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Feedback 4/13 

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Eastman report doesn't ring true

Let's see if I've got this right. Rochester's entrepreneurial spirit at the beginning of the 20th century was destroyed by George Eastman, who supposedly successfully sued employees who tried to leave to form their own enterprises in Rochester (news, March 30).

And although he died in 1932, this has had a lasting effect on Rochester and prevented other start-up companies. Furthermore, because of Kodak's financial success, breakaways from other Rochester industries dwindled. It all strikes me as total nonsense.

Is this the same George Eastman who founded the Eastman School of Music, which is a major reason to live in Rochester? Is this the same George Eastman who gave generously to RIT and left his fortune to the University of Rochester, now the city's largest employer?


No to military academy

Rochester school board president Van White seems to have his heart in the right place when forming a committee to advise on the establishment of a military school in RCSD. It appears to be born of a desire to desperately see the young people of our community succeed despite the poverty and racism that surround them.

This solution, however, is also born of a national misconception and a local insult. The misconception being that military training techniques are good for young people. If this is the case, it seems that schools such as Harley, Pittsford Mendon, and Allendale Columbia, where the wealthiest of our community send their children, would have instituted them by now. I don't see anything like that in any of these schools. I suggest that the committee vote to think about a military school for Rochester's children only when all of these schools have one.

Recently, I was hired by the RCSD to conduct focus groups with teachers for the Community Task Force on School Climate. These groups were also conducted with students and parents. In looking over the recommendations of all the focus groups and remembering what people said, we should feel insulted by the formation of this committee. Not one recommendation mentioned military training as a solution. In fact, they were far from it; what came through was an understanding that what these children need most are love, caring, and healing from their daily traumas.

To see money being spent to investigate one person's idea versus the thousands of ideas from the people who have their feet on the ground should cause alarm in all of us. Let's not let our desperation cause us to act on old ideas. The children of RCSD deserve better.


Failure is Clinton's true experience

Re: your terrible Clinton endorsement (Urban Journal, April 13). "Her foreign policy knowledge and experience" have been devoted to supporting and broadening the perpetual war in the Mideast. It's time America refocused its priorities by concentrating on our own defense, health, education, infrastructure, and job generation. How can foreign policy failure count as positive experience?


Don't play it safe

Salon, Rolling Stone, and now CITY. All of these liberal journals (with more to come) have the same prescription for dealing with Donald Trump: hold your nose — cut it off if you have to — and nominate Hillary.

Yes, their hearts burn for Bernie. Oh, how they'd love to live in his Star Trek paradise! But this is reality, and reality calls for the sober, dishwater pragmatism of Hillary Clinton.

Now let's check the logic.

At a moment when the lower and lower-middle classes are making their contempt for the status quo crystal clear to the point of advancing an unqualified, incoherent, bullying meathead to the front of the line against all expectations or efforts to halt him, the Democratic antidote should be a brittle, unloved, establishment wonk of the likes that Candidate Meathead has easily disposed of a dozen times already?

"The country is not yet where Bernie is," Mary Anna Towler weeps in her endorsement. And so she must choose Hillary, "with regret."

If you recognize that half of the country has already arrived at the point where the preposterous Donald Trump seems like a sound choice, how can they then say that Bernie Sanders goes beyond the pale? When a candidate who threatens to make Mexico pay for a colossal wall along our border is the people's choice, how can anything that Bernie Sanders proposes ever rise to the level of being uncouth?

If Donald Trump successfully chews up and spits out the Republican Party to become its candidate, even after they have thrown the kitchen sink at him, Hillary Clinton, with all her as yet unexploited vulnerabilities will start to look a lot less like a savior and more like Trump's toothpick.

Now is not the year to play it safe. We can choose a Democratic candidate with popular appeal, no scandals, funded by the public and not by the people who smashed the American Dream.

Or we can make the liberal choice: Hillary Clinton.


Is it a gender thing?

Experience, intelligence, affability, steady personality, and a confident debater: Would you agree that this describes Hillary Clinton? And if she were a man, would she not be a shoo-in candidate for president?

Are you, Mary Anna Towler, caught in the age-long mistrust women have for each other?


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