The American essayist and critic Gertrude Stein well defined the Bush administration with the classic putdown of Oakland, Calif.: "There is no there, there."

The American essayist and critic Gertrude Stein well defined the Bush administration with the classic putdown of Oakland, Calif.: "There is no there, there."

To believe that a candidate like George W. Bush — extremist, incompetent, unprepared for office, addicted to cronyism and incapable of admitting even the simplest human error — could have been held by so many of the media and voters as a better choice for president than Al Gore is an American tragedy.

And the war? "It began as that dirty little war. It was an undeclared war for ill-defined objectives against a foe who never quite hit the concept of enemy."

"It was the war of euphemisms, escalation, of incursion."

"By one measure the war was the ultimate act of overextension, into a remote civil war, mistaken as a global threat to peace and national security."

"Some think they see the Constitution itself among the victims. A president stands accused of imperial arrogance for usurping the war power and for suppressing dissent. They shout back charges of betrayal and faintheartedness, and abetting the enemy. Between the ugly words of impeachment and treason, the center barely held."

With some irony, these words are not about Iraq, but about Vietnam, written by Max Frankel in The New York Times in 1973.

George Santayana said it best: "Those that do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

Harold Woods

Stone Ridge

A letter accused the Record of printing Bush hate-mail that must be "scripted from a master copy." His information seems to be from a master copy sent out by the administration's spin doctors ... Bush, Cheney, Rove, etc.

This is not about bashing Bush. It's about protecting the presidency and not setting a precedent for future presidents to disregard the Constitution.

He disagreed that "Bush is damaging our country" and said no example was given. As of July 17, 3,608 Americans were killed and thousands more wounded and maimed because of a war based on lies, weapons of mass destruction, al-Qaida being in Iraq ... all proven untrue. Asked the loved ones of the 3,608, and counting, about damage!

He asked if the letter-writer expects the president to "query every malcontent on opinions before making a decision." Remember "we the people"? These people voted in 2006 to end this war, and Bush arrogantly disregarded the people in the Congress they elected.

The letter stated: "Bush cannot be held responsible for the deaths of Americans ..." Who is commander in chief? Who is perpetuating this war? Who then is responsible?

He stated that criticism without facts is unproductive. Where are his facts? Mr. Stora?

Art and Arlene Hussey


The rapid demise of Eliot Spitzer and Richard Baum could have easily been predicted.

In late May 2001, after a Democratic party convention which barely favored my primary opponent, Spitzer appeared at the Democratic party dinner, turned to me and bellowed, "There will not be a Democratic party primary for county executive." I responded, "Damn well will be." To me, on a much smaller scale, the "steamroller" had appeared. My response — and that of many others at the dinner — was one of fierce anger. So, I know how Joe Bruno feels. He does not want to work with Spitzer. He holds Baum responsible and finds, as we all should, Baum's claims not to have known of the surveillance of him ludicrous.

Spitzer has high ideals, many of which I share. But, to govern is to respect one's adversaries and to find ways and means of working with them. Spitzer has shown no capacity to do this. Like a former Democratic governor, Mario Cuomo, it is his way or the highway.

New York needs better than to fixate on the machinations of a power-hungry overstepper.

I would suggest that, as in Orange County, our state would benefit from a genuine two-party system. I hope that the Republican party finds a strong and credible candidate to challenge Spitzer in 2010, if he lasts that long. And, for Democrats, we must criticize, not defend, the blatant abuses of power which Eliot and Richard apparently believe is their birthright.

Michael Sussman


Exploiting Tourette's syndrome for laughs, in Lisa's Laws article "Garage Saletosis and other Seasonal Maladies" July 15, is discriminating. Most individuals with Tourette's syndrome (TS) do not make "repetitive small talk and uncontrollably blurt out phrases."

The fact is that to "uncontrollably blurt out phrases" is not a common syndrome of TS. Of all the individuals with this misunderstood neurological disorder, a very small percentage are prone to "blurting." The others experience varying degrees of involuntary physical and vocal tics.

The harm of such articles is that these distortions foster painful discrimination against anyone with TS looking for a job, applying to school or trying to make friends.

For more information on Tourette's syndrome, contact the Mental Health Association in Orange County at 294-7411 or 888-4-TOURET or go to the Web site

Hava Udalevich