Reader Mail

Child’s Play

Remembering the great outdoors. Simple but comprehensive immigration solutions. Fun, fun, fun 'til daddy takes the Camaro away. Plus much more.

6.13.07

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ENDLESS SUMMERS
Re: Bill Croke's Old School Kids:

What a wonderful article on growing up outdoors by Bill Croke today. As a fellow NY upstater, I shared most of Bill's experiences and have always looked back on a rural childhood as a great character builder. I'm sure today's kids will remember their childhoods similarly, fondly recalling the day Jason hit the million point mark playing Galactic Butcherboy or when Dylan stole a cyber-police car and ran down two dozen pedestrians and nine pimps in a game of Auto Carnage III.

Given the atmosphere in which today's kids grow up, it is no wonder they feel driven into dark basements for fear of terrorists, child molesters, schoolyard bullies, predatory teachers and ACLU lawyers waiting to seize their parents' homes if the kids engage in dodgeball, trans-fats, scorekeeping or inappropriately directed laughter. I'd hide, too. The Fun Police are everywhere now and they have no sense of humor.

Drive by a school playground some sunny weekend day; it will be as deserted as the mall on Christmas morning. Gone are the days when kids would all gather to play baseball from morning until night as we did. That's where kids of our generation learned coping skills such as conflict resolution, cooperation and negotiation. Close calls on the field were decided by spirited debate and then majority vote, not by pulling out a gun. The scourge of modern childhood-the bully- was dealt with by a hard rap to the nose, often resulting in the establishment of a new and respectful friendship. Any sports played by modern boys and girls are scheduled and officiated by and for adults and likely involve driving great distances, expensive equipment, fashionable uniforms and specialized footwear. We wore Keds and Converse that by the end of summer looked like they were hit by Dad's power mower.

They say you can't go back, but wouldn't it be wonderful if today's kids could just once be allowed to feel the sun and the wind and spend all day being as gloriously free as we felt we were.
-- Deane Fish
Altamont, New York

I really enjoyed reading Bill Croke's "Old School Kids" piece. While I was a mere girl (and nobody would dare chase me with a snake, by the way), our games were also exciting if more cerebral. We were not "doll people" -- we had dolls, of course, most of them thrust upon us by well meaning relatives, but they were props in exciting games that ranged from beauty pageants for the 'dresser dolls' that our aunties made us dressed in crochet thread and milk separator crinolines, to Stalag, to our very favourite game, "Fleeing From Convicts On A Train." We had no idea what convicts were and had never been on a train; nevertheless, the whole idea of dressing up in our mothers' abandoned Catskill Finery and wrapping our dolls in old baby clothes (there were five of us so Mama had lots of these) and keeping a sharp eye out for "convicts" (unshaven, bad-tempered men with evil intentions left totally unspecified) who might pop up anywhere was terribly exciting. Since we were all forced to take dancing lessons, we played "recital" sometimes, and some of us played school.

My next sister and I, who were only a few months separated in age (she was in reality my cousin but we were raised as sisters) also enjoyed playing practical jokes on the neighbours and pushing our sometime friend Bernadette off the boat dock, because her mother had five boys and only one girl and she was always dressed like a doll. For some reason it satisfied us to see her go home dripping wet and bedraggled. We suspect now that it didn't bother her much either as she never put up much of a fight. In bed at night we made up dramatic plays, in whispers, in which we were all boys with dangerous exciting jobs, who met each other in the hospital and bragged about the event that had put us there. I was always Jake who rode motorcycles with the Joie Chitwood Thrill Show and had been variously injured jumping through Flaming Hoops of Death. The Chitwood show came to our county fair every year and I had no idea how difficult those stunts were until I moved 3000 miles from my parents and bought a dirt bike and learned to ride motocross But in the dark in our bedroom I could well imagine myself flying through the air and not landing in a sprawled heap on the ground.

The underlying point of this is that every game we played had a very large helping of imagination to it. Whether we were astronauts, stunt drivers, resourceful women jumping from car to car of a train with our babies on one arm and an umbrella or other weapon close to hand, or elegant ladies at the Plaza Hotel Palm Court (home of Eloise) having lunch and keeping a sharp eye out for an invasion of Mafia Guys or peasants with pitchforks and torches, we were carried out of our everyday world by the exercise of our own minds, filled as they were with excitement from books that was altered by experience and devoid of any sense that we as girls could never do those things really.

And in an era when Men were Men and Women were Girls, I can't recall any of my friends ever playing house. Bernadette had a doll house that we rearranged sometimes, and she had a Ginny Doll with a huge wardrobe that we dressed up by the hour, but we never did anything else with her. Maybe we were unnatural, but seeing the life our mothers led did not inspire us in any way. Who wants to play housework and cooking when your mother makes you do those things for real?

Thank you for the chance to remember what 'fun' was for us; and for the chance to imagine middle aged Generation Whiners reminiscing about sitting lumpenly in the back seat of the SUV, earbuds jammed in both ears and volume cranked up to 12, staring at the same DVD they would be watching if they were sitting lumpenly on their beds. I'm kind of looking forward to hearing what they will say.
-- Kate Shaw
Indoors in Kanukistan on a Beautiful Day, Dreaming of Motorcycles

Bill Croke just about wrote of my summers, except I am of the female variety. Must have been all that "enforcement" of nature loving I got a Girl Scout Camp, no "white gloves and dresses" fellows. Camp-shirts and green twill dungarees, we got down, and we got muddy and dirty. Great fun!!!

I waded streams -- without shoes

I rode my bicycle into the woods and was gone for HOURS!!!! Mothers did not know were we where every moment of the day and that was fine by them!

I actually "ate" grass and bugs (on dares) and did my friends (boys AND girls) we did not die. We also ate bugs from riding our bikes but that's different.

Multiple trips OVER a summer to an ER to be stitched and patched did not result in CPS visiting your house for child abuse allegations.

Sending kids and dogs outside to play -- the dog was bound to come home cleaner than the kid.

That is what summer was all about.
-- Sandra Dent

Kids' fun in the sun hasn't been eradicated completely. I watched two of my grandchildren after school yesterday -- Cailin, who's 11 and almost taller than I am (which isn't difficult), and Hunter, who's almost 6. Although both cousins have all the electronic accoutrements of modern childhood, they couldn't wait to get outside to play dragon and princess. They were still outside at 9 o'clock playing ball when I decided that it was time to come inside. I've talked to my grandchildren about my childhood (born in 1950) when no one wore helmets to ride bikes, and we lived to tell the tales. They can't imagine having just one channel on TV and no computers. McDonald's wasn't around, either. Records? What are those? And just try to explain the telephone party line system to kids who have been raised with cell phones.

Great column, Bill!
-- Kitty Myers
Painted Post, New York

KEEP IT SIMPLE
Re: Jackie Mason & Raoul Felder's Immigration: A Simple Solution:

Once again we have a complicated solution to the illegal problem. I agree with Jackie and Raoul's suggestion to build the fence and close the border. That would be the first step.

Second would be to enforce the laws already on the books. If those laws are too complicated...why, on earth, does ANYONE think the proposed new ones will be simpler?

The present situation in the Senate brings to mind the adage: When in trouble or in doubt, run in circles; scream and shout!
-- Judy Beumler
Louisville, Kentucky

Jackie Mason and Raoul Felder are as insightful as ever, yet they miss a major issue in our rulers refusal to uphold national sovereignty.

I got stuck behind a school bus yesterday. Every kid that got on that bus, every damn one of them, was Hispanic. What are the odds that their parents are in this country illegally?

What right does the state, at any level of government, have to force me to pay for the education of the kids of illegal aliens, even if their parents are hard working preferred minorities? The property taxes in Annapolis are a bitch. What if I and my fellow peons refused to pay our property taxes unless and until our rulers cease transferring a single penny of our hard earned wealth to aliens in our country illegal, especially if they are hard working preferred minorities? They cannot imprison millions of peons who only want a better life for their families, can they?

The refusal of our rulers to do what must be done to purge this once free land of illegal aliens, especially if they are hard working preferred minorities, undermines the very legitimize of the state.

Bush is the shipwreck of our hopes of ever reestablishing limited, constitutional government.

What city do you think good Muslims will nuke first?
-- Ralph Diamond
Annapolis, Maryland

When it comes to fixing the illegal immigrant problem, Americans are amazingly creative and passionate, but not terribly bright. With some containing as many as 20 separate provisions, I've read some incredibly detailed plans for fixing the problem without granting amnesty, all the while wondering why the authors can't see the fundamental flaw in their carefully crafted plans.

Illegal immigrants arrive by car, bus, train, plane, walking, swimming and for all we know sky-diving and tunneling. Low-tech, poorly educated folks easily penetrate the borders of the most high-tech and supposedly best educated country in the world. Our government agrees we have an illegal immigrant problem but consistently fails to solve the problem after pondering it for several decades.

So naturally, a government that has proved to everyone's satisfaction it lacks the competence to prevent the problem will somehow gain the competence to solve the problem. Immigrant registries, fining employers, fining employees, closing the borders, rounding up illegals for deportation and creating procedures that prevent the problem from re-occurring are wished into reality and will be enthusiastically and competently enforced by the same civil servants that created the problem in the first place.

Before implementing these imaginative solutions, we must first re-introduce our government employees to the concept of solving problems if we expect to make progress during this century. We should start slowly and build on success. For example, here in California, Senator Feinstein, during her trips around the state, should be encouraged to change places with illegals working as maids and busboys. Replacing towels, cleaning toilet bowels, gathering up greasy plates, these are fine therapies for reinforcing the work ethic Americans in government seem to have misplaced.

Senator Boxer could volunteer for landscape duty -- running a leaf sucker, trimming grass, spreading manure -- basically, re-learning to do those jobs Americans won't do. Through their unselfish examples, government employees would see that useful work can be performed and problems actually solved. This may appear naïve, but if Feinstein and Boxer would only try it for a few months, other government employees may start solving simple problems as well and before you know it our government folks would be ready to tackle bigger problems like dealing with illegal immigration. Big problems may seem overwhelming at first, especially to our elected employees, but a journey of a thousand miles must start with a single step.
-- Patrick Skurka
San Ramon, California

Simple solution -- "Eventually all of the illegals will either be sent to jail or, over the course of time, die."

Simple question -- While passively waiting for illegals to get caught or drop dead, how much reproduction will take place?

Simply annoyed -- If you're illegal, your offspring should be as well. After my grandfather entered this country (legally), he stopped speaking his native language and learned English. He stopped viewing his native country as home and declared himself to be an American. This is the integration into society that built the greatest country in history. The suggestion that being against illegals implies being against immigrants is a far stretch. The suggestion that we can wait out the current crop of un-integrated illegals and their future generations of un-integrated illegal offspring is a slow drift into loss of national sovereignty.
-- Tom Cook
Raleigh, North Carolina

Once again, Mason and Felder offer some common sense to an issue that some wish to complicate (i.e., comprehensive immigration policy). I offer two more parts to their solution:

4. Fence (later): Don't build the fence until they have gone home -- the same way they came in.

5. Withhold: The federal government must withhold all money from any state or local government that follows a sanctuary policy.

Once the money dries up, those looking for the gringo freebie will scramble back to their glorious roots.
-- Jack Hughes
Chicago, Illinois

While I generally love the wit and insight of the Mason/Felder diatribes, their immigration views prove that even the most stalwart clear-thinker can stand only so much time in the New York metropolitan area. Does Mr. Mason really think the border coyotes are smuggling in truckloads of Einsteins, Fermis and Salks?
-- Ralph Alter
Carmel, Indiana

MUSCLE CARS
Re: Eric Peters's 2008 Camaro: Dead on Arrival?:

I'd go re-check your gas expense calculation for the new Camaro. I don't know much about the car, but I would suppose it has the same engine as the base-model Corvette (a 6 litre V8), which gets 17 mpg city / 27 mpg highway according to EPA calculations, or about 22 mpg combined. Since you cite 15 mpg for an equivalent SUV, you've assumed approximately 1,500 miles per month as well (1,500 miles / 15 mpg * $3.00 / gallon = $300 / month for fuel) -- or 18,000 miles per year. This is more than 50% over the national average; so let's break down the real figures and see if the Camaro passes muster for fuel prices -- assuming 12,000 miles / year, and 22 mpg -- far more likely assumptions, and even that mileage may be on the high side -- the fuel cost is more likely to be about $140 per month. That sounds like a lot. But lets compare it to a 44 mpg Prius -- fuel cost equivalent there is a full $70 per month.

So the real INCREMENTAL cost of owning the new Camaro is more like $70 plus the insurance differential, if any. Sure that's something -- and you'll spend more on tires etc. But for the high-performance buyer, that looks pretty good.

There are sure to be issues with the Camaro, but extremely poor gas mileage isn't likely to be one of them. You might be interested in learning that the 505 HP Z06 'Vette is only down about 2 mpg on the base model. And the 911 Turbo, with 480 HP, is similarly miserly with fuel. Your beloved Ferrari, unfortunately, only manages about 11 mpg city and 16 mpg highway.
-- CDG

The truth of Mr. Peters essay is so obvious that it make this car lover sad. Mr. Peters stops just short of making his actual point. We are witnessing the end of the line for those rumbling, throaty V-8 engines that could leave a double line of black rubber in their wake.

We soon will be limited to small, ovum shaped, lawn mower sized vehicles. This will complete the feminization of America. When I first returned from Viet Nam I bought a Camaro Super Sport. It rocked! My dear wife likened it to males in general. She said my Camaro was about loud, rude noises and terrible smells. She did not appreciate the tire smoke in the rear view, and being pressed into the seat as though an elephant was on her lap -- all the while listening to the sound of hundreds of horses surging under the hood.

Men, go out today and buy that gas guzzling 70's muscle car. Even if you can only drive to the car wash, the is something very primal in the rumble and the roar of that huge, always thirsty engine.
-- Jay Molyneaux
Denver, North Carolina

Eric Peters poses an interesting hypothesis. An automobile company's entire existence staked on one "performance" retro car. Hmm... Lemme see if I understand this one.

Nope, I don't, so I will go through some things that, perhaps, have not been examined in enough detail.

1. The new Camaro looks sort of like the old 68/early 69 Chevy. Nice move, it would have been better to go to something that looked more like a 1965 Corvette Coupe and Roadster, but it is a step in my generation's direction, anyway. The new Dodge Challenger is on my personal "midlife crisis" Wishlist, though I wish Chrysler would make it as a Hemi-Cuda with a convertible top. That all being said, the fact remains that these are SPECIALTY Cars, not bread and butter vehicles for most of us to use everyday. The same goes for the Ford Mustang thingy... and its novelty has gotten stale. A car company cannot stake its reputation on one limited appeal model.

2. Fact. Cars are tremendously expensive. A decent family sized car will run $25,000 to $30,000 -- that was a small house and nice yard in most parts of the country 25 years ago. Car payments are usually between $375 and $500 a month, and that doesn't include insurance premiums. So, the market is SLOW to turn over from purchase to purchase. People are buying cars on five year loans and keeping them far past the 100,000 mile mark. The current industry, valuation system (Blue Book values a 100,000 mile car at salvage -- which is rediculous given the modern technology making them last far longer.) is idiotic. Most families are finiancing two or more cars, not just one. The automobile industry seems to be stranded in the "one car get rid of it after 3 years" era of the 1960's.

3. Fact. People must purchase what their family can fit into. That means if you have a family of five, you need a full size car or a mini-van. Don't give me silly examples of fitting two teenage boys and a pre-teen girl into the back seat of an econobox. I had a 1996 Neon that I put 134,000 miles on, my kids were small back then, but I bought the car because it was the only one that I could put three kids (two of whom were in car seats) across the back. My oldest looked like a smelt in a can. It was also the only car of that class that could pull of the feat. Folks with bigger families need bigger cars. We call the "Catholic Mobiles" (please, no whining comments about being offended... I'm Catholic.), instead of the van pool, many of those stretch vans go for transporting large families since everyone must have a seat with a seatbelt (car seat). Those vans are horridly expensive, and guzzle gas... but how else to you get your family around? The laws of physics say that if you split them up between several econoboxes, you will burn as much or more gas, and certainly spend way more money.

4. Fact. Toyota, Honda, and Nissan sell lots of cars BECAUSE... they sell bread and butter year to year. If you look at a Camry today, it looks like last years, and the years before. They styling changes only every five to ten years, and then the engines really don't change much at all. The same goes for the Honda Accord or Cvic. Once the manufacturing gets set up, the expensive stuff is the same, and only the plastic is tweaked. So, the cars are built to go 200,000 miles and last ten years.

Given the above -- and there are some more issues but that would get into writing an article... I cannot see that I completely agree with Mr. Peters. No one could have predicted the run up in fuel costs -- except the most pessimistic people who are always declaring gloom and doom, anyway. How does a car company completely retool overnight to make completely different automobiles? To demand such a turn around as proof of business prowess is sort of (well I'll be nice).

Chrysler seems to be moving smartly in that direction. The Minivan is getting a make over (don't give me the SUV gripe... the Minivan was built to address the fuel cost problem back in the 1980's...), the Dodge Avenger is a nice downsized rendition of the Charger. I have a 3.5 High output V6 in my Intrepid. It is a wonderful engine that gets 22mpg in mixed driving, and more on the highway. That engine is in the Avenger, and the base modle of the Charger and 300. (Just because something is dressed out as a "Muscle car" doesn't mean its more standard models have to be gas drinkers.) Chrysler has produced or purchased decent quality four cylinder engines, and the little Caliber is a great college kid car/second car.

The whole thing will end up going the way it always does, though. The price of gas just jumped up to a new level, like it has several times in the past 30 years. People will gripe, complain, sell their big cars, and then as they get used to the price of fuel, and the market levels off, folks will go back to wanting big comfortable cars, useful trucks, and yes Minivans. Will we be able to afford the extra cost of gas? Yup... we will.
-- John W. Schneider, III
Bristow, Virginia

I live next to a federal highway in a rural area. Based on the traffic I see, the demand curve for gasoline is completely inelastic. There is more traffic than ever. People may seethe about the high price of fuel, but no one appears to be cutting back on their driving.
-- Bob Teter

I think Eric Peters is forgetting a few things in his preliminary panning of the new Camaro. The first is that, unlike the Ferrari F-430 that he mentions, the Camaro will be readily available at your local Chevy dealer and cost a sixth of the price. Secondly, though gas prices cause some alarm when they first spike, we soon enough get used to them. I remember the anger when prices went from around $1 a gallon to about $1.50. We now are looking at over double that amount and people seem to be getting used to that after the initial rage has died down.

GM's biggest problem will be if the Camaro doesn't live up to the hype that numerous auto-shows and magazine articles have created over the past few years.

BTW -- the F-430 is a wonderful automobile. If you have the means, may I recommend the spider?
-- James D. Sayer

When Ford announced several years ago that a "super mustang" V8 with 500 HP would be available, my heart raced. My youth returned faster than 0-60 in 4.2. I fantasized creating 3.5 readings on the Richter scale at stop lights. Soaring with the eagles once again.

My first car was the ultimate super car 1965 GTO with THREE cars and gas at .33cents a gallon. I remember once filling the monster up TWICE in one day. And not feeling guilty.

Sitting in a local showroom, a beautiful black Shelby Mustang cobra with gold race stripes sits. Power just oozing from every view. Big fat sticky tires. Shiny chrome exhaust tips, and a whopping 45,000 price tag. The sticker also showed average mileage ratings between 14-18.

Perhaps several years ago I would have bought one no questions asked. But as I drove away from the Ford showroom in my 2007 BMW 328i coupe, I knew I was driving a machine superior in every way but speed, to the bulky pony car and I saved over 10,000 as well.
-- Len LaBounty
Santa Monica, California

Speaking of which .... whatever happened to the Mercury Marauder? I do not see many on the road.
-- Peter Skurkiss
Stow, Ohio

Who can buy the new Camaro? Who else but green guru and "carbon offsets" hypocrite Al Gore. It will go well with his palatial mansion and international jet setting.
-- Michael Tomlinson
Jacksonville, North Carolina

UNTORTURED LOGIC
Re: Jeff Emanuel's Real Torture:

Thanks to Mr. Emanuel for a great, great piece! Of all of the nonsensical propaganda foisted on the American public by the leftists both in America and around the world one of the most pernicious is the notion that we are on equal plane with the barbarians who hack off heads, gouge eyes, whip, castrate, and maim in the name of Allah. We can argue all day that the bastards locked up at Gitmo are not entitled to the protections of Geneva Conventions (they CLEARLY do not meet the established criteria for these protections), but that just plain misses the point; all you get back from the left is pabulum. It is well documented that the bastards at Gitmo are being and have been treated at standards that meet or exceed Geneva conventions. It is well documented that aggressive interrogation yielded important and profound information from the likes of Khalid Sheikh-Mohammed that likely saved or helped save innocent lives. It is well documented that several hundred of the prisoners at Gitmo have been processed and released. It is well documented that some of these "innocents" returned to the battlefield to kill again…

Of course, we should expect this propaganda from the enemy and maybe even (sh)Amnesty International or the UN, but what hurts most is that some of my friends (tenuous), neighbors, and other self-loathers on the left ally themselves with this point of view. Meanwhile, brave and true American GI's are summarily tortured (the real kind), maimed, be-headed and their bodies desecrated while prisoners at Gitmo gain weight, read Harry Potter, and pray to Mecca 5 times a day.
-- Stuart Reed
Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan

Mr. Emanuel hits a home run with this article on our enemies in the war on terror.

His criticism of Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch is also spot on. I watched both their web sites for comments following the torture deaths of the two troopers from the Eight Deuce. Three days after their discovery HRW came out with the article Mr. Emanuel cites. However, they backdated it to the date of the discovery.

I specifically recalled this because I wrote a letter to the editor of the local publication criticizing their lack of response two days after the event.

In my opinion both organizations are socialist, and consistently hate America. Be very wary of anyone citing them as an authority.

Finally I wish to thank Mr. Emanuel for reminding me of the McCain/Graham so-called anti-torture bill, which, by its very nature, called all our guys "torturers." Shame on them.

Keep up the good work, Mr. Emanuel.
-- Jim Karr
Blue Springs, Missouri

A FEDERALIST SOCIETY
Re: Peter Hannaford's Behind the Redwood Curtain:

While I generally agree with Pete Hannaford's observations regarding the need to maintain the Electoral College, I think his analogy of state legislatures to the congressional model is faulty.

While it is true that some states (Nevada and New Jersey come to mind) once allocated lower house representation on the basis of population and one senator to each county, that was hardly comparable to the two members from each state in the U.S. Senate.

The US Constitution made this distinction insofar as members of the House represent people, while senators represent sovereign states. Counties, however, are not sovereign. Under a legal principle called the "Dillon Rule," local government jurisdictions can be established and abolished as the state sees fit. Therefore the comparison is not appropriate.

Even if the practice of one senator per county passed legal muster, in many places the population disparity would render it politically unacceptable. Can anyone seriously suggest today that Esmeralda County, NV (pop. 1200) be afforded the same state senate representation and Clark County, NV (pop. 1.9 million)?
-- Howard Hirsch
Dayton, Nevada

DRILL AND DIVERSIFY
Re: Carl Clawson's letter (under "We've Seen Oil This Before") in Reader Mail's Background Checks, Michael Tomlinson's letters to Reader Mail, and Eric Peters's 2008 Camaro: Dead on Arrival?:

I must agree with Carl Clawson, I got a sense of deja vu from Mr. Tyrell's article about oil prices. In 1979 during the second oil "crisis" I was living in Enid, Oklahoma, within sight of the giant Champlain oil refinery, and yet the local filling stations had limited supplies of gasoline. Something wasn't right, and it was government interference in the energy prices. Reagan got rid of that and suddenly there was plenty of gasoline. (Note to reader Michael Tomlinson: While your insights are generally spot-on, in virtually every letter you write you comment that Reagan's record was not as economically conservative as is widely held, citing his tax increases as proof. The tax increases to which he agreed were invariably bargaining tools to lower some other taxes, e.g. accepting a higher long-term capital gains tax rate to get the lower 28% marginal tax rate. The net result of his efforts were significantly lower marginal rates, and lower taxes overall, which we still enjoy today. It is marginal rates that support continued strong economic growth, in contrast to lower capital gains tax rates which, while still a good thing, have more of a fiscal effect.)

I would not venture to dispute T. Boone Pickens's expertise regarding oil production and the resulting price increases in gasoline, but I have observed no decrease in automobile traffic despite $3 gallon fuel. So I will dispute Eric Peters's claim that the Camaro will fail because of a combination of poor gasoline mileage and a slowing economy, because gasoline prices are not historically high when adjusted for inflation, and the economy is doing fine and likely will continue to do so. The car will fail only if it is poorly designed and/or executed.

Which brings me to CAFE standards. This is a prime example of mindless, politically driven government interference in the free market. There is no empirical data to show that CAFE standards have decreased driving. In fact the evidence is otherwise, as Mr. Clawson states. And logic tells us that higher CAFE standards will actually increase driving by making it more economical. In the meantime our politicians' ego-driven zeal for higher CAFE punishes our domestic automobile industry and helps overseas manufacturers. (By the way, does the auto workers union leadership realize that it is the Democrats whom they slavishly support who are pushing higher CAFE, hurting Ford, GM and Chrysler and causing them to cut jobs?)

Energy independence is a myth: We already import 55% of our petroleum. But that doesn't mean you give up looking for ways to diversify your supplies. ANWR alone will provide us with at least as much oil as we import from Saudi Arabia over twenty years. We should be drilling it.
-- Paul M. DeSisto
Cedar Grove, New Jersey

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