The loss of a business such as the Montage Grille is an unfortunate moment in the life of any city. It will be sadly missed by those who enjoyed the music and food. The Metro Ink item ("Mourning the Montage," January 12) spoke eloquently of what we should remember about the Montage, but I must take exception to the tone about the "lame McBars."

            I don't believe local business owners and their patrons should be disparaged because they offer entertainment that does not suit your taste. These businesses work hard to maintain a level of success, and yes, they may not offer something for everyone, but that is no reason for City to write such a distasteful commentary asserting that there is such "little class in downtown's nightlife."

            Maybe the pompous and dismissive tone of this article is more indicative of what ails this city than the "girl at the end of the bar in the DMB T-shirt"!

            Jeffrey LaDue, StrathallanPark, Rochester


Dan Frosch's narrative about the reasons some combat veterans develop post-combat stress is a welcome but limited explication of the mushrooming syndrome in Iraq.

            Unfortunately, it fails to explore why some former combatants develop post-combat stress, and others don't. As a World War II combatant (combat infantry badge, Bronze Star, three battle stars), I've concluded after much consideration that there are two basic reasons:

            A combatant must feel that his or her sacrifice was both necessary and worthy. In World War II, we infantrymen in Europe never doubted the rightness of our cause. Adolph Hitler had been conquering the world, killing and suppressing millions while widely supplanting democratic regimes with military fascism. That had to be stopped.

            In addition, we American soldiers in uniform fought German soldiers in uniform. Society seems to countenance one soldier in uniform killing another.

            But society does not countenance the killing or maiming of innocent women, children, and old people. And it certainly doesn't countenance making war with highly deplorable motives, as the United States is doing in Iraq.

            I do not pretend that innocents weren't killed in World War II; they were killed and maimed by the hundreds of thousands. However, the motivations for the Iraq War and, before it, the Vietnam war, were and still are doubted throughout the world.

            If a soldier or Marine is to give up his or her young life, it has to be for the perceived benefit of mankind. Nobody has, or will, ever seriously contend that the imperialistic Iraq war is being fought for noble or justifiable purposes.

            As I wrote in a Democrat and Chronicle op-ed last year, that's what causes Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: the doubt that the solider or Marine's serious injury or death was justified either by the servicemember or by public opinion in our country or throughout the world.

            Mitch Kaidy, Crittenden Road, Brighton


Folks, we have a problem. When the non-combat Air Force veteran types --- i.e., Bush and Rumsfeld --- and the military-service evaders --- i.e., Cheney and Wolfowitz --- scoffed at a Pentagon general's estimate of needed post-war occupation troops, they made a gross strategic error. Hadn't they ever heard of guerrilla warfare? Did they really believe that a Muslim nation would greet the Christian Bush crusade with open arms, instead of arms? Were they also not aware of the long-standing intra-sect warfare inside Iraq?

            It appears that, regardless of consequences, there was a strong desire to try out our latest toys of mass destruction, even at the risk of killing a few thousand civilians. We would "shock and awe" the Iraqis to their knees or graves.

            Recall how Bush donned his aviator costume and declared that the war was over. Apparently Iraqi guerrillas didn't agree. At present, there are some estimates that guerrillas outnumber our soldiers. Note also that several months after Bush's premature proclamation, our Army Reserve units are exhausted, and the replacement with new recruits is not happening in anywhere near the volume needed. Why, not even military-age members of the extended Bush clan are signing up. What does that tell us?

            What are we to do? Should we stay and continue to smash their infrastructure, along with killing thousands more US-UN soldiers and Iraqis? Do we change Bush's triumphant "Mission Accomplished" to "Mission Demolished" and withdraw?

            If we decide to withdraw, do we desert those Iraqis who supported us, dooming them to terrible deaths? Or do we take with us all who want out?

            Shall we dance? Stay tuned.

            Alan Whiting, Grosvenor Road, Brighton


Both the Democratic and Republican parties, in their prostitution for Hispanic votes, are betraying the American people by refusing to protect us from prospective terrorists.

            The El Salvador Gang MS-12 has been reported to be smuggling al Qaeda operatives into the US via the Mexican border. This is in addition to "Terrorist Alley" in Arizona, where Middle Eastern men are entering in increasing illegal numbers. Meanwhile, our feds are releasing thousands of "other than Mexican" illegals in Texas because they don't have enough space in their jails. Federal air marshals have been ordered to dress "professionally" by their boss, thus making it easier for them to be recognized. And the politically correct Department of Transportation refuses to use homeland-defense profiling, so Arab males can travel through unscathed while little old ladies get strip-searched.

            The Department of Homeland Security Undersecretary, Asa Hutchinson, recently stated that it is "unrealistic" for his border-patrol agents to deport illegal aliens (i.e., do their jobs).

            It will be interesting to see what the politicians and government bureaucrats say when the homicide bombs start blasting away on Main Street USA.

            Alan L. Glaser, East Main Street, Rochester


I was intrigued by George Grella's reference to the '50s and '60s as "a time when most of the male vocalists seemed to be Italian --- Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett [still at it], Dean Martin, Vic Damone, Jerry Vale, etc." ("The Doom of Bobby Darin," January 12).

            But he left out a few other good names: EzioPinza, Mario Lanza, Sergio Franchi, Al Martino, EnzoStuarti, John Gary, Julius LaRosa, Louie Prima, Frankie Laine, and Don Cornell.

            I sure miss that time, when my uncle, Hank Barr, was booking many of them, and female vocalists as well, for our annual Post Office shows at the War Memorial. At least one was a band leader: Guy Lombardo (and His Royal Canadians).

            And did you know that both Harry Warren (songs for movies like Forty-Second Street") and handsome actor John Saxon (movies like Planet Earth) were also Italian?

            Larry Farsace, North Union Street, Rochester


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