Subway searches are all for show
"Security Theater" is the name that thoughtful security experts such as
Bruce Schneier use to describe the random searches that commuters will be
subjected to as a result of the MTA's new bag-search policy ["Transit security:
Searches in New York," News, July 22].
Simple arithmetic explains why this policy is more show than substance, and
will do more harm than good. More than a billion subway rides were taken last
year. None of those ended with a bomb explosion. Similarly, the number of
terrorists living in our midst is infinitesimal. Despite the huge odds that our
subway and transit rides will not be interrupted by terrorist activity, all of
us are now expected to open our bags and reveal what up to now has been ours
to keep private.
This is one trade-off - privacy for security - that simply does not make
sense. It does not measurably improve passenger security and in fact will
create a false sense that the transit system is more secure than it really is.
But don't tell this to the politicians. They'll be too busy enjoying the show.
Kelly D. Talcott
Wind farms: con and pro
Are people really that naive - even after Shoreham?
Any savings in energy costs provided by wind power will easily be eaten up
by the increase in costs to cover the construction of the windmill farm.
Look closely at the artist's rendition of the wind farm ["Is the answer to
our needs blowing in the wind?" Letters, July 21]. Add 25 more windmills to
that picture, and you'll see exactly what's in store for Long Island's South
Sure, it sounds like a noble cause for LIPA to take on this project, but
look at the big picture, as Jim Papa encourages us to do ["Wind farm would ruin
a priceless view," Opinion, July 17]. Is it worth it to sacrifice our
dwindling natural wonders?
With utter bewilderment I read the article by Jim Papa, who is offended by
the prospect of a wind farm off Long Island. People such as Papa are apparently
comfortable with the endless miles of strip malls, the relentless stretch of
parking lots and the countless subdivisions that decimate the once magnificent
vistas of Long Island. Yet, their fragile aesthetic sensibility is betrayed by
an absolutely necessary and majestic field of wind turbines set well out to
sea. This contradiction is absurd.
David P. Sibek
I read with interest the article "LIPA weighs going online" [News, July
22]. Currently, Long Island customers are slaves to Cablevision for high-speed
Internet services because Verizon has not been able to make DSL widely
For once, LIPA has the opportunity to do something positive for its
customers. It should not succumb to Cablevision's bullying. It should give us
high-speed Internet service. In fact, to keep LIPA's nonprofit status, the
revenue from the Internet service could go toward lowering our outrageous LIPA
Lawrence C. Levy's Newsday column ["Levy's stand gives Dems a chance in
Crookhaven," Opinion, July 20] gives insight into the minds of the liberal
elite media. He contends that Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy's actions in
enforcing housing codes in Farmingville have created in Democratic circles
"concern and disgust over his tactics and rhetoric." The columnist goes on to
say, "Privately, many Democrats are livid Levy has continued attacking the
media and activists whom he has called the lunatic fringe."
Obviously, Newsday's columnist does not live in a community experiencing
the cancer of slum housing. The majority of Suffolk residents of all political
persuasions support the county executive fully in enforcing housing codes
across the county. Law-abiding and taxpaying homeowners are fed up with
activists, biased media and gutless politicians allowing lawless activity to
destroy their communities.
Every political leader should take note of the courageous stand the county
executive has taken on this critical issue and should also note, much to the
chagrin of the Newsday editorial page and its ilk, the support the county
executive and his colleagues will receive when it comes time for residents to
cast their votes.
Editor's note: The writer is treasurer of the Greater Farmingville Community
Rove scandal draws ire
What a sad day for our country when Judith Miller, a journalist, is jailed
suspected of leaking confidential information, is protected by the president
["Reporter may face criminal contempt charge," News, July 17].
How can any CIA agent feel fully supported in fighting "the war on terror"
when the president turns his back on one of their own to support a staff member?
Port Jefferson Station
George W. Bush won't fire Karl Rove. Could Charlie McCarthy fire Edgar
In response to Ellis Henican's commentary, perhaps we should go tit for tat
with the Clinton administration - where misdeeds were committed ["Whaddya
gotta do to get fired here?" News, July 19]. Lie to a grand jury? That's fine.
Dream up a scheme to socialize medicine that nobody can afford? No problem
there. Have an extramarital affair with an intern while Osama bin Laden slips
through your fingers? Attaboy.
But Henican's unbridled liberal rants against this administration beg the
question: Whaddya gotta do to get fired from Newsday?
Beware Bush's slick energy policies
In "Historic shift to help India likely to prevail" [Opinion, July 20],
Michael Mandelbaum praises the Bush administration for agreeing to sell nuclear
technology to India even though our laws forbid it due to India's nuclear
weapons program. Although it is important to build ties with India, there have
to be more desirable ways than to spread nuclear technology and bail out our
If energy security is important, then we should help India develop energy
from sources that do not run the risks of more nuclear proliferation, nuclear
terrorism and the long-term problems of nuclear waste. Alternative sources such
as solar, wind, tidal and conservation produce safe energy and many more jobs
because nuclear power is capital-intensive.
This administration's energy policy was produced in secret meetings with
oil and nuclear executives and Vice President Dick Cheney.
High-minded rhetoric is hiding a slick policy of enacting any wishes of the
oil and nuclear industries, where many of this administration's top people are
Editor's note: The writer is editor for the Energy and Environment Center.
Bush's nominee could be good
I'm pleased to see that President George W. Bush has nominated John Roberts to
be the next Supreme Court justice. It's good to know that the problem of an
under-represented minority of middle-aged white men on the court will now be
fixed by his appointment.
Recent actions of President George W. Bush suggest not that he and his
advisers are politically savvy operators who have engineered a coup in John
Roberts' nomination to the Supreme Court, but rather that the president must be
shaking in his tooled-leather cowboy boots over the Karl Rove scandal.
His fast-draw nomination of Judge Roberts to replace retiring Supreme Court
Justice Sandra Day O'Connor could be understood as a desperate attempt to
generate a fresh news story, look presidential and create a smoke screen to
choke off the damning Rove scandal.
The fact is a weakened second-term president - saddled with a festering
Iraq situation, ballooning deficits and high gasoline prices - seemed
disinclined to engage in a Western-style gunfight over O'Connor's replacement.
A drawn-out battle over a more ideological Bush nominee could only weaken him
The president's choice, Roberts, is certainly not a liberal. Scanty reports
of his recent rulings, particularly those limiting the judicial rights of
citizens detained as presumed terrorists, seem to establish that. But the
nominee appears well-qualified, intelligent and, if he is a right-wing
ideologue, he hasn't revealed it yet. One has hopes that with his training,
demeanor and experience, a chance exists that he, too, may eventually come to
side with the centrist wing of the court as Justice O'Connor did.
Robert J. Kalin