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Responding to Clinton's Admission

Regarding "Scandals Mark on Washington" (Aug.18), "It is his personal life..." is the constant mantra of those who defend the president in this crisis. Of course, they are wrong.

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Kenneth Starr is investigating a potential obstruction of justice (a very public matter) that happens to be wrapped in a personal affair. However, even if it were strictly a personal matter, one issue has been overlooked completely. The truest test of integrity is how an individual behaves when he is not being watched. If a convincing argument can be made that integrity is not required of our president, I should like to hear it.

Keith Emery

Athens, Ga.

John Hughes' opinion essay "President's Disgrace" (Aug. 19) is enough to make me stop reading the paper which I love. I challenge Mr. Hughes to find a president who did not lie to America. Or for that matter, a human being without flaw. The fact is, the political climate - from the Hill to the White House and beyond - is full of backward morality.

Starr, the media, President Clinton, and the lot should start to give this issue its true weight. These events are all facts of life. Let the man get on with his job. I ask you this, where would you start to clean up motives and morality with all the players involved in this drama? Like my father used to say, "Son, no one's innocent."

David Dubois


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Public art debate

Re: "When Everybody's a Critic: Raising a Ruckus Over Public Art" (Aug. 14), since there is an ancient, even pre-historic, tradition still alive that man creates in order to please, edify, and appeal to the human sense of beauty, I am curious what global committee, what majority, promulgated the idea that "public art's purpose is to provoke dialogue," as Bonnie Stephens of the Utah Arts Council has propounded. As long as one person is in the presence of at least one or more others, there will be dialogue, even in an art-naked community.

I have seen art in various cities, here in the US and abroad. The only art I am capable of acknowledging or comprehending as "art" is that which has somehow incorporated principles of aesthetics and, thereby, mysteriously inspired or awed me. Modern art can, and occasionally does, convey and embrace aestheticism.

I sincerely believe that the appreciation and expression of beauty, that mysterious, universally appreciated quality, is what a humble, honest, and awed heart strives to imitate because of what it evokes in him.

Eyesores such as that featured in this article are symptomatic of neurotic, egotistical, and jealous natures who hate beauty. It is unfortunate that Ms. Stephens and her peers in other cities find satisfaction in the provocation of controversy as opposed to harmony.

Nancy Fatton

Los Angeles

Watch your mouth

I just finished reading the article "Planning to Fly? Watch Your Bags - And Your Mouth" (Aug. 13) on American Airlines and the "T" word. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was unaware, until now, about airline policies, especially regarding those certain words!

In light of recent events I understand the concerns many have about airport security. Nonetheless, there is a rational and an irrational way of formulating and following policy.

Not allowing people to use words in a reasonable fashion is clearly an irrational way. Great job on the article. I will definitely pass it along to friends and colleagues.

Brian Cravens

San Angelo, Texas

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Only a selection can be published, and we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number.

Mail letters to 'Readers Write,' and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail to

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