With Time magazine's recent incomprehensible selection of George Dubya as "Man of the Year," it is an interesting mental exercise to imagine the sort of Letters to the Editor such an act might generate. Just think: If the mainstream media mavens really were "liberal" and publications such as Time (and locally the Democrat and Chronicle) actually permitted the public to speak their minds rather than simply printing a bunch of bland and sanitized pap, we might have the opportunity to see such letters as these:
To the Editor: When you selected George W. Bush as "Man of the Year", what year did you have in mind? I'm thinking 1692. As you recall, that was the year that a bunch of Christian fanatics, justifying their actions with highly dubious "evidence," started a crusade against the "forces of evil" and wound up killing a number of innocent civilians. Clearly the sort of year that Bush was using as his role model for 2004.
To the Editor: Your article on George W. Bush as "Man of the Year" includes a photograph captioned "Bush, with his beloved dog Barney, enters the Oval Office the back way." Isn't this also the way he got there the last time?
To the Editor: Time's selection of George W. Bush as "Man of the Year" because of his "10 gallon hat leadership style" implies that you believe that Dubya is actually calling the (you'll excuse the expression) shots around the White House. This makes about as much sense as giving the title to the Wizard of Oz and ignoring the man (or men) behind the curtain. Or selecting Howdy Doody and overlooking Buffalo Bob Smith. Wasn't one figurehead presidency under Ronald Reagan enough for you folks?
Ah well, one can only dream!
Michael J. Nighan, Crosman Terrace, Rochester
I read with disheartened dismay Bill McCoy's letter to the editor ("Three Cheers for Burr," The Mail, December 22). He states: "Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton had a duel back in 1811, based on their mutual dislike. They were on opposite sides of the political spectrum back then and Burr shot the bastard.... Couldn't they at least slap him (President Bush) in the face?"
The sophomoric notion that our system would be better served by settling our differences "bully-style" is a real hoot, coming from the left that constantly pretends that the US is the true bully in the world. Obviously, our system of elections is envied in much of the world, which wishes it could settle issues democratically.
As for McCoy's reference to the presidential election being "stolen," get a clue: President Bush won by more than 2 million votes. No Democrat of any note is asserting that his victory is fraudulent.
On second thought, don't get a clue. McCoy's rabid assertions that Bush and his administration are morons --- crafty only when it comes to lining their pockets --- does not ring true with the American public. Ergo, you will continue to lose elections.
Three cheers for democracy!
Andrea Wander, Canton, Ohio
Our own senators have decided that we shouldn't be able to buy vitamins and minerals as we do now, at health stores. They introduced a bill to stop us, even though there's less than one death a year from vitamins and many, many deaths annually from medically prescribed drugs. What they are trying to do is force us to go to doctors and get prescriptions for vitamins and minerals. That would help Big Pharmaceutical profits and give the FDA power over us.
The FDA has shown how it would manage us, letting lethal drugs --- that now have to be withdrawn because they increase heart attacks --- pass their "tests."
The move to force vitamins and minerals into the arms of Big Pharma has been triumphant in England. We're the next target.
Write, call, or fax our two senators and tell them what you think of their scheme:
• Hillary R. Clinton, 100 State Street, Rochester14614; telephone, 263-6250; fax, 202-228-0280; email@example.com.
Charles E. Schumer, 304 Federal Building, Rochester 14614; telephone, 263-5866; fax, 202-228-3027; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nancy Watson Dean, Rochester
WRITING TO CITY
We welcome and encourage readers' letters for publication. Send them to: email@example.com or The Mail, City Newspaper, 250 North Goodman Street, Rochester14607.
Our guidelines: We don't publish anonymous letters --- and we ask that you include your street name and city/town/village. We don't publish letters that have been sent to other media. While we don't restrict length, letters of under 350 words have a greater chance of being published. We do edit letters for clarity and brevity. And in general we don't publish letters (or longer "op-ed" pieces) from the same writer more often than about once every two months.