The cost of higher gas prices for politicians and markets
Regarding your March 31 editorial "Voters Aren't Energy Dummies": As a Democrat, I have recently been disappointed by John Kerry's unwillingness to shed light on environmental issues or to take a strong stance on them. As a voter who is very concerned about the environment, I consistently vote Democrat or Green based on a candidate's environmental voting record. I can only hope that if Mr. Kerry refuses to address these issues now, he will at the very least address them if he becomes president.
As your editorial pointed out, the only alternative to rationally pricing energy production is an energy shortage. Either one is going to tilt the world economy away from global trade toward regional and local trade. Expensive energy will result in expensive world trade. A shortage will force more local and domestic trade.
I have no patience with Americans' complaints about "high" gasoline prices. Although gas prices are still cheap here in the Persian Gulf, where I live, prices are at least twice the current American levels in most of Europe. Considering that per capita gasoline usage is higher in the US than anywhere else on the planet, Americans should be paying a whole lot more than even the current rates.
V. V. Williams
Regarding your March 29 article "Greenspan's diminishing aura": One of the disturbing revelations in Ron Suskind's "The Price of Loyalty" is the extent to which Alan Greenspan has been embedded in the Bush administration's economic planning teams. Attending extensive planning and strategy sessions with top Bush officials undercuts the view that his role is nonpartisan, or least bipartisan. Once again, the appearance of a conflict of interest is reducing trust in the objectivity of a key official.
Murray J. Friedman
Regarding John Hughes's March 31 column "Let's not forget 9/11 commission's main goal: preventing future attacks": I agree with Mr. Hughes, but the commission will never find the right answer because it is not asking the right question. The right question is: Which aspect of US foreign policy caused the blowback of 9/11? Ignoring the role that US international policy played in this tragedy is like ignoring the elephant in the room.
Your March 29 article "Is your computer spying on you?" reports that "children online can be especially vulnerable because they may have less technical savvy and frequently download so-called peer-to-peer software from the Internet, often called freeware or shareware."
The Association of Shareware Professionals has fought for years to disentangle the erroneous association of properly obtained software that happens to be marketed as shareware with harmful computer codes such as viruses and spyware.
In general, software marketed via shareware channels and commercial software are virus-free. Indeed, the basis of shareware marketing is "try before you buy." Some of the world's largest software companies, such as Symantec and Microsoft, have adopted the TBYB concept for the distribution of some of their products, even if they do not choose to use the word "shareware" in product promotion.
Ed L. Pulliam
Association of Shareware Professionals
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