Mention his ideas, too

A reader complains that even an article largely about Ron Paul did not mention the US presidential candidate's ideas. Other letters topics: school fees, phone costs, Indian corruption and blaming McDonald's.

US presidential candidate Ron Paul, centre, has a range of radical libertarian, conservative and small-government policy proposals but, a reader complains, his ideas get too little media attention. Jim Cole / AP
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I refer to 40 schools allowed to increase their fees (August 18).

Transparency is still a big problem. As parents, our voices are not heard and we are not informed on matters that affect us greatly.

Schools don't inform parents that they are requesting a fee increase or how much. This creates enmity between parents and schools and the Abu Dhabi Education Council.

To allow the schools to raise fees less than one month before the beginning of the school year leaves parents with few options but to accept the increases since it's too late to change schools.

This information needs to come in early spring when parents are making decisions about which schools they will choose.

As consumers of education, we should know the price of the goods before we agree to buy.

Donald Glass, Abu Dhabi

Clothing resale is not all bad

That was an enlightening story about old clothes (From Dubai recycling bin to African stall, August 18).

But people should not be too quick to condemn a for-profit business which accepts donations of old clothes.

There is no magic carpet to get your old trousers to needy people in Africa. The organisation and structure required to put old garments into the hands of people who want them cannot exist by charity alone.

Low margin delivery businesses are better than the alternative, which would be waste in this country and want in Africa. But disclosure of the process ensures that nobody has the wrong impression about how this all works.

Peter Burrell, Doha

Not really the year of the girl in China

I am afraid that your report The Year of the Girl dawns in China (August 18) was far too optimistic.

China has the world's highest abortion rate, and well more than half of those children never born are female, due to gender-selection abortions.

Regina Towles, Dubai

Long-distance calls are too costly

Thank you for reporting on mobile-phone fees (Call for cheaper mobile tariffs, August 18).

Those of us who want to talk to loved ones or business associates in other countries are forced to pay too much for the privilege.

In an age when much of the world enjoys unlimited free communication by internet, this anachronistic pricing is a drain on the economy and a burden on individuals.

Veejay Malik, Dubai

Compromise on corruption

Anna Hazare's continuing hunger strike and the massive support for him show the Indian people's anger and frustration over pervasive corruption and ineffective laws to punish the corrupt.

But Mr Hazare's Jan Lokpal proposal is certainly not the best way to fight the disease. In fact it might make things worse.

Under this proposed law there will have to be hundreds of thousands of new officers to monitor public servants, ministers, members of parliament, judges etc.

To end the deadlock the government should incorporate some of the suggestions of Mr Hazare's team into its own lokpal bill, to make it more stringent.

Muneer Ahmad, Abu Dhabi

What about Ron Paul's ideas?

I was sorry that the article which dealt largely with US presidential candidate Ron Paul (When comment is free, even monkeys can contribute, August 19) did not mention or discuss a single one of his ideas or issues.

His proposals for a flat tax, an end to foreign aid and less US meddling everywhere mean that President Paul would be a real agent of change.

FW, Dubai

Don't blame McDonald's

I was struck by your story McDonald's defends its corner (August 18).

It's true that McDonald's has become a lightning rod for all sorts of complaints about the fast-food industry, of which it is only a part.

It's also true that people are responsible for their own nutrition and have an obligation to know what they're putting in their mouths.

On the other hand, McDonald's really was the pioneer for the global high-fat, high-salt, low-vitamin, low-cost restaurant segment, so it can't complain about being the target of a certain amount of blame.

I believe that all these places should be made to post large-print notices on their walls, spelling out clearly how much fat and salt are in each item on their menus.

Emmett J Francoeur, Abu Dhabi

Controls could improve internet

Control over email accounts and internet activity, as suggested in your story Call for internet monitor task force (August 19) would cut back cyberbullying, defamation, libel and the spread of pornography. This could lead to a better and more peaceful world wide web.

Angelika Lancsak, Austria