The Democrats lose so gracefully, they act like they are in love with Bush.

            The Clinton Library love-in was bipartisanship at its worst. They are all buddies. American history is full of examples of real fights for democracy and justice. 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 who authored two-thirds of the federalist papers and advocated a political system of aristocratic fascism. The Bush gang is still trying to undo the New Deal, which staved off revolutionary change in this country.

            While the people of the republic of Georgia storm the parliament and force the government to recount a fraudulent election and eventually resign, and the same is developing in the Ukraine, the American people are back asleep watching TV, eating fast food garbage, and working 12 hour days while Bush and friends steal all the money at Enron, Global Crossing, Halliburton, and Wal-Mart, steal elections, and steal our children to use for cannon fodder in Iraq.

            Couldn't they at least slap him in the face? Three cheers for Aaron Burr.

            Bill McCoy, Magee Avenue, Rochester


It is difficult to write a review critical of an icon, and Herbert Simpson's dance review fails to do so, although it damns with an absence of praise ("Dance a New Dance," December 8). Garth Fagan's newest creation, "---ing", is the first number I have seen of his that simply does not work. Simpson's review is descriptive of the dancing, but he avoids comment on the quality of the work, summing it up by saying, "Brahms would be amazed but probably pleased."

            In this number, Fagan applies his amazing dance vocabulary to a masterpiece of classical music, the Brahms clarinet quintet. The music has a structure of its own, mostly beautifully lyrical, with the haunting primary melody of the first movement woven into a wonderful theme and variations in the final movement. The music opens up all kinds of possibilities for dance using the structure of the quintet, but unfortunately, none of these possibilities is fulfilled.

            The movement of bodies to music which we call dance traditionally uses the music to inform and inspire the motions of the dancers. Fagan has invented wonderful choreography to great music --- the other numbers in his current repertoire show how well he is able to put movement to music. In "---ing" there is a disconnect between the music and the dance, so that either might stand alone, but the combination is jarring, with, for example, nervous and jerky movements at the times when the music is the most sensuous.

            If this were a part of the whole, it could be seen as ironic or purposeful contrast, but the entire piece fails to connect the music with the dancing. At the end, one is left wishing for the integration that is not there, as the fantastic motions of the dancers and the beauty of the music clash in the memory.

            Fagan is our local treasure, but even he can't get it perfect every time.

            Victor A. Poleshuck, Council Rock Avenue, Brighton

            Herbert Simpson's response: "What a perceptive independent response! I'd be pleased to think that our paper has a number of other readers this thoughtful and articulate."


The four top blunders by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan:

            1) His denial of the request by UN peacekeepers in Rwanda for permission to seize the weapons being accumulated by the Hutus for their massacre of a million Tutsis.

            2) His staging of a vote on independence in East Timor, which set off a blood bath there.

            3) His lip-service threats to the Sudanese government to disarm the Arab Janjaweed militias that are murdering and displacing thousands of individuals in Darfur or face UN action.

            4) His apparent admitted cluelessness about his son Kojo's involvement in the Oil for Food scandal.

            This international diplomat's woeful humanitarian record reaches the heights of underachievement, redefines it, and speaks volumes of ineptitude. While countries like China, France, Russia, and Germany sing Mr. Annan's praises for his effective leadership, this plastic smiling and foot-shuffling bureaucrat disgraces the UN's mission with his titanic incompetence.

            If Annan led a US company with an $880 billion budget, he'd be booted out on his keester in a New York minute. However, if there were a higher position in this august organization, this bungling international multi-billion-dollar US-tax-siphoning organization would promote him.

            Resignation would be the right thing for Annan to do, but he seems to be lacking shame and a convicting conscience. Remember how hard it was to oust Boutros Boutros-Gali?

            Oliver Glover, Rochester


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