Letters: Airport kiosks don't serve any real purpose
With the announcement of the recent hack on the DHS regarding facial recognition software, I strongly oppose the use of the automated immigration kiosks that can be found in many airports, including PDX.
While I can understand the desire to take a photograph and fingerprint from foreign nationals looking to enter the United States, these kiosks also are used to process U.S. citizens and nationals. If you are a citizen, the kiosks will scan your passport, take a photograph of your face, and then print out a paper with the photograph for you to take to the immigration officer.
These kiosks serve no point. My passport already has my photograph on it, and my face already is readily visible. Taking an extra photograph serves no function whatsoever, other than to track our comings and goings and to build a facial recognition database.
These kiosks also proclaim from the start screen that they are optional — however, in function they are not. Multiple immigration officers have abused their power to force me to use a kiosk. They have directly lied to me about it being necessary, and when presented with the screen claiming otherwise, have still forced me to use it, or would not let me into the country.
While I have written to Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, Sen. Jeff Merkley and Sen. Ron Wyden a few years ago on this matter, with the recent hack it becomes clear that my fears were well-founded. This surveillance and tracking of U.S. citizens does not serve to make us safer, it only makes us more vulnerable.
I implore my elected officials to strongly oppose this security theater and end this abuse of our constitutional rights.
Jacobsen deals well with obstacles
I enjoyed Kerry Eggers' recent profile of golfing great Peter Jacobsen. What Eggers didn't mention, and many Oregonians may not know or recall, is the role that Jacobsen played in one of the more strange, awkward and humorous moments in the history of the British Open.
It happened during the final round at Royal St. George in 1985. As Jacobsen and playing partner Tom Kite approached the 18th green for their third shots, a naked man suddenly darted from the gallery and started circling the green.
Jacobsen and Kite looked at each other in bewilderment. The streaker was on his third lap as Jacobsen pondered his next move. The streaker passed Kite and started running toward him. Jacobsen got in what he described as his "best Lawrence Taylor stance," then tackled the streaker (asked about it afterward, Peter cracked, "the guy was in my line"). English "bobbies" quickly descended upon the green to apprehend the free spirit.
After completing the tackle, Jacobsen, in his own words, got up and began to do his own version of a "sack dance," proclaiming himself as the "PGA's sack leader." Jacobsen said he owed Sandy Lyle an apology, as Lyle went on to win the Open that year.
Why? While most major winners are captured in the next day's headlines with pictures of them hoisting the winner's trophy, most of the next-day newspaper coverage and photos focused on Jacobsen and the streaker.
Robert "Bobby" Fronk
Kotek's housing bill another failed strategy
Two excellent readers' letters (Bob Bernstein June 25, David Krough June 27) express reasoned and cogent truths about the myths associated with density legislation threatening the livability of Portland (and Oregon's) neighborhoods.
Both House Speaker Tina Kotek's misguided House Bill 2001 and Portland's clearly wrongheaded and arguably corrupt residential infill project will not make rents more affordable, but will devastate current neighborhoods.
As Bernstein accurately points out, we are part of global investment strategies. Investors will not significantly invest in apartments where rent controls are in effect and developers are disinclined to build below market apartment projects, i.e., "the slums of tomorrow."
As Krough points out, corruption in the Legislature via campaign contributions and side deals are trumping pure economics and the clear examples of this strategy's failure in other cities.
Is this governing by reasoned representation of the people's interests? Clearly not, and we should all protest these giveaway con jobs.
It's time 'Us' listened to 'We' the people
Each month, Oregon's secretary of state publishes a report on voter registration. Much to the dismay of Democratic politicians in Salem and the national media, Oregon is not as blue as they think.
Oregon does not have two groups of voters; "Us" the progressive liberal socialists and "Them" the far right conservatives; but are listed in 10 different groups. The June report shows "Us" with 34.95% and "Them" with 25.30%. Leaving "We" the People with a 39.75% majority.
The We majority do not ride public transportation like CCRider or TriMet. The We majority do not want to live in high-density housing communities. The We majority do not like the Us groups dictating their urban agendas into our rural communities.
The We majority want good-paying jobs in our communities so We won't have to drive into their communities to work.
Hard-working state senators like Betsy Johnson, D-Scappoose;, Bill Hansell, R-Athena; and Dennis Linthicum, R-Klamath Falls, understand their constituents have different political values but are trying their best to fulfill their obligations to serve their communities. Sure, We may not all agree to the outcomes, but that is how a democracy works.
Oregon has 36 counties with vastly different needs than just the three counties, Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas, which have the highest population density. The Us majority in Salem and the Portland area need to take a step back and listen rather than dictate "their" agenda.
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