Friedman Falls Flat

To the Editor:

Thanks to The New York Observer and Tom Scocca for deflating Tom Friedman’s “Around the World in 80 Seconds” balloon [“Not Since Nixon—Friedman in China, Sells Tom’s World,” Off the Record, Nov. 20]. Well-deserved and overdue!

Mark Arey

Nashville, Tenn.

Brooklyn Boom a Bust for History?

To the Editor:

Re the Nov. 13 “Brooklyn Boom” editorial: While I basically agree that thoughtful development should proceed in the city, I believe that it should be tempered with consideration for the city’s past. Some critics of development may harm their cause with poor presentation, but this should not be a cause for ignoring the important need for preservation. Instead, a concerted, imaginative effort should be made not only to build anew but also to incorporate older structures in order to create a balanced result for all.

When parts of our city are lost, a part of us is lost as well. Our society is the poorer for it, and our cultural perspective is dimmed.

Charles Deroko



To the Editor:

Isn’t it clear that the premise of a “Plan B” chimerically wedding the sports arena to the new Penn Station is a terrible idea when compared to that of a redrawn and refurbished transportation hub/post office that offers every advantage of both [“Lord Foster, Others Propose Massive Plan to Supplant Garden,” Matthew Schuerman, Nov. 13]? The post office has been a feature of the locale for generations. Surely they could whip up something nifty for an arena at its present location, with the added convenience of an underground passage connecting the two and plenty of office space for these greedy developers.

Roger Geier


George Bush Is… The Polarizer

To the Editor:

Have you gone daft? In the Nov. 6, 2006, editorial “Where Have All the Republicans Gone?”, you write that Hillary Clinton is “the most polarizing figure in American politics today.” Have you ever heard of a couple of guys who have managed not only to radically polarize the country, but also the world? Their names are George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.

Mrs. Clinton may be polarizing for some, but it seems to be mainly a visceral right-wing anti-Clinton reaction. She apparently works well with her Republican Senate colleagues. The two aforementioned world-champion polarizers have truly earned their titles by their catastrophic policies, sneering arrogance and stick-in-the-eye treatment of almost every institution in this country.

Neil W. Webre

Cobbs Creek, Va.

Once More Into The Breach

To the Editor:

I read Jason Horowitz’s Eliot Spitzer article [“Spitz Blitz,” Nov. 13] and thought it was fantastic. It suddenly brought together many ideas that had chased me in the past. I wonder why we keep fighting these political turf battles. They remind me, in a way, of the horrific trench warfare of World War I, with each side marching into no man’s land and losing 90 percent of its soldiers from the machine-gun fire there. These wars of attrition are very tiring and depleting. I’ve also thought hard about the problem of stagnation and concluded that there is much work to be done on a structural level. I know that this doesn’t sound palatable or even feasible, but at least we can discuss it with readers and let them decide what should be done next.

David K. So

Caldwell, N.J.