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Reader feedback - 2.22.06

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SAY IT, HILLARY:

'I'M MAD AS HELL'

Ken Mehlman, chairman of the Republican National Committee, has unleashed what looks to be the theme for 2006: Hillary Clinton is too "angry to be president." The charge has now been echoed by a plethora of Republicans: "Nobody wants an angry person running the country."

I am reminded of one of the most resonant movie lines of the last 30 years: "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take this any more!" from Network. The line resonated so well because so many Americans were just that. We were a nation struggling with new social mores, unjustified war, government corruption, and fiscal uncertainty.

The year 1976, it seems, isn't that different from 2006. We have spent a year now with Hurricane Katrina, Scooter Libby, Jack Abramoff, the war in Iraq, nuclear proliferation in Iran, and debt that we have no intention of paying off. And let's not forget domestic spying by our government.

Does that list make you mad as hell? It sure does me. And similar problems in 2004 made another Democrat, Howard Dean, mad as hell. For governor Dean, though, it wasn't the Bush administration charging against a "mad as hell" message, but his fellow Democrats Kerry and Edwards, who went on to lose the election.

Senator Clinton should be as mad as we are, and she shouldn't resist saying it. If anything, she should look Republicans straight in the eye and ask them why they too aren't mad as hell. The message should be plain and simple: "I am mad, and unless you do something about it, in 2006 and 2008 I am going to do it for you."

Shout your anger from the rooftops, Senator, and then give us something different to vote for. Give us a way out of this mess. Because in the end, people don't vote for the opposition unless they believe the candidate is really going to oppose the status quo.

Jeff Commaroto, Raintree Lane, Hilton


LIFE, CREATED

It seems to me and perhaps intelligent readers, that the recent headline, "Is A Stem Cell A Human Being? (January 4) would invite one into an intellectual discussion and stimulating conversation on a critical medical and moral issue of our day.

However, it was greatly disappointing that the interview-article by Tim Macaluso failed to discuss the issues of the misleading headline. Instead we were treated to a rather simple and one-sided "discussion" with Dr. Mark Noble on stem cells, as if it answered the question posed in the headline.

I suspect with uncritical and undocumented comments such as "the growing anti-science movement," readers should not expect to rely on headlines inviting us to an intelligent discussion that is in anyway balanced. Would it be too much to request a new topic for the next article? Something with the headline, "Why Science Alone Defines What Is a Human Being." It would be interesting to read. Perhaps the interview could be with a religious leader who might believe that science is only on part of the human experience, and that life is created by someone other than ourselves.

Rev. Brian C. Cool, Rochester (Cool is chair of the Public Policy Committee of the Diocese of Rochester)


IT'S ABOUT POWER!

The president is breaking the law.

The president already has the power to immediately wiretap suspected terrorists. The law offers the president the flexibility to wiretap suspected terrorists immediately and get a court order up to three days later.

This is not about national security; it's about Bush and his cronies extending the reach of the Executive Branch. Patriotic Republicans and Democrats alike recognize that this attack on our freedom is more insidious than any terrorist attack, because it comes from within.

Catherine Lewis, Bluhm Road, Fairport


SEEKING PEACE

Much nonsense is being promulgated concerning the victory of Hamas in Palestinian elections. One editorial was headlined "Palestinian election results stop peace in its tracks --- again." In fact, there has never been a meaningful peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.

For a review of the relevant historical record, which is unequivocal, see, for example: Noam Chomsky, "The Fateful Triangle"; AviShlaim, "The Iron Wall," and Clayton E. Swisher, "The Truth About Camp David." A January 26 press release by Israel's Gush Shalom (Peace Bloc), says: "The government of Israel had dozens of opportunities to negotiate with Fatah and Abu Mazen, and it persistently avoided all of them."

It has also been asserted that Hamas' victory shows "how deeply rooted extremism is in the Middle East." The success of Hamas reflects dissatisfaction with corruption and the failure of Fatah to bring peace and escape from grinding poverty, caused by Israel's unrelenting assault. MSNBC News reports that Hamas received only 45 percent of the popular vote, and exit polls show that "three quarters of all Palestinians, including more than 60 percent of Hamas supporters, are willing to support reconciliation between Palestinians and Israelis based on a two-state solution."

Israel and the US correctly insist that Hamas should renounce violence and accept Israel's right to exist, but why is there no demand that Israelrenounce its much greater violence against the Palestinians and recognize their right to exist in a viable independent state? The state of Israel was founded with massive terrorism against the Palestinians. Two of the terrorist leaders, Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir, later became prime ministers of Israel.

Hamas' leadership appears ready to negotiate with Israel if Palestinian fundamental rights are recognized and complied with. At least, this should be put to the test. Unfortunately, Israel and the US still show no sign of wanting a true peace. They only want complete Palestinian surrender. Their idea of peace was expressed long ago by the Roman historian, Tacitus, who said of his fellow Romans, "They make a desolation and they call it peace."

Brian D. Marsden, Heather Drive, Penfield


WRITING TO CITY

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