The number of SUVs on the road is growing at an alarming rate. While many people like to drive them, SUVs are very unsafe and guzzle far too much gas. I worry about the toll of SUVs on the lives of other Americans and the environment. Congress should act to improve SUVs, so that every American can have a vehicle they are proud to drive.
SUV rollovers killed 2,358 people in 2002 alone. But better safeguards would have prevented many of these deaths, and thousands more injuries. SUVs lack a strong roof and doors that withstand rollover crashes. SUVs are also a threat to others on the road. In frontal crashes, SUVs are four times more likely to kill car drivers than is a car. Better design could fix these safety problems.
The fuel economy of the U.S. vehicle fleet peaked in 1988 and has been swiftly declining ever since. The upsurge in SUVs, vans and pickup trucks, which average six miles per gallon less than cars, is mainly to blame for this decline. Instead of fuel economy, engineering developments have focused on increasing weight, acceleration and horsepower. American ingenuity should be applied towards reducing our oil dependence and saving money for consumers when gas prices go up.
Congress should require SUVs to be safer and more fuel-efficient. The time has come for a better SUV.
Daniel M. Robbins Mackinaw City
Blasting the doves
On the subject of legislation passed on November 4, this is An Overheard Exchange.
Mr. Mourning Dove:
“Come fly with me, oh love of mine
Let‘s perch upon a power line
Don‘t be shy - no need to hide
The earth - the sky - we‘ll gaze far and wide
I‘ll coo to you, gently, my love, without cease
We‘ll let everyone know we‘re the State Bird of Peace
Morning and Evening, we‘ll sooth every ear
As we offer our songs, without worry or fear.“
Mourning Dove‘s Mate: “I‘m game.“
Lorraine Mark Honor
Outsourcing jobs outsources prosperity
We are slowly moving toward becoming a Third World country. Let me connect the dots. Many of our industries are being moved to low-wage-paying countries, leaving many of our own working people without jobs. Even those companies that opt to stay here are pressuring their workers to accept wage and benefit concessions. Our government no longer has the tax revenue needed to support programs designed to keep unfortunate citizens from having to live like Third World citizens.
I believe that these things are occurring because our elected officials have their eyes focused on the needs of those executives who provide the biggest pocketbooks rather than on developing a long-range economic policy designed to benefit all citizens.
Come on, President Bush, get with it!
Donald M. Wickert via email
Jobs disappear overseas
I just got another call -- one more white-collar job is going overseas. That‘s three college-educated friends laid off in two weeks, with no job prospects in sight. Am I the only one who‘s worried? Most of our manufacturing jobs are already overseas; now all the white-collar jobs are following.
Hello, Corporate America, wake up! If everyone in America is out of work, just who do you think is going to buy your products? The Third World countries that are sucking up our jobs are still too poor to buy. The U.S. is the biggest consumer market in the world -- or was. Just who do you think you‘re going to sell your products to?
Barbara Sabo Hermosa Beach, CA
President Bush lied about weapons of mass destruction and the purported “grave and imminent“ threat Iraq posed to the U.S. Or, if he believed his claims, Bush is dangerously incompetent.
George W. Bush, Richard Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld have conducted a criminal preemptive war of aggression, attacking people who did not threaten the United States and killing and maiming thousands. Their actions violate the U.S. Constitution and the U.N. Charter which prevents countries from waging attack on other countries except as an act of self-defense in response to an imminent threat.
In July 1974 the House Judiciary Committee voted for articles of impeachment for President Nixon for lying to the people and to Congress. Within a month Nixon resigned from office. Nixon‘s political demise came less than two years after he won one of the largest landslide electoral victories in U.S. history. The United States of America was spared great harm because the media informed citizens of that threat.
The Bush Administration and Attorney General John Ashcroft have treated the Bill of Rights with contempt and have sought to roll back decades of hard won civil rights and rights for working people. This President has claimed for himself the authority to jail citizens and residents of the United States indefinitely, without any charge against them, without trial and without access to a lawyer.
The unilateral actions of the Bush Administration in waging and threatening wars of aggression do not serve the interests of the people of the U.S. The billions of dollars being spent on war, taken from the working people of the U.S., are being funneled to the Big Oil and corporate elite who are Bush‘s true constituents.
Harry Miller Chicago