Homeland security? Ordinary working people may have a somewhat different perspective on their daily sense of security.
For instance, it may come from having a secure job with decent pay and decent health benefits. It may come from knowing your pension is safe from cheating CEOs, accounting firms, investment bankers, and financial advisers.
It may come from knowing your elected government officials will protect you by overseeing these activities, not by appointing their own lawyers and corporate friends to enforce even the weak laws we have had. It may depend on knowing that Social Security is safe from privatization and safe from being raided to pay for the Republicans' whopping federal deficit.
And your sense of security may even come from not having to think about your neighbor, mailman, or friendly UPS man whose job may be to spy on you - something we thought only happened in fascist countries!
In a July 19 article, Fire Chief Michael Bell said we used to do home inspections years ago but do not do them anymore because of the union contract. I would like to inform the public that in our contract there is inspection on Thursdays for high-hazard pre-fire plans. At the last negotiations the fire administration asked to do home inspections again. The local responded that we were in favor and to add it to the Thursday inspection day. The administration's response was “no,” so the blame rests on its shoulders, not the union's, for not doing the home inspections.
Your July 19 editorial hit the nail right on the head. It was fortunate and rare that we had no deaths in 2001. We have the same laws and things to educate the public on fire safety in 2002.
Toledo Firefighters Local 92
A recent Forum letter suggested a knockout-gas system with a camera for airplanes. That is a great idea, but, as my brother pointed out, what if the door between the cockpit and the cabin leaks? The plane crashes anyway!
I suggest multiple security measures. Why not install the knockout-gas system, give flight attendants knives for protection, and arm the pilots with pistols?
A long-overdue question I have is: Just how can someone hijack a plane with fingernail clippers?
Sherri Tracinski offers a noble argument from history for building a new World Trade Center larger than the one that was destroyed. Architect as she is, no doubt she would savor the challenge of designing a new building absolutely impervious to terrorist attack or mechanical dysfunction.
If such a WTC were built, who would work there? Beyond the fear factor, high-tech communications make it no longer necessary for companies to be stacked on top of one another in Lower Manhattan to do business effectively. To build a more modest WTC would not be capitulation to terrorists or a retreat of national will. It would be a show of common sense.
The best reason I can think of for replacing the World Trade Center: If we don't replace it, they've won, we've lost.
RICHARD W. O'BRYAN
Bowser Drive36.18152 -93.71501