you sell) as some sort of ATM. And guess what? Reality is now setting in.

Is anyone ever responsible for his/her actions anymore, or are we all victims? It sure does seem like the latter and it's disgusting. The bottom line is America was founded on the principle of self-reliance. You were free to make your own way. And if you messed it up, you owned up to it and dealt with it.

Of course there are those who - due to mental or physical problems - cannot fend for themselves; a basic safety net for them and for those experiencing a temporary setback through no fault of their own is a good thing. But if you're between the ages of 22 and 62, the only thing you should want the government to do is stay out of your way.

If you've made risky financial decisions and now you expect the rest of us to bail you out with our own hard-earned dollars, you should feel ashamed of yourself. But unfortunately there's no such thing as shame anymore, either.

Doug Walker
Hagerstown




There's more to 'slow' than just gas mileage



To the editor:

I was happy to read the news item, "Tractor-trailer drivers slow down to save fuel," (March 23). Slowing down can save more than one mile per gallon in big trucks. I remember an article in Consumer Reports (April 2006) that documented fuel savings of several miles per gallon in passenger vehicles by slowing down to 65 mph or slower.

I welcome this trend, but I am concerned that it took high diesel fuel prices to finally slow some truckers down. What about the safety of others at any fuel price? High speeds in a 40-ton truck can easily kill a family in a car. Advancements in vehicle safety and more seat belt usage have increased survivability in highway accidents, only to be compromised by higher speeds by many drivers.

My hope is that higher fuel prices prompt even more drivers to slow down. This will reduce our dependency on fuel, along with making the roads safer for everyone. May better driving habits continue, even if fuel prices do go down later.

Steve Hluchy
Stephens City, Va.




It's way past time to fix 'Death Curve'



To the editor:

When I was in high school in the 1950s, we all knew about the dangers of Death Curve just south of Funkstown. The fact that it made the front page of The Herald-Mail this past week in 2008 is an indication that nary a soul has given those dangers much attention.

Certainly there have been a few band-aid changes over the years. But state and county officials have basically ignored the problem. According to the newspaper article, even some folks who live near it have gotten used to it. What's got to happen there (and to whom) to achieve serious, long-term attention and permanent correction? Proof of short-sightedness is Eastern Boulevard - wasn't it supposed to be a bypass? Come on, folks, let's get our heads out of the sand.

Nancy C, Myers
Hagerstown

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