Letters from our readers: Airport hassles don’t seem to make us safer 

As an infrequent flier, I have patiently removed my shoes when required. But I have never felt that the mild inconvenience actually enhanced my safety on a flight to Venice or anywhere else.
My skepticism was fortified by last week’s news. I still plan to fly, banking on the law of averages to see me through, along with an occasional stroke of good luck, like a would-be martyr’s pants catching on fire instead of his bomb.
Our present inept airport controls seem like an unfunny Marx Brothers farce. Airport controls should be overhauled to include detecting the improvisations of fanatics.

Al Ujcic
San Francisco

It’s time to overreact

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano initially told both ABC and CNN that “the system worked” in the attempted Christmas Day airline bombing. This makes her the poster child for bureaucratic defensiveness and incompetence.
President Barack Obama’s own first response also was underwhelming and inadequate. Obama delayed for 72 hours before finally reading a brief statement at a news conference while taking no questions and in between tennis and golf games on his continuing Hawaiian vacation.
With evidence that the bomber was assisted in both planning and detonating his bomb by two Yemeni terrorists released from Guantanamo in 2007, does the Obama administration still plan on sending the 93 Yemenis imprisoned at Gitmo back to Yemen for “rehabilitation”?
Sen. Dianne Feinstein got it right in observing, “I’d rather, in the interest of protecting people, overreact than underreact.”

Jim Hartman
Berkeley

Root cause of terrorism

It turns out the al-Qaida underwear bomber of Fight 253 to Detroit was the son of a wealthy banker. But it seems like we had all been taught that the root cause of terrorism is poverty. Isn’t that why President Barack Obama gave $900 million to Palestinians in Gaza?
Could it be that the root cause of terrorism is not evil economics but evil ideology?

Scott Abramson
San Mateo

Island is good investment

Two weeks after announcing that the Navy would sell Treasure Island — built in the early 1930s — to San Francisco, the agreement had not been signed, according to The Examiner’s Tuesday story.
Back when global warming was supposed to be raising the ocean levels, San Francisco hoped to obtain the land for free. But today, the Navy wants $105 million for a flat island barely above the Bay water at high tide. Now some meteorologists claim that the global climate is actually cooling and the sea levels are falling, not rising.
According to these scientists, the Atlantic Ocean has fallen at least 19 inches in the past 1,000 years and in the Indian Ocean some 60 centimeters since 1150. So unless San Francisco experiences a 17-foot wave from a tsunami in the Pacific Ocean, Treasure Island might still be a good investment for San Francisco.

Frank Norton
San Francisco

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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