Buono wrong to fight

•ew unemployment rules

Regarding the March 16 story, "State proposes tough rules for jobless benefits":

How sadly predictable to see Democratic gubernatorial candidate Sen. Barbara Buono, of Middlesex County, take exception to proposed new rules to combat benefit fraud in New Jersey's unemployment system.

The new rules, which would take effect this summer, would prohibit the unemployed from collecting benefits for weeks when they don't check in online stating that they have been looking for work. Buono says this every-other-week requirement is unfair because many of the unemployed are poor and lack home computers or transportation to computers at public libraries and other government buildings.

Don't get me wrong - the unemployed should absolutely receive benefits while they seek new positions.

But I can't agree with Buono that we should set aside these fraud-prevention rules because of the inconvenience of having to find a computer.

Getting to a computer twice a month is a piece of cake compared with the greater inconvenience of having to get to a job every day, or at least getting to a job interview.

DAVE HUNSBERGER

Mays Landing

Whelan bag bill

is excellent idea

Regarding the March 24 letter, "The time has come to vote out Whelan":

I was amazed at this letter chastising state Sen. Jim Whelan, D-Atlantic, for his stance on collecting a 5-cent fee on plastic bags. What a brilliant idea.

Bags litter our roads, clog our waterways and break down to invade the food chain. With all the talk these days about "personal responsibility," how fitting that those too lazy to make a minimal effort would help to fill the state coffers.

Thank you, Sen. Whelan, for thinking "outside the bag."

SUZANNE MARX

Mays Landing

Dogma is bigger peril

than same-sex marriage

Regarding the March 24 letter, "Bible-based arguments perfectly valid in U.S.":

The writer takes great liberties with his understanding of historical facts. He laments and waxes poetic about the Founding Fathers and their "Bible-based" laws being the bedrock of American society. Yet he completely omits the glaring fact that the first Americans demanded liberty from England for both undue taxation - and freedom from the royal crown's religion.

The writer says with absolute conviction that the Christian faith is the one true light to a moral American life. Yet never has more blood been spilled than in the name of religious dogma - Christianity included.

This is why the Founding Fathers fought and died - to give all future Americans the right to pursue happiness. Gay marriage will not cause the Earth to roll off its axis into the cold void of space. And if by some chance it is not the will of whatever god may be in existence, then let that soul stand accountable. As I remember, that pretty much is what the Bible says about judging others.

CHARLES DUNBAR

Mays Landing

Why allow knives

on planes again?

I'm not sure who exactly made the decision to allow small knives to be carried on planes again, but I do know this: It makes absolutely no sense.

My question is why? Was there an outcry from passengers demanding to carry their pocket knives? Does the Transportation Security Administration need to test the accuracy of its metal detectors? What possible rational reason could there be?

My wife was a survivor of 9-11, and a day doesn't go by when she is not affected by those events. To allow knives on a plane is not only insensitive to the victims of that day (which we all are) - it is extreme ignorance and stupidity.

AL CASALNOVA

Galloway Township

Reinstate provisions

of Glass-Steagall Act

In the last two months, I have been contacting, and in some cases meeting, with the offices of U.S. members of Congress and N.J. state legislators regarding the absolute necessity of returning this nation to the separation of commercial banking from Wall Street-controlled investment banking.

Many in Congress and even the investment community now admit that the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999 opened the floodgates, allowing the takeover of our economy by the "too big to jail" banks and the speculation-fueled collapse. The office of U.S. Rep. Jon Runyan, R-3rd, who represents the district I live in, is one of the few offices that has never responded to my request.

One only has to look at the ongoing collapse of the European banking system and its potential to cascade into our own to see why we need to return to a system that protected the nation. A recent National Public Radio report said that Wall Street spent at least $350 million to lobby for repeal of Glass-Steagall in 1999.

More than a dozen state legislatures have now written resolutions demanding Congress pass H.R.129 to reinstate the provisions of Glass-Steagall. Contact your New Jersey lawmakers and urge them to pass a resolution calling on Congress to approve H.R.129.

BRUCE TODD

Waretown

Families don't suffer

due to long work hours

Regarding Anne Michaud's March 12 column, "As work demands increase, families suffer":

Michaud blames family suffering on today's supposedly long hours of work. Currently, the average time spent working is 35 hours per week. Fifty years ago, the average was 40 hours a week; 100 years ago, it was closer to 60 hours. Both of these past periods are regarded as times of family closeness.

Second, the writer claims today's children are not receiving a proper amount of interaction and intimacy because working parents have spent their reservoir of each at the office. But most parents are not office workers.

Third, the writer attempts, indirectly, to blame declining heath and the increase in harmful indulgences on workplace stress. Again, the facts do not agree. Overall, worker health has risen steadily since 1900. The writer also fails to define the terms "more intimacy" and "lower quality of life." Upon reviewing the tally of these errors, one may wonder for what purpose the commentary was written.

RAY LEWIS

Corbin City