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Web Letter

This is nothin'. Mr. Bush is not as bad as Pakistani leaders.

I read the news about Canadian foreign minister who turned in his resignation when he realized what a big mistake he'd made: he visited his friend, and by mistake forgot a government file that he'd taken with him. I was thinking that these people are crazy or what--because of this little mistake, leave that attractive job? Our Pakistani ministers would never leave unless they're thrown out by force.

Look at Pakistan's corruption--it's on top, and in corruption, the army is leading, in first position. There's a long list of names to keep the army of Pakistan at #1 position, but nobody is like Pervez Musharraf, because Pervez Musharraf is the most polished corrupted army officer Pakistan's army has ever had! He presents himself as a modern, and the only person who is best for Pakistan. But in reality he is not!

If he is interested in solving the Pakistani people's problems--like poverty, food crises, basic health, unemployment--he would never had spent billions of dollars to buy a palace on a Turkish island, to spend rest of the life there.

That was money that belongs to Pakistani people, who are living below the poverty level. Why does he want to spent rest of the life in Turkey, if he's a true Pakistani? Why doesn't he want to face the nation? Why doesn't he want to face the crises that a normal Pakistani is facing? He can't because he came into power just to make money and enjoy himself, not for the good of Pakistan. He made a deal with Asif Ali Zardari, who has been convincted of crimes, as every Pakistani knows; he likes to stay with criminals like Ch. Shujaat and Altaf Hussain.

We have to stop army involvement in civil government and society, otherwise we will see another Musharraf from the Pakistani army with a different name and different tactics.

Abeer Khan

West Palm Beach, FL

Jun 15 2008 - 6:27pm

Web Letter

I found this article to be a shallow review of what is a long festering and extremely complex problem. However, as a devout contrarian, I to want to elaborate the upside of high gas prices. I am also a proud "Joe Six Pack," so I will try not to strike an elitist tone.

Current prices at the pump will probably render the political battle over CAFE standards mute. SUVs are sitting on the lots and people are discovering fuel-efficient cars are the way to go. You don't need all those bells and whistles.

People are moving to alternative modes of transportation. Walking, bicycles and public means are becoming popular choices. Myself, I am a long time fan of motorcycles and I have a lot more people to wave at. Scooters and commuter bikes are popping up everywhere. I urge everyone to take an accredited safety course and pack a rainsuit.

People will think twice about living so far from work. Sure, they may have to downsize their homes, but that has an environmental advantage too.

We will be forced to devise a comprehensive energy program that will make us independent and reduce the temptation to undertake adventures like Iraq. This strategy will include the production of oil and other fossil fuels.

Whoa! What did I say? Listen, fuel production and renewable energy are not mutually exclusive ideals. Experts agree that we are decades away from eliminating the need for petroleum even under the most favorable scenarios. Why should we buy from foreign sources who wish to control our economy and produce with no concern for the environment? Even Brazil, which is often touted as a model for alternative fuels, drills for oil.

The irony is that drilling with concern for our planet may keep prices at the pump high. OPEC and other producers can always lower the price per barrel. They have done that in the past. If that were to happen, Americans would pay more for a committment to use our own earth friendly resources.

I hope we, as a nation, are willing to reach a consensus and sacrifice some conveniences for the sake of a better planet.

Robert Stephens

Flagstaff , AZ

Jun 11 2008 - 2:58pm

Web Letter

One cannot argue with the facts in this article. However, much as I would like to blame everthing on Bush, large mistakes have small beginnings, and while the Bush Administration has a talent for magnifing any event into a disaster, the origins of the oil shortage is, in part, an aspect of "free trade."

The only purpoee of "free trade" is productivity--that is to say, the reduction of labor costs. In serach of cheaper labor, business people in the developed world have outsourced their industries overseas and are driving down wages in their "home" countries.

While their search for "productivity" has been "successful," low wages in their home countries has reduced the disposable income in these countries to buy these "cheaper" products. Besides destroying the market that bought their products, transportation costs have gone through the roof, because of the distance between the countries with cheap labor that produce goods and the reduced market they serve.

Indeed, trasportation problems do not cease once the goods reach our shores. Yesterday's lead story in the LA Times was "Cargo heading east has L.A. at a crawl." We have more cargo ships, trucks and trains consuming God knows how much oil to bring "cheap, and often unsafe goods" into the country. Isn't "free trade" wonderful?

Pervis J. Casey

Riverside, CA

Jun 11 2008 - 1:24pm

Web Letter

Frankly, I am glad about oil prices, and not only because I own a few shares of an oil company or two through my pension and stock fund. Yes, the prices of gas hurts. But I hate traveling and I hate seeing other people traveling. The prospect of Joe Six-Pack having to stay home for a change, instead of filling up the beaches and parks with his brood of kids and relatives, appeals to me. We who can afford automobile travel will have less crowded parks, beaches and roads. Let the masses eat cake: they will have to bake it themselves instead of buying it at the mall. The malls will be less crowded too.

If things get really bad enough the masses will stop listening to anti-socialist rants by Hannity and Limbaugh and start thinking again, or perhaps start thinking for the first time. But they will need some instruction. The left in this country has long since abdicated its job of informing the unconscious and falsely conscious lower classes about reality.

Norman Ravitch

Savannah, GA

Jun 11 2008 - 1:00am

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