Circles of Cell

To the Editor:

Enabling cell-phone use on subways ["#@%*! It's Cell On Wheels!", March 19] makes about as much sense as welcoming cigarettes and cigars on board. Noise pollution, to be sure, is less perilous than secondhand smoke, but it is toxic nonetheless. Hell, as Sartre famously observed, is other people, and this is especially true in crowded quarters. The presence of loud, invariably insipid and often grammatically challenged shouting in an already stress-laden setting would almost certainly provoke rage, and possibly even violence. It’s a truly horrible idea.

Joel Conarroe Manhattan

To the Editor:

Cell phones in subways?! [March 19] I would like to be able to enjoy some distance from those things! They are most disturbing in theaters, restaurants and on the sidewalk. It is most disrespectful to subject others to loud rants and continual ringing. People should turn them off when in crowded situations. And if you are going to have them on the subway, can I bring my 135-pound kitty cat a small male puma with me on the subway?

Paul Woolgar Brooklyn

They Also Serve

To the Editor:

Regarding Andrew Rice’s article ["Ministries at War," March 12]: If, in the words of Collegiate leaders, Bethany Memorial Reformed Church’s Pastor William Hanousek is a “snake in the grass,” so be it if that’s what it takes to keep the Devil from trampling the lilies.

Jeffrey M. Duban Manhattan

Isn’t it Ironic?

To the Editor:

We never really expected the Clintons to slink away. But does Anne Roiphe [New Yorker's Diary, "Please Excuse My Dear Bill's Pardons," March 12], while breathlessly blathering about her “Dear Bill,” sense just the teensiest smidgen of irony in the fact that the Clintons once promised us “the most ethical administration in history”? Or are such niceties only for “Clinton-haters” and vast right-wing conspiracies? Does it bother her that the leader of the free world had to justify his actions by saying, in effect, that a lame-duck Israeli president made him do it?

Oh, well at least we can hope that life is imitating art here: Perhaps Ms. Roiphe’s column will serve as a frame, a sort of bookend, and mark the last time we’ll have to look at the spectacle of the erstwhile “party of principle” becoming the party of “Who cares? A least we’re not losing elections the way we did in the 80’s.”

And yet, one suspects that this mewling by The Observer’s arch-maunderer won’t be the last time we’ll hear, “Please, Bill, may we have another?”

Jeffrey Gross Brooklyn

Beating Around

To the Editor:

Bruce Feirstein’s column [New Yorker's Diary, "Coming Up: It's Déjà Vu at 11," March 19] trashing Bill Clinton and comparing him to Joey Buttafuoco was to be expected from a publication that wants Hillary Clinton to resign from the Senate. However, no amount of media spin will change the fact that Bill Clinton was our greatest postwar President, with a record any President would be proud of.

The Reagan and Bush families also took things from the White House, but only the Clintons were demonized as thieves. As for the current pardon flap, it is much ado about nothing. Clinton’s pardons were far less egregious that the first President Bush’s pardoning of Caspar Weinberger, Armand Hammer and Edwin Cox, but those were never second-guessed or questioned. With the second President Bush rolling back economic regulations, opposing cuts to carbon-dioxide emissions and supporting a bill that will make it harder to declare bankruptcy, I only wish Bill Clinton could have run for a third term.

Reba Shimansky Brooklyn