Letters to the Editor

Jun 20, 2007 at 12:00 am

Take the bridge

What I don't understand about the Ambassador Bridge situation ("Bridges falling down," Metro Times, June 13) is why the federal government doesn't invoke eminent domain and take it over? I am surprised I'm saying that, since I generally hate when government entities use eminent domain to take over private property. But the right to do so was held up by the Supreme Court fairly recently, and I can't think of a more legitimate case for them to actually use it. With all the safety and terrorism issues, I would think they would have a straightforward case. —Cindy J. Briggs, Southfield


Bridge support shaky

I found your article to be quite interesting. Many "facts" were presented without presenting official sources to back up said facts — save for a competitor of the bridge company.

1) You claim that "terrorists" could drive a car over with explosives, or a boat, and take out the Ambassador Bridge, but would the same not hold true for a new government bridge? What about the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel that passes directly underneath one of Detroit's most prominent skyscrapers?

2) You claim that the bridge company allows hazardous materials across the bridge. Curious, did you bother contacting the Canadian Border Services Agency as it would be customs officers of the government's of Canada and the United States that would have final say, despite what Moroun allegedly permits.

3) Somehow the ferry service is not a terrorist target? Carrying cargo of hazardous materials, if the ferry was hijacked it could become a large floating bomb or a toxic dispersal mechanism.

4) You claim that Moroun does not allow inspectors on his bridge. This is false. In particular under the International Tunnels and Bridges Act of Canada, the federal government now has complete oversight of international crossings in Canada.

5) You claim the Ambassador Bridge is wearing out. Is this not justification for Moroun's replacement bridge, for public safety? —Chris Schnurr, Windsor


Who's driving pollution?

Not everyone may share Jack Lessenberry's sentiments about high gas prices ("Grumpy about gas," Metro Times, May 30). Automotive traffic is a major source of air pollution and destroyer of wildlife habitats, but no significant political effort has ever been made to reduce the number of cars on the road. It is true that some working people must drive, but a very large (and growing) number of drivers are merely commuting alone. These people should know about air pollution, global warming and wildlife habitats. These motorists have damaged the health of millions of people, and violated their right to clean air. My sympathies are not with the drivers (or the oil companies). Politicians and oil companies have promoted the auto obsession, but drivers are complicit in the destructive results. —Peter Heilemann, Detroit


Managed scarcity

I think gas prices and low refinery capacity are deliberately being mismanaged. In the last 25 years, no new major refinery has been built in the United States. At the same time, plants like the Total refinery in Alma have been closed after they promised to keep it open at the sale. Sounds like managed scarcity to me.

Any scent of trouble in the Middle East results in instant higher prices for us. Prices north of Flint are usually about 10 cents less a gallon less than in the Detroit area. I doubt it costs less to ship it there from Ohio, so why do we pay more?

If you look at the oil company's bottom line, they're producing less product while making more money and buying their own stock instead of increasing capacity.

It's time to rein these people in. —Frank Cizek, Troy


Don't impeach

I disagree with Jack Lessenberry that the president and vice president should be impeached ("So maybe I was wrong," Metro Times, May 9).

I say that not because they don't deserve some form of punishment for their arrogance and lies, but because impeachment hardly qualifies as any sort of reprisal. All impeachment means is that the House of Representatives holds hearings to determine whether enough evidence exists to bring a president to trial in the Senate. Big deal. Meanwhile, the shmuck and vice shmuck are still free to live their lives in taxpayer-funded luxury, attend state dinners, travel the world, give speeches and collect outrageous paychecks in exchange for no real work as if everything were hunky-dory.

If I were to walk into a store and be caught stealing a candy bar, the police would be called and I would likely be handcuffed and carted off to jail. Not so our high-ranking political leaders. Even though crimes committed by these worthless subhuman scum are more severe than candy theft, we would never dream of slapping handcuffs on them and treating them like the common criminals that most of them are. Instead, we have a special system designed especially for them that virtually guarantees that they will never be held truly accountable for their behavior.

If you want to get away with murder, or treason, or lying under oath, what you need to do is simple: Become president.

God forbid it would be as simple as firing a president. I've been fired for a lot less. Why are presidents special?

Rather than the meaningless process of impeachment, what I would endorse is simply hauling people like George Bush out, placing him in the stocks, and inviting taxpayers to pelt him with rotten tomatoes for a week. Then send him to bed without his pension. —Howard Gofstein, Warren


Erratum: Last week's article on Dan Featherston, "Living within questions" (Metro Times, June 13), incorrectly identified the origin of the poem of his we reprinted. It is a proper poem, not an excerpt from another poem.

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