Letters from the Issue of July 27, 2002

Out from under a rock: Lots of hearts go out to the homeless

Paul E. Czekanski

Cutler Ridge

Basta Ya!

Meanwhile far, far away in a land called Miami: As you wrote about in "Anatomy of Suppression," somebody shot out Maxoly Art Cuba gallery's windows. What did it mean? It means when you enter a southern city called Miami you have reached the outer limits of the twilight zone. Anything is possible. Don't try to adjust your thinking, it has already been done for you.

Clyde Cates

South Miami

There's No Place Like MIA

Theft isn't the only reason flying is utterly unpleasant: I read Kathy Glasgow's article "Ramp Rats' Revenge" with much dismay, but little surprise (May 30). I've always resisted checking bags. But in light of recent security increases, it has become more difficult to carry on luggage. This leaves me often deciding not to travel at all, since I'm not willing to take so little I can't enjoy myself, or miss my flight while a bag is unpacked, or exhaust myself running to gates with bag in tow, or, if checked, have it all missing upon my arrival.

The plight of baggage handlers, while grievous, gives them no right to steal from passengers. I work hard and pinch pennies to get by. For international flights, the airline will only pay me seven cents per pound for lost items or bags. The airlines have no incentive whatsoever to demand reductions in baggage damage and theft.

For years I have resisted Miami International Airport for several reasons. The personnel are rude and, even when speaking English, difficult to understand. The lines are always ridiculously long, and the crowds make it difficult to move.

But don't bother to install hidden cameras in cargo holds and increase supervisory personnel at airports. Give all employees an annual lie detector test. Reward the honest ones with a big raise, and fire all the crooks. This would efficiently and economically close the security loopholes and stop crime. But then the attorneys would come pouring in with civil rights violation suits. In order to protect rights, I guess we will have to learn to love criminals and enjoy being victimized!

Sara Sommers

British Virgin Islands

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