Letters to the Editor – Weekly Issue of August 16 & 23

Readers write in about foreign aid, the electoral college, and freedom in America

Let there be light

The article "From torches to light bulbs: A village decides what kind of aid it wants" (Aug. 2) reminded me of how we recently used the solar lights from along our sidewalk during a recent power outage. We hung two on a chandelier inside the house; they lasted all night.

I've been in the African Sahel where I've seen a single light bulb in a room provide about the same light output as our two solar-powered lights. New micro-hydro turbine power described in the Monitor article can provide sufficient power to help improve health and welfare in remote areas where flowing water is available. However, inexpensive flexible solar panels will soon be manufactured on printing presses, like newspapers are. This technology will make a major contribution to improve the health and welfare in many equatorial and mid-latitude countries.

Thanks to the Monitor for publishing articles like this that tell of practical ways to help people.

Recommended: Henry James: 10 quotes on his birthday

G. Stanley Doore

Silver Spring, Md.

Careful what you change

Regarding the opinion essay "Ready to work for political change you can count on?" (Aug. 2), Professor De Luca might want to review both the historical basis for the Electoral College and the differences between a democracy and a republic. The Electoral College gives some assurance to smaller states that they will not be ignored by presidential contenders.

The word "democracy" does not appear in the Constitution for the simple reason that this country was founded as a republic. This country was founded on an antimajority concept wherein the rights of minorities cannot be abridged without due process. The day "democracy" becomes the constitutional standard for future legislation and Supreme Court rulings will be the final nail in the coffin of this republic.

S.M. Doubrava

Las Vegas

Threat to freedom

Regarding Walter Rodgers's column "The right wing's perversion of patriotism" (July 26): We Americans often take our freedom for granted. The heightened tension we feel today is not simply because we have a political disagreement, but because people have awakened to the fact that their freedom is threatened.

President Obama's accelerated pace of robbing our freedom has helped to awaken those who have been asleep. Mr. Rodgers's column did not mention freedom, but it is at the base of any disagreement between liberals and conservatives. Freedom is the issue. Liberals never seem to relate the fact that government control is the opposite of freedom. The more control, the less freedom. The argument is not "Are you patriotic?" but "Where do you stand on the issue of freedom?"

Bob Piersall

Tulsa, Okla.

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