Maggie Brooks owes the community an apology ("Urgent Junk Mail," November 6). Whether or not she had full knowledge of the content of the letter sent to absentee voters, as a leader in our community she must accept responsibility for its intentional deceit and misleading format.
This is a terrible misuse of her stature in the community. I am a registered Democrat, but I believe Maggie has made some positive steps as County Clerk. I was appalled at this story and surprised that Maggie Brooks' name was associated with the mailing. Maggie, if you read this, you must apologize to the many registered Democrats who cross over and support you even though you work with Jack Doyle.
Jonathan Dubner, Rochester
If Chris Busby and the rest of the City's editorial staff are spineless Democratic tools as Paul Fallon asserts (The Mail, November 6), why did they endorse Green candidates Stanley Aronowitz for governor and Rachel Treichler for the 29th Congressional District? Could it be that they preferred Ayesha Nariman over Mr. Fallon because of the candidates' qualities as individuals, rather than their parties?
Kevin Baird, registered Green, Amherst
United Way's way
One legislator suggested that people donate to help relieve the county deficit. Now Jack Doyle is trying to get the United Way to give the county some of our donated funds.
The county seems to have had tunnel vision when it came to spending our tax dollars, and now it wants our donations, too.
We chose to donate to the United Way as our way of assisting the not-for-profit organizations. The United Way is noted for its frugal way of doing business and for prioritizing where the need is the greatest. What is the difference between the county increasing our taxes and it taking our donated funds? Or is this just another way for the county government to appear more inept by the day?
The county might ask the United Way to guide it on how to manage money and save for tomorrow.
Muriel Hill Albright, Manitou Road, Spencerport (Albright is a retired accountant from the not-for-profit arena)
In defense of pigs
City referred to members of Congress who voted to support President Bush in the event of military action against Iraq as "war pigs" (Index, October 16). When people wish to insult someone because of behavior ranging from poor hygiene habits to elected officials not voting the way some people wish, the word "pig" is sometimes used. "Pig" has also become a derogatory term used by some to insult police and corrections officers.
Pigs are intelligent, friendly, lovable, highly social sentient beings. While they like to wallow in mud to keep cool, they are clean animals when they are in a clean environment. By nature peaceful, pigs may resort to fighting and tail-biting because of the inhumane conditions under which they are raised for human consumption.
At a typical pig farm, pigs' tails are cut off and their ears have chunks cut out of them --- all without painkillers. They cannot turn around or rest comfortably in the pig crates. They are frequently abused with electric shock prods and baseball bats. At slaughter, they are often conscious when they are scalded or dismembered. (Undercover videos taken on pig farms can be viewed via PETA's website, PETA.org).
Working with pigs on the set of Babe made actor James Cromwell, the star of this film, a strict vegetarian. I myself support several sanctuaries that provide humane care for rescued pigs, and I often wear a shirt that carries the message that "pigs are my friends, not my food."
Using the word "pig" as a term of derision only reinforces the insensitive mentality that is under the surface of the pigs' suffering.
That said, I have mixed feelings on the Iraq issue. I appreciate the viewpoints of both those who support the war resolution and those who oppose it. In many ways, we are in a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation. I see no reason to use any term, designed to be insulting, to label those whose position on Iraq is contrary to one's own.
Joel Freedman, North Main Street, Canandaigua