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

advertisement | advertise on newsday

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

Old Brookville

Wind farms: con and pro

advertisement | advertise on newsday

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

advertisement | advertise on newsday

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?

Rick Hannsgen

West Islip

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

Huntington Manor

LIPA's chance

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


Linda Towler

Mount Sinai

Courageous stand

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.

Nick Alfano

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

for protecting her source of information and Karl Rove, a White House adviser

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?

Fran Troutman

Port Jefferson Station

George W. Bush won't fire Karl Rove. Could Charlie McCarthy fire Edgar


Alfred Madison


Clinton's wrongs

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?

Rich Fisk

Rockville Centre

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

nuclear industry.

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


Jon Landsbergis

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.

Jason Kirell

West Hempstead

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

Miller Place'