When writing a Constitution, use brevity

I agree with the views presented in the Sept. 24 article "Peru's never-ending quest for the perfect Constitution." Nevertheless, it seems to me that the comparison with the US is not valid in this case.

First, unlike the US, several Latin American countries have actually experimented with significant political changes that have affected the very basis of their socioeconomic and juridic organization. This would be the case, for instance, of the return to civilian rule in Peru, after the 12 years of de facto military government.

Second, although the term is the same, the US and the Latin American Constitutions are quite different. Those who draft constitutions in Latin America enter into so much detail that quite often the sociopolitical changes that happen in our countries make certain sections of the Constitution obsolete, or irrelevant.

We should learn from the US and have a briefer text with the basic principles that rule our sociopolitical regimes, and leave the necessary modifications to more specific laws or amendments.
Teobaldo Pinzas
Lima, Peru

Disenchanted American workers

Thank you for your Sept. 19 article "Unions look to 'Enron effect' for growth." As a misled and laid-off Arthur Andersen professional, I can relate to the story and the rapidly waning empathy from employees.

It is astounding to see the lack of concern and lack of involvement from elected officials and departments of the government with securing and enforcing rights of American professional workers.

It is now painfully clear to me that, for the American white-collar worker, it is everyone for himself or herself. Years of loyalty, service, and personal sacrifices simply become bad choices when employees are left without an advocate for their rights.
Rob Callis

Bush's doctrine is law of the jungle

Regarding the Sept. 23 article "A Bush version of Pax Americana": The Bush doctrine of preemptive attack against rogue nations and terrorist organizations has opened the door to moral chaos and slaughter on a global scale.

The US itself has threatened those nations on the "axis of evil." If President Bush's preemptive self-defense is now the law of nations, then Iraq is morally justified in a first strike against the US. Along the nuclear front, enemies Pakistan and India are now free to obliterate each other, and Israel can launch at will against any Arab foe. Under the Bush doctrine, there's more law in the jungle than among nations.
Mike Murray
Ashland, Mo.

Tough question about Israel

Your Sept. 25 editorial "Can Israel Also Defy the UN?" needs to be congratulated for asking tough questions from our closest ally in the Middle East. Do we allow our friends to transgress UN resolutions, while we attack and threaten to bomb their Arab neighbors?
Moin Ansari
Parsippany, N.J.

Healthcare issues matter

Thank you for the Sept. 24 article "Oregon's bold healthcare proposal." Hard-working activists get very little coverage, even with our health crises often on the front pages.

As correctly stated in the article, this is a vital movement that includes many states – actually some 15 right now – and is quite separate from the work being done by other activists to fight cutbacks and encourage expansion to needed programs in healthcare.

It is a struggle to recognize healthcare as a right, a concept which the majority of Americans already support.
Dennis Lazof
Durham, N.C.

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