Humans indeed can learn from nature
Michael Dobie’s column “Understanding the business of survival” [Opinion, July 12] was spot on.
He shows how “change” is very much a part of nature and suggests that “constancy and change are the yin and yang of survival. Find the balance and you thrive.” He learned this lesson from a caterpillar, which self-transforms into a butterfly. Rabbi Abraham Twersky took a similar lesson from a lobster (What’s a rabbi got to do with lobsters?). Its shell gives it solid protection, but as the lobster grows, the shell becomes too restrictive. If human beings feel life is suddenly restrictive, they may visit a shrink (no pun intended) and end up with a prescription to help them adjust to their new reality. The lobster has a better idea. Go under a rock, shed your shell and grow a new one. They do this often during one lifetime (see the one-minute video on YouTube). Indeed, we can learn much from the natural order of life itself.
Rabbi Tuvia Teldon, Commack
Editor’s note: The writer is regional director of Chabad Lubavitch of Long Island.
It should be ‘one person, one vote’
Ron D’Onofrio defended the Electoral College in his letter “The Electoral College does matter” responding to Steve Israel’s op-ed “Electoral College Vestige of Racist Past” [Opinion, July 7). D’Onofrio sees small states as deprived of a voice in government if their residents’ votes didn’t carry more weight than those in heavily populated states. The principle of “one person, one vote” is now seen all over the world. Here, the Earl Warren court invoked the “one person, one vote” principle in the 1960s when it ruled that the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause held that states must draw congressional districts representing roughly equal populations. If small-state residents are, in effect, given “multiple” votes, give multiple votes to oppressed minorities, or perhaps votes should be based on IQ, tax payments, income or education. These methods make more sense than giving extra votes to small states.
D’Onofrio also believes that without an electoral system protecting rural voters, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has unfairly pumped millions of dollars into the state’s cities and suburbs. If so, D’Onofrio should be equally concerned about New York State paying $26.6 billion more in taxes to the federal government than it gets back.
Keith H. Rothman, Commack
The letter describing the reason for, and the need to keep the Electoral College in place is factually correct, but certain realities that have evolved call for amending the process.
While we do not want a few, more populous states determining who our president will be, we also should not want an equally small number of “swing states” to effectively make that decision, either. The vote for president has become so taken for granted in so many states that little effort is made to reach and court the voters who live in them. I find myself casting that ballot with a “doesn’t really matter” frame of mind. A possible way to temper the system would be to add a specified number of electoral votes for the winner of the national popular contest. It might or might not alter the eventual outcome, but, at the very least, it would allow for a practical value to every vote cast, and hopefully have the additional effect of increasing turnout for both major parties in those states with seemingly predetermined outcomes.
Richard Vogel, Glen Cove
So Steve Israel considers the system we currently have to elect presidents racist and antiquated. Despite his take on history, I see it as a lengthy and bogus op-ed for one reason only: the election of Barack Obama to two terms as president using this same so-called racist system.
Mike Fitzpatrick, Massapequa Park
Because Democrats have lost two presidential elections in the last 20 years to the Electoral College while winning the popular vote, Steve Israel wants to take advantage of today’s racial strife and make a case that the Electoral College contains vestiges of racism [“Electoral College vestige of racist past,” Opinion, July 7]? The Electoral College is color-blind. The wisdom of our founders never ceases to amaze me. They found a way to make sure that every state in the union would be represented, all people, regardless of race, in the electing of our president and race never entered into it. Yet, Israel seized upon the current atmosphere to inject race even into the Electoral College. This is even after the Supreme Court voted 9-0 to uphold that a state may require presidential electors [Electoral College] to support the winner of its popular vote. Nice try!
Charles J. Shields III, Freeport
Davies’ cartoons: True depiction of Trump
I hope Newsday keeps publishing Matt Davies’ political cartoons of President Donald Trump, as one reader suggested no longer doing [“Trump’s open schools request is transparent,” Letters, July 12]. Some readers may find it distasteful, or biased, but it is a truthful depiction of Trump.
Kathleen Teleglow, Holbrook