With all this talk about repealing constitutional amendments, perhaps it’s time to consider doing away with the U.S. Senate.

It’s certainly far from being the deliberative body envisioned by the Founding Fathers, particularly when the mantra of one side of the aisle is Groucho Marx’s song, “Whatever It Is I’m Against It.” The institution has become nothing more than a schoolyard brawl and a national joke.

Unless it reforms its arcane rules and its members start acting like responsible adults, this nation, already in dire peril, will continue its lemming-like plunge into irrelevance.

Don Federman

Portland

Netanyahu leading Israel astray, followed by U.S.

In your Aug. 4 issue was an Associated Press article reporting a fierce border battle that began when an Israeli soldier tried to remove a tree “to improve sight lines into Lebanon.”

It brought to mind Ariel Sharon, who in 1982 planned the invasion and bombing of Lebanon that killed thousands of civilians and earned him the title of “The Butcher of Beirut.”

In Israel, though, he was acclaimed as “King of Israel” when he was elected prime minister in 2003. It must have been forgotten that his Lebanon invasion had ended in 2000 with a disordered rout of Israeli soldiers who abandoned their equipment as they ran to cross the border.

With Binyamin Netanyahu now elected prime minister, Israel has added to its bloody history by bombing and invading Gaza. The complete destruction of 4,247 Palestinian houses and heavy damage to 6,261 more have been compared by a person who has seen them to The Blitz in Britain.

Netanyahu has also crowed what he’s going to do: Raze more Arab houses and raise more Jewish “unsettlements” to replace them.

No matter what political party or prime minister is elected, Israel clings to goods already taken and grabs for more. Having the United States cling to it as an ally shows that U.S. officials want this country entangled in Israel’s mindless and endless wars.

Marjorie Gallace

Camden

Climate-change bill dies, taking legacy along with it

I am writing in response to the news that the Senate has dismissed meaningful action on comprehensive clean energy and climate change legislation, as covered in the July 24 article, “Lack of climate-change bill disappoints Maine senators.”

At a time when we are suffering from the largest environmental disaster in the history of our country in the Gulf, summer temperatures are soaring and millions of Americans are still unemployed, how can our elected representatives simply take energy reform off the table?

Globally, our biggest competitors have realized the enormous potential of clean energy. China has invested billions in clean energy development, and is setting up a cap-and-trade system. Europe already has one. They realize that a market-based incentive system is necessary for transitioning away from a fossil fuel economy based in the 19th century, and into the next chapter of the industrial revolution.

I’m looking around, and I don’t see jobs coming from anywhere else but the clean energy sector.

While this recent setback may be disappointing to Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, it is much more so to the thousands of Mainers and millions of Americans who are depending on the Senate to lead with some vision for our common future.

I only hope that many of the senators in Washington stop worrying so much about their re-election campaigns this year and in the years to come, and start thinking about the legacies they will leave in the history books. We need more from our leaders in Washington.

Hopefully, Maine’s senators will rise above the election-year stalemate and lead our nation forward.

Matt Winship

Portland

Linda Dolloff’s conviction should be overturned 

It is my understanding that it is the duty of a jury to consider the evidence and determine, beyond a reasonable doubt, if an accused person is guilty.

Linda Dolloff is in Cumberland County Jail awaiting sentencing for assaulting her husband. In this case, it appears that there is a total absence of evidence that would prove beyond any reasonable doubt that she committed the crime of which she is accused.

In fact, evidence from the forensic expert hired by the state indicated that she could not have shot herself, as is alleged by the prosecution.

Also, there were two other people in the house at the time of the assault. Why has no mention been made of them in the proceedings or the reporting of the proceedings?

I have known Linda for 10 years and feel sure that she is not capable of assault. In fact, her personal beliefs embrace non-violence.

Her lawyers are appealing her conviction. I am deeply troubled that the accusation has gone this far. The appeal should be considered, and the process of the jury evaluated in terms of their mandate. I hope that justice will finally be done.

Charlene Barton

Cornish

America too quick to say it’s a nation ‘under God’

Today, we Americans do not enjoy true religious freedom, but rather a qualified religious freedom. How so?

Our government today, in contempt of our godless Constitution and the example of our founders, has chosen to involve itself with “God.”

Children at school are required — “coerced” — to say that we are a nation “under God.” When administering the oath of office for the president, the chief justice requires the president to end with, “so help me God,” whereas the Constitution’s oath ends with “United States.”

Unlike the days of our Founding Fathers, the coins and bills issued today carry the motto, “In God We Trust.” In recent times this has also been declared the national motto, relegating our founders’ secular “E Pluribus Unum” to the back burner.

Unlike other developed democratic countries, we today insist on our government meddling with religion. We are no longer the country of true religious freedom we were under George Washington.

Although many claim government should not become overly involved with our life, these same people demand government involvement in this most private and personal area, our religious beliefs. Go figure!

Lee Kemble

Portland