I want to really thank the Indy and Joe Schwartz for your excellent coverage of the Town Council race in Chapel Hill. Additionally, your Aug. 25 article on the Friends of the Downtown candidate forum reminded me of something that I think everyone in Chapel Hill should know.
Candidate Jon DeHart knows the names of our brave Chapel Hill police officers because he is a graduate, like I am, of the inaugural 2010 Chapel Hill Citizens Police Academy. As you are probably aware, the Citizens Police Academy is a 10-week program that gives Chapel Hill residents an inside look at our police department and a better understanding of public safety issues in our town. Jon was a very active member of our academy class. Out of that experience, he clearly learned a lot and created many strong professional relationships, including with many members of our police department.
I think this shows why Jon DeHart will make an excellent member of our Town Council. I'm planning on voting for him Nov. 8, and I hope you will too.
As a woman (I noticed there were no letters from women about Hal Crowther's Aug. 17 cover story), I enjoyed Ayn Rand's books. I saw her as an independent feminist, laissez-faire capitalist, secular moralist who wrote spare novels consistent with her philosophies and ideals.
I have no way of knowing anything about her personal traits that might be objectionable. I don't think that the so-called Christian conservative right-wing politicians would totally agree with her philosophies (in some ways her philosophies are diametrically opposed to theirs). They would agree with her about laissez-faire capitalism but not atheist secular moralism.
I agree that her characters are not "self-absorbed predators," as one of the letter-writers said. They are ideal symbols of her philosophies.
Sarah Ann Thompson
I met Ayn Rand; very strong energy, very strong focus. She was far more original and likable than Hal Crowther, who pushes secondhand opinions for others instead (cover story, Aug. 17). Of course Rand grew up in Russia and had faced the communist horror, which birthed the National Socialist horror. Her emotional life was culturally bound. Her mind could create strong, ever-popular epic novels.
Rand advocated self-reliance and independence, which benefits everybody. Crowther advocates more of the same recipe: let irresponsible self-promoting technocrats create foreseeable political failures by spending money lifted from others.
Instead of examining those states and nations that have avoided such problems, Crowther uses his tricks of crazy focus to fog public discourse. On a political level, commonsense principles of limiting risk by creating a political framework that protects the spontaneous order have been advocated by the Moravian Bishop Comenius (1600s) and the American Founding Fathers. As science proves, distributed systems are most robust and best tend toward safer, right decisions. True cooperation arises in mutual trade, mutual respect. Thus we have Winston-Salem, New Bern and other intriguing intentional communities.
It is prudent to focus on real issues—or as Rand might say, embrace reality and avoid the disasters in fogs and fakers.