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Re: Jim Washburn's "Bedtime for Democracy" (Dec. 15): We don't have a democracy, stupid. We have a representative republic. Once you comprehend that, like Rosanne Rosanna Danna, you can say, "Oh. Never mind." Further, I hope Hillary Clinton is able to count her fight to end the electoral system as her first big loss as a senator. It isn't going ANYWHERE. I guaran-damn-tee it. Suck it up, Jimmy. You lost. Quit your whining already and do what Gore did. Work with us, or sit down and sob quietly to yourself.

B. Dirk Yarborough
Santa Ana Jim Washburn responds: Dear B. Dirk, I thought we were a representative democracy. Without some manner of democracy how could we even arrive at a republic that is representative? Our elected officials are supposed to represent the will of the people, which is expressed in the voting booth—or at least was until Republicans got a better idea. Any president willing to assume office under such conditions should at least wear a snappy uniform: Do you think Bush would look better in relaxed Castro fatigues or in dressier generalissimo garb?


Dear Weekly staff: Cheer up, you bitter self-congratulatory liberals!!! Cheer up!! You'll probably love hating George W. Bush for the next four years, more than you loved loving that psychopath Bill Clinton for the last eight. After all, love vacillates, whereas hate is much more constant!! Merry X-mas!! (Or Happy Hanukkah. Or should I say Merry L.- Ron-Hubbard-time!!!)

Mark Murphy

Newport Beach Jim Washburn responds: Mark, you have quite nearly hit the nail on the head, with your forehead I suspect. What you didn't factor in, though, is that there is a thin line between love and hate, and we here LOVE having George DUI Bush as our next president. Wooo-eeee! It's wild frontier days again! I'm building a log fort right now because it's time for rugged determinism on the home front. And we'll for sure have manly adventures abroad. You know what I say when the U.S. is asked to help solve an international crisis? "Bring us up to periscope depth!" Know what I say when a woman asks for an abortion pill? "If you'd swallowed this instead, you wouldn't be in this mess today." Know what I say when the going gets tough? "Ask Dick Cheney." When you need a ton of simple solutions, bring in the simpletons, I say. It's time for Bill Clinton to go have a Viagra-poppin' contest with Bob Dole, and let real men run the show. And Merry Christmas to your family as well, Mark.


I write to sing Jim Washburn's praises for his brilliant article. He should have been writing Al Gore's speeches during this whole travesty. I would like to encourage him to have his article published nationwide in as many publications as possible. It makes critical points that must be heard. We need to fight back rather than be anesthetized by the hypocrisy that is our "justice system." It is time for a revolution of sorts. Speaking out, as this article does, is one tool we have to fight back. Thank you for articulating what we feel and know to be true.

Diane Bass
Laguna Beach


In Alison M. Rosen's response to Paul Quade's letter suggesting she might be suffering from acrophobia, she launches into telling us about her love of spiders and of her spider- rescue efforts. What does that have to do with fear of heights? Is she really so illiterate as to not know acrophobia from arachnophobia. People like her make me ochlophobic.

Diane Petersen
Dana Point
Alison M. Rosen responds:Thank you for your heartfelt letter, Diane. Admitting you have ochlophobia is half the battle. I know whereof I speak because I, too, used to be a raging ochlophobic. I couldn't even set foot in a Chinese restaurant during year of the snake. If it wasn't the pictures on the menus, it was the sizzling rice soup; I was convinced it was hissing at me. Leaky tires, coiled garden hoses, Monty Python movies, the story of Adam and Eve, that one Emily Dickinson poem, the sound of maracas—all of them would send me into convulsions. For years, I slept with one eye open and a cage of small white mice to my side so that if any sort of giant boa constrictor made its way into my house, I could stall it with the mice, thus affording me enough time to call 911. "Hello operator," I planned to say, "My name is Alison, and I live at such and such lane. I don't know if this qualifies as an emergency, however there is a giant boa constrictor in my house, and he looks hungry. Please come quick." I practiced it ahead of time so that I'd be able to remain calm. I don't know for certain but it's just my feeling that they would have appreciated my ability to be calm and rational about the whole thing. I mean, you have to figure that the majority of their calls are from crazy people who aren't even experiencing a real emergency but just think they are. My friend down the street—the one who's afraid of crayons—feared the government was trying to steal his brainwaves to make energy, so he had to seal all of his windows with tin foil and he cut himself really badly on the serrated edge of the tin foil box and he couldn't even get through to 911 because of all the crazy people tying up the lines. They were out to get him, though, so maybe that's not the best example. But anyway, I think you know what I mean.

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