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Speech has consequences
We are free to shout "Fire!" where there is none, burn a nation's flag, or deface someone's god, but we are not free from their consequences. Awareness, honesty and responsibility: SATIRE always walks a fine line re: the latter. Shit on the pope's plate and see what happens.
Political correctness run amuck
Mary Anna Towler can rationalize anything! (Urban Journal, January 12) Let's put drawing images of Muhammad in context: Badawi is flogged 50 times for criticizing the Saudi government; Boko Haram doesn't want girls educated; men, even here in Rochester, dress their wives in black from head to toe except for their two eyes.
They're all worthy of mockery for religious hypocrisy, just like Catholics were for sending people to hell for eating meat on Friday, missing Mass, and masturbating; or pseudo-patriots are for hating those who burn flags; or gun maniacs are for supporting the right to own semiautomatic weapons. (So do I have the right to own a hydrogen bomb?)
As Joan Rivers would have said, "Let's talk: GROW UP!" Towler isn't respecting religion any more than PBS and NPR are. They're just rationalizing cowards whose religious sense of political correctness is nauseating.
PC part II
I was dismayed and a little shocked by Rochester Historical Society President Patrick Malgieri's characterization of the society's collection as representing "a particular segment of society...white males and their spouses." (News, January 12)
I can only think that the tiresome whisperings of the muses of political correctness have clouded his vision of an important collection reflecting the adventurous and entrepreneurial spirit of the pioneer families of Rochester: the Nathanial Rochesters, the Wards, Perkins, Ericksons, and other families.
The history of these first families is not one of cotillions and wedding gowns made in Paris (though that is there), but is essentially of the courage and pluck and spirit of Yankee "can-do" that built this city. Anyone who visited the collection during the time that the society was in the Rochester Public Library will remember the interesting ways that the collection was displayed and interpreted.
There are other collections in Rochester that speak to issues such as women's rights and of the black diaspora.
Members of Rochester's minority communities can and would enjoy collections that reflect these typical American values and aspirations, as well as the dream into Rochester's past triggered by the experience of the objects and images. As long as we don't apologize for what it isn't.
A single-payer solution
We can tie together two of the problems in the rural schools dilemma (News, January 12) and use it to solve an urban problem at the same time, namely the hard cost of employee health care and the "irregular nature of income and property."
The New York Health Bill would put the state on a single health insurance plan that would save billions statewide by eliminating the hated and unnecessary insurance company middle man. This huge cost would be eliminated from the school budgets.
The bill includes funding through a graduated progressive income tax on all forms of income, thus relieving farmers and homeowners of an unfair regressive piece of the property tax. Why school districts are not screaming for passage of this legislation is a mystery.
I also wonder if the Statewide School Finance Consortium and the Genesee Valley Chief School Officers' Association mentioned in the article are talking to the Monroe County School Boards Association about its health insurance consortium, which saves millions every year?
Of course the state should comply with the court ruling on fair funding; that would help solve the problem. So would adoption of the proposal for countywide progressive income taxes to replace regressive property taxes to fund schools, which was advocated by Metro Justice decades ago.
That far-sighted proposal was prevented by the same forces of reaction that are hard at work today delaying implementation of the court ruling. Justice delayed is justice denied.
Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley announced last week that she is switching her party enrollment from Democrat and Republican.
This is just the latest piece of evidence of a major rift in the local Democrat Party with two wings battling it out: the Lovely-Gantt wing and the non-Lovely-Gantt wing. Anyone associated with the latter (a classification that includes Doorley), is actively evaluating their options. It goes a long way in explaining this move.
The Dems are a mess, but please do not try and pretty up a cold and calculating political move with a "she just had to do it" excuse. I for one do not buy it. She was, is, and always will be a Republican. She has made that party relent and say "uncle" and endorse her in the next election. She has got her way. Congratulations, Ms. Doorley; one has to admire your smarts.
County Republicans have been involved in scandal after scandal over the past few decades while the prosecutor's office has either refused to investigate their actions or were unable to do so effectively. We would know nothing about county officials' recent escapades if not for the attorney general's investigations.
Now, [Doorley], who obviously has her eye on higher political office, has switched to the party of those under investigation, which includes Maggie Brooks' husband. Does anyone actually think that [Doorley] will risk her career to throw some of these bums in jail?