Cellphone ban for truckers a road too far
While not denying the crash that killed 11 people in Hart County was horrific, the authorities do not know what caused the accident ("Ban cellphone use by truckers" editorial of Sept. 20).
This was one driver out of 2.5 million. The cellphone has become more a tool for the professional truck driver rather than a toy.
I wonder how many lives have been saved through this type of communication: reporting drunken drivers, dangerous debris in the road, motorists going the wrong way and, yes, other truckers doing the wrong thing.
Also, just lately there have been a few accidents involving police officers, but no one is suggesting taking away their cellphones, computers or cameras, because they are tools they need.
I also wonder how many truck accidents are caused by car drivers on cellphones.
I do think that all cellphones should be hands-free, but to ban them altogether is another law we do not need and would be impossible to enforce.
Not just for homeless
Why is it that the homeless in this area seem to be getting all the consideration? Everyone seems to forget that the people who live at Park Plaza are the ones who are not able to enjoy a simple walk through the park or any surrounding area without getting harassed or accosted by someone, nor can any other person visiting downtown area.
I know these people are in need, but do the hard-working, taxpaying citizens not deserve any consideration in this situation?
After all, that is their front yard. When the well-meaning churches come to hand out food to the needy, why can they not take them over to the courthouse lawn where there is as much, if not more, room or invite them to their locations?
I also do not understand why no other park in the city allows people to sleep there as they are allowed to do in Phoenix Park, which means when they need to use the restroom, they use the bushes, sidewalks or walls where everyone is suppose to be able to enjoy a stroll.
I know that the homeless deserve consideration and care, but so do residents of the downtown area. It is not safe for anyone and especially women to move through the area, especially at night. We have been told several times that the police make routine patrols through the area, but you can ask several residents and they will tell you they do not see them walking through at night.
Too much faith
Years ago, I heard a Sunday morning sermon I wasn't happy with, for good reason. There was a campaign for governor going on and one of the issues was whether casino gambling should be legalized in our state.
The Baptist preacher said he would do everything within his power to keep casino gambling out of our state and proceeded to give the congregation its marching orders on how we were to help with that mission.
This is what's wrong with some of the Christian right. They have an agenda of doing everything they can to force their beliefs on the rest of society. They think it's their mission to mold society into what they believe it should be.
Who are they to tell others how to live? Who are they to tell gays and lesbians they can't marry? Who are they to think they have control over a woman's uterus? Who are they to tell us we can't have assistance in ending our pain by choosing to die when we wish? Who are they to tell those who could benefit from stem cell research to accept their disabilities? How do any of these actions impact them in any way?
From all of us who don't serve their version of God, who are they to tell us that we must?
I think they create an imaginary god in their image so they can justify their bigoted, prejudicial, self-righteous life view.
Live your life as you wish and leave the rest of us alone.
Hope for reason
I applaud a Sept. 10 letter on the troubling nature of professor Larry Thompson's attempt to rebut the soundness of our growing understanding of the evolution of human consciousness by attacking the very foundations of science itself.
I was reminded of a comment made over 130 years ago by the American lecturer/provocateur Robert Ingersoll: "The ignorant are not satisfied with what can be demonstrated. Science is too slow for them, so they invent creeds. They demand completeness. A sublime segment, a grand fragment, are of no value to them. They demand the complete circle — the entire structure."
(Remembering as my father said that ignorance can be corrected by education and as Mark Twain said, "We are all ignorant, just of different things." No name-calling here.)
Letter writer Al Scovern is to be applauded for his courage in expressing an unpopular sentiment.
For those of us who refuse to apologize for our insistence on reason as our basis for a world view — whether it be in ethics, politics or science — it is refreshing to be reminded that we are not alone and that our national motto, adopted at the republic's founding, is not "In God we trust" but rather "E pluribus unum" ("Out of many, one").
The former is an expression of magical thinking adopted during the desperation and anguish of the Civil War years. The original was adopted by our founders as a hopeful expression that emerging Enlightenment values could survive in a government they were then creating.
That hope remains.
I respectfully disagree with a recent letter that said the problem with health care is the insurance industry. The problem is governmental interference in what should be a free market for insurance products.
Faced with wage and price freezes imposed on businesses in World War II, employers couldn't give raises and, looking for a non-wage way to incent employees, they started providing health insurance and pensions. After the war, the practice continued and spread among other employers, to remain competitive.
The government economic intervention that engendered the provision of health care through intermediaries creates another problem. Putting an intermediary between the service provider and the service consumer — with the intermediary on the hook for all or part of the cost in most instances— produces market inefficiency.
This is because no product designed for a group is the best product for a given individual, and the price for such a product is not the best price available for just the services needed by that individual.
State and federal governments now dictate what things must be covered by all health care policies, who must be covered, what products can be sold and who can sell them in which jurisdictions. I'm not saying that the insurance industry doesn't abuse its franchise, but it's by and through government entities that these abuses are committed.
In short, the problems that health insurance, the mortgage market and the economy in general have all become are the result of government interference in economic markets.
Stephen H. Pulliam