Letters to the Editor

Readers write about high gas prices, the GOP split over immigration, a rush-hour tax, diverting corn from food to fuel, and UN reforms.

High fuel prices aren't discouraging eager drivers

Regarding the June 11 article, "To some, high gas prices have a silver lining": As far as I've observed, those who think more than a few people will drive less because of high gas prices are kidding themselves. Most of the people in the US seem unable or unwilling to change their driving habits.

What I've observed so far this summer: More people are driving pickups with beds so short as to be close to useless. Also, I've often seen pickups hauling all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) in their beds and pickups of all sizes with the bodies of the trucks jacked up to accommodate extra-large tires and, I guess, to make the vehicles look bigger. And because where I live is a vacation area, the huge RVs (on the same long chassis as big city buses) have now appeared.

Traffic is picking up. So obviously I see no signs of decreased traffic. But I truly wish more people would drive less. I'm driving less. I know few other people, though, who are driving less. And all of the ATVs I see (plus more Harley motorbikes) to me suggest that people feel well able to afford the gas for the pickups that haul the ATVs and the ATVs themselves. This is hardly the sign of people who are concerned about the cost of gas.

It'll take a lot more than high fuel prices to cut into the American obsession with the combustion engine.

Susan Hogg
Newport, Ore.

Party split reflects national divide

Regarding the June 14 article, "Bush tries to win back GOP lawmakers": I don't know if the fixation on leaving a "legacy" is the invention of the media or ego-driven by this and other US presidents. But whatever the reason for it, it leads to decisions and agendas that are not always in our nation's best interests.

I, for one, am heartily fed up with hearing about President Bush's legacy. His seemingly inflexible obsession with a "path to citizenship" for the millions of illegal aliens is weakening the Republican party.

Barbara Vickroy
Escondido, Calif.

Regarding the June 14 article about Bush and GOP lawmakers: I am fed up with Congress trying to bring the president down. What is the matter with our legislators?

I think we should let Mexicans and their families into the US. Many of them seem to have a lot better values than many Americans. Most seem to have religion and love for their families, and I believe they would make better citizens than a lot of those who are American citizens now.

Jeanne V. McQueen
Bryn Athyn, Pa.

Saying no to a rush-hour tax

Regarding the June 14 article, "Jammed cities eye 'pay to drive' ": I have lived and traveled in many major cities in the United States: Chicago; Dallas; Orlando, Fla.; and others. The best place to travel during rush hour was Dallas. With frontage roads running parallel to the freeway, never was I caught in a traffic jam. Those proposing a tax to drive at rush hour are only looking for more ways to tax an overtaxed population.

Steven Woodward
Winterhaven, Fla.

Using corn for ethanol helps no one

Regarding the June 13 article, "From milk to meat, US food prices spike upward": So to fund a dubious "fix" for energy and gasoline consumption, we in the US are paying increased prices at the grocery store. Meanwhile, the use of ethanol, which is neither energy efficient to make nor very fuel efficient to use, has not dropped the price of gas one cent. When will the government learn that moving just one pebble changes the shape of the world?

Lis Libengood
Lake Jackson, Texas

The UN must reform before it leads

Regarding Helena Cobban's June 14 Opinion piece, "Negotiate a US exit from Iraq": Ms. Cobban has written a patently impossible opinion that the United Nations should lead the United States out of Iraq! Cobban should have stated that the UN remains culpable in the run-up to this war, through financing and encouraging Saddam Hussein's behavior with its oil-for-food program.

President Bush tried to engage the UN before the war, but the flow of oil-for-food money neutered any enforcing of the UN's toothless resolutions. After several sincere and reasonable attempts by the US, no significant correction has been made by the UN to its structure, its procedures, or to its internal discipline.

Until UN corruption is rooted out, UN leadership in any but a benign circumstance would be disastrous.

David Allen Lower
Baldwinsville, N.Y.

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number. Any letter accepted may appear in print or on our website, www.csmonitor.com.

Mail letters to Readers Write and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to (617) 450-2317, or e-mail to oped@csps.com.

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