Letters, May 10, 2006

Proof needed to justify gas at $3 per gallon

Our U.S. senators need to give the people of Mississippi proof we need that gas prices at $3 per gallon.

If there is no proof, can't this be considered price gouging? Our president has said he would prosecute price goudgers. Why can oil companies make 300 per cent profit and no one else can?

If the government is going to permit this, we need to be able to tell our employers how much money they have to pay us! The middle class and poor can't afford this “hike.”

I'm afraid this could become an election issue if something isn't done by our elected officials. Please help us!

–Sandra Warren, Tupelo

Why would immigrants support work walkout?

I don't understand why immigrants to the United States who have worked hard to become legal, and who continue to work hard and pay taxes, are marching today in protest to the laws they abide by.

I'm helping a Spanish-speaking woman learn English so she can pass the immigration test, which has 96 questions on it to be answered in English.

She has six months to learn it. I hope she passes. Also, she will have to pay a lot of money to process her puplication.It's hard to become a US Citizen. It was hard for my great-great-great-grandparents and it should be hard for immigrants today. It's worth it. I grew up in Arizona. Hispanic people have always been my friends. We should welcome them to our country and try to help them become citizens the legal way. After all, Mexican immigrants do not belong to a religion which believes that their god wants them to blow up Americans so that they can get to a heaven with fourty virgins!

Still, since Sep. 11, we have to be more careful. We have to make our borders tighter. Freedom isn't free, and neither is security. So why do immigrants who are lawful citizens support a walk-out?

–Judy Land, New Albany

Smoke from others poisons air for all who breathe it

This is in reference to the letter from Wanda Heagy of Saltillo, April 30, 2006.

The biggest culprit to toxic indoor air pollution is cigarette smoke. Secondhand smoke raises the risk of cancer, heart attack, and stroke. Children that are exposed to second-hand smoke have increased risks of SIDS, ear infections, and respiratory infections.

No one is trying to take her smoking rights away. Why do those who smoke want to endanger other people in public places? If you want to smoke, it is your right as an American; but please do not subject the general public to your second-hand smoke.

One of my favorite restaurants in Northeast Mississippi has not allowed smoking for several years. The owner told me that their restaurant did not have a decrease in business so the sales will decrease is not a valid reason for not banning smoking in public places. People who are going to eat out will continue to eat at non-smoking restaurants as well as attend social activities.

–Carolyn Monaghan, Tupelo

Partisan bickering wears on Pontotoc Co. citizen

I think it is time to pull the plug on our politicians in Jackson and Washington. I am an assistant teacher and have been one for several years. It seems to me that our politicians in Jackson and Washington are acting very much like the first graders I am around every day. Frankly, I'm tired of the constant bickering between the Democrats and the Republicans. They waste so much time pointing fingers at each other that those of us who put them in office are forgotten.

Things are rough in our state and in our country right now and it is time to stop playing games. Our principal tells our students to focus on what needs to be done. I think that is good advice for our elected leaders as well. If they had done this, we might not have had so many special sessions that we have had to pay for.

Personally, I would like for those we elect to stop listening to the lobbyists in Jackson and Washington, and listen to the people who put them in office. The whole idea of lobbyists throwing money around to get what they want seems wrong to me. I certainly can't send someone off to Scotland so he can play a round of golf.

According to David Wallechins in Parade magazine, the savings rate for Americans is the lowest it has been in 75 years. Last year real average weekly earnings fell 0.4 percent. CEOs of major companies make millions of dollars while more and more employees wake up every morning wondering how long they will have a job. I have wondered if greed has caused a great deal of this problem. How many millions of dollars does someone need in order to live?

I would like to cast my vote for people who are aware of these problems and are not afraid to buck the system in order to make changes. I don't really care what party they belong to. I just want them to listen to us, the voters, for a change.

–Cynthia Duke, Pontotoc

Don't hold breaths for an auto plant

You know what is funny? The people around here wanting to coax an auto manufacturer to build a plant on this three-county strip of land everyone is talking about. If they hold on a little while, they can have the Nissan plant. They won't last too many more moons. I think with the price of gas going up every hour of the day, people should try to get a scooter company to build there, the kind of scooters that get 125 to 150 miles to the gallon. That, my friend, is why when you go to Italy or Germany or France, you see tons of scooters. Cushman quit making scooters, but I owned one when I was a teen and that machine was fine, cheap to operate and tough. They might be better to start making them again. You are not going to get an auto plant here and Nissan will pull out owing Mississippi millions. Another meat packing plant. Columbus is jumping through hoops over their steel plant. If the thing ever gets going, I'll be surprised. Every steel plant in the U.S. went belly up and now this one in Columbus is going to make history? No, I don't think so. You folks might do better if you clear that land and grow corn to make fuel out of to power scooters that get 150 miles per gallon. I would like to see something go up that doesn't stink up the air and pollute the ground like an auto plant. Motorcycles, scooters, three-wheelers, and scooter and motorcycle sidecars for the date or wife or groceries. An auto plant ain't gonna make it in Mississippi. Nissan is already looking for ways to slip out of Dodge without having to pay the state anything.

–Ray Roebuck, Pontotoc