What A Boob

To the Editor,

Regarding "Resolved: Get Out More" (January 7): I have this to say to Jeff Smith: You might score points with the boys at Table 8, but you'll never snag anything except a mail order bride if you continue to think it's cute to "swoon" over a woman's "rack." Try to set your sights a little higher--literally--or you're better off staying home with your telly.

--Kay Sather

Squeaky Clean

To the Editor,

America is facing a critical problem of devastating proportions--voter apathy to the point where the government is an obstacle for the conscientious citizen to overcome. And it is no wonder that we all feel that the government is so worthless. We live in a time when talking about Monica Lewinsky is considered talking about politics, and impeaching the president, to many people, seems like the best possible resolution to a much bigger problem. Politics nowadays has turned into this sick media scandal whereby new sex scandals involving government officials surface every week.

Mailbag And the American public feeds off of it, thus feeding into it. The government's greatest concern now is trying to guard against these intrusions and come down hard on those officials who have further tarnished the government's image and given the average United States citizen a good reason to be fed up with politics to the point where they no longer have any interest in it at all. Efforts are now focused on impeachment trials and other infuriating side issues.

What is happening to the important issues facing our nation? Nothing. All of that is being put on hold to oust a man who should never have been elected to the presidency in the first place on account of his moral infidelities. America should be a nation if high morals, civic virtue and individual freedom--oh yeah, and privacy too.

The people we chose to represent us should not have anything to hide. This is not to say that they have to be perfect, because no one can ever fit the utopian standards we would all like to hold for our government officials. But as it stands now, the standards we as jaded voters hold for our political candidates are too low.

This is most likely because those who typically run for office are the elite--those with money and an attitude that their financial assets can exempt them from the law, public scrutiny and morality. There are thousands of people out there who would make excellent public officials, but their potential is lost because the world and the government operate on cold, hard cash instead of human welfare, a good heart and civic virtue. They become apathetic and uninterested because money is the mother's milk of politics and they do not have it.

It is for these reasons, and far more than can be expressed in this short response, that I think this Proposition 200 is a good one. I admit that what little I know of Prop 200 I read in Emil Franzi's "Clean Breakdown" (January 7), so this may sound like the rantings of an ill-informed, overly idealistic college student. That being so, I do think that Franzi was too critical of the proposition.

At base, the idea behind the public funding of political campaigns in Arizona is to give real people an opportunity to change the government and to serve their state and their country. In Washington and everywhere in the United States, the government is essentially a "millionaires boys club" of sorts, with women, minorities and real people underrepresented.

So maybe Prop 200 has some glitches and should have been more clearly delineated before it was set into motion, but the idea is a good one, and instead of criticizing it we should be consolidating our efforts into making it work. I see public funding of political campaigns as the first step towards a better, more effective, and more virtuous government. It gives real people a chance to get involved, people who don't have money pouring out of their ears.

The only way for our country to become great again is for the public to become the government again. Humans are rationally self-interested, and as such will always be out to serve their own personal ends, no matter how virtuous the person. For this reason it is absolutely necessary for all citizens to be involved in the government and in politics, to voice their opinions, concerns and interests. Prop 200 is not the answer to our problems with the government, but it is a step in the right direction. Changing politics will be a long process, but it has to start somewhere, and I think a little optimism and idealism can go a long way. The key here is public involvement and interest in the political issues that affect us all.

So this is not simply a reply to an article, or to Prop 200, but an appeal to Arizona voters and citizens to become involved in politics, to make it better, and to elect virtuous officials who can serve our country and our citizenry just as well as any of the corrupt career politicians in office now--men and women who can be regarded as role models and people we are proud to have represent us.

--Mary Thornton.

Smith V. Hyams

To the Editor,

Regarding Harold Hyam's letter ("Roar Of The Zion," January 7): The legal pot is calling the journalistic kettle black. The lawyer shows he can be just as wordy as the journalist, as he defends everything except his advertising, which I took to be the original issue when Jeff Smith wrote his diatribe ("Case Study," November 12). Perhaps the lawyer protests too much, as perhaps the journalist wrote too hastily. I'm sorry guys, it looks pretty funny from here.

On lawyers, those interested might like The Terrible Truth About Lawyers by Mark H. McCormack. I don't know the best expose of journalism--maybe Timothy Crouse's The Boys On The Bus.

--R.C. Leonard

No Bridge To The 31st Century

To the Editor,

I enjoyed James DiGiovanna's review of my book Countdown to Apocalypse ("Apocalyptic Visions," January 4), but I was particularly taken by his description of me as a writer "who's as good at research as he is bad at metaphors."

That's about as silly as, well, some of the other comments I've read by reviewers. At any rate, my painstaking review of this question has shown that metaphors will likely be banned in the next millennium. They will be replaced by similes, alliteration, palindromes and onomatopeia.

With this new millennial spirit in mind, I conclude by palindromically pondering: "Are we not drawn onward, we few, drawn onward to new era?"

--Paul Halpern

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