x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Obama and the new America

Barack Obama took advantage of changing demographics, a reader says, while Mitt Romney stuck with white support. Other letter-to-the-editor topics today: traffic laws, code-sharing, irrigation, dangerous drugs, and a rape case.

Americans of all colours and ethnic groups celebrated Barack Obama's re-election, a reader says. Allison Joyce / AFP
Americans of all colours and ethnic groups celebrated Barack Obama's re-election, a reader says. Allison Joyce / AFP

Those who blame other drivers may not be perfect

As a frequent reader of the letters to the editor of The National, I see that many people write in calling for stricter law enforcement of the UAE's traffic laws.

After living here for five years, I believe the police are doing a great job. I also suspect that even those who write these letters are not always good drivers.

At some point people need to take greater personal responsibility for their actions. While strict enforcement is important, talking about it is also a convenient way to focus attention on "the other" and away from "oneself".

S Beckingsale, Abu Dhabi

'Code-sharing' can confuse travellers


I am becoming concerned about the growing practice of "code-sharing" among airlines as this is not always clear enough to the travelling public.

Recently I went to the Etihad website to find flights to and from New Delhi. I booked them easily enough, and only later discovered in the "fine print" that the outbound segment was operated not by our esteemed official carrier but by a discount Indian airline.

The flight offered mediocre food, no entertainment system, uncomfortably narrow seats and a narrow aisle. In these and other ways, service was quite disappointing. So it was a relief to find that my return was a real Etihad flight, with real Etihad equipment, staff and service.

I understand that code-sharing helps the airlines, and maybe passengers too. But we should be told clearly and prominently which company will be operating each segment of a trip.

Robert Lefrançois, Abu Dhabi

All should accept changes in US

I refer to Inheriting a divided nation, a November 9 letter to the editor from Eric Reyes.

I understand his disappointment at the election result. But Barack Obama does not preach a message of class warfare.

I would say that Mitt Romney's statement, that 47 per cent of Americans would not support him because of their station in life, supports class warfare more than anything President Obama has ever said. The rich and white supported Mr. Romney and lost.

America has changed. The crowd present at the president's victory speech represented America: blacks, whites, Hispanics and Asians and including young people and women from each of these groups.

The fear, racism and hatred that exist in the white community towards this president saddens me. For years, black and Hispanic Americans had no choice but white candidates, and we accepted that without racial hatred.

Stephen Blake, USA

The Republican party in the US is not the racist monster some people seem to think.

Perhaps the Democrats have indeed better understood America's changing demographics, as suggested in GOP plots the way forward after Obama victory (November 10). But in this campaign the Democrats were silent, as usual, about the time bomb of deficit and debt. Why? Because they are buying votes with lavish spending.

Mitt Romney showed principle by choosing Paul Ryan to run with him, thus focusing on debt, a real and urgent issue. But voters don't want to hear bad news.

Edward McKinley, Dubai

Startling claims by defence lawyer

The story Abu Dhabi man accused of rape 'innocent because he was wearing jeans' (November 7) contains some amazing claims.

"How could he undo his jeans and take them off without using both his hands," the defendant's lawyer asked. He also said his client can't be guilty since "our streets are as safe at night as during day".

I hope the woman in the case gets justice.

Name withheld by request

Irrigation the key to saving water

I was interested to read Date trees prospering from irrigation (November 10) because I am growing increasingly concerned about water supply in the UAE.

Intelligent irrigation methods demand a lot of investment, but in the long term, or even over just a few years, higher yields should repay the farmer, while lower water use will benefit the whole society.

I hope this kind of irrigation becomes increasingly common.

MD Sharma, Dubai

Amphetamines must be stopped

The scourge of amphetamines is stalking across the GCC (November 10) made a dramatic point.

If these dangerous drugs are growing more common, as the UN warns, then police have to increase their efforts.

Also, schools should deliver the message that these drugs destroy lives.

Yusuf Baker, Abu Dhabi