Letters to the Editor

Readers write about affirmative voting, bombings in Israel, judicial elections, and drilling in polar bear habitat.

Candidates should anticipate future gender dynamics

In response to your Feb. 5 editorial, "The 'women's vote' and Clinton": Just as candidates began attending to the needs, wants, and aspirations of girls and women in the 1960s, so, too, do candidates today need to attend to the needs, wants, and aspirations of boys and men – not only if they wish to win the presidency, but far more important, if they wish to improve the quality of life for all citizens in 2009 and beyond.

Gordon E. Finley
Miami

Abbas must rein in Al-Aqsa

Regarding the Feb. 5 article, "Israel revisits Gaza threat after suicide bombing": The irony is that three different groups have claimed that they participated in the murder of one Israeli woman and the wounding of many other Israelis in this suicide bombing, indicating that support for such actions is almost universal within the Palestinian territories. While the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) is a fringe group, that cannot be said of Hamas, which controls Gaza, nor of the Al-Aqsa Brigades, an integral part of Fatah and the ruling party in the West Bank.

Added to this is the covert approval of the Egyptian government, which allowed the destruction of the barriers between Gaza and Egypt, free passage for terrorists, and the importing of rockets and mortars into Gaza.

Words of condemnation from Mahmoud Abbas are not sufficient. If he cannot control his own Al-Aqsa Brigade, then any chance for peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority is illusory.

Nelson Marans
Silver Spring, Md.

Keep judicial elections democratic

Regarding Cody Corliss's Jan. 30 Opinion piece, "Electing judges – with cash," in which the author proposes replacing voting by citizens with "merit selection" in determining who should sit on state courts: Instead of promoting nonpartisanship, a "merit selection" system just gives trial lawyers and other legal elites the upper hand in deciding who joins the bench.

In Missouri, three members of the state's seven-member Appellate Judicial Commission are practicing trial lawyers and the fourth is a member of the Missouri Association of Trial Lawyers. In Tennessee, 14 of 17 members of the Judicial Selection Commission are lawyers, half of whom are trial lawyers. In Kansas, 5 out of 9 commission members are hand picked by the State Bar.

Groups pushing "merit selection" such as Justice at Stake, which the author cites, masquerade as nonpartisan, good-government promoters to hide their real agenda. Justice at Stake itself is bankrolled by one of the richest, most powerful special-interest groups in the land: billionaire George Soros's Open Society Institute, funder of über liberal causes such as MoveOn.org.

Elbowing voters aside by putting the trial bar in charge of judicial selection won't give us an impartial judiciary. But maybe that's the whole point.

Dan Pero
President, American Justice Partnership
Lansing, Mich.

Support the lawsuit opposing drilling

Regarding the Jan. 5 article, "Offshore drilling leases prompt lawsuit": I would like to go on record as supporting the lawsuit that is trying to protect the polar bear habitat. For once, could we start choosing life and environment over oil?

There are alternatives to oil, but none to polar bear habitat. I am tired of not being able to fight the greed that is ruining this earth. Please stand up against the big oil conglomerates.

Mary Soderberg
Woodinville, Wash.

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number. Any letter accepted may appear in print or on our website, www.csmonitor.com. Mail letters to Readers Write and Opinion pieces to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115. E-mail letters to Letters and Opinion pieces to OpEd.

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