Readers Write 12/02

YOUTH

Future in good hands with 4-H boys and girls

In these troubled times, it’s hard to be optimistic about the future. Anyone with such concerns needed only to meet some of the impressive youth attending the National 4-H Congress held recently in Atlanta. Atlanta hosted over 800 teenagers at this annual event.

4-H clubs challenge boys and girls to “learn by doing” through completion of a wide range of challenging projects that develop intellectual abilities, social consciousness, work and life skills, and physical well-being. At a Congress luncheon, it was my distinct privilege to meet the remarkable 4-H Congress delegates from Pennsylvania (the state which sponsored my participation in a National 4-H Congress 51 years ago). With these young men and women as leaders, our future is in excellent hands.

Chet McQuaide, Berkeley Lake

POLITICS

Government must have means to fund programs

Regarding “Meet the new GOP, same as the old GOP” (“Readers write,” Opinion, Nov. 29): All the Republican Party is saying is to cut back on something else in order to fund the extension of benefits. In other words: have a means to pay for this. Also, an increase in any of our taxes in this economy is foolhardy. Did you forget it is our hard-earned money to begin with (and not the government’s)? George Escarra, Atlanta

CARTOON

WikiLeaks commentary a new low for Luckovich

Mike Luckovich never ceases to amaze me with his poor taste (Opinion, Nov. 30). How can he possibly find any humor in the treasonous acts of leaking classified documents?

His cartoon depicting the WikiLeaks founder with Santa Claus is a new low — even for Luckovich.

Ellen Simmons, Dunwoody

AIRPORT SECURITY

Stay calm; we need to make sure it’s safe to fly

What is all this hysteria about airport security? Upon leaving Detroit’s airport recently, I was subjected to a pat-down. It was no big deal — and I’m in my 80s.

My husband was an airline pilot for 30 years, and one of my daughters has been a flight attendant for more years than that. Our family has always appreciated whatever means have made their flights safe.

Yes, there are legitimate complaints about the security system that need to be immediately addressed. In the meantime, can we just calm down?

Penny Sweezey, FAYETTEVILLE

GOVERNMENT

Ways to lower deficit without freezing pay

President Barack Obama has proposed freezing federal pay raises. Forget the low-hanging fruit and go for the apples at the top of the tree.

Start by reducing mail delivery to three days a week. Eliminate the Department of Energy, which certainly hasn’t fulfilled its original mission. Raise the retirement age for Social Security to something more in line with modern life expectancy. Shut down the money-guzzling Amtrak.

Reduce congressional compensation and perks, and make those guys live like the rest of the country.

Richard Dowis, Waleska