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During the 1954 Army-McCarthy Hearings, Joseph Welch asked Sen. Joseph McCarthy: "At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"

The recent exchange of letters between Mr. Pearson and Mr. Cohea evidences that it is now a sense of irony which is in short supply. How else to explain a letter (Mr. Pearson, Nov 4) in which one citizen attacks another (Mr. Cohea), by first calling for "reasonable interaction which is so important for citizens in a democratic society," then characterizing the fellow citizen's letter as a "rant" which "represents the best example of what's dividing our country. In his pit bull attack, he closes off any opportunity for conversation."

The letter concludes with the suggestion that perhaps the fellow citizen needs "a rabies vaccination, lest he infect others."

It seems unlikely the rabies reference will contribute to the "reasonable interaction" the letter writer says is so important to our society.

One may lose track of the subject of such a letter exchange, but one is hard-pressed to overlook the irony.

Lawrence Bernheim

Napa

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