Rousseau Came Before the French Revolution, Not After

Regarding "Hey, Everyone: Quit Incorrectly Accusing Others of Being 'Socialist'" (Nov. 13): I agree with the idea expressed by Catherine O'Sullivan that the incorrect use of the word "socialist" is bad. Incorrect word usage is not just sloppy, but as Tom Danehy points out in the same issue, it can be dangerous.

So can the incorrect use of history, which is why I am disappointed by O'Sullivan's suggestion that Rousseau's concept of the general will arose out of the French Revolution, especially the Reign of Terror. The "Social Contract" (in which Rousseau wrote about the general will) appeared in 1762. Rousseau died in 1778. The French Revolution began in 1789, and the Terror began in 1793.

It is arguable that Rousseau's philosophy influenced the French Revolution, but the reverse is impossible. O'Sullivan's breezy commentary may just be a rhetorical flourish, but she commits the same offense against history, ideas and causation that the targets of her criticism commit against language and logic.

Linus Kafka

Actually, Most of Us Are Having Turkey, but Thanks for the Kind Words!

"Want to Truly Fix the Economy? Then Let's Destroy It Completely and Start Over," by Randy Serraglio (Guest Commentary, Nov. 6), is a joke or what? How can you approve this piece of apocalyptic garbage? Maybe the author believes in the buildup of the new socialist society over the ashes of the capitalist world, but I guess the boneheads of the Communist Party would never state it in such an idiotic way. Keep up the good work. I hope all of you have crap for dinner.

Carlos Pandis

Hey, 'Weekly': Why Are You Hatin' on Palin, Nader?

Now that the dust has cleared, and we have our new president-elect, I've come to some startling conclusions.

Just as certain ne'er-do-wells jumped to paint Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean as a maniac, unfit for office, simply because he yelled "Yee-hawww!" some years back, other like-minded groups have jumped all over John McCain and Sarah Palin. Bill Maher, for example, has defended Howard Dean on his show, while just weeks ago, he took a shot at McCain, calling him "crazy" while displaying a photo of him sticking his tongue out. In the same episode of Real Time, he and his mostly leftist roundtable of guests took shots at Palin as being incredibly stupid.

A few things stand out from this example. One is how hypocritical the left has been in tearing down a man who, although Republican, was once a beloved figure in their camp. The hypocrisy was also clearly evident when Maher used the very tactic he had earlier condemned regarding Dean. Painting Palin as stupid was just the icing on the cake.

Would Palin be under attack if she was unattractive and spoke without an accent? Is "intellectual," however one defines it, equivalent with "good," or does compassion count for anything?

These are questions some of your writing staff should be pondering ... If your publication and others like yours really cared about the things you say you do, much more attention and support would have been given to Palin's love and support of the family, and to Ralph Nader as a true soldier for justice.

Jason Martinez

If TUSD Wants to Succeed, It Should Look at Other Districts' Successes

Regarding Elizabeth Celania-Fagen as being Tucson Unified School District's long-awaited savior (Nov. 13): Here's a simple suggestion that won't cost more than her time and perhaps that of an accompanying assistant. Why not simply visit successful schools outside of TUSD and adopt their methods and programs? All schools want other schools to succeed. This won't cost much more than the willingness to forgo the current trend and what high-dollar consultants have to sell.

Celania-Fagan's thinking, that "the world of education is going away from the model that compliance is good, and moving toward creativity and innovation," may be true, but our existing model is so broke that it hardly can afford an alternative cure. Go find out what is truly making schools excel, and then after TUSD achieves similar goals, it can experiment one step at a time.

After reading your article, I couldn't help thinking of TUSD as part of a group of lost explorers. They split up, and when one group finds its way out, the other group, instead of following the successful trail, insists on going its own way.

Peter Rossini

Corrections and Clarifications

In Soundbites (Nov. 20), we reported that the Kate Becker Project would celebrate a CD-release party on Nov. 21 at The Hut; the show was actually scheduled at Plush.

In "Little Things" (Chow, Nov. 20), the hours of Angelina's Ristorante were incorrect, due to outdated information. The correct hours are Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. The Tuscan stuffed mushrooms came with a balsamic reduction, not a basil reduction. Finally, due to incorrect information from a server, we reported that the crème brülée would be pumpkin-flavored through Thanksgiving; it will actually be pumpkin-flavored through the end of the month.

We apologize for the errors.

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