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Safety at Gunpoint

As a framer, I remember walking top plates on three-story buildings in shorts and tennis shoes. Fast forward to the present, and I doubt very much that I would be a framer. The freedom we once enjoyed has given way to politically correct safety documentation.

Let's face it: OSHA is another tax generator. If it were about safety, OSHA would help develop or fund development of equipment for working safely. To simply show up and fine companies — instead of instructing — is a sure way to eliminate more small businesses.

What happens when we're all gone? Why is everything made somewhere else? No safety, less cost.

I'm all for safety, just not at gunpoint.

Chance Girdley

Glen Allen, Va.

Tough Jeans

I read your review of Kevlar jeans (Toolbox, 12/07) with great enthusiasm. Finally, a pair of pants that might last through the month without a tear.

Unfortunately, after contacting Duluth I was told the jeans had been discontinued. I was hoping you might be able to determine if there's another source; my crew, our knees, and our pocketbooks would be grateful. Thank you.

Eric Mannon

Mannon Construction

Oakland, Calif.

The jeans are still available; search for MN denim work jeans, item 64130, at — The Editors

Air Movement and R-Value

I was reading the October 2007 issue and felt compelled to write.

It was great to see Bill Rose's article on attic ventilation, as well as the Q&As from the panel of building scientists. However, the products section made me lose some faith in JLC. Fiberglass insulation was featured twice, and in both cases you mislead readers by mentioning only R-value. But fiberglass is also an air filter: To be effective, it needs to be in an airtight cavity — a gigantic task to achieve on site when you add plumbing and wiring, among other things.

Also, fiberglass should never be used in an attic where it's exposed to outside air; it can lose up to 40 percent of its R-value from convection and other factors.

Geoff Wilcox

Weatherization Vermont

West Berlin, Vt.

Hiring Illegals: Immoral?

In what can only be called a statistical anomaly, a politician actually speaks the truth (In the News, 12/07). Kudos to Prince William County, Va., supervisor Corey A. Stewart. He correctly lays blame for the economic meltdown fomented by illegal immigrants and their advocates where it belongs — on the doorstep of un-American profiteers in the construction business.

As I see it, the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association and other special-interest cabals work shamelessly to supplant the virtues of thrift, industry, and patriotism — for generations the guiding ethos of American craftsmen — with the vices of avarice, indifference, and expediency.

Justifications and excuses abound but cannot hide the truth. To engage in the promotion of illegal immigration — directly or indirectly — is to engage in immoral, criminal activity. It's no different from cheating a customer or stealing from a supplier.

Mike Shannahan

La Porte, Texas