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Stakes on a Train To the Editor:

I don’t think that Darryl McGrath considered the threat of further attacks on the United States that’s been voiced by Al-Qaeda, the commuter trains that have been blown up in Spain, the uncovered plot to blow up the tunnels in New York City [“Strangers on a Train,” July 27]. Nor has she considered the destroyed lives of the families of the 3,000 victims of the World Trade Center attacks or the 20,000 American soldiers killed and wounded in Iraq or the 100 people a day that are being killed by insurgent terrorists on the streets of Baghdad. All she has done is to create a piece of journalistic trash that belongs in the Enquirer.

President Bush did promise to increase border security on the northern border and it seems that, if anything, the job that the Border Patrol is trying to do with the handful of agents that are putting their lives at risk searching for foreign agents on Amtrak trains deserves praise rather than condemnation. Unfortunately there aren’t enough Border Patrol agents available to inspect people who board trains at every whistle stop along the border. Having to go through an inspection in the Atlanta airport, which is further inland than Rochester or Buffalo, would appear wasteful, but we gripe and we do it. I feel sure that if an Amtrak train traveling the northern border is attacked, Ms. McGrath would come down on the Border Patrol for not doing their job.

Certainly it’s inconvenient to the Amtrak passengers, it’s also inconvenient to have to remove our shoes during an inspection at the Rochester Airport. However if somebody who is supposed to have a green card doesn’t have one, he is in violation of the law. If he happens to have the appearance of a mid-easterner, it’s unfortunate. Has Ms. McGrath bothered to look into the arrests that have been made by the Border Patrol agents as a result of their searches, and determined that they were wrongful? Probably not.

The nation is under a severe threat that’s being downplayed by our government to avoid panic. It would seem that the people that are benefiting from the protection that the Border Patrol is providing have every reason to be thankful and that the negative viewpoints expressed by the politicians that were interviewed by Ms. McGrath are just more of the useless dribble expressed by politicians who will say practically anything that will get their names into print.

Bernard Kantor

Melbourne, Fla.


To the Editor:

Perhaps Mr. Clinton made the mistake of calling Ms. Goodman more than once, but the conversation I heard between them was signficantly different in character than what Stephen Leon recalls [“The Politician,” Comment, July 27]. My heroine and the only newscaster I listen to, was somewhat nonplussed initially, and Mr. Bill played the “I Am The President” card when she did fail to kowtow to him. The biggest issue and disappointment I had with the reporter was when she failed to challenge him on his statement that Saddam had $17 billion in oil money to use as he saw fit to help his people. I knew at that point, as did everyone else listening, that that money was controlled through the U.N. by, guess who?

The fact that this conversation was and is unique in our politics as versus the British yelling-and-screaming interchanges between Blair and MOPs is probably the most telling aspect of the whole episode.

I await the day the current jerk is closeted with Ms. Goodman and an open mic.

Dave Smalley


Nit Pickin’

To the Editor:

It appears that Anna Hendrick may be guilty of self pity [Letters, July 27]. (“I pity the fool who mixes up his poetry meters.”) Although Cheeky Tiki Monkey is indeed trochaic, its six syllables (three metric feet) make it trochaic trimeter rather than hexameter as stated by Ms. Hendrick. I neither pity Ms. Hendrick nor think she’s a fool.

Fred Heitkamp


Museum Worthy

To the Editor:

The Clark is flattered and honored to be named best museum [Best of the Capital Region, July 20] by the editors of Metroland. It is gratifying for our entire hard-working staff from the curators, education, and events staff who create the outstanding exhibits and programs to the communications folks get to crow about all that the Clark is and does.

Thank you for recognizing our efforts.

Sally Morse Majewski

Manager of Public Relations and Marketing Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute

Williamstown, Mass


The photograph of Ani DiFranco in our July 27 issue (“A Righteous Homecoming,” Newsfront) was uncredited. The photographer was Alicia Solsman.

Metroland welcomes typed, double-spaced letters addressed to the editor. Metroland reserves the right to edit letters for length or clarity; 300 words is the preferred maximum. You must include your name, address and day and evening telephone numbers. We will not publish letters that cannot be verified, nor those that are anonymous, illegible, irresponsible or factually inaccurate.

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