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Reading in the Feb. 3rd Detroit Free Press of retired Catholic Cardinal Roger Mahony’s efforts to “shield priests from prosecution and keep parishioners in the dark about sex crimes against minors” leads me to fervently wish that the Catholic Church would demonstrate the same level of care and attention for post-natals that it does for pre-natals.
Bob Ross • Pellston
Wants to drive 55
Does anyone remember why a national 55 MPH speed limit was imposed by a law signed by President Nixon back in early 1974? This speed limit was in response to 1973’s oil price increases on oil shortages. Limiting vehicular speed was intended to reduce consumption of oil. Some thought increased safety would be a secondary benefit of reduced vehicular speed, but mandatory seat belt laws are a better example of laws designed to increase safety. The 55 MPH speed limit had minimal compliance by drivers, so the best estimates were that it reduced fuel consumption by half what was expected.
Scientists are as unanimous as they ever get about the negative effect our burning fossil fuels is having on our climate. Above a vehicle’s most efficient speed (for most vehicles somewhere between 35 and 55 MPH, depending on vehicle, weather, terrain, and traffic), increasing speed reduces efficiency. Why would we insist on burning more fossil fuel by raising our speed limits?
The oil needed to fuel our cars is increasingly more difficult to extract from our planet, resulting in more and more environmental damage (pipeline failures, Deepwater Horizon, our coming disasters in the Arctic, nuclear disaster-like effect of extracting oil from “tar sands”). Wouldn’t it be smarter if we looked for ways to reduce our fuel consumption instead?
Daniel Robbins • Mackinaw City
Pay attention, voters
As if the lame duck actions of the Michigan legislature weren’t enough, the GOP is now working on a new law to change the way our electoral votes are counted. State Rep. Peter Lund, R-Shelby Township, is sponsoring the bill that would tie our votes to the congressional districts instead of the number of electoral votes assigned to each state based on population. Jack Lessenberry wrote a detailed column in the Jan. 27, 2013 Traverse City Record-Eagle that explains the issues clearly. Although the electoral college method may seem antiquated and complex, this is not the way to improve it.
I urge you to write Governor Snyder and your legislators and voice your opposition to this legislation.
Marilyn Cobb • Kewadin
Assaults weapons unnecessary
Do people really think they need assault weapons that fire 100 bullets without reloading to protect themselves? Do we really think that the federal government will confiscate our guns? If that is our fear, it seems to be a bit unrealistic when the federal government has drones and other sophisticated weapons which could be used far more effectively than gun power. Where does this intense fear come from? And how many individuals must be sacrificed to salve this fear? Certainly, other methods of lessening violence are needed, but if banning assault weapons and large magazine clips saves one child’s life, I’m in favor.
Our Michigan senator, Howard Walker states: “I will oppose any efforts at the state level to implement an assault weapons ban.” He may get an A from the NRA, but he gets an F from those of us concerned about the level of violence in our state and nation.
Lou Ann McKimmy • Rapid City