The debate over electing the US president via a national vote
Regarding the June 15 article, "A backdoor plan to thwart the electoral college": California Assemblyman Chuck DeVore argues that the proposed "Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote" is "like cheating" because it is merely state legislation, rather than an amendment to the US Constitution.
In fact, there is nothing in the Constitution that needs to be changed to implement a nationwide popular election of the president. The Founding Fathers gave the states power to award its electoral votes "as the Legislature thereof may direct." Since 1789, the states have used many methods other than the winner-take-all rule that is currently used by 48 of the 50 states.
Under the current winner-take-all system, two-thirds of the states are ignored because they are not in battleground areas. A nationwide popular vote for president would make every vote important in presidential elections – regardless of the political complexion of the state or congressional district in which the vote is cast.
John R. Koza
Los Altos Hills, Calif.
Regarding the June 15 article about the electoral college: Any plan to unify state electoral college votes and then throw them to the national popular vote winner gives a decidedly unfair advantage to the most populated states – California and New York.
The electoral system was put in place for this very reason. At the time of the Constitutional Convention, the smaller populated states were worried about Virginia dominating American politics.
The "all for one, one for all" plan does not represent the will of the people from each "united" state and is a misguided attempt to bypass the constitutional process.
Humanity is affecting climate change
Regarding the June 16 article, "Into it: John Stossel": When asked about Al Gore's film, "An Inconvenient Truth," John Stossel said he shouldn't comment on the movie without seeing it first, but he then went on to slam the film and Mr. Gore anyway.
Mr. Stossel stated that it is "conceit" to believe that mankind can do anything to cause or slow global warming and notes that the climate has "always" changed.
Had he waited until seeing the film, Stossel would have known that this view ignores the fact that, with a scientific record of over 650,000 years, temperature and carbon dioxide levels are much higher now than ever before, and that there has always been a correlation between CO2 and global temperature.
Santa Cruz, Calif.
Thank you for the June 20 article, "North Carolina's mountaintop homes stir debate," which brought attention to the situation of rampant development in the Laurel Valley area.
Our neighborhood group, Laurel Valley Watch, has been gathering information on the developments and developers since we learned of their plans last November. Our main concerns are a disappearing quality of life, which includes polluted streams, waste treatment plants, loss of family farms, and an exchange of mountain views for denuded forests and "vanity homes." Additionally, we face the probable loss of our spring water (some of the best on the planet) by the addition of more than 1,000 homes.
Member, board of directors, Laurel Valley Watch
Mars Hill, N.C.
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