SUVs, polls and e-mail deter progress

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 5, 2002

Certain sports utility vehicles are top-heavy, false e-mail hackers are invading peoples' privacy and Ziggy is just plain "fed-up" with poll takers.

In a recent cartoon, the Zigman is pictured entering Washington D.C., where he's faced with a billboard proclaiming that speed in the capital city is checked by exit polls.

The abbreviated comic's reaction (disgust) epitomizes America's feelings about the national scene rife with polls of every imaginable description.

Email newsletter signup

Set to the tune of Old McDonald Had a Farm, a song could be composed stating that "there's a poll-poll here, a poll-poll there and a poll-poll everywhere."

We presume you get the picture on the poll situation, so we'll turn to matters of equal importance, including sport utility rollovers and the e-mail invasion.

The Associated Press reports that statistics reveal Chevy Blazers and Chrysler Grand Cherokees and similar r.v.'s have the highest roll-over-related occupant fatality rate on record "double the average for all vehicle types."

The larger sport vehicles with wheel bases of more than 110 inches are excluded from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's

(NHTSA) survey as having a propensity for rolling over.

Ford Expeditions and General Motors Suburban fall into this category.

The NHTSA proposes that strongly worded, brightly colored labels be posted on the dangerous vehicles, depicting a vehicle tipping sideways with words "Warning: High Risk Rollover."

Meanwhile, as we await action on that situation we must face the scare-mongering that is rampant in our nation, thanks to the e-mail hacking that's going on.

An example of false e-mail dangers has come indicating that when an anxiety-provoking, factually incorrect Internet message has scared the daylights out of hundreds of thousands of veterans.

In substance, the message warned all ex-GIs they faced possible termination of benefits forever if they didn't register with a local VA medical center prior to Oct. 1.

A spokesman for the VA said unregistered veterans would not be prevented from receiving federal compensation. The e-mail sender said he regretted issuing the false warning.

At the rate we're going now we predict there'll be a slew of copy-cat misleading messages internetted all over the place.

Perhaps a return to cuneiform as a means of communication may be in order.

Cuneiform, by the way, consists of wedge-shaped alphabet characters used in Persian writing during the Dark Ages.

A substitution of that art for Internet procedure could conceivably slow the world down long enough for some of us old curudgeons to untense and get off.