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They Might Be Giant Eyesores

Empty Barrel Kelly

Particle board, particle board.
Amherst is made out of particle board.
What’s it like? It’s not important.
Particle board.

Is it a pulp, or is it a wood?
Would they build it cheaper if they could?
How long will this housing look good?
Nobody knows.
Particle board.

— Renee Katherine Morgan, Amherst

Best Of the Maids

In the 2017 Best Of The Valley Annual Manual, you have a best landscaper and a best tree service. How do you not have a category for a cleaning service? A maid, a dry cleaners, anything like that. Everyone’s gonna have a nice lawn but dirty pants thanks to you.

— Arthur  Hastings, email

Hamilton Wasn’t That Great Either

Reading Corey J. Silva’s excessive praise of Alexander Hamilton for his work on the U.S. Constitution and on the fledgling U.S. economy as Secretary of the Treasury (“Back Talk: Thomas Jefferson Sucks,” Oct. 5-11) prompted this sobering note. At the Constitutional Convention, Hamilton said, “all communities divide themselves into the few and the many. The first are rich and well-born and the other the mass of the people, who seldom judge or determine right.” He went on to propose a president and Senate elected for life; the president would have a veto over all legislation (like the British king) and appoint all state governors. In fact, Hamilton called the British so-called unwritten “Constitution,” “the best model the world had ever produced.”

At the opposite pole from Hamilton would be Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, which saw government’s function as guaranteeing the civil and natural rights of every member of society. When it comes to the American Economy today, the followers of Hamilton appear to be the Pres. Donald J. Trump and the global warming deniers of the GOP challenged by the likes of Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

—Irwin Spiegelman, email