Over the course of the past few months, I have found the cynicism and tone of your political commentary to be discouraging. As a long-time reader, I urge you to find a renewed sense of optimism and to be less quick to judge.
Mitch Rowe, Monroe County Legislator, District 26
Cheer up, folks; the Republican landslide puts a little more truth in advertising to your paper's subtitle, "Greater Rochester's Alternative Newspaper" ("To the Barricades," November 13). After all, how "alternative" is a Democrat newspaper when Democrats controlled both houses of Congress for most of the past 40 years?
If you really want to understand the 2002 Republican landslide, consider the case of Christopher Hitchens. The former writer for The Nation quit that liberal rag because he felt the people there were more afraid of John Ashcroft than Osama bin Laden. How many former Democrat voters felt the same way?
I once subscribed to The Nation, but they are out of touch with the average American nowadays. Let's face it; the Democrats are old news. Protesting Viet Nam is all they've done for the past 40 years. Viet Nam is over, and the only anti-war protesting Americans are interested in now is protesting terrorism.
Joe St. Martin, Penfield
Once there was a nation that, in the midst of financial chaos, became overly proud of itself. It flew its flags everywhere and hung its troubles on a group of its own citizens with cultural roots in the Middle East.
This nation, rather than spending its money on its homeless and disabled, chose to build the world's finest, most powerful military with the most advanced weaponry anywhere. It began to make extraordinary demands on its neighbors, rattling its formidable sabers while claiming to only want peace.
Not many of its citizens chose to speak out against this belligerent behavior, nor did they speak for the poor and oppressed among their own countrymen. All the world trembled before this rabidly aggressive nation that chose to ignore the treaties it had signed, until the world saw that it would have to do something about it. That was called World War II. The nation with the best army and air force did not win.
Some would say history is repeating itself. All the world fears America. But just how far can the world be pushed? It's not likely that the world would declare war on us, but it could start planning its future without us, refuse to cooperate or invest in America, and wait for our economic and educational systems to collapse of their own accord.
Some also say that the meek shall inherit the earth. Perhaps they will be all who are left. In any case, it's not likely to be us unless we choose to change.
John Kastner, Ericsson Street, Rochester
Cobbs Hill's past
Regarding "Cobbs Hill Diaries" (November 13): Nice article. I have been visiting Cobbs Hill almost every day for the past year, mostly reading or walking, and I too have always wondered what Ben was listening to. I stumbled across this web site recently and thought it might be of interest to you:Cobbs Hill Vintage View
Jason Nabewaniec, Monroe Avenue, Brighton
My appreciation and gratitude to City Newspaper readers for voting me the "best musician" (Best of Rochester, October 30). That is an additional and special reward for having as much fun as I do playing music here in Rochester.
I invite all of you to come hear us. Our complete itinerary of performances, at the Lodge at Woodcliff and elsewhere, is online at xxx.gapmangione.com.
Gap Mangione, Rochester