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Letters to the Editor - Nov. 26

November 26, 2012

Democracy is a theory yet to be disproved


To the editor:

Watching the election returns on television reminded me why I migrated to this country a few years ago. I am proud to be an American. We are a country that is so big, so great, so diverse and so civil that it can conduct an election of this magnitude with no loss of life, no political intimidation, no violent demonstrations and no property damage. It is the best democracy in the world.

It also reminded me of E.B. White’s sentiments on the meaning of democracy when he responded to a request from the war board in July of 1943 (during World War II). White was working for the New Yorker at the time. White wrote: “We received a letter from the Writers’ War Board the other day asking for a statement on ‘The Meaning of Democracy.’ It is presumably our duty to comply with such a request, and it is certainly our pleasure. Surely the Board knows what democracy is. It is the line that forms on the right. It is the don’t in don’t shove. It is the hole in the stuffed shirt through which the sawdust slowly trickles, the dent in the high hat.

“Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half the time. It is the feeling of privacy in the voting booths, the feeling of communion in the libraries, the feeling of vitality everywhere. Democracy is the letter to the editor. Democracy is the score at the beginning of the ninth. It is an idea which hasn’t been disproved yet, a song the words of which have not gone bad. It’s the mustard on the hot dog and the cream in the rationed coffee. Democracy is a request from a War Board, in the middle of the morning in the middle of a war, wanting to know what democracy is.” 

If you followed the election closely, you can relate to this writing. Our democratic system of government is not perfect, but it’s better than the alternative. With all our ideological differences, winners and losers go back to living their normal lives. May the almighty Lord continue to bless America and its leaders.

Alicious S. Phillips
Martinsburg, W.Va.



Picking the winner just took an educated guess


To the editor:

Many Republicans are bewildered by the results of the 2012 presidential election. Perhaps the information in this letter will help those bewildered Republicans understand why President Obama was re-elected and returned to the White House and Mitt Romney lost the election and disappeared from the public view.

An online analysis of the Statistical Abstract of the United States disclosed a very substantial difference in educational attainment between the residents of the 26 states and the District of Columbia that will give Electoral College votes to Obama and the 24 states that will give Electoral College votes to Romney. Specifically, approximately 31 percent of people 25 years old and older in the states that Obama won had earned at least a bachelor’s degree, whereas only about 24 percent of people 25 years old and older in the states that Romney won had earned at least a bachelor’s degree.

Another way to state these results is that, on average, the voters who voted for Obama were better educated than the voters who voted for Romney, and this conclusion is exactly what common sense dictated.

Daniel Moeller
Rohrersville



Poland’s significance to the war effort


To the editor:

For much of my life, I was taught to believe that I had succeeded in spite of being Polish, not because I was Polish. My continuing research confirms the latter.

During World War II, the first major offensive against Hitler by the British was at El Alamein in North Africa. Gen. Erwin Rommel was advancing towards the Suez Canal and the oil fields of the Middle East. In this battle was a battalion of Polish soldiers fighting with the British. For the first time, a mine detector was used in battle. The British under Gen. Montgomery were able to advance twice as fast because of the 500 newly invented mine detectors they had at their disposal. The inventor of this electronic marvel was Lt. Jozef Kosaki, a Polish engineer who began his research for the Polish army. He finished his work in Scotland, after fleeing continental Europe. He never patented this device, but instead gave it as a gift to the British army. His invention was later used in the invasion of Sicily and at Normandy. The British used this invention until 1995.

If you have heard of Monte Cassino, you know of this protracted World War II battle to seize the strategic monastery and thus enable the Allies to advance northward in Italy. More than 50,000 Poles fought at Monte Cassino. More than 4,000 died. The high ground was taken by Polish troops even though they knew by then of the sellout of Poland to the Soviets by Churchill and President Roosevelt.

I wondered where 50,000 Polish troops came from when their country was defeated in 1939. My research discovered that after Hitler invaded Poland, he gave half to Stalin. Stalin first murdered 5,000 Polish officers along with 17,000 of the Polish intelligencia in the Katyn forest. Stalin then sent 200,000 Polish soldiers to Siberia. Later in the war, Gen. Anders (a Pole) negotiated for their release. These were the men who fought in Italy. Many chose never to return to Poland.

One thousand Poles are interred in a cemetery at Monte Cassino. Over them is this epitaph:

“For our freedom and yours
We soldiers of Poland
Gave
Our souls to God
Our life to the soil of Italy
Our hearts to Poland”

George Kalin
Hagerstown

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