55 mph: Vestige of the Gas CrisisIn response to your Dec...


January 15, 1995

55 mph: Vestige of the Gas Crisis

In response to your Dec. 27 editorial concerning the proposed raising of the speed limit on interstate highways to 65 mph, there are some facts which you failed to notice and consider in your opposition.

The speed limit . . . does not have to be raised to 65 mph. It only needs to be made legal since the traveling public exceeds the current 55 mph anyway. . . .

Keeping the limit at that level only serves to make our otherwise law-abiding traveling public chronic lawbreakers, subject to harassment and fines. . . . Consider that the . . . 65 mph speed limit is still 5 mph lower then the once legal 70 mph speed limit on those same highways prior to the contrived gas shortage of the '70s. And . . . this was before the mandatory use of seat belts and the development of air bags.

. . . The 55 mph speed limit was not originally intended as a safety measure. It was intended to conserve gasoline, which, since the price has risen, has miraculously become plentiful again.

You are incorrect in your statement that making 65 mph legal will cost millions. On the contrary, it will generate millions. This will be the result whereby . . . wasted and unproductive traveling time will be available to additional productive work and commerce. . . .

Irwin Kramer

Havre de Grace

All Lies

First, the definition of a lie. Most moral and ethical systems define a lie as a divergence between what a person holds in his mind and what he proclaims in his speech. A great source of lies in our culture is the "lawyers disease."

This infirmity appears in two main forms:

First, a philosophical adherence to the proposition that the only truth is the decision of a court. This leaves a lot to be alluded to, suggested, hinted at, even declared, which the sufferer sees as neither true nor untrue, but which the hearer believes at his peril. All lies.

Second, which is derived from the principle of advocacy: It is the lawyer's job to present the best case for his client, no matter what he himself believes. . . . This principle has been spread abroad to be applied wherever a good excuse is needed. See the corporate CEO, putting profit ahead of the health and lives of his employees, his neighbors, the good of his country, even his customers, with the plea that he is just doing his job. (Where have we heard that before?)

See the member of a representative assembly endorsing a policy he privately believes to be disastrous in the name of party solidarity. . . . Consider the art of public relations. Consider advertising. Consider the press briefing. All lies.

The result is that a wise man never believes a word anyone says in the public forum. And he better be careful even in private. What happens to the information superhighway when nobody believes anything that comes across? . . .

John V. Lanahan


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