won't buy security
With all the talk about airport security and full-body scans ["Through our fingers," Opinion, Jan. 10], the issue often isn't the technology being used, but the effectiveness and diligence of the employees.
Instead of spending a ton of money buying full-body scanners, boost the personnel, enhance their training, make sure they're well paid, with benefits, so they care about the job they're doing. If you give a person off the street a uniform and a badge, low wages with no bennies, how important do you think he's going to feel his job is? How safe do you feel getting on your plane knowing this is the person responsible for your well-being?
Let's assume the new body-scanners are in place. If Joe Security is more concerned with being late for his coffee break or chatting with his buddy about the big game, how much attention do you think he's giving to the techno-displays? How effective will he be scanning the crowd and observing behavior? Making mental notes of the fidgety guy on line? Scrutinizing the ticket or visa? Checking the no-fly list, matching the photo to the person in front of him?
You could have the best scanners and sniffers in the world in place, but if the people using them don't give a darn, the technology is ineffective.
Time for solar is now
Over the past few years there has been rampant NIMBYism manifested on Long Island. No nuclear. No natural gas. No windmills. Now, more than ever, is the time to go solar ["Taking a shine to solar," News, Jan. 11].
Our town governments should be offering incentives to companies that produce solar energy parts or systems to locate on Long Island. Of course, some will object to a solar parts producer near their property (concerns of increased truck traffic damaging the roads and emitting diesel fumes is the usual objection) but we can't miss out on this golden opportunity. My own solar system does not, as far as I can see, have a single part manufactured here.
Long Island should be the center of learning about, manufacturing and using solar systems.
- and sausages
The congressional debate on health care reform proves the adage that "the people should not see how their laws or their sausages are made," except that here in the United States we've really cleaned up the process of making sausage. But having seen the White House's hands-off style of nonleadership against the background of blatant deal-cutting and log-rolling in both houses, I'm one Democrat who may find it difficult to find the time and interest to vote in 2010.